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City of Joy (1992)

Patrick Swayze , Pauline Collins , Roland Joffé  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

Price: $29.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Patrick Swayze, Pauline Collins, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, Ayesha Dharker
  • Directors: Roland Joffé
  • Writers: Dominique Lapierre, Mark Medoff
  • Producers: Roland Joffé, Iain Smith, Jake Eberts
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001BRSRG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,915 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "City of Joy" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

In the best performance of his career, Swayze stars as Max Lowe, a disillusioned surgeon who travels to India after a young patient dies on the operating table. But Lowe's determination to quit medicine is challenged when he meets a committed British nurse who runs a free clinic in Calcutta's mostdangerous neighborhood. And when her clinic - and the livelihood of her neighbors - is threatened by the brutal local "godfather", Max teaches the impoverished Indians the strength of their own unity.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Uplifting Film February 20, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've always been a fan of Patrick Swayze, and this is his best role to date. Om Puri, another brilliant actor, went from Indian movie star to International Superstar beautifully acting out the part of a humble yet dignified Rickshaw driver. And any movie that has Om Puri starring in it is sure to be a classic.

This is a wonderful tale about two separate lives who cross paths in the Calcutta slums. One is about Hasari Pal who moves his family from his village in search of work in the city to pay off the money-lenders and to make enough money for his daughter's marriage dowry. The other is about a disillusioned American surgeon, Max Lowe, who quits his practice after a patient dies on his operating table. He runs away to India for some soul searching.

The trip is no so easy affair when Max gets mugged and Hasari brings him to a free clinic being run by an Irish Nurse in the slums. While still trying to come to grips with his own demons, Max begins to involve himself with the clinic and its neighbors, soon coming face to face with the oppressive "godfather" of the community. Max encourages the neighbors to stand up for themeselves. Hasari, whose livlihood depends on the godfather, is reluctant to protest until events begin to spin out of control. Before long, a humble quiet rickshaw driver becomes the town hero.

What I like most about this movie is that Om Puri is the central character, not Patrick Swayze. It is almost too easy make the western foreigner save the day. Patrick Swayze does a brilliant job depicting this balance by allowing his character's hot-blooded, American nature to boil to the surface.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Film June 14, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Of course no Patrick Swayze film could ever compare with a wonderful book, still City of Joy has much to offer. I grew up in a city just out of Calcutta and found the movie to be very true to the culture and everyday life I experienced there. Poverty is difficult to portray from a developed country's point of view without becoming self-righteous, but nowhere in the movie do the foreigners propose to change the state of the city. The two characters(Patrick Swayze and Pauline Collins) are there because they want to be and to lend a hand when needed. The cast of Indian characters(Um Puri in particular)is especially good. All of the actors possess great human qualities that makes them easy to connect with and likable. Although these people live in squalor, they have a joie de vivre that keeps the tone from being one of despair. This film is simply a slice of life that doesn't try to prove anything. I highly recommend seeing the film AS WELL AS reading the book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Never before has a film touched me so profoundly. As a laid-off, job-hunting new bride thrust into becoming a housewife, when I planned to remain a type-A career woman, I was fuzzy about what life was supposed to be. On our new one-income budget, my new husband and I don't have extra funds for entertainment. So he popped in the movie, "City of Joy" for our Saturday night theatre. When I saw the horrible conditions these Indians live in, suddenly our one-bedroom apartment seemed like a palace. The job that a main character treasured so much was a task I thought only mules performed. But he took so much pride in this dirty, exhausting job, and was so grateful to serve daily to support his family. Suddenly, the standards I'd set for myself seemed completely unnecessary. Of course I want more, but during this film viewing, I realized I don't need it. As minimalist as I thought I was, what I call suffering is paradise to these people. Americans take our fortune for granted. Seeing people live without things we throw away taught me that you don't have to waste tears and heartache crying over what you don't own. There is much joy to found in things like friendship, caring for others, and family. After the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter are met, the rest is gravy. I have even less money in the bank today than Saturday night. But I feel ten times richer, having watched "City of Joy". I feel some of my neurotic worrying over money melting away, and I am cherishing everything I do have. Things will get better. But until they do, I learned from this movie that they're already good. You can't put a price on peace of mind.
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38 of 49 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Many better options than this May 24, 2004
I read the book, have seen the movie and have visited Kolkata. I'm troubled by the book and the movie. I felt the book trivialized poverty and made a sentimental treatment of it. This is because it was viewed through the eyes of a Catholic priest and he was taking voluntary poverty. Poverty is another matter when you have children, live in bone crushing poverty and have fewer choices available to you. (Yet Kolkata is a city of miracles in that the poorest can often find a place and a way to survive there.)

I don't think the movie came close to showing the culture of Kolkata's poor. It was very much a westernized gloss and it definitely pulled punches. Consider just one important cultural element: India has many great musicians who have produced centuries of beautiful music. But this film sticks us with an entirely western score.

I am in love with this region and so was drawn to read the book and see the film. But if you want to see a film about this part of the world, see anything by Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen or Shyam Benegal.

In particular, Satyajit Ray - Apu Trilogy or Two Daughters. Although more modern and middle class, Aguntuk (The Stranger) is also a much better film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It is a real underbelly of the caste system in India
Published 22 days ago by nancy antik
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See
This is an incredible story of humanity becoming aware. Swayze is a self absorbed doctor running away from an major error at home, attempting to find refuge in India…only to be... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Sananda
5.0 out of 5 stars no good for Australia
had to return it. wrong region code. no good for Australia.
Published 27 days ago by roslynsutton
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Americans saving the world....blah blah
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie
Would prefer captioning as I am hearing impaired, but it does not seem to be available.
Published 1 month ago by Florence Plyler
5.0 out of 5 stars Add to your collection of favorites
Love this movie, one of Patrick Swayze's very best. Heart warming and endearing.
Published 1 month ago by kim davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
not seen this i did along time ago great love patwrick
Published 1 month ago by BRENDA L
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE!
Published 2 months ago by Michelle R. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Film
This is is a story of human triumph. The characters are believable and I think it is Patrick Swayze's best.
Published 2 months ago by Wanda M. Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful
now it is dated, but I think they tried, though the book by Dominque Pierre is one of the most outstanding books I have ever read so it does not come remotely near being as much of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Paul Peabody
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Topic From this Discussion
There's any Portuguese or Spanish Subtitle?
No subtitles on my DVD, although there's a French language option.
Nov 2, 2012 by Wuchak |  See all 2 posts
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