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House of Saddam (2009)

Various , Various  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)

Price: $49.09 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Miniseries, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: April 14, 2009
  • Run Time: 260 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001P9N9BW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,497 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • The Fate of a Dynasty: An in-depth look at Saddam's regime, including cast and crew interviews

Editorial Reviews

In this gripping four-hour docudrama, any resemblance between Saddam Hussein and a certain New Jersey mob boss may not be a coincidence. Co-produced by the BBC and broadcast on HBO, House of Saddam portrays Saddam (Igal Naor) as part Tony Soprano, part Michael Corleone, and part Keyzer Soze. Early on, he ruthlessly kills his closest friend to intimidate his enemies ("The man who can sacrifice even his best friend is a man without weakness," he rationalizes to his wife). Framed by America's invasion of Iraq, and concluding with Saddam's capture in that now-infamous hole, House of Saddam chronicles the rise and fall of a tyrant, whose decades of deceit and cruelty devastated a nation and threw the volatile and unstable region into further turmoil. In some scenes, House of Saddam takes its cue from Saddam's reported admiration of the Godfather films. In the first hour, a coup against Iraq's sitting president is carried out during Saddam's daughter's birthday party. Soon after, Saddam puts a wicked twist on the Corleone maxim about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. In Saddam's version, it's keep your friends close and your enemies close enough for your friends to shoot point blank. Beyond inferences of an unhappy childhood and a mother who makes Livia on The Sopranos look like June Cleaver, there is scant attempt to psychoanalyze Saddam or explore what makes him tick. It is more a portrait etched in blood of power corrupting absolutely. There are no heroes and few sympathetic characters in this House. Saddam's wife (Oscar-nominee Shoreh Aghdashloo) is an increasingly pitiable object as she falls from her husband's favor and he takes a married schoolteacher as his mistress (an aide warns her husband not to object, promising "compensation"). Philip Arditti is chilling as Saddam's eldest son, Uday, a psychopathic rapist and murderer, who gives even his father pause. By the third hour, when Saddam is making a copy of the Quran written in his own blood, the writing is on the wall for this megalomaniac. In the final hour, as we watch George Bush on TV assuring the Iraqi people that "the day of your liberation is near," we can't help cheering, "What are you waiting for?" --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

Revealing the private world of Saddam Hussein and his inner circle, this gripping 4-part, 4-hour miniseries charts the rise and fall of one of the most significant political figures in recent history. Over the course of 27 years, Saddam (Igal Naor) rose from peasant origins to the highest office in Iraq, consolidating his power by executing those who posed real or imagined threats, and surrounding himself with family members, ultimately his notorious sons Uday and Qusay. Along the way, Saddam pushed aside his wife Sajida (Oscar® nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo) for a young mistress, orchestrated the death of Sajidas brother Adnan (his closest confidante), and forced two cousins of high rank who had married his daughters to divorce their wives before meeting a grisly end. In the end, House of Saddam reveals its title character as a man of undeniable vision ultimately brought down by his own flaws especially an unquenchable thirst for power, attained at all costs, including the sacrifice of those who were closest to him.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
(NOTE:This review is in response to the original HBO presentation/airing and not of it's future home DVD release)

Presented and watched as one four hour block (with each of it's four parts averaging around 58 minutes each) this was one well cast and performed HBO/BBC production on the reign of Saddam Hussein. Showcasing the years between his take-over of the Presidency of Iraq in 1979 up thru his execution in 2006, this mini-series was well informative and even at it's length, not very dragging in parts. And don't think this is all about Saddam either, his family and fellow soldier/followers are in full force here too. And each part is extremely well-played, even reaching the point where recreated news-footage makes you think you're seeing the real thing. If there was any fault of this mini-series it lied in the final fourth act, basically showcasing Saddam's hiding exile, going from Iraq's largest leader to a pauper hiding in a hole (just like it was in real life). But not being a Hussein historian by any means (who'd want to?), I truly felt that this script followed the insane leader and those around him to a tee. Quite disturbing in parts without being too graphic (Saddam had a thing about his relatives getting to close to greatness...he didn't like it) and showing a side of the madman you may not expect (he loved film-making, especially if the star was playing him), this is one mini-series highly suggested to anyone who doubts taking him out of power wasn't the right thing to do or a neccesary evil. Would love to see some interviews with the cast on how each of them channeled these characters so well, will probably purchase this on DVD and sit through the dark-subject four hours even again.
(RedSabbath Rating:9.0/10)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Traitors Abound May 9, 2009
"I know a traitor before he knows himself."


A fascinating study in power, even for those who think themselves well-versed in all things Iraq. Check it out.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GOOD .. AS FAR AS IT GOES May 15, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If this miniseries had gone a little deeper into the background and scope of Iraqi politics it would certainly deserve another star, since it is really very well done, as far as it goes. The real weakness of the series lies in the very superficial look at the private life of Saddam, without going into any particular aspect in depth. There was a whole lot more that could have been included, so as to give the thing more weight and substance.
As it is, we are given a sort of Hollywood reenactment of some of the seemier aspects of Saddam Hussein and his family, albeit very well interpreted by Yigal Naor as Saddam. He is a really commanding presence and thoroughly credible in the principal role, which lends the series much of its authenticity. The rest of the cast is variable, although the rather important character of Kamel Hussein comes over as very wooden. Tariq Aziz, however, is just fine, and Saddam's son, Uday, is more or less what one would imagine him to be.
Notwithstanding its limitations, this is a very watchable miniseries, which, as I have said, would have merited a higher rating if only it had gone a little deeper into the subject.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Molly
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
PLOT: 4 PART miniseries by HBO and BBC about Saddam Hussein's raise to power from 1979 until 2005 caputure BRILLIANT~

Ignal Naor is excellent as Saddam~ 4 parts ~ PART ONE~ Saddam gets rid of most of his enemies his a rapid move into the new leader of IRAQ using the theme of get rid of any one you suspect any one~ PART TWO: HE arranges a marriage of his oldest daughter to and the groom becomes his new "body guard /security chief." we see the blend of marraige and alliances that give Saddam even more power. ADD to the scene is the out of control son Uday who uses RAPE, drugs and torture. PART THREE: the invasion of Kuwait LEADS TO his two daughters and their huSbands fleeing to Jordan~ Saddam using both pursuasion and intrigue with the promises of a full PARDON AND FORGIVNESS get the two sons in laws back who he promply has KILLED. none the less his daughters now widows at his hand continue to blindly love and obey and support him~ amazing~ PART FOUR: the invasion of Iraq and the hunt for UDAY and Quasay (his sons) are are "SOLD OUT" FOR MILLIONS and end up dead in a shoot out and the hunt for the very elusive Saddam who hides with two body guards. His little "hole" he hides in is quiet brilliant but the soliders have some informants who give them the "clues" to find the last hiding place of Saddam~ this was based on the Diary of the oldest of Saddams daughters. very well written and outstanding acting~ does not drag and we are glued to it but part four is the BEST~ BBC and HBO does it right~ won an emmy ~ I GIVE IT A 9 OUT OF 10. AND IGNAL NAOR IS 10 OUT OF 10~
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting Historical Movie April 24, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this movie. I was in Iraq 2004-2005 and spoke with Iraqis about Saddam. They described some of the events in this movie. The Iraqis lived very well under Saddam. There were NO taxes - no income tax, no sales tax, no property tax. All of their utilities were free! Electric, water, sewer, phone, and if they got sick, they paid the hospital a small percentage of the cost. Everything was paid from oil revenues.

Aside from all that, Saddam was a murdering thug. As long as he didn't suspect you, you lived very well. But he was ruthless, but then, politicians are. Even the actors all looked like members of Saddam's family. As bad as Saddam was, his son Uday was much worse!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reminds people of the evil that is dictatorship.
Published 4 hours ago by jimfromctown
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good show. Worth watching.
Published 2 days ago by Aaron Price
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fascinating look at a maniacal yet cunning dictator
Published 2 days ago by Christian Larsen
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
This show should contain more details and be more informational about Saddam's regime
Published 2 days ago by fritzner Desir
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Actors came off two stiffs
Published 2 days ago by david rosado
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing, I don't know how this went under my radar for so long. Pretty accurate depiction
Published 3 days ago by Gil Maman
1.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable.
I did not like seeing this. I could only watch about 20 min. Of this 20 min I didn't like feeling sympathy for his family. I did not seeing him as a loving father and husband. Read more
Published 3 days ago by GA girl
3.0 out of 5 stars Descent enough series - I was disappointed that they basically omitted...
Descent enough series - I was disappointed that they basically omitted the war fighting and made massive jumps in time and simply talked about it - or in text graphic set up.
Published 3 days ago by Joseph Barmettler
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the time to watch
Very Good Mini-Series. Wish it went a little more into depth about what he did people. None the less, shockingly disturbing how he and his family ran that country.
Published 4 days ago by Jason Nieves
5.0 out of 5 stars So well done. Friends who are the middle east ...
So well done. Friends who are the middle east say

this is historically accurate. Well acted and scrpited.
Published 4 days ago by homerkabong
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