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Iron Jawed Angels

382 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Iron Jawed Angels (DVD)

Oscar-winner Hilary Swank stars in a fresh and contemporary look at a pivotal event in American history, telling the true story of how a pair of defiant and brilliant young activists took the women's suffrage movement by storm, putting their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote.


The fight for women's voting rights has rarely been given as dramatic a treatment as in Iron Jawed Angels. Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry) and Frances O'Connor (Mansfield Park) star as second-wave suffragettes Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, who led the final fight for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Though the movie sometimes tries too hard to avoid the stigma of a period piece (the soundtrack features electric guitars, Swank has a steamy moment in a bathtub, and the editing is jagged and flashy), the mounting energy of the fight--and the increasingly nasty opposition--gains real momentum when a wartime picket line leads to Paul, Burns, and their sisters-in-arms being arrested on trumped-up charges and imprisoned. The actors--including Julia Ormond (Smilla's Sense of Snow), Angelica Huston (Prizzi's Honor, The Grifters), and Brooke Smith (Vanya on 42nd Street)--give fervent, determined performances. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Surround Sound
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: January 16, 2007
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (382 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00026L9CU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,164 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Iron Jawed Angels" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 11, 2004
Format: DVD
This 2004 HBO movie depicts the struggles of the early suffragette movement, which eventually gave women in the United States the right to vote. Spanning the years from 1912 to 1920, it stars Hilary Swank as Alice Paul who led the fight with ultimate courage. There's some interesting history of which I was unaware. And the filmmakers seem to get the theme across. At the time, it was a state-by-state decision as to whether or not women could vote. But Alice Paul wanted to make it a constitutional amendment. There is, of course, is in-fighting in the movement itself with the old factions, led by Anjelica Huston, as Carrie Chapman Catt, preferring to not make a fuss and quietly let each state decide. Alice Paul, however, confronted the establishment head on and brought down some dour consequences on herself and the group of women who followed her lead.

At first I was annoyed at the film. I felt their wardrobes too lavish and the potential romance between Alice and a Washington Post cartoonist was silly. I also thought the women seemed a bit too modern and politically correct. And, frankly, I thought of turning off my DVD and never reviewing this film.

But then there was a scene in which the police turned their backs on protecting a festive parade in which women and children were demonstrating. When the mobs attacked the women I felt real tears dripping down my face. And then, later, when the women were horribly mistreated in prison, I found myself crying again, especially when they force-fed Alice Paul and we see them pushing tubes down her throat and through her nose. By the end of the film I understood exactly what these brave women had gone through in order to give me a privilege that I take for granted.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Anne Turring on August 8, 2004
Format: DVD
As a big fan of historical films, I always get nervous before seeing a movie whose subject is one that I am passionate about. Therefore I was quite apprehensive about this movie.

Turns out, it was the best pull off of all suffrace films. Touching and accurate, with the right amount of heart, humour, and intelligence, this movie made for an enjoyable and educating experience. It reminded me why I am glad to be a woman.
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133 of 155 people found the following review helpful By Robin Orlowski on August 13, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Only because Mary Poppins was released during the beginning of America's second wave of feminism was its `sister suffragettes' number inspiring during that film.

Yet the 1964 snippet of British suffrage tactics completely and convieniently overlooked their radical strategies in favor of bouncy and pert cheerleading which could otherwise found at a high school game. While acknowledging the need for women's rights, that same film also presented the women as pampered housewives who were really too busy for their families.

Thank goodness this HBO movie is much more realistic about the American-British radical suffrage struggle.

Alice Paul (Hillary Swank) and company may be conventionally attractive, but they are also not afraid to show how openly ticked off they are about being held to laws they cannot help form.

Much to the chagrin of the older `respectable' American suffragists (who want to wait for men to give them the vote), the British experience encourages demand for full sociopolitical equality. When they are jailed for their convictions, the women refuse to eat. By our modern expectations, the prison response (shown in graphic detail) is especially brutal.

For all of their progressive politics, Paul and company downplay race ironically in a time when such justice is most needed. Paul personally welcomes support of Delta Sigma Theta and other African American organizations, but worries their public presence will either undo or prevent the critical southern support necessary to winning suffrage. It is not easy to admit that our movement has an imperfect past, but it is important to ensuring a socially just future for all members.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By PluckyDog on July 8, 2004
Format: DVD
I loved this movie - it was eloquently written, cast, and filmed. The acting was beautiful, smart, and memorable. The filming talent was flawless. I've seen it 4 times now, and I am still deeply moved every time. I can't wait until it comes out on video - I'll be among the first to purchase it!
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By David Winter on July 17, 2004
Format: DVD
I happened to be channel surfing one night in a hotel and came across this movie. This is without a doubt one of the most important movies to have ever been made. Hilary Swank is at her very best in this. There are scenes in this move that I still play over and over in my head. Every woman and girl in this country should see this movie. If they did they would never not vote again. Every man should see this movie - if they did they would ensure every woman in their lives saw it and and voted in every election. This is a definite must see!!!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By James Hiller VINE VOICE on December 12, 2004
Format: DVD
Has HBO films just been on a roll lately, or what? From making the critically acclaimed and beautifully haunting miniseries "Angels in America", to the late Peter Sellers biopic, they seem to have cornered the market on creative, intellectually powerful films. Case in point: the beautifully haunting and critically acclaimed movie about the women's sufferage movement called "Iron Jawed Angels".

Recounting the desire to give women the right to vote, "Iron Jawed Angels" spans eight years in that divisive, poltically charged movement of people truly desiring equality. Played brilliantly by Hilary Swank, sufferagette Alice Paul becomes the powerhouse behind the movement, taking it from what was a more genteel group of women to one championing civil disobdience. Taking up the cause with her, Lucy Burns, played by Aussie actress Frances O'Connor, the two become an fiercesome force.

One thing that's amazing about this video is how little of a deal it is today that women vote. No one gives it a second thought. But back then, people were rioting over the fact that women wanted a voice in their own government. It makes me wonder how many causes today, when people look back 80 years from now, they will wonder what the big deal was at all.

Little has ever been taught about the price these women have paid in schools, but this video, and the contribution they have made should be taught across this country, period.
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