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Golden Door (2006)

Filippo Pucillo , Ernesto Mahieux , Emanuele Crialese  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Filippo Pucillo, Ernesto Mahieux, Ilaria Giorgino, Isabella Ragonese, Natale Russo
  • Directors: Emanuele Crialese
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: WALT DISNEY VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000X418UY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,551 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Golden Door" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Introduction by Martin Scorsese
  • Making of Golden Door

Editorial Reviews

Sicilian peasant Salvatore yearns for a better life, one he believes exists only in the fabled land known as America where carrots grow taller than men, rivers flow with milk and golden coins rain from the trees. He sells everything he owns to make the trans-Atlantic passage with his two sons and elderly mother. On the perilous steamship crossing, Salvatore meets a mysterious, worldly Englishwoman, Lucy (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and an unexpected romance unfolds. But neither Salvatore nor Lucy is prepared for the arrival at Ellis Island, where families are inspected, interrogated and split apart. They will have to bravely face their personal and collective dilemmas in order to become part of the American dream.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
THE GOLDEN DOOR (NUOVOMONDO) is for this viewer the finest film of the year to date. It is a masterpiece of concept, writing, directing, acting and cinematography. More importantly, this radiantly beautiful film is a much needed reflective mirror for us to view the history of immigration of 'foreigners' into America at a time when the very mention of the word 'borders' is a political fuse. Writer/director Emanuele Crialese has given us not only a deeply moving story, he has also provided a touchstone for viewers to re-visit the history of each of our origins: with the exception of the Native Americans, we all entered America as 'foreigners' at some point in our histories, and it is humbling to view this film with that fact in mind.

The film opens in turn of the century Sicily as poverty stricken widower Salvatore Mancuso (Vincenzo Amato) and his brother Angelo (Francesco Casisa) climb a rocky hill to present their tokens to the cross to ask for a sign as to whether they should continue to struggle for existence on the island or go to America, the land of dreams. Mancuso's deaf mute son Pietro (Filippo Pucillo) runs to the top of the hill with postcards he has found with images of America (money growing on trees, fruits and vegetables larger than people, rivers of milk in California, etc), and Salvatore accepts this as the sign that he should move his family to America. After convincing his reluctant mother Fortunata (Aurora Quattrocchi) and his sisters Rita (Federica De Cola) and Rosa (Isabella Ragonese) to make the trip, he sells his only possessions (two donkeys, goats, and rabbits) and the man with the boat arranges their trip, giving the family shoes, appropriate clothing, and instructions to board an ocean liner as third class passengers.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A realistic and honest view of the immigrant experience December 30, 2007
Format:DVD
I saw this movie a few months ago at the Angelika Film center in New York City. I was mesmerized by the film. Being half Italian with my grandparents coming from Italy, this movie gave a very realistic and honest viewpoint of the immigrant experience. The people that came from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century were a brave and courageous group of people looking for a better life. This film portrays vividly the journey, trials and troubles they went through. From traveling to the port, the voyage on the ship, and the hell they went through at Ellis Island. I highly recommend this movie. Recently, I got to meet my Italian relatives for the first time at a cousins reunion. I look forward to traveling back to Italy and meeting the entire family and learning more about the family history.
Robert J. Borowski, Ph.D.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realism? January 29, 2008
Format:DVD
Although this movie is brutally realistic on one level in describing the poverty of the Sicilian family and the travails they suffer in emigrating to America, on another it is quietly but dazzlingly surrealistic. This is achieved by keeping the camera closely focused on the Mancusos and their immediate surroundings, and by a storytelling that is often lyrically slow in its movement.

Three scenes stand out as representative of the style: First, when the Mancuso family gets into their cart and they are seen very gradually disappearing behind the stone wall of their village, as their fellow villagers look on; at the last instant a mule bucks across the screen. Second, at the port, when the dense crowd of emigrants on the boat blend seamlessly into the crowd of those seeing them off, in a shot from above; then gradually the boat separates from the dock and a gulf opens between them. Third, when they are in Ellis Island and three Italians climb up on the frame of a huge window in order to see, and tell everyone about, the skyscrapers of Manhattan. In each of these scenes we do not see the wider context. We are, instead, held within the narrow image, which is both symbolic and strange.

In this type of film making, a huge amount depends on the acting, which is superb. Particularly worthy of note is the apparently mute son Pietro (played by Filippo Pucillo), whose face often registers the true indignation or bafflement of this family as they are subjected to the confusion of new experience. There is no sense of final hope; the film ends with them still inside Ellis Island, after they have made a crucial decision. But there is, particularly in the dream sequences, a wonderful sense of aspiration. The movie is neither tragic or comic, but it is deeply and richly human.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very insightful and moving February 18, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you are of Sicilian heritage and your parents, grandparents, or greatgrandparents came through Ellis Island you should see this movie, especially if you were exposed to the Sicilian language as a child. They heard stories about America, the giant carrots and onions, streets paved with gold, wealth untold, the good life. They had nothing to loose, so they came to America. This is a very moving and thoughtful film. Crialase's captures all the poverty and misery that was part of late nineteenth early twentieth century Sicily. The folklore, mysticism, and fervent religious beliefs these simple people had. The film also captures their spirit, and bravery, to leave their homeland and voyage off to what they hoped was the land of milk and honey. The Ellis Island scenes in this film were especially eye opening. This is a very well-made movie. I hope he does a sequel, about their lives after they settle down in America. I would highly recommend this movie especially if you are of Sicilian or Italian background.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Door
The title of the movie refers to a portion of Emma Lazarus's poem inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty. Read more
Published 2 months ago by William F. Willis
5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommend
I loved this little film since it was recommended to me by a friend that came from Sicily. I was interested to see just what my great grandparents went through coming here. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jack Marino
4.0 out of 5 stars The Door to the New World
Set at the beginning of the 20th century we travel to impoverished Sicily where we meet Salvatore (Vincezo Amato - `Respiro') and his family. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tommy Dooley
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film!
I first saw this film in a conversational Italian/culture class and immediately fell in love with it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Charles M. Corden
4.0 out of 5 stars Golden Door
This film was certainly different than what we expected. We were continually trying to figure out what was going on - the point being conveyed at times was very subtle, perhaps if... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Philinbos
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Door is the Best subtitled film I've seen.
If you view this film as you would a documentary you will love it as I did. There is a lovely family story and small view into a little of what it was like for our immigrant... Read more
Published 5 months ago by tina yaroch
5.0 out of 5 stars And the journey is just the beginning...
I never see a movie by myself, but when I didn't see it when my friends went, their enthusiasm made me decide to go, on my own. It's pretty special..
Published 9 months ago by Mom in NH daughter in Philly
1.0 out of 5 stars did not play
not sure why this seller did not reveal that this DVD will NOT PLAY in the U.S. I had to send it back immediately after learning that the code is for England, not the U.S. Read more
Published 11 months ago by siciliangirl
5.0 out of 5 stars nice movie
I am fortunate , that I understand the language and get the full pleasure and it is a movie that you want to share with your family.
Published 11 months ago by Joseph Nicolosi
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Door eye opening
As a third generation Italian American woman watching the film I was struck by its Jungian like symbolism--the interpretation of dreams or signs that drive us to act in a heroic... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Pam
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