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Dune (Special Edition, Director's Cut)


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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hurt, Alec Newman, Giancarlo Giannini, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Saskia Reeves
  • Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Artisan Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 11, 2002
  • Run Time: 295 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (661 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000639EV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,497 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dune (Special Edition, Director's Cut)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Newly remastered 16x9 widescreen version
  • Director's cut with nearly 30 minutes of never-before-seen footage
  • "Willis McNelly on Dune" featurette: author of the Dune Encyclopedia gives insightful perspective on Dune and his longtime friend Frank Herbert
  • "The Lure of Spice" featurette: a behind-the-scenes look at the production of the film
  • "The Color Wheel" featurette: Lessons of Life and Light with master cinematographer Vittorio Storaro
  • "Walking and Talking with John Harrison": exclusive interview with the writer-director of Frank Herbert's Dune
  • "Defining the Messiah" featurette: Talks with religious scholars, such as Rabbi Mordachai Finely, Elaine Pagels, Munir Shaikh, and Jungian psychologist Gabrielle Bodo
  • "Science Future/Science Fiction" featurette: Distinguished science fiction writers Harlan Ellison, Octavia Butler, and Michael Cassutt and director John Harrison discuss with award-winning inventor Ray Kurzwell the emerging technological paradigm shift and the moral issues that surround it, moderated by Arthur Cover
  • "The Cinematic Ideation of Frank Herbert's Dune": essay by Vittorio Storaro
  • Cast & crew information
  • Photo gallery including stills and sketches from the film
  • Children of Dune sneak peek pre-production gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

It's a mixed blessing, but "Frank Herbert's Dune" goes a long way toward satisfying science fiction purists who scoffed at David Lynch's previous attempt to adapt Herbert's epic narrative. Ironically, director John Harrison's 288-minute TV miniseries (broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel in December 2000) offers its own share of strengths and weaknesses, which, in retrospect, emphasize the quality of Lynch's film while treating Herbert's novel with more comprehensive authority. Debate will continue as to which film is better; Lynch's extensive use of internal monologue now seems like a challenge well met, and Harrison's more conventional approach is better equipped to convey the epic scope of Herbert's interplanetary political intrigue.\n This much is certain: this "Dune" is a sumptuous treat for the eyes, with sets and costumes that were conceived with no apparent limits of budget or creativity. In terms of architecture alone, this is one of the most impressive films in science fiction history. And although the special effects fall short of feature-film quality, writer-director Harrison (who rose from an extensive background in TV) admirably tames the sprawling narrative that pits the opposing houses of Atreides and Harkonnen in a struggle to control the lucrative market for the spice melange. This is as accurate as any "Dune" adaptation is likely to get (i.e., there's no need for another attempt), and even then, it can be tricky to keep track of who's doing what to whom. Unfortunately, the film's biggest flaws are the casting of a nearly comatose William Hurt as Duke Leto, and a wooden Alec Newman as the messiah-to-be, Paul Atreides. These are regrettable shortcomings, but this "Dune" remains altogether respectable. That Frank Herbert would be impressed is perhaps the biggest compliment one can pay. "--Jeff Shannon"

Additional Features

Owing to the differing broadcast standards of global television, the director's cut of Frank Herbert's Dune essentially combines the international versions originally broadcast in 2000. Several scenes are new to American audiences, including some brief and tasteful nudity, but the real benefit comes from scenes that clarify the politics and betrayals that arise between the houses of Atreides and Harkonnen. In his articulate and informative commentary track, writer-director John Harrison illuminates the value of these scenes, while additional DVD supplements explore the challenges of production and, most eloquently, the artistic philosophy of cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, whose color strategies are outlined in interviews and an intellectual essay. And while the "Defining the Messiah" and "Science Future/Science Fiction" supplements are not directly related to the film, they place this epic production (and Frank Herbert's legacy) into a rich and meaningful perspective. Even if viewed only once, these and other features provide valuable context for a deeper appreciation of Harrison's ambitious adaptation. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

The special effects are well done, and the acting is superb.
Yu-Jin Chia
It is a fascinating book (even if you don't like science fiction) that will pull you into the worlds of Dune and its characters.
A. Wolverton
I'm not saying that these movies were bad, but I'm just saying it can't truly be done.
J. Edmonson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

355 of 374 people found the following review helpful By frez1975 on February 12, 2001
Format: DVD
After seeing this miniseries and the original David Lynch theatrical release, I felt compelled to read the book and settle some plot inconsistencies (i.e. where did the weirding weapons go and where the heck was Duncan Idaho really supposed to die? In the Atreides compound during the initial Harkonnen attack or blown to bits by Harkonnen patrols in the desert spiriting Paul and his mother to safety?). The Sci-Fi series got it right.
I did not find Allec Newman annoying as some people did. Sure, he was wooden, but Paul was schooled in the controlling of his own emotions by his mother so that they did not betray him. After the Harkonnen attack his ruthless, unemotional behavior became more pronounced as he was immersed in the grim Fremen culture.
In terms of following the original story, the Sci-Fi Channel series is superior to Lynch's version. Sure, nobody seems to be able to get the fact that Paul Atreides is supposed to be 14-15 when the story starts and that he is described as being much darker complected than either actor who has played him in the past, but things actually happened in the sequence they were supposed to in the miniseries. People die where they are supposed to and events take place in the proper sequence.
Another nice element of the miniseries was the use of knives. Everybody has knives in the miniseries, just like in the book, where knives play an important part of Fremen culture. In the miniseries, characters are more likely to duke it out up close with knives than shoot blasts from weirding modules (which aren't even in the book).
Karel Dobry's Dr. Kynes and P.H.
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132 of 136 people found the following review helpful By M. Hart on March 18, 2003
Format: DVD
David Lynch's 2-hour feature film (later extended to 3 hours) and John Harrison's 6-hour TV miniseries each have very different interpretations of Frank Herbert's masterful sci-fi novel "Dune". Separately, neither effort adequately captures Herbert's vision of humanity and struggles for power in the far distant future; but each work brings varying degrees of depth to the screen, giving the viewer a glimpse of what Herbert envisioned.
Strengths of Harrison's TV miniseries interpretation:
* Better character development: especially Duke Leto Atreides (William Hurt), Princess Irulan Corrino (Julie Cox), Padishah-Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV (Giancarlo Giannini) and Stilgar (Uwe Ochsenknecht).
* A more comprehensive telling of the story: including the Corrino family, the ordinary lives of the Fremen, the ties between the Harkonnen and Atreides families, and the influence of the Bene Gesserit. Strangely, Paul is never called Usul.
* Better special effects and panoramic views, except for the often-used surrealistic lighting.
* Little use of stock footage scenes, which was often used by Lynch.
Strengths of Lynch's feature film interpretation:
* Better costumes overall, especially the all of the uniforms and Fremen stillsuits, which, unlike the TV miniseries, looked as if they would actually work.
* Better portrayal of the Mentat.
* Hearing the thoughts of the characters added an extra element.
* Better acting overall: especially Lady Jessica (Francesca Annis), Baron Harkonnen's doctor (Leonardo Cimino), Shadout Mapes (Linda Hunt), Paul 'Muad'Dib' Atreides (Kyle MacLachlan), Baron Harkonnen (Kenneth McMillan), Duke Leto (Jürgen Prochnow) and Gurney Halleck (Patrick Stewart).
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88 of 93 people found the following review helpful By B. Merritt VINE VOICE on March 31, 2001
Format: DVD
The toughest thing about reviewing this miniseries will be the fact
that Harrison stuck so close to the book (in composition) but failed
in casting appropriate personnel for costume and set design. Now some
of the sets were okay. The inside of the palace at Arakeen was
beautiful, but didn't improve on the Lynch's movie set in my book.
Contrary to some beliefs, I think that William Hurt did a good job.
He is a HUGE Dune fan himself and has read the books time and again,
so I feel that he understood how to react as the Regal Duke who
sacrifices himself for the good of his family and his royal house. He
is somewhat depressed by this (as he shows us) but is also forced
forward by things beyond his control.
The costumes: Well they
tried. The head-dresses were a little over the top for my taste
(especially for Helen Gauis Mohiam) who looked like a giant butterfly
had landed on her head. The Lynch version showed the Aba robes of the
Bene Geserit sisterhood in a dark-light, indicating backroom deals but
incredible elegance (note in the Lynch version how the robe of the
Emperor's truthsayer flows magically as she is asked to leave the
thrown room in the beginning when the Guild Navigator arrives). I
didn't mind the stillsuits in either version and thought that both did
a good job on different aspects (the Lynch version looking like a
'pumping-type' suit in Herbert's vision versus the face flap in the
Harrison version that was lacking in the Lynch movie).
For purity,
I think that this Harrison miniseries blows the Lynch version out of
the water, however. Harrison seemed almost anal in his 'sticking true
to the book' version.
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1 disc or 2?
Some (not much) extra footage, and some extra behind the scenes goodies, and the one you are reviewing IS the 3 bagger.
Dec 21, 2007 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 2 posts
Insert booklet or not?
Yes, there IS a booklet. It's a three page folded one. It has a chapter list for each DVD, production notes, etc.
Oct 5, 2008 by Manuel Figueroa |  See all 4 posts
Be forewarned: There are no subtitles Be the first to reply
the $75 price tag Be the first to reply
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