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  • Guerrilla: The Taking Of Patty Hearst
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Guerrilla: The Taking Of Patty Hearst

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The award-winning and internationally acclaimed film, GUERRILLA: THE TAKING OF PATTY HEARST is a gripping, unparalleled account of the most sensational kidnapping in American history.


"Death to the fascist insect that preys on the life of the people!" declared the Symbionese Liberation Army, the domestic terrorist group that kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst and demanded a massive food program for the poor in exchange for her release. Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst examines this sensational case with a measured, sardonic view of every side; the SLA was born in the crucible of the Vietnam War and Kent State, but the documentary neither forgives nor condemns their actions (which include bank robbery, bombings, and murder). Instead, the SLA and the media bonanza that surrounded them become an astonishing petri dish of social and political trends that resonate with even more force today. Using interviews with reporters and surviving members of the SLA, footage from news reports and Hollywood movies, director Robert Stone (Radio Bikini) has crafted a smart, suspenseful thriller that mesmerizes even if you know the whole history. A superb documentary; the dvd is even better as it includes uncut footage from the security cameras of one of the bank robberies; the sentencing of the 2003 trial of four SLA members; complete audio recordings of Patty Hearst's media statements; and a balanced, thoughtful commentary from Stone. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Audio exclusive: the Patty Hearst tapes
  • Exclusive footage: Hibernia bank robbery
  • Deleted scenes: Sacramento courthouse
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Filmmaker biography
  • Photo gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Russ Little, Timothy Findley, Michael Bortin, Dan Grove, Ludlow Kramer
  • Directors: Robert Stone
  • Producers: Robert Stone, Don Kleszy, Glenn Fukushima, Greg Shea, Mark Samels
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2005
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ADWDG6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,480 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Guerrilla: The Taking Of Patty Hearst" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Very good story and docu.
It seems odd that no one has made a serious documentary about the sensational events of that time until now.
Phillip O.
AUDIO -- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, plus a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track as well.
David Von Pein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By David Von Pein on October 1, 2005
On Monday, February 4, 1974, soon-to-be-20-year-old Patricia Campbell Hearst (heiress and daughter of San Francisco newspaper executive Randolph Hearst) was kidnapped at gunpoint from her California apartment and stuffed into the trunk of a car being driven by one of several members of a revolutionary terrorist group calling itself "The Symbionese Liberation Army" (SLA). Thus began one of the most sensational and bizarre news stories of the late 20th century. A story which had America transfixed for more than a year-and-a-half.

"Guerrilla: The Taking Of Patty Hearst" takes the viewer on a spellbinding 89-minute journey deep inside the fabric of this strange odyssey filled with terrorism, kidnapping, murder, bank robbery, shootouts with police, and the unusual "feed the hungry" demands made by the SLA.

This DVD program dissects the Hearst Kidnapping story from Day 1 in February 1974 until Day 592, which was the day Patty Hearst was finally taken into custody in San Francisco on September 18, 1975.

Two months after her abduction, to the amazement of her family (and the rest of America), a startling audio taped message had Patty announcing that she had joined forces with her kidnappers and was now being identified by a new name, "Tania".

Many segments of the original audio tapes sent to authorities by the SLA (with the voices of Patty and other SLA "comrades") are sprinkled throughout this program. The clarity of these audio tapes is quite good, too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Phillip O. VINE VOICE on November 4, 2005
As a teenager, I was rarely interested in the news or social events but I was riveted by the Patty Hearst kidnapping and faithfully tuned in to the evening news to see what had happened next. It seems odd that no one has made a serious documentary about the sensational events of that time until now. This is a riveting film that traces the development of the SLA (Symbionese Liberation Army), the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, and the group's ultimate demise. The filmmakers make no attempt to analyze whether Hearst was a willing accomplise or victim of brainwashing but instead simply present the facts in chronological order. Interviews with former SLA members Russ Little (an original founder of the group), Mike Bortin and San Francisco Chronicle reporter Tim Findley highlight the film which also features footage from newscasts and the infamous Patty Hearst audio tapes. Extras on the dvd contain the full audio recordings of Patty Hearst as well as the Hibernia Bank robbery tapes and Sacremento Courtroom footage of the recent SLA members who were charged with the death of Myrna Opsahl, who was murdered during a bank robbery. Highly recommended!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Ellis on February 22, 2006
One of the best documentaries to have been released in the past few years, Guerilla retells the story of Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army (the SLA) and in doing so, paints a disturbing and sad picture of recent American history.

The SLA were a group of self-styled "revolutionaries" who exploded into the American conciousness by gunning down Oakland's first black superintendent of schools (in the name of the people, of course). When two SLA members were arrested for the crime, the organization reacted by kidnapping Patricia Hearst, the 19 year-old heiress of the Hearst newspaper empire and, therefore, a member of what they referred to as "the ruling class." For months, the country watched transfixed as the SLA demanded that the Hearst family feed every poor person in California and listened to a series of audio tapes released by the captive Patty. On her fourth tape, Patty renounced her family and announced that she was now a member of the SLA. Within days, the missing Patty Hearst was spotted apparently holding up a bank with her new comrades. As the FBI searched for both her and the SLA, it was debated whether Patty had been brainwashed or if her conversion was sincere. It was a question that remains unanswered today and it is that question (amongst others) that makes Guerilla so fascinating.

Though Hearst is not interviewed in the film, a rather clear portrait of her does come through. Through interviews with two surviving SLA members and through her own audio tapes (the DVD includes each of those tapes), Hearst comes across as a rather niave and spoiled child who lacked the imagination to really form any opinions (or identity) of her own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew G. Sherwin HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 14, 2010
This documentary showcases the incredible and horrific story of just how Patty Hearst was kidnapped by a small group of young terrorists calling themselves The Symbionese Liberation Army, or the SLA; and the degree of education and insight we get is phenomenal. This film really couldn't have been made any better; the story line flows along at a very good pace and as I watched the drama unfold I was mesmerized by the story and wondered to myself what would happen to Patty and the rest next. Amazon notes that the documentary doesn't take sides; but I think this is only partly true. While the film shows what the SLA wanted and could achieve by terrorizing the Hearst family, the filmmakers also show former members of the SLA being killed by police when they commandeered a house as well as other former members being sentenced to years in prison for what they did.

The story line follows the way things went very reliably; and it does an excellent job of piecing together archival footage including countless news video clips; audio clips from Patty and her kidnappers; video of Patty's parents talking to the media very frequently and much, much more. The archival footage of Mr. Hearst talking to the press about his ability and strong desire to get his daughter's release is heartrending. We also see the efforts of the FBI to find and retrieve Patty to safety and some of the footage with the man who was then Patty's fiancé is also memorable. There are interviews with former members of the SLA and even more.

I could tell you so much more of the story but then I'd be spoiling it for you. However, I will say that even if you already know the entire story this will still be a worthwhile film to watch; it's brilliantly done and it leaves little or nothing to be desired.
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