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Harrison's Flowers [VHS] (2002)

Andie MacDowell , Scott Anton , Élie Chouraqui  |  R |  VHS Tape
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Andie MacDowell, Scott Anton, Elias Koteas, Brendan Gleeson, Adrien Brody
  • Directors: Élie Chouraqui
  • Writers: Élie Chouraqui, Didier Le Pêcheur, Isabel Ellsen, Michael Katims
  • Producers: Albert Cohen, Artemio Benki, Inigo Lezzi
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Language: English, French, Serbo-Croatian
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • VHS Release Date: August 5, 2003
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000A59VJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #622,812 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Film Tells the Truth About War January 23, 2004
I watched this movie for two reasons: I like Andie MacDowell and my last name is Harrison.
I liked this movie because I am a Viet nam vet that fought in Tet and therefore I have some considerable experience with war in a city, or as the Army used to call it War in a Built Up Area. If you have actually seen this kind of war, the movie is frighteningly accurate and like war, necessisarily fragmentary and incomplete.
For example, in one perfect and horrific, scene Andie MacDowell and her two journalist companions are moving through a city to find a hospital where her husband may be. They come upon a situation: a young child, probably a girl runs out of a building in front of them. A soldier follows her out of the building, and kills her. War's brutality? Certainly. A killing mad soldier, killing an innocent child. Possibly. But, even more likely, the scene represents wars brutality on multiple levels. If you knew that the child had just thrown a hand grenade and the soldier escaped it but his buddy, or even more likely in this kind of war, his actual brother did not would that change the nature of the scene for you? Or, if that was true and you knew that the child had another hand grenade, or a pistol, would that change your impression of the meaning of the scene? And how about that soldier many years later as he looks down at his own child, assuming he survives the war, will he be able to forget the look on that other chid's face as he shot her? However good his reason and in real war there are many reasons that can make such an act necessary, will he be able to forget, or will it haunt him. This kind of awful situation, but not unusual situation, is precisely why William T. Sherman said that "War is Hell.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What CNN missed . . . March 3, 2008
This 2-hour French production with an American cast is an odd combination of a blithely impossible action plot played against a chilling reality. When a world-famous photographer is reported killed in the war-torn former Yugoslavia, his wife flies off from their comfortable home in Westchester to find him and bring him back alive. The best that can be said about this Hollywood-style storyline is that it provides a reason to accomplish something very different - to portray the ghastly truth of ethnic warfare as it took place in the Balkans in the early 1990s and the role of news photographers who risked their lives to capture it with their cameras.

Plunged into Croatia as Vukovar was being overrun by Serbs, the characters take the audience into a hell where everyone - men, women, children - must kill or be killed. We are witness to atrocities and inhumanities that take the breath away. While war in the movies has often been played for thrill-packed adventure - even anti-war films - this one leaves you with a sense of powerlessness in the face of unimaginable horror. Urban warfare and ethnic cleansing cease being abstract concepts. We see their portrayal with our own eyes, and the efforts of one American woman to retrieve her husband in the midst of it all are dwarfed by comparison. Worth seeing anyway for what CNN missed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Harrison's Flowers September 24, 2013
By Izzy
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My mom and aunt watched this movie and told me I had to watch it. I am from the former Yugoslavia and I am always interested in watching movies about the war and how film makers portray it. I have to say it's pretty accurate, obviously on a very small scale. So much more happened in this war. However, what the Chetnik's (Serbian Militia) did to the Bosnian and Croatian people, and then later the Kosovo Albanian people was truly ethnic cleansing. It's devastating to watch. I know it happened, but as I was watching the movie, I almost couldn't believe this happened in my own country. Although the movie depicted the horror of the war well, I wasn't very fond of the plot. But I suppose since the movie was dedicated to the 48 journalists who died while covering the war in Yugoslavia, the plot was necessary. Andie McDowell goes to Yugoslavia to find her husband, Harrison, who is a war photographer and was pronounced dead. She doesn't believe it, so she goes to find him, in a horrible war, where women are being raped and murdered in a second. While I'm usually all for love in movies, it just didn't work for me in this movie. There was a much bigger story to be told here, for the journalists who lost their lives and for all who lost their lives in this war. I've read that there is a French version and that it's so much better, I will check that out. I would recommend this movie, everyone should see it, if only, to get a glimpse of what was happening in our world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Mike M
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Okay, hear me out, when I first saw Harrison's flowers on HBO almost a decade ago I was enthralled by it; being a photographer and a war buff I was pleasantly surprised and shocked to see this portrayal of war photographers at work in what was the 90's biggest war for correspondents (in the sense that it was one of the only conflicts they were free to roam and get shots you couldn't get by being embedded with US troops in Desert Storm - or be under constant bombardment by Russia in Grozny, Chechnya). The Yugoslav war definitely stands out for war photographers as something special, good or bad, it was special for them.

Onto the movie, FRENCH/PAL version vs. American release. Hands down the FRENCH version is superior and it was VERY difficult to find when I bought it, now there's a few copies floating around...

When I saw the French version only a few years ago and the American version 10 years ago, I automatically felt like someone was treating Americans like children in the way the American/HBO (and DVD) version was watered down, there must be at least 15 minutes less, entire characters and their stories are cut out, and even the entire musical score is different. The French version has some generic synthesizer music and the American version has some violin music throughout, the only plus for the American version.

The PAL/French release however is far superior, you can see great actors such as Brendan Gleeson, Elias Koteas, Caroline Goodall, and even Gerard Butler give these cutaway type interviews in between the action from the eyes of War Photogs (and their families) which they totally cut out of the American version.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Harrison's Flowers
This is a stark and harsh film of what is happening in other countries right now (civil wars) e.g. Syria, Africa, Georgia, Afganistan, Iraq, South America (and the beat goes on). Read more
Published 16 months ago by Pamela Toal
4.0 out of 5 stars MacDowell's best performance in a superb film
There are very, very few films that had dared to tackle the controversial subject of wars in the former Yugoslavia. This is one of them, and done very well. Read more
Published on May 18, 2011 by Gabriel Vrh
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic war scenes, otherwise, nah
If you can get through the gloppy first 30 minutes of this war time love story, you will reach the best of this film: extremely realistic battle scenes of the Serb-Croatian... Read more
Published on March 12, 2010 by Bradley F. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Harrison's Flowers is an interesting story. The actors are believeable esp. the war scenes. The DVD was excellent and arrived promptly as always.
Published on February 6, 2010 by Patty Sue
1.0 out of 5 stars Harrison"s Flowers
I ordered this DVD of Harrison's Flowers. Then found out it was discontinued. sellers need to check their inventory to make sure they have it.
Published on June 15, 2009 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrison's Flowers is a Touching Film
David Strathairn-Harrison (Delores Claiborne) and Andie MacDowell-Sarah (Four Weddings And A Funeral) star in this touching film about a Prize-winning photojournalist who comes up... Read more
Published on June 11, 2008 by Charlotte Drobnicki
1.0 out of 5 stars Harrison's Flowers
I only watched this, as Gerard Butler had a very small part. However, I did not like the movie, and the editing could have been better.
Published on February 28, 2008 by Penny Whistle
4.0 out of 5 stars balkans movies
War footage is uncannny in its reality. They must have gone to post Bosnia war areas to get footage of destruction that they showed. Read more
Published on January 25, 2008 by Irfan Uddin
Gerard Butler fans, be warned, he's not in this more than probably 30 seconds, not much more than an extra. The movie itself was depressing, but well acted.
Published on November 25, 2007 by D. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrison's Flowers (DVD)
Outsstanding action drama. Somewhat tragic. One of the most realistic war films I have ever watched. Read more
Published on October 9, 2007 by Howard A. Katz
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