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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2008)

Heath Ledger , Christopher Plummer , Terry Gilliam  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Heath Ledger, Christopher Plummer, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: April 27, 2010
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001HN69AY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,411 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" on IMDb

Special Features

Commentary with Director Terry Gilliam
Introduction by Terry Gilliam
Deleted Scene with Optional Commentary by Terry Gilliam
Behind the Mirror
Building the Monastery
Heath Ledger Wardrobe Test with Optional Commentary by Terry Gilliam
Interview with Heath Ledger
Doctor Parnassus Around the World
Cast & Crew Presentation on Stage
The Artwork of Doctor Parnassus

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Terry Gilliam has long admired Marcel Carné's beautiful and tragic Children of Paradise (he even contributes an introduction to the Criterion Collection edition). In The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, among his more phantasmagorical features, Gilliam conjures up his own unique theatrical troupe. Led by the immortal Parnassus (Christopher Plummer, whose daughter, Amanda, appeared in The Fisher King), Anton (Boy A's Andrew Garfield), Percy (Verne Troyer), and the doctor's doll-faced daughter, Valentina (model Lily Cole), travel through 21st-century London in their stagecoach set. Times are tight and the quartet is starting to unravel when they rescue Tony, a philanthropist (Heath Ledger, reuniting with Gilliam for the last time), from the Russian mob. Though Anton pines for Valentina, she falls for the new fellow, who charms female viewers into opening up their wallets. Little do the ladies realize they risk their souls when they pass through the Imaginarium, a Mylar mirror that leads to alternate realities (where Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell play Tony's doppelgängers). As it transpires, Parnassus made a Faustian bargain with Mr. Nick (Tom Waits, whom Gilliam considers "America's greatest musical poet") centuries before and must supply Satan with five souls by Valentina's 16th birthday or Nick will take her away from him--permanently. One of the movie's more haunting lines, "Nothing is forever, not even death," could serve as an epitaph for Ledger, who died from an accidental overdose during filming, but lives again in the erratic, yet imaginative Gilliam's most purely enjoyable film since Time Bandits. --Kathleen C. Fennessy


Stills from The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (Click for larger image)











Product Description

Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) is cursed with a dark secret. An inveterate gambler, thousands of years ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr. Nick (Tom Waits), in which he won immortality. Centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr. Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his daughter reached her 16th birthday, she would become the property of Mr Nick. Valentina (Lily Cole) is now rapidly approaching this ‘coming of age’ milestone and Dr. Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr. Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls. Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr. Parnassus promises his daughter’s hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr. Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles – and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all! Also starring Heath Ledger, Andrew Garfield, Verne Troyer, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
171 of 176 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is my kind of weird January 13, 2010
Are you ever in the mood for something fresh and original? Are you tired of all the safe movies designed for the masses? Well, take a trip through the mirror of Doctor Parnassus. Terry Gilliam is a love him or hate him type of director, but for some reason I'm more of in the middle. I like half or so of his films and just don't get the appeal of the others. In this case, I loved just about every second of it.

Most people know that this was Heath Ledger's last role and that he died during the filming process, but what surprised me was how much he is actually in the movie. I would say around 50% of it. His performance is really good here as expected. He totally dropped the Joker influence completely and showed us once again that we were looking at a guy who had just begun to scratch the surface of his talent. Christopher Plummer (Doctor Parnassus) and Tom Waits (Satan) both turn in equally excellent acting showcases. Even newcomer Lily Cole does a good job and is very nice to look at to boot. Verne "Mini-Me" Troyer is not the best actor in the world, but he seems to be trying hard and is given a couple of good lines. Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell fill in the gaps that Ledger could obviously not. Depp gets the least amount of time, but all three bring the right amount skill to each "tribute" version of Ledger's character. Since Ledger was able to film all the reality parts before his death, his ever changing look could easily be explained in the fantasy realm.

The visuals and music are wacky as can be, but in a good way. It's nice to see so much imagination and unique storytelling in modern cinema. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is not for everyone, but I think most who give it a shot will find themselves lost in the the mind of one stange filmmaker.
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81 of 85 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eccentric and quixotic January 11, 2010
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is first and foremost a Terry Gilliam film, which could make or break the overall experience for you. Gilliam has a very specific style that is best described as an LSD trip with a more cohesive story. His films are usually incredibly visual, are wrapped around a unique story, and above all else spectacularly weird. The one thing his films can always guarantee though is originality. Doctor Parnassus is very similar to Gilliam's The Brother's Grimm, which also starred Heath Ledger. At least as far as visuals go. So if you're not a fan of other Gilliam films like Time Bandits, Baron Manchausen, Twelve Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Brothers Grimm, or Tideland among others, then it's safe to say you probably won't enjoy this film.

The other piece of information that's worth knowing going into this is to not expect much Heath Ledger. Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell were brought in for a reason. You're left wanting more, which is probably a good thing. It's not a stab at Depp, Law, or Ferrell as they all portrayed Tony pretty flawlessly. Ledger is around long enough to show potential. He has a few standout scenes and a great speech or two. Then he's gone. Out of the three actors that also played Tony, Depp did the best job. When you first see Johnny Depp as Tony, he still looks like Heath Ledger. His actions, his body language, his dialogue, it all feels like the same character. Without giving too much away, it feels as if Tony changed every time he stepped through the mirror. Well, that's not entirely true. It's more like Tony's true nature was revealed more and more with each transformation.
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73 of 81 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus January 17, 2010
Format:DVD
Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) is immortal. He made a deal with Mr. Nick, aka the devil (Tom Waits), that has kept him alive for over 1000 years, but at a price. Now Dr. Parnassus travels England with his daughter Valentina (Lilly Cole), Percy (Verne Troyer), and Anton (Andrew Garfield) inviting people into his Imaginarium, a place where you can peak into Dr. Parnassus's imagination where you are given a choice between light and darkness. When Mr. Nick shows up with a new challenge to collect five souls first by Valentina's birthday, Dr. Parnassus jumps at the chance. But when they save the allegedly amnesiac Tony (Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell), Dr. Parnassus wonders if Tony's been sent by the devil or his chance to right a wrong he made when he gained immortality.

Terry Gilliam is one of the most visually unique directors of all time. From classic movies like Brazil to cult classics like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the only American from the Monty Python troupe has generally bucked conventions working outside the studio system to create uniquely original works of art. As a result Gilliam is no stranger to controversy and issues with filming. Gilliam's take on Don Quixote was derailed from spectacular budget overruns, back injuries, freakish storms, and more; with the result being so catastrophic it became the subject of the 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha. But even as devastating as that was, it could never have prepared Gilliam for what befell his 2009 movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Filming had to be shut down when Heath Ledger died mid-production.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Par...nassus
The movie was interesting unfortunately it was a tragic loss for Heath Ledger but it was interesting how the movie played off in adding the extra actors.
Published 1 month ago by Isaiah
4.0 out of 5 stars A cool story of fantasy
Good and evil fight again in a very unusual way. Do not expect a neat storyline it is just fantasy.
Published 1 month ago by scientista
5.0 out of 5 stars different in all the right ways
Visually stimulating in all the good ways. Cool concept and it differs from all the other boring synonymous Hollywood blockbusters. VERY FUN! very deep message too
Published 1 month ago by Derek Leathers
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLANT MOVIE
LOVED THIS MOVIE, WELL MADE,GREAT ACTORS, WONDERFUL VISUALS, CONTINUED TO THINK ABOUT THE MORAL ISSUES BROUGHT UP DURING THE MOVIE FOR DAYS, YOU LEAVE THIS MOVIE WITH DEEPER... Read more
Published 2 months ago by TMZM
3.0 out of 5 stars hmm
If you're into it then you'll like it. It was a bit strange, didn't know what I was watching at first..but it got better and I liked it.
Published 2 months ago by t
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing movie
This is one of my favorite movies, and I'm very glad I finally bought it. It plays perfectly and looks beautiful. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Haley
4.0 out of 5 stars "Where are we? "Geographically, in the Northern Hemisphere. Socially,...
I found this film quite watchable, although it is definitely not amongst Terry Gilliam's best works. Below, more of my impressions, with some SPOILERS. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Maciej
5.0 out of 5 stars BENNIE QUINCY SHAFT SAYS ... BRILLIANT
This movie is brilliant. The story is somewhat hard to follow because of the British accents, but, if you concentrate, you will pick it up. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bennie Quincy Shaft
5.0 out of 5 stars Weird
As much as this is a great movie I needed to watch it a couple of times to get the enjoyment it deserves a viewer to feel, I high rating is because of the celebrities in it and the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by W. Beveridge
2.0 out of 5 stars not what we expected
not what we expected. i guess that it must be over our heads cause it was not for us. thanks.
Published 3 months ago by Annie Oakes
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