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Daniel (1983)

Timothy Hutton , Mandy Patinkin , Sidney Lumet  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Timothy Hutton, Mandy Patinkin, Lindsay Crouse, Edward Asner
  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Legend Films
  • DVD Release Date: July 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019UGYAK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,234 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Daniel" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A searing portrait of one young man's quest for the truth about his past. Directed by the legendary Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead) this moving film stars Oscar® winner Timothy Hutton as Daniel, the fictionalized son of the Rosenbergs, executed in 1953 for selling secrets to the Soviets. Contrasting Daniel's involvement with the '60s protest movement and his parents own collaboration with the Communist Party, Daniel is a moving and masterfully acted thriller. Also starring Mandy Patinkin, Ed Asner and Ellen Barkin.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical drama with magnificent actors August 1, 2008
Timothy Hutton is luminous in this film, as the fictional son of the Rosenbergs. He should have own an award for this portrayal. All the actors, so many well known now, and including the children portraying the young Daniel, are wonderful. There are layers of story unfolding, and the layers are punctuated by the singing of Paul Robeson at intervals, giving a depth and weight to the already intense story. A few viewers may not like the parts where Daniel talks about the many forms of execution, but this is a small part of the film. I recommend this film to anyone who lived through the 60s, and interested in the many films directed by Sidney Lumet. Superb.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars history as dramatic fiction March 6, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Sidney Lumet's film is based on the novel The Book of Daniel by E L Doctorow, an obvious use of the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case of the 1950's. The Rosenberg's were convicted of conspiring to give atomic bomb information to the Soviets, and executed in 1953. Whilst it is believed that the Rosenberg's were justly convicted, what made the case contentious was the severity of their punishment. Doctorow renamed the Rosenberg's the Isaacsons, and uses the Rosenberg myth to explore the dark side of infamy. The film is told from the Isaacson children's point of view, Amanda Plummer who even as a child when her parents were killed, shows indications of her later mental breakdown, and Timothy Hutton who appears to be the stronger of the two. Both have internalised their grief, with Plummer's idealism shown to be as unhealthy as that of her parents, and Hutton's fetish about different methods of execution. We see the children's resentment of their parents because the imprisonment and eventual deaths of the parents cost the children their protection. It's not important to the children whether their parents are innocent. They believe the political activism the parents expressed is self-destructive. Our view of the Isaacson's activism as a demonstration of passion is divided between heroic and foolish, with Mandy Pantikin's Paul Isaacson being the best example, when he collapses at the sight of the electric chair. Is he a foolish coward or would anyone faint in fear at the time of death? (though Mrs Isaacson doesn't). Doctorow (who adapted his own book) casts doubt on the guilt of the Isaacson's to provide for the children's anguish.. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, great director, great actors June 18, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
This strikes me as a quiet, forgotten movie from the early '80s, but it's a great story directed by a Sidney Lumet, whose movies have never disappointed me going all the back to 12 Angry Men in the late 1950s. Great performances by the cast, including Mandy Pantinkin, Lindsay Crouse, and Timothy Hutton, who strikes me as among the most underrated actors of his generation. Like other Lumet films, this movie takes on some weighty and important issues, by tweaking and revising the real story of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the American Communists who were convicted and executed, on charges of espionage for the Soviet Union, in the 1950s. This movie focuses on the damaged children of an executed Communist couple, picking up the story about a dozen years later, at the height of the antiwar movement in the late 1960s. The daughter suffers severe mental illness, while the son [Hutton] embarks on a mission to explore and come to terms with his parents' story and its impact on him and his sister. The film intertwines Daniel's current mission with flashback scenes that reveal his parents' story, as well as their experience of it as children. Great film, especially for those of us who love history, the 1950s, the 1960s, as well as the early 1980s.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In The Time Of Our Time May 30, 2009
Book/ DVD Review

This review is being used for both book and DVD versions of Doctorow's work as the central points to be made in regard to both works are similar. The film starring Timothy Hutton as Daniel and directed by the acclaimed Sidney Lumet fairly closely hems to Doctorow's story line. Hutton does an excellent job as Daniel. Obviously, such dramatic moments as the attempts to run away from the state authorities by the Rosenberg children after their parents' arrest, the touching visiting scenes by the children in the prison just prior to the executions, the executions and the tragic fate of one of the children (in the book, not real life) get more attention than in the book. But that is cinematic license, and here is not overplayed.

The Book Of Daniel, E.L. Doctorow, Random House, New York, 1971

Daniel, starring Timothy Hutton, directed by Sidney Lumet, DVD release 2008

At first blush the Rosenberg Cold War Soviet espionage case of the 1950's, that ended in the execution of both Julius and Ethel Rosenberg by the American state despite a worldwide campaign to save their lives, would not appear to be a natural subject for fictional treatment. Unlike, let us say, Kim Philby and the various Cambridge spies the Rosenbergs' biographies and political profiles do not have the stuff of larger than life drama. Moreover, whatever their efforts were on behalf of the defense of the Soviet Union, as they saw it, the details do not jump out as the makings of a spy thriller. And the well-known historical novelist (`Ragtime", Loon Lake", etc.), E.L. Doctorow, does not go into any of that material.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars THE 1950'S COMES ALIVE IN AMERICA
Published 1 day ago by jimi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great movie
Published 18 days ago by janneke hofman
3.0 out of 5 stars The acting in Daniel is very fine but the story-telling is confused
The acting in Daniel is very fine but the story-telling is confused. Viewers who have not read the Doctorow novel on which the movie is based are likely to have a difficult time... Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to my video library collection
A deep and engrossing movie with excellent acting performances. I don't know why it's never shown on television anymore.
Published 3 months ago by R. Wachtel
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
as good as I temembeted
Published 3 months ago by A. Aufdemberge
The movie has a great cast and is a very good translation to the screen of E.L. Doctorow's book which is fictional account of the children of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
Published 7 months ago by M. Redish
5.0 out of 5 stars Daniel - A Great Film
Basically the story of a great miscarriage of justice told by the fictional son of the victims. Faithful to Doctorow's original "Book of Daniel" it should be a warning to... Read more
Published 20 months ago by RG Heinrich
5.0 out of 5 stars America's painful past...
This is a fantastic movie concerning a painful and shameful period in America's history,
and its effects on two siblings,coming of age in the late 1960s'. Read more
Published on October 29, 2010 by S.P. Cox
4.0 out of 5 stars Daniel 1983
Not a review, just filling in what's missing from this page.
I haven`t seen the movie but I loved the book. Read more
Published on May 28, 2008 by sweeneyrules
5.0 out of 5 stars Daniel
This was an awesome movie. I couldnt believe that our justice system would allow this to happen in the 50's. I guess it was 1953 to be exact. Read more
Published on April 19, 2007 by Michelle L. Marbut
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