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Carlito's Way (Widescreen Edition) [VHS] (1993)

Al Pacino , Sean Penn , Brian De Palma  |  R |  VHS Tape
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)

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Carlito's Way (Widescreen Edition) [VHS] + Scarface (1983) (2 Tapes) [VHS]
Price for both: $16.83

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Product Details

  • Actors: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller, John Leguizamo, Ingrid Rogers
  • Directors: Brian De Palma
  • Writers: David Koepp, Edwin Torres
  • Producers: Judith Stevens, Louis A. Stroller, Martin Bregman, Michael Bregman, Ortwin Freyermuth
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Surround Sound, NTSC, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • VHS Release Date: March 31, 1998
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783226543
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #736,479 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Notorious Puerto Rican heroin dealer Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino) is released from jail on a technicality thanks to the manipulations of his sleazy lawyer buddy (Sean Penn). All he wants is to keep his nose clean and earn enough money to start a business in the Bahamas--and maybe rekindle romance with his old flame, played by Penelope Ann Miller. Instead he finds himself back in trouble as a result of old-world codes of honor and misguided loyalties. It all takes place in 1975 Manhattan, in and around a nightclub Carlito manages, so there's plenty of classic disco music pulsing on the soundtrack. John Leguizamo plays one of the younger generation of hoodlums out to prove something. Viggo Mortensen and Luis Guzmán star as a couple of Carlito's buddies from the old days. Brian DePalma, who directed Pacino a decade earlier in SCARFACE, makes this seem almost like that film's sequel. As expected, there's plenty of elaborate tracking shots and suspenseful set pieces, most memorably a pulse-pounding chase through Grand Central Station. It's adapted from two novels by New York Supreme Court Judge Edwin Torres, based on his childhood in East Harlem.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
When I rented this DVD I hadn't realized that I had seen it in a theater when it was first released in 1993. I remember that I liked it then. And, guess what? I like it even more now.

Directed by Brian DePalma and adapted from two novels by Edwin Torres, who just happens to be a judge in the New York Supreme Court, the screenwriter, David Keopp, did a wonderful job of bringing this story to the screen. Yes, it's fictional. But it has all the gritty realism of authenticity. And it also has some wonderful actors.

Al Pacino stars as Carlito, a Puerto Rican gangster. When we first meet him, he's just been released from prison because of a technicality. He wants to go straight now. Keep out of trouble. But it seems impossible. He's immediately drawn into to some heavy gunfights when his nephew gets involved in some drug sales. It's bloodshed and murder and a very exciting scene.

Sean Penn is cast as his lawyer. He's a sleazy type. He's flashy, he's obnoxious and he's addicted to cocaine. And Carlito also owes him a favor, a big favor.

Carlito really tries to go straight, and even re-ignites a flame with his old girlfriend. He's working as a manager of a nightclub and saving his money. Supposedly, if he can get together $70,000, he'd be able to move to a Caribbean Island and run a car dealership. That's his dream. And I found myself wishing it would happen.

Naturally there are complications. The mob is involved. And so is the lawyer. And Carlito is drawn into another crime, this one with dire consequences. The ending is inevitable.

The film moved fast, the story was tight and well constructed, and I felt real emotion for Carlito and the hard choices he had to make.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic, Gritty Crime Tale April 13, 2001
In one of his best performances ever, Al Pacino is the engine that keeps "Carlito's Way" moving from beginning to end. Recently-released from prison, Carlos Brigante (played marvelously by Pacino) is a former Puerto Rican drug lord who ruled New York City's drug world during the 1960's and 1970's. Assisted by his lawyer (Sean Penn) Pacino is determined to stay out of the trade that landed him in prison in the first place. However, as usual trouble always lurks in every corner.
Deciding to buy and operate a Latin nightclub from an owner who is seriously in debt (played by the famous Argentine comedian Jorge Porcel, who had a cult following throughout Latin America due to his sexually-charged comedy skit show "A La Cama Con Porcel; he is know as the Latin-version of "Benny Hill"). Yet as old faces reemerge onto the scene, newer faces have also started to take a foothold in Brigante's former empire, especially Benny Blanco (played by the ever-wonderful John Leguizamo).
Directed by Brian de Palma ("Carrie"), this is one of the most realistic, and historic accurate pictures of life in New York City's urban jungle during the late 1970's/early 1980's. Penelope Ann Miller ("Adventures in Babysitting" is great as Brigante's love interest, and Luis Guzman always is a scene-stealer playing Pacino's right-hand man.
The DVD version contains production notes, cast biographies, and the original theatrical trailer and the sound and picture quality are excellent. Pacino (a Bronx native) masters a perfect Puerto Rican accent in the same way he mastered his Cuban-emigre accent in "Scarface". "Carlito's Way" is guaranteed to keep you entertained due to thrilling performances by the entire cast, amazing cinematography, great directing, and most importantly, incredible realism. Destined to become a modern urban classic.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Third time's the charm? September 19, 2005
By Cubist
There was a lot of anticipation when Carlito's Way was released in 1993. Director Brian De Palma had just come off a lukewarm reception for yet another Hitchcock homage, Raising Cain and was in need of a hit to appease the studios. And so, a re-teaming with Al Pacino in an effort to recreate the magic of Scarface made commercial sense. Carlito's Way was much more sombre in tone than the cinematic shotgun blast that is Scarface. It is a tragedy about how a criminal tries to go straight but is ultimately doomed from the get-go. This is the third version of the DVD, timed to coincide with the direct-to-video release of the prequel, but is it worth purchasing if you already own one of the previous incarnations?

Carlito is a role tailor-made for Al Pacino, allowing him to essay another larger-than-life character. Carlito is a smart guy who cannot escape what he is no matter how hard he tries and Pacino conveys the melancholy that lurks behind the bravado of his character. The real scene stealer, however, is Sean Penn's sleazy, coked-up lawyer. The actor reportedly did the film to help finance his directorial debut, The Crossing Guard. For a paycheck role, Penn does a great job as he disappears into the character, complete with a frizzy afro and cheap suits. It's almost as if Pacino's presence inspired Penn to step up his game. And this makes Penn's memorable turn so much fun to watch.

"Brian De Palma on Carlito's Way" features the director criticizing the current crop of movies that merely copy or quote from other movies or TV shows (Tarantino anyone?) and don't draw from real life. De Palma puts a lot of thought into the visuals of his movies in an attempt to surprise the audience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
just what he wanted!!
Published 4 days ago by JANET H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Carlito's Way - Blu-ray + DVD + UV
Great movie that I had previously on DVD. I upgraded to the Blu-ray and it's a fantastic movie. I've watched it several times through my Samsung BD-F6700 3D Blu-ray player and my... Read more
Published 1 month ago by B. Mcgowan
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
this is a great movie, i never get tired of watching it. thanks very much great quality i think its HD
Published 1 month ago by Jeanette
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Flick with not much of a twist...
Brilliantly done on every level. Story was a bit.... trite and predicable though... Still, a really great flick! Overall, thumbs up!
Published 2 months ago by Tavor White
5.0 out of 5 stars An acting tour de force...very underrated film.
DePalma and Pacino team up again and provide us with a tremendous movie experience. This movie has two of the finest acting performances you'll ever see. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Peggy Malouse
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Best
One of Pacino's best films. It is graphic in places (bloody). However, it is a timeless movie! Pacino comes out of prison and tries to stay Clean. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jiminysuzy
4.0 out of 5 stars Al is awesome!
I absolutely love Al Pacino! Of all the films he's starred in, there isn't a role he hasn't mastered yet.
Published 2 months ago by 7PnFlMM2
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable
I'm sure I'll get blasted by other reviewers for this, but I thought the movie lacked credibility and the dialogue was hackneyed. So shoot me. Read more
Published 3 months ago by William
1.0 out of 5 stars unable to watch
Could not watch. Glitches in viewing then stopped repeatedly. Gave up trying. No way to communicate failure in real time.
Published 3 months ago by Lyle D. Wray
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
Love this movie would definitely recommend for people to buy and watch it ! It's a must for movie collectors.
Published 4 months ago by Brenda Delacruz
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