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Breakfast of Champions [VHS]

78 customer reviews


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$15.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by Jessie Books and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.


Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Nick Nolte, Albert Finney, Barbara Hershey, Glenne Headly
  • Directors: Alan Rudolph
  • Writers: Alan Rudolph, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  • Producers: David Blocker, David Willis, Sandra Tomita, Stephen J. Eads, W. Mark McNair
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video
  • VHS Release Date: August 13, 2002
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305715831
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,644 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Director Alan Rudolph's adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's novel Breakfast of Champions centers on suicidal car dealer Dwayne Hoover (Bruce Willis), his drug- and television-addled wife Celia (Barbara Hershey), his cross-dressing sales manager Harry (Nick Nolte), his dim secretary and mistress Francine (Glenne Headly), and Vonnegut's alter ego of sorts, pulp writer Kilgore Trout (Albert Finney). Dwayne is desperate for meaning in his life and starts to believe that Trout, who has been invited to the town's impending arts festival, will be able to tell him some truth he's never heard before. The EPA is investigating toxic sludge under property Dwayne owns, Celia is losing her already fragile grip on reality, Harry is growing increasingly paranoid that Dwayne knows about his private habits, and Francine is impatient with Dwayne's increasingly erratic behavior. Meanwhile, Kilgore Trout grouses about his failures and finally decides to attend the arts festival as a final act of self-humiliation. On top of all this, there are four or five other characters, all eccentric to the point of overload. It's difficult to get a fix on what the movie wants to be about, but Glenne Headly makes her character an island of sympathy in the ocean of everyone else's self-absorption, and Albert Finney creates some poignant moments as Trout is confronted by people who either scorn or worship his stories without any attempt to understand them. Featuring a cameo by Vonnegut. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Christine Menendez on April 24, 2002
Format: DVD
I have forgone watching this film until now, due to the very bad reviews and the fear of seeing one of my favourite authors pulverized in a travesty of one of his great works. But, one of my kids brought the film home, so I bit that bullet and sat down and watched it.
You've read enough reviews by now to get some gist of the story, so I won't go into that again, except to say that it has to do with the madness that results from living a completely amoral and unfulfilling existence. Vonnegut is, I believe, primarily a philosopher and a very funny man who has the rare talent of pulling all of life's absurdities into some kind of focus. It is true that his books do not translate well to the screen because it is his dialogue that is so important and this is generally excluded. However. Breakfast of Champions, however much it could not remain completely faithful to the book, stands as a work of art in its own right. It is very Terry Gilliam in its approach and over-all strangeness, including the plethora of eccentric characters; the cinematography is superb and the acting is brilliant. If you like Gilliam and cult films and David Lynch, you'll probably enjoy this film. If, on the other hand, you tend more towards Speilberg, you will probably find the film an incomprehensible mess. I absolutely do not agree with those who off-handedly bashed the film to pieces as there was a great deal of thought and even love put into this film, and the fact that some find it incomprehensible does not mean that it isn't, only that they are incapable of understanding and appreciating it.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
As the reader may know, this movie is based on the magnificent Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. novel. If you've read the book, then you'll be satisfied with the movie. If you haven't read the book, then you'll think the movie is horrible. Besides, the book is better.
Enter Dwayne Hoover, (Bruce Willis, in an odd role), a nut-case car dealer who seems to be looking for the meaning of life. Confused by the people arounfd him, such as his cross-dressing sales manager, (Nick Nolte), his kind of dumb secretary who's also his mistress (Glenne Headly), a maniacal super-fan who wants to work for Dwayne, (Omar Epps), etc., he decides to seek one of the artists at the upcoming Arts Festival. Enter Kilgore Trout, (Albert Finney), a has-been science-fiction novelist that's coming to the Festival. See the movie, or better yet, read the book to find out what happens next.
A pretty good movie. On one hand it's screenplay isn't that good and the main story works better in the book. On the other hand, it's got a spectacular cast (including Barbara Hershey, Lukas Haas, and the recent Oscar nominee Michael Clarke Duncan who makes a short appearance, among others) and it's weirdness makes "Brazil" look like "The English Patient".
If you are in the mood for a weird movie, see "Breakfast of Champions".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ziggy-stardust@alloymail.com on December 16, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I thought that this was an excellent movie and that much can be gained from it, though it doesn't align perfectly with Vonnegut's novel. I was pleasantly surprised with Bruce Willis's acting, I thought that he did very well at portraying such a complex and difficult character as Dwayne Hoover. I am glad in a way that it wasn't exactly like the book, I know others complain about that aspect of it. If you ask me, it would take away from the value of the book if the movie were made exactly in it's image. I liked the movie a lot, it is one of the better ones that I have seen. It is understandable how some people may not enjoy it, it's difficult to take it all in, but if you can, I think that you will find it to be rewarding.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 2000
JUST FINISHED WATCHING "BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS" AND THOUGHT IT WAS FANTASTIC. IT CAPTURES THE TRUE VONNEGUT SPIRIT. A GREAT ENSEMBLE CAST AND FRENETIC PACE MAKE IT A JOY TO WATCH. I REALLY HOPE THEY RELEASE IT ON DVD!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Kaplan on June 6, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This movie really get a different rating depending on what type of movie you like. Not to put anyone down, or anything, but - if you rush to the movies for the newest John Grisham adaptation, or if you were counting the seconds to the new Star Wars movie, or if you think Keanu Reeves is the greatest actor you've ever seen, then don't see this movie.
However, if you enjoy THINKING while watching a film, and see it as a somewhat active experience, rather than a passive experience, then you must see this. It's the lost film of 1999, and has a lot to say on many different levels. The people who gave this one-star or two-stars simply didn't understand the movie. That's OK, it's the reason it failed in the box office.
But some of us know that box office sales are absolutely meaningless when it comes to art. One of the few movies I'd recommend watching with subtitles, as Albert Finney's character is often hard to understand, even though he has some of the most important lines in the movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Runk VINE VOICE on September 22, 2008
Format: DVD
I'm not sure who the intended audience was for Breakfast of Champions. Mainstream comedy viewers would tuck tail and run from a film like this, while the Vonnegut fans will(and do) hate it because of the plot changes and missing elements from the book. So I guess that just leaves that small number of folks who like far out and bizarre comedies. Now, I personally don't like comedies just for the fact that they're odd, but I do have a fascination in seeing high profile actors doing things we hardly ever see them do. This came out at the right time coz Willis was hot from that Armageddon pile of sludge.
Breakfast of Champions is one of those films based on an "unfilmable" novel. We've seen this before in movies like Naked Lunch(mixed reviews from critics and Burroughs fans) and American Psycho(actually got favorable reviews). Doing Vonnegut is difficult coz his work is made for the book format due to his quirky and unique narration style. Naturally with a movie you pretty much lose that. One of the best things about Breakfast of Champions(the book) is that Vonnegut was the narrator and let the reader know that he was. He even puts himself in the story as a character! This is all lost in the film.
Plus there are indeed changes made to the story which seem totally unnecessary and certainly don't add to or clarify the story in any way. I can definitely see why Vonnegut fans did not like this movie. However, and I'm only guessing here, I think Vonnegut himself might have liked the offbeat and wacky tone of this movie. He does have a cameo in it as well.
Many folks have gone into the plot, so I won't waste too much time on that, but here's a little rundown: Duane Hoover(Bruce Willis) is a car salesman-a local celebrity everybody loves as though he were a movie star.
Read more ›
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