Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil 1997 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

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(1,669) IMDb 6.6/10
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The most important party of the Savannah Christmas season ends with a bang! When affable host Jim Williams shoots a man to death. The party is over, the investigation begins.

Starring:
John Cusack, Kevin Spacey
Runtime:
2 hours, 36 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Director Clint Eastwood
Starring John Cusack, Kevin Spacey
Supporting actors Jack Thompson, Irma P. Hall, Jude Law, Alison Eastwood, Paul Hipp, Lady Chablis, Dorothy Loudon, Anne Haney, Kim Hunter, Geoffrey Lewis, Richard Herd, Leon Rippy, Bob Gunton, Michael O'Hagan, Gary Anthony Williams, Tim Black, Muriel Moore, Sonny Seiler
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Themis-Athena on July 8, 2002
Format: DVD
Adapting a book to the screen is always a risk, and adapting a successful book particularly so, especially if it is a nonfiction book and the story has already made news (or been the subject of gossip, which in this instance doesn't seem to make much difference) long before the book was ever written. There will always be those who claim that you didn't do the book justice, or that you didn't do the real events justice, or both. But let's face it, folks, the vast majority of us weren't witnesses to Jim Williams's record four trials, nor did we attend any of his famous Christmas parties, nor did or do we know Mr. Williams or any of the other inhabitants of Savannah featured so prominently here (even if Jerry Spence - not the attorney, the hairdresser appearing as himself in the movie - insists that ever since the publication of John Behrendt's book people have been asking him to sign their copy). All that most of us did was read the book ... yes, so did I, and I enjoyed it immensely. And maybe some have taken a trip to Savannah and gone on one of those "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" bus tours. (No, haven't done that myself yet. Savannah's on my list, though.)

Granted, condensing four trials into one, adding a fictional reporter (John Kelso alias John Cusack) as a stand-in for Mr. Behrendt whose book is a first-person account, and making Mandy Nichols (director Clint Eastwood's daughter Alison) the reporter's love interest, meant altering the facts as related in the book.
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70 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Mecum on November 5, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I have lived in the south all my life. Watching this movie reminded me of how beautiful and special this place is. Clint Eastwood's interpretation of John Berendt's piece of literary art was splendid in its own right. It reminded me of how rich our heritage is. The music, the superb casting (no one can deny the talent of the great Kevin Spacey) and the seemingly endless parade of characters kept me enthralled from the beginning. It's not often a film can pull at my heartstrings, teach me something about tolerance and history, reveal such beauty and amuse me at the same time. The movie so moved me that I read the book. Although somewhat different, each form was intriguing. I have just returned from Savannah. I was constantly reminded of the story of Jim Williams as I walked the squares and felt the history therein. This filmed turned attention once again to a wonderful magical place, the South.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M.M. on December 16, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
There were two reasons why I picked up this film: 1.) Kevin Spacey and 2.) it takes place in Savannah, GA, which is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. I knew very little about the story; I knew that it had something to do with a murder, and that no one could figure out if the rich man (Spacey) had killed him or not. I found out later that it was in fact a true story, which made it even more intriguing. However, I feel that the heart of this movie lies not in the murder mystery itself, but in the eccentric characters who occupy the city of Savannah. John Cusack as an outsider becomes a representation of the audience, someone who stumbles along and slowly comes to appreciate the many different people of the city. The audience is taken on a whirlwind tour of some of the most interesting and odd people to exist in the South. I especially loved the Lady Chablis; that character is too melodramatic and amusing for words. In addition to the interesting characters, there is the great music of Savannah's Johnny Mercer, which really adds to the authenticity of the piece. As a director, Clint Eastwood has a gift for capturing the heart and spirit of the city on film. However, he still needs to learn a thing or two about storytelling. For one thing, the movie is way too long; they try to fit too much into the story, making it at times jumbled and incoherent. I found myself losing interest a couple of times, especially when Spacey's character was brought to trial. That trial dragged on forever! The ending didn't make any sense, either. Despite these discrepancies, I have viewed the film a number of times, and I have concluded that you either have to be a huge Kevin Spacey fan, or else you really have to like the scenery and music to sit through it more than once.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By "nataliesnumber1fan" on December 30, 2001
Format: DVD
This is very strange to me but...
The book on which this film is based is my all time favorite...The movie pales in comparison but I still love it!
The film is certainly more fiction than fact...There were 4 trials...the movie lumps them together in one, the Cusack character is pure fiction and (without giving away the ending)this is not how one of the main characters ended in real life but Savannah is as stunning on film as it is in life! As for Kevin Spacey, well, he is brilliant as usual and Jack Thompson and Dorothy Loudon head a supporting cast that also included Jude Law that is just great. Now for the Lady Chablis. As a gay man I have always found drag and female impersonators just too much too take but THE LADY is just great playing of all people, HERSELF! Due to the lengthy time frame of the actual events and a host of eccentric real life people I think the book should have been made into a mini series but certainly on a cable channel so nothing would have to be edited...
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