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Man Who Broke 1000 Chains


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Product Details

  • Actors: Val Kilmer, Kyra Sedgwick, Billy Bob Thornton, Sonia Braga, James Keach
  • Directors: Daniel Mann
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Lorimar Home Video
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E177RY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,731 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

There is no prison strong enough to hold the human spirit... He was an innocent man sentenced to a Georgia chain gang... His two escapes astounded the nation... His story is true... Val Kilmer ("Top Gun", "Real Genius") stars as Robert Burns in this gritty and chilling drama about a man who falls in with a vicious pack of thieves during a robbery and is thrown into a Georgia chain gang. Unable to endure the brutality he escapes and attempts to bury the past. Burns befriends two women. One, Emily (Sonia Braga, "Kiss of the Spider Woman"), a wealthy woman, helps him turn a failing magazine into a success, and the other, Lillian (Kyra Sedgwick) arouses his deepest desires. With memories of guard beatings, tortures and torment, Burns vows to make public the truth about chain gangs -- abolishing them forever. THE MAN WHO BROKE 1,000 CHAINS is a chilling and sensational drama -- a story that foretells the shocking real-life events that became front page news in 1987 when convicted felon, Vincent Pelliccia, was nabbed by police 41 years after his escape to freedom from a Virginia prison chain gang.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
Beaten often and worked beyond fatigue.
Inkwell
This is a very good movie a rember seeing it as a kid and it blew me away its a very good performance by val kilmer probably his best.
M. Cemental
Val Kilmer is the main character and is excellent.
Denise J. Murray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 17, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The first words that spring to mind when I think of this film is 'WOW'. Val Kilmer brings this character of Robert Elliot Burns to life, probably too well, and makes you believe that you're living it with him... the sign of a truly amazing actor... The things Mr Burns went through, the struggles that he faced seem so horrific it makes you think of the question 'This can't be real, can it?'.. What makes it more horrific is that it's based on a true life, a real person, real situations, real actual events...It blows my mind every time I watch it...Val Kilmer was the right person to play it because he puts so much into the role, he makes you feel the pain that he's suffering. This is a sign of an amazing, talented, young man..who just keeps on getting better...if that's possible. If I could I'd give it more marks than 5 because it is definitely a film not to miss.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Originally an HBO pay channel release, this is perhaps one of their better movies. Val Kilmer plays Robert Elliot Burns. Burns is a WWI veteran who eventually winds up, wrongfully, in a Georgia chain gang. After quite a few whuppings, he escapes in dramatic fashion. Rebuilding his life in Chicago as a news magazine publisher/writer, he gets blackmailed by his wife. He goes BACK to the chain gang and, after a few whuppings, escapes again!! A Val Kilmer fan must see this one, as it is one of his best roles. An all-star supporting cast helps ease the slower parts along. (This ain't no pretty boy flick, ladies. Ol' Val gets the snuff beat out of him.)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 7, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
This is a film based on a true story, the story of Robert Burns, a World War I veteran who fell upon hard times, turned to petty crime in a point of desperation, and then went through the harrowing experience of the Southern prison system, with all the inhumanities that are attendant to that. Deprivations and cruel punishments abounded, as prisoners were literally whipped to death and set to work at back-breaking labour on chain gangs. At a certain point, Burns escaped, and finding a new life in a Northern state, became a prosperous businessman, still ever mindful of his escapee status. Burns, being assured of the justice of the system and that such inhumanities would not happen again, was led to seek to clarify his status by returning to the South, only to be absorbed once more into the inhuman system. However, this time his public profile was known around the country, and his cause became a cause célèbre. It forced a change in the prison system that remains a turning point in the humane treatment of prisoners to this day.

This film is based upon Robert Burns' own book, 'I am Fugitive from the Georgia Chain Gang'. Directed by Daniel Mann, the story stars Val Kilmer in a remarkably full role, with powerful performances by Charles Durning, Kyra Sedgwick and Elisha Cook Jr. (a veteran actor whose credits include 'The Maltese Falcon' and 'Sergeant York', in this his final role). The scenes are often breathtaking for their brutality and realism, and the overall tone is very true to life, albeit a reality we often want to hide from.

This is a rare film, not yet available on DVD, but one well worth watching, particularly for those who are interested in American history of a different sort.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
An early film by Val Kilmer. Some may think it drags on but it ends up being a pretty good movie. Val Kilmer fans must see his great performance. I'd recommend to at least rent if not by this movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Inkwell on August 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I first viewed this movie when I was a young child during the 80's on HBO and what I saw has stuck with me to this day. It was such an outstanding performance that I have modeled my own acting style on Val Kilmer. I have tried to find this movie in video stores on and off for years, but with no success. It's funny to find it here on Amazon but on VHS which is a completely dead medium. The fact is, Val Kilmer delivers here, along with the rest of the cast, the performance of a lifetime.

The Man Who Broke 1000 Chains is a true story about a war veteran who, desparate for money is coereced to commit robbery. Our hero tries to back out, but then is forced to help carry out the nefarious deed. The robbery goes wrong and our hero is imprisoned and forced to work on a chain gang. We see through the eyes of Robert Elliot Burns the inhumane conditions found in the chain gang system. The prisoners are treated with much less respect given to slaves. Beaten often and worked beyond fatigue. Luckily Robert manages to escape.

He flees to Chicago and becomes a successful business man, but always is aware of his escapee status. Of course, with a high profile, he is found and returned to the penal system. He then fights and escapes again and effects changes in the penal system which rippled through the country.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Cemental on November 6, 2005
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Does anyone know if this movie will ever be transfered to dvd? This is a very good movie a rember seeing it as a kid and it blew me away its a very good performance by val kilmer probably his best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1997
Format: VHS Tape
Again this actors talent, surprise and impress me. I find very few actors or actress, becoming the character they play. It is easy to beleive that Mr. Kilmer is truly is Robert Burns. The story was truly good as well as the supporting cast. I found myself getting emotionally involved with Burns struggle. END
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