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Murder in the First [Blu-ray] (2012)

Christian Slater , Kevin Bacon , Marc Rocco  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Christian Slater, Kevin Bacon, Gary Oldman, Embeth Davidtz, Brad Dourif
  • Directors: Marc Rocco
  • Writers: Dan Gordon
  • Producers: Marc Rocco, David L. Wolper, Marc Frydman, Mark M. Wolper
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007NQZRBQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,989 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Murder in the First [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Murder in the First (BD)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartrending Prison Drama November 18, 2004
Format:DVD
This is a remarkable piece of Hollywood filmmaking, one of the best big studio efforts of the 90's and it was so poorly marketed that few have seen - or heard of - this picture.

The too often (and sometimes easily) dismissed Kevin Bacon is here Henri Young, a role as powerfully haunting as any actor could dream of. With an uncannily natural affinity for Henri, Bacon finds his way into the marrow of this tortured, downtrodden prisoner. In what could have too easily turned into a over-the-top "Look, Ma, I'm acting!" role, Bacon strikes a balance that is unique and rare. Unafraid of any aspect of Henri it becomes a performance nothing less than astonishing in its honesty.

The first 20 minutes presents us with the naked, filthy animal the system wishes to portray him as Henri. Yet, even here, with little more than a mad scene comprised of grunts, screams and incoherent mumblings about baseball, multiplication tables and The Lord's Prayer, Bacon makes Henri shine beneath the hair and grime introducing us to a pitiable sorrowful man not only wronged by the system, but utterly destroyed then forgotten by it. This is one of those rare performances where the work outshines the actor - I'd forgotten entirely I was even watching an actor.

It's a hard heart that will not be moved by Henri and Bacon should look back at this performance with nothing but pride. (The fact he was not nominated for an Oscar is astonishing as his performance.)

Christian Slater gives one of his best performances as well and Gary Oldman is, (predictably) wonderfully evil as is William H. Macy. The court room scenes fairly crackle, but ultimately the heart and soul of this movie is found in Kevin Bacon's Henri.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Prison Picture; Bacon Nails His Part Perfectly! October 29, 2004
Format:DVD
Based on true-life events, "Murder In The First" premiered in U.S. movie theaters in January 1995 and stars Kevin Bacon as Henri Young, a 28-year-old man who (as depicted in the film) stole five dollars and ended up doing 3-plus years in the solitary "dungeons" of Alcatraz prison in San Francisco in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Upon looking up some information on the Internet regarding the "real" Henri Young, it seems that the filmmakers of this finely-crafted and well-shot Warner Brothers' drama did, indeed, dish up a liberal dose of "dramatic license" regarding the true events in Mr. Young's life. But, I suppose, this is to be expected from a Hollywood story depicting real-life people and events.

One thing that's been fictionalized for the movie is the brief scene when we find out that Young died while still behind Alcatraz bars. It's never fully explained in the film just exactly HOW Young died while still in prison. I think this should have been more thoroughly spelled out in the movie (even from a "fictionalized" point-of-view).

Evidently, according to info I can gather, Young did NOT die while in prison, and, in fact, might still be alive to this day. Young disappeared after being paroled from a Washington State prison in 1972, after serving additional prison time for another murder. (Sounds like another "D.B. Cooper" type of saga.)

"Artistic filmmaking license" notwithstanding, "Murder In The First" is an excellent piece of motion-picture entertainment, IMO.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHERE WAS OSCAR THAT YEAR? March 1, 2005
Format:DVD
Having just come off this year's Oscars, one need look no further than MURDER IN THE FIRST to see how the awards are merely an extravagant popularity contest that more often than not misses truly outstanding performances. Kevin Bacon's performance in this powerful film is tremendous and more than worthy of just a nomination, but a winner. Kevin brilliantly captures the person who is Henri Young. Physically, emotionally, Bacon brings a rare depth to a complex and wrongly treated person. Christian Slater, who I have long considered an average performer, also shines in this role as David, the public defender who fights to show the real villain - Alcatraz itself. Gary Oldman is superb as the assistant warden to whom cruelty and inhumanity is as natural as drinking water. Embeth Davidtz, William H. Macy, Kyra Sedgwick (as a hooker who tries to "service" Henri) and even the hammy F. Lee Ermey provide excellent support. To those reviewers who claimed the movie was phoney, poo poo on you. I found myself riveted to the screen and Bacon's performance alone should earn the movie five stars!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great triple feature July 2, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
These are three very different movies, but they all have fantastic acting and will keep you engaged throughout. As always, Michael Douglas was outstanding in "A Perfect Murder" and the performances of Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen were excellent. Such a great screenplay and with a number of twists in the plot. If you like action, suspense, crime movies, murder mysteries, revenge with the bad guy finally tripping himself up and being caught by a very intelligent detective you will love it.

In "Murder by Numbers" Sandra Bullock was both the main star and one of the Executive Producers and this was a perfect vehicle to showcase her abilities as an actress--which is why I think she selected it. The two young male actors were so believable as the privileged, bright and bored amoral teens who believed they were smarter than anyone else and could plan and execute the perfect murder and get away with it. Sandra Bullock was the police detective who was both psychologically and physically scared by a vicious attack years earlier but which still haunted her and which she tried to suppress but which still had power over her. Great screenwriting, directing, casting in addition to the acting which was excellent. If you enjoy suspense, detective stories, action and a number of twists in the plot you will be hooked from the start. Hint: everything in the movie is there for a reason although it may be later in the film when the audience understands the significance of what they had seen previously.

"Murder in the First" is supposedly based on a true story the same as "Murder by Numbers" and I don't usually like movies about prisons and prisoners who may be sentenced to the death penalty.
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