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Heidi

68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Heidi (DVD)

Classic story of a little Swiss girl, Heidi (Emma Bolger -- "Intermission," "In America") who, after the death of her parents, is sent to live with her grandfather (Academy Award, Emmy and Golden Globe-nominee Max Von Sydow -- "Minority Report," "The Exorcist") in the high Alpine mountains. Her grandfather, initially resistant to the idea of looking after Heidi, quickly develops a strong bond with her. When Heidi's aunt returns the following summer to take her to the big city, she is reluctant to go and her grandfather doesn't want her to. The aunt forces Heidi into to the move because she has promised her as a companion to a sick child from a wealthy family, named Clara (Jessica Claridge -- "5 Children & It"). Heidi and Clara become close, but after some months, Heidi becomes homesick for the high mountains and her Grandfather.

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The beloved tale of Heidi, the Swiss miss whose indomitable spirit touches all those around her, despite having been dealt a harsh hand in life, gets a spunky boost in this 2005 film adaptation. A stellar cast includes Max von Sydow as Grandfather, a roiling-with-inner-rage Geraldine Chaplin as Rottenmeier, and a benevolent Diana Rigg as Grandmamma. At the center of their world--like it or not--is Heidi, played with irrepressible optimism by the adorable Emma Bolger. As the orphaned Heidi is flung from home to home, city to city, valley to mountain, by those who profess not to want her, she accepts her fate and still manages to cast sunshine on her bleak situation. This version features breathtaking scenery--Grandfather's mountain aerie looks more like a Canadian Rockies summer spread than a place of self-imposed solitary confinement. At times the pan-European cast gives the film a feel of being the United Nations on location; Chaplin and Rigg's upper-crust British accents clash with von Sydow's clipped Swedish delivery, and Bolger's accent adorably reflects her Dublin roots. (Only the goats truly look Swiss.) But the story of Heidi has a huge heart, and this film is family entertainment in the best sense of the word. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Emma Bolger, Max von Sydow, Geraldine Chaplin, Diana Rigg, Jessica Claridge
  • Directors: Paul Marcus
  • Writers: Brian Finch
  • Producers: Martyn Auty, H. Michael Heuser, Christopher Figg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 8, 2006
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FFL2H0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,243 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Heidi" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 112 people found the following review helpful By bookloversfriend on September 8, 2006
Format: DVD
The story in this movie is faithful to the book in almost all respects. More important, the movie is faithful to the spirit of the book. The characters are appealing, and Max von Sydow manages to play the grandfather's gruff moments without alienating the audience. Also, the screenwriter obviously learned a thing or two from the previous movie versions and incorporated some of the effective touches from those movies.

The Shirley Temple version is very good at the beginning, then the screenwriter throws the book away, and the chase scenes and the cloak-and-dagger intrigue are not only ineffective but embarrassing.

The 1952 version shortens the story but adds a nice touch of having her Aunt lie to Heidi about being able to return to the mountains.

The 1968 version almost throws the book away and the child is too old for the role, but the scenery and the music are very good.

The 1993 version reproduces most of the story of the book but throws the book away at the end. Also, the characters are totally different, even antithetical, to what they are in the book. I tried watching it a second time just to be sure and I couldn't make it through the movie.

So, this is THE version of the book.

The minor departures are the grandfather's angry reaction when Heidi returns. (Fortunately, this is only momentary.) And the walking. The movie has Clara take her first steps as a result of a situation of danger. Thereafter, however, they do put in the patient physical therapy which the grandfather practices to enable Clara to walk by the end of the summer.

A nice touch is the addition of the doctor's role in Dorfli. None of the other movie versions saw fit to put it in. This movie not only puts it in but shows why it is important. The child who plays Heidi is appealing and close enough in age.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Aileen Hallenbeck on October 24, 2006
Format: DVD
I loved this version of Johanna Spyri's classic novel. Emma Bolger is so cute and sweet and just how I had always pictured Heidi. This story follows the book better than any I have ever seen. Sometimes it is quite sad - we cried during some scenes. But Max Von Sydow and Emma Bolger show the wonderful relationship between Grandparent and Grandchild. The acting and directing are Superb! I rarely give 5 stars but I certainly will this time.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By DFH on November 9, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was always a fan of the Shirley Temple version of Heidi because it was sentimental and it touched my heart-strings! I enjoyed this version so much because of the photography, the actors, and as an adult now I felt the story touched broadly on "life" themes of hurt, forgiveness, love and joy of simple living and of life in general....not to mention the happy ending which I'm always a sucker for. Thorougly enjoyable and one I know I'll watch and share over and over again.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John Yamann on October 29, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Overall this is our favorite version of Heidi in film. We highly recommend it! Our family watched this movie anticipating the same cutesy antics and departures from the novel as before but were surprised to find this one quite close to the book. It is a bit more somber than the book in my view but this adds a real 19th century feel anyway. Emma Bolger plays Heidi with enough childlike charm, she's not always perfect but her shining eyes and sweet grin helpd me forgive a few tiny flaws in her acting. Max Von Sydow plays Grandfather immaculately with the right amount of grumpiness and compassion. The best performance I think is Del Synott as Sebastian the butler! The only thing I wish the director would have done differently is to spend more time on Heidi's enjoyment in the pastures as is done in the beginning of the book. I would have been delighted to see more expansive views of the Swiss alps also, some of the cinematography is shot closer in with cozier views. I recommend watching this movie then going back to the read the book once again if it has been awhile. It is a truly heartwarming parable.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on April 22, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The only reason I give this review 3 stars is because it's a decent, conservative, family film about love and nature. The moral of the story, though, as we (my children and I) learned from the book - which we read before watching the movie - is that God answers prayer and forgives us no matter what. This basic foundation of the story that was so carefully included by the original author was completely ignored in this movie. I am so disappointed. I read the reviews before buying to make sure not to buy a "cinderallafied" version, and this accomplished that objective, but it's such a shame that they took God out of the story.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. Orlovsky on May 5, 2011
Format: DVD
I, too, was disappointed that they took those wonderful lessons about God (that were so important in the book) out of the movie. :( Those lessons were what made the book so good. In the book, Heidi taught others with her innocent youth and trust in God, through lessons learned and the insightful wisdom of Clara's Grandmother. Then, she passes those lessons on to her Grandfather, which allow him to move on with his life and reenter the town of Dorfli. All of these details are SO important to the book. It is sad that they have been removed from this movie. I will have to watch some other Heidi DVD's to see if any of the others retain that message.

On the plus side, some of the scenery was nice. It is a good safe family movie, but NOT the same, or as good as the book.
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