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Boys Don't Cry (1999)

Hilary Swank , ChloŽ Sevigny , Kimberly Peirce  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Hilary Swank, ChloŽ Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard, Brendan Sexton III, Alicia Goranson
  • Directors: Kimberly Peirce
  • Writers: Kimberly Peirce, Andy Bienen
  • Producers: Bradford Simpson, Caroline Kaplan, Christine Vachon, Eva Kolodner, Jeff Sharp
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: October 13, 2009
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CWN3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,487 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Boys Don't Cry" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Featurette

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

When Brandon Teena, a young man with an infectious, aw-shucks grin and an angelic face that's all angles, wanders into Falls City, Nebraska, he takes to the town like it's a second skin. In little time he's fallen in with a gang of goofy if temperamental redneck boys, found himself a girlfriend, and befriended enough people to form something of a small family. In fact, it's the best time Brandon's ever had. However, there are shadows looming over Brandon's life: a court date for grand theft auto, a checkered criminal record, and a seemingly innocuous speeding ticket that could prove to be his undoing. Why? Because as it turns out, Brandon Teena is actually Teena Brandon, a woman masquerading as a man.

This fascinating story was based on real-life events (as documented in The Brandon Teena Story) that occurred in 1993 and ended in tragedy: Brandon's rape and murder by two of his supposed friends. Despite this horrible outcome, however, in the hands of director Kimberly Peirce (who cowrote the unfettered screenplay with Andy Bienen), Brandon's story becomes not oppressive or preachy, but rather oddly and touchingly transcendent, anchored by Hilary Swank's phenomenal, unsentimental performance. Swank inhabits Brandon's contradictions and passions with a natural vitality most actresses would refuse to give themselves over to. Brandon's deception is doomed from the start, but Swank's enthusiasm is infectious, and when Brandon starts romancing the sloe-eyed Lana (a pitch-perfect Chloë Sevigny), he finds a soul mate who wants to transcend boundaries and fated identities as much as he does. The last part of the film, when Brandon's true identity is discovered, is truly painful to watch, but in between the agony there are touching moments of sweetness between Brandon and Lana, who wrestles with the truth of who Brandon actually is. You'll come away from Boys Don't Cry with affection and respect for Brandon, not pity. --Mark Englehart

Product Description

A true story about hope, fear, and the courage it takes to be yourself, "Boys Don't Cry" is "One of the 10 best films of 1999" (National Board of Review). Critically acclaimed and nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, this four-star, "must-see" (People), "riveting" (Enterainment Weekly) drama features incredible performances by newcomers Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courageous, Intense, Devastating March 28, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Congratulations to the filmmakers and financiers of this bold film, and also to the Academy for giving it prominence.
"Boys Don't Cry" succeeds as a portrait not only of a sexual identity crisis but simply as a portrait of one woman's compassion (Chloe Sevigny) for another human being--it succeeds where "My Own Private Idaho" failed because "Boys" is an aesthetically cohesive work of art. Director Kimberly Pierce is astonishly gifted. Her attention to detail, composition, and her ability to use locations and static objects as metaphors for what is transpiring in the minds and lives her her characters is remarkable. The editing is also another noteworthy feature (although the use of flashbacks in Act III is unnecessary and detracts from one of the film's most powerful scenes).
Although Hilary Swank is undeniably amazing, it is the character played by Chloe Sevingny that gives this film its emotional resonance. Her role is not a supporting role but a lead role--in fact she is technically the protagonist (undergoes classic character change)and has nearly as much screen time as Swank. Sevingny's performance is absolutely brilliant.
One warning: I walked into this film unaware of how disturbing it would be and was blindsided. This is a gritty, no holds barred film about a sensitive subject.
Although I doubt this was Kimberly Pierce's primary intent, the film also stands as a powerful argument in favor of hate crime legislation. There is an emotional plea for tolerance at the core of this movie, and people on the political fence may find that this film moves them in the direction of conceding that hate crimes comprise a separate category.
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71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Masquerading and Not about sexual orientation March 4, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This is an excellent film, however the subject is heart wrenching. The film isn't about a girl masquerading as a man or about a confused lesbian. These terms have unfortunately been equated with the film and are inaccurate. Brandon was an FTM, a transgendered person/transexual who was pre-op. The film does deal with Brandon's affirmation of his (yes--editors-HIS)true SELF (read Jung). Chloe Sevigny portrays a young woman who is able to see beyond the physical and into Brandon's true SELF. Unfortuately, 2 disturbed men, who have many issues in themselves, in their limited vision and supposed masculinity are challenged by Brandon's transgenderness. They project their own insecurities out on Brandon--brutally raping and murdering Brandon, a young mother, and an African American (not shown in the film). Warning: this film is emotionally upsetting and demonstrates the issue of violence on many levels--all folks can relate. In many respects, this film ranks on the levels of Schlinder's List and Platoon. Please make sure you see the film with someone so you can talk afterwords. Trust me, I conducted a panel after a showing of the film for an audience of 40-50 individuals. Let the pain in and feel it. It's the only way you can truly understand the film.
It's too bad that Kimberly Peirce was not nominated for an Academy Award for her direction. The film is EXCELLENT!
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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes they do October 11, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This movie really made me think about sexual differences and what it means to have a sex change or to want one, or to be trapped in a gender you don't want. It was very effective to have us see Hilary Swank (who plays Brandon Teena/Teena Brandon) with short hair and male facial expressions and gestures without giving us a glimpse of her as Teena. (Actually we did get a brief glimpse in a photo.) Swank looks like a boy, acts like a boy, in fact works hard to be a boy; indeed that is (sadly) part of what this movie is about, what it means to be a boy in middle America as opposed to being a girl. And then when we have the scene with the tampons and the breast wrapping and we see her legs, the effect is startling, an effect possibly lost on those who knew that the person playing Brandon was a woman. It was when I saw her legs and could tell at a glance that she was a woman with a woman's legs that I realized just how subtle, but unmistakable are the anatomical sexual differences, and how convincing Swank's portrayal was.

I was reminded as I watched this of being a young person, of being a teenager and going through all the rituals and rites, unspoken, unplanned, without social sanction, that we all go through to prove our identity, because that is what Brandon was so eager to do, to prove his identity as a boy. I thought, ah such an advantage he has with the girls because he knows what they like and what they want. He can be smooth, and how pretty he looks. It was strange. I actually knew some guys in my youth who had such talent, and the girls did love them.
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83 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the bluest eyes in texas are holding him tonight April 19, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Not only were all the performances in Boys Don't Cry fantastic, so was the directing by Kimberely Pierce. She directed the film in a modern light, giving Boys Don't Cry and almost "underground" aestectic quality. She used dark midwestern landscapes and splashed them with strikingly bright colours of a city's neon lights. Nebraska never looked so alternative.
Oscar winner Hillary Swank and nominee Chloe Sevigny both give standout performances, humanizing their characters making us believe we are watching a real life situation unfolding. The girl from the tv show "Roseanne" also gives a great performance, along with the actress who played the mother. The 2 guys in the film who played the white trash thugs give me the creeps. That's how good this movie is, it honestly makes you love and hate the characters with passionate intensity.
As for the reviewer who only saw the film as "teena brandon hanging out in bars looking for lesbian sex", well you obviously missed the point of the movie. It's not a trivial "feel-good date movie". It has a deeper, more important theme. Boys Dont Cry is a story about a lost soul searching for his/her identity. While her search is battling against a world with little campassion or understanding of her needs and feelings as a human being. The strident voice of middle American intolerance is Brandon's ill fated downfall in life. He only wanted love, because everybody needs love.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I DIDN"T EVEN WANT YO BUY THIS I WANT MY MONEY BACK....
I didn't want this I am surprised you billed me I did not want this and I did not order it so refund me if you're charging me
Published 5 hours ago by radiohead4737
5.0 out of 5 stars Great acting, great story
This was not a first run of the Teena Brandon story for us. Interesting to see a protagonist who is no hero, but still incredibly sympathetic. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Erika Croy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
This was a great movie to watch to make others aware of the challenges and heartaches people face who choose a lifestyle that is different from the majority. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Sally Elster
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Great movie. Great story. And an unbelievable crime that needs to be shared with the whole world. 5 stars. Must see!
Published 1 month ago by Ashley Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Very deep, troubled story of Idenity
Speaks deeply to both lesbian and transgendered people. I believe one can remember most of the horror protrayed in this movie at one point or another. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Escher
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilary Swank is great in this
Great movie but its a shame it was a true story, it seems fictional because how crazy that something like this would really happen in real life
Published 1 month ago by Skeller
5.0 out of 5 stars Stong
has a very strong message about the how mean and unfair some can be to anyone! Must see movie and to have in your collection
Published 1 month ago by Andrew wainwright
5.0 out of 5 stars Boys don't cry
Best movie I've ever seen!! I loved it!! Most truest love and saddest story I've ever came across... Never judge anyone
Published 2 months ago by jessy daily
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you to the seller
Got this DVD with no problems and it plays very well; I'm happy and would buy from this seller again.
Boy's don't cry is a fave of mine and I'm happy to now own it.
Published 2 months ago by Sebastian
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay I guess
I ordered this movie because a friend told me it was very good. It was not it was only okay.
Published 2 months ago by Angel Parada
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