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City of Joy

116 customer reviews

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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.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Pauline Collins, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, Patrick Swayze, Art Malik
  • Directors: Roland Joffe
  • Producers: Roland Joffe, 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: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001BRSRG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,146 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "City of Joy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By G. Jennings on 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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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2000
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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Alicia Howard on July 17, 2001
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E Johnson on January 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Lately I've been watching so many of Patrick Swayze's movies. He is really a great artist with many distinguished talents. I am amazed. He seems to always do movies that have heart. I'm not sure what the well known think we want to see in a movie, but I'm so glad I cannot take their reviews to heart to the point that it keeps me away from movies that are good. Patrick was living in a city that had a lot to offer, the best medical equipment, but losing a child along with other pressures, he felt he needed to escape; yet life's problems seems to be every where. He ends up in a place called the "City of Joy",that looks hopeless. Among destitution and crime he finds meaning again and peace worth staying and fighting for. A great job, can't wait for movies made for the year "2000".
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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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