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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Widescreen Edition) (2005)

Bill Bailey , Anna Chancellor , Garth Jennings  |  PG |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (731 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bill Bailey, Anna Chancellor, Warwick Davis, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel
  • Directors: Garth Jennings
  • Format: Widescreen, NTSC, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), French (Unknown), Spanish (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: 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 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Touchstone
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2005
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (731 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A283AW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,112 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

Deleted Scenes -- Bulldozed right out of the movie

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Don't panic! After twenty years stuck in development (a mere blink compared to how long it takes to find the answer to life, the universe, and everything), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has finally been turned into a movie. Following the radio play, TV series, commemorative towel, and books, this latest installment in the sci-fi-comedy franchise is based on the screenplay and detailed notes by Douglas Adams.


Hitching a ride.

For those unfamiliar with the story, everyman Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) wakes up one morning to discover that his house is set to be demolished to make room for a bypass. Little does he know the entire planet Earth is also set to be destroyed for an interplanetary bypass by the Vogons, a hideous and bureaucratic race of aliens realized in the film by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Whisked off the planet by his best friend, alien-in-disguise Ford Prefect (Mos Def), Dent embarks on a goofy jaunt across the galaxy accompanied by his trusty Hitchhiker's Guide, which looks like a really fancy PDA.

The guide itself provides some of the funniest bits of the movie, little animated shorts that explain the ludicrous life forms and extraterrestrial phenomena our heroes encounter. Along the way Arthur meets the two-headed party animal/president of the galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell) and develops an unrequited crush on fellow earthling Trillian (Zooey Deschanel). The creatures and sets are inspired and answer to the sci-fi fan's primal need to see lots and lots of cool stuff. In particular, there's John Malkovich's creepy, CGI-enhanced Humma Kavula. He's a guru leading a religion that worships the gigantic nose that allegedly sneezed the universe into existence (naturally all their prayers end not with "Amen" but with "Bless you.") The aliens the team encounters are inspired creations, eminently worthy of action figure-ification, and the sets belie an attention to detail worthy of freeze-framing. Fans of the other Hitchhiker manifestations, namely the British TV series, will be amused by a number of in-jokes sprinkled throughout the movie.


Concept art: The Heart of Gold pod on the planet Vogsphere

Where the story stumbles is in the telling--as books, the Hitchhiker's Guide was foremost about goofy and brilliant ideas that raised questions about our place in the universe while getting a laugh. The cast seems at times bewildered, at least when Sam Rockwell isn't picking pieces of scenery out of his teeth, perhaps a natural reaction to an adaptation of a book with no traditional plot. The movie has enough trouble figuring out how to get the characters from one fantastical location to the next that Adams's funniest concepts often feel left in the dust. While the reverence the filmmakers felt toward Adams's legacy is apparent, one wonders what we could have expected had the creator of this science fiction universe lived to see it with his own eyes. -- Ryan Boudinot

A Guide to the Guide

The Soundtrack

The Radio Play (CD)

The TV Series

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (Deluxe Edition)

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (Paperback)

The Filming of the Douglas Adams Classic (book)

Interviews with The Cast and Director

Watch our interviews with the cast and director of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and find out what they think of other DVDs and books:
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Product Description

Sam Rockwell, Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel. An unwitting Englishman is whisked off the Earth seconds before it is demolished to make way for a new hyperspace expressway by his best friend-an alien posing as an out-of-work actor. Based on Douglas Adams' beloved novel. 2005/color/109 min/PG-13.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
504 of 593 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Hoopy April 29, 2005
There's a simple reason this movie has taken so long to make, and it's this: while Douglas Adams' classic The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a hilarious book, it's a rubbish novel.

I mean that in the nicest possible way - it's one of my favourite books, but it's barely a story at all - more a set of dead-eye, deadpan observations on the absurdity of life, and particularly the British way of life, revolving very loosely around a chap in a dressing-gown. While that's great fodder for a comedy read, it's no basis for a coherent, 90 minute motion picture, especially one having the American market in mind.

It's a matter of record that Douglas Adams realised there was no story, but not until it was too late to fix it (about halfway through book two). From that point onwards made several attempts to pull everything back into a single coherent, archetypal story but totally failed, and in the process ruined the remaining three and a half books themselves, none of which are funny, let alone a good story.

A film-maker has a choice, therefore: stick with the material and film something which is not so much a screenplay as an extended, themed version of Saturday Night Live, or do some significant damage to the source material - "zap straight off to its major data banks and reprogram it with a very large axe", if you will - and make a story out of it.

The first option will in equal measure thrill and infuriate the party faithful, but bore the rest of the population; the second will most likely infuriate the party faithful, but at least has a chance with everyone else.
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79 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Five Star Movie - Three Star Blu-Ray Disc August 2, 2007
Format:Blu-ray
Having owned the first release of this movie on DVD, when I heard it was coming out on Blu-Ray I had to pick it up; after all, this was the movie that convinced me to pick up Douglas Adams' spectacular written novels (from Hitchhiker's to Dirk Gently) and give them a read. While watching the movie in 1080i was a pleasure, I was rather disappointed to find that many of the special features found on the original disc - including the absolutely brilliant interface with the interactive improbability drive that occasionally took you to an Easter Egg - were stripped out of the Blu-Ray disc. I could have even dealt with the loss of the interface in exchange for the movie showcase menu that allows you to access features, select scenes, and access the setup while the movie is playing, if only they had provided all the content on the original DVD. I've experienced this now on a couple of Blu-Ray discs and I find it quite upsetting (officially entering rant territory), that despite the capacity for Blu-Ray discs to hold 80% more data than a DVD, and 40% more data than a HD disc, that companies are skimping on features and selling the discs at an inflated price. While Blu-Ray may be the superior format, it's not going to gain in market standing by the release of inferior products.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good September 12, 2005
By Cubist
Format:DVD
Thankfully, the film remains quite faithful to the spirit of Adams' book. For example, all of the Guide entries are taken verbatim from it. The massive budget results in a great looking movie that properly captures the scope and scale of the story. There is extensive use of CGI to recreate intergalactic space travel and the planet showroom inside of Magrathea (some of the film's most arresting visuals), but this is mixed with old school, reliable rubber costumes for creatures like the Vogons that gives them a texture that you just can't get with computers. This movie is light years ahead of the clunky BBC version which resembled a bad-looking episode of Dr. Who.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy may not have done well in North America because it lacked recognizable A-list movie stars (but then again, neither did the original Star Wars) with decidedly British sense of humour. Sadly, it failed to connect on a mass audience level despite a significant marketing push. Regardless, it is still an entertaining, big, splashy science fiction movie that manages to preserve the wit of Adams' book. So long now and thanks for all the fish.

"Making of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is a fairly standard making of featurette. Not surprisingly, director Garth Jennings said that the key to this movie was in the casting. So, he gathered an eclectic group of actors.

Also included is an "Additional Guide Entry" which faithfully recreates the gag from the book about man proving that God doesn't exist but then it fails to include the book's punchline in which man goes on to prove that black is white and gets killed at the next zebra crossing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where are the punch lines?!? October 2, 2005
Format:DVD
I have loved this story ever since the radio show (which came before the books!) was brought to American airwaves courtesy of NPR Playhouse. I love the books as well and have a special place in my heart for the British TV show. I know the lines backward and forward, inside and out, and the one thought that kept popping up in my mind as I watched this new film was "Where are the punchlines?" Anyone familiar with the now-classic jokes will hear the characters setting up for a punch line--and then stopping before the gag is delivered! As previous reviewers pointed out, the story does not translate well into a concise storyline for film, and so the filmmakers tried to trim down the dialogue and concentrate more on plot. But the one thing that made this story a success to begin with was the hilarious diaolgue exchanged between characters under bizarre circumstances (and these funny lines survived through all previous incarnations: radio, books, & TV, until now). Plot, what there was of it, came second,and could be abandoned anytime Adams came up with a funny new direction to take the characters in. Since they were more interested in making a wacky space film instead of a truly hilarious one, they should have left out what original dialogue they kept (since it doesn't go anywhere here) and written entirely new dialogue that advances the plot more coherently. The new bits made up for this film were clever enough, and I believe even die-hard fans of the franchise will find something to enjoy. I think I liked it more this second time around on DVD than when I first saw it in the theaters. There were even things that I applaud them for. Take the cast for instance. Some actor choices were absolutely inspired, while others were horribly wrong. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Watched with my wife and son for the first time and was very surprised...
were really in this film....actors from the Harry Potter series, from the Hobbit, and from the "RED" series...this is a classic film. Read more
Published 19 hours ago by John Willoretta
5.0 out of 5 stars my fav movie of all time
great movie. one of my all time favorites. came as shown. very pleased over all with my purchase. thank you.
Published 1 day ago by laura wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
While this movie is nothing like the book, nor the previous TV show, it takes the Hitchhiker's Guide to a whole new Galaxy. It is very funny.
Published 3 days ago by Sarah H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally found this movie
Good movie, never got a chance to see it till now. Sure glad some one had a copy to rent.
Published 4 days ago by noe f zapata
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the book, movie is entertaining as the book.
I read the book, watched the tv series, love the movie. Had to have it. Good clear copy. Fun time
Published 7 days ago by ManicBobo
5.0 out of 5 stars Still great!
This movie is as timeless as the book. Such a fantastic cast. Sam Rockwell is underrated as an actor. And who doesn't love Zooey
Published 7 days ago by Shawn McCluskey
4.0 out of 5 stars honestly better than the original
Some people are really stuck on "classics" but looking at this rendition of the story by itself, it's actually quite good. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Scott Bucholtz
4.0 out of 5 stars Martin is terrific
This is one of my favorite stories and this is one of the better adaptation of it. There are striking difference with the book but the essence is here. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Heidi Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
One of my favorite movies of all time jt just remains to be entertaining just enjoy it so much thanks for having it on Amazon thanks again
Published 19 days ago by James E. Holycross
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
One of my favorite movies for sure. I laugh out loud at the absurdity every time. Sam Rockwell is genius in his role.
Published 20 days ago by Jessica
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