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Music of Chance [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: James Spader, Mandy Patinkin, M. Emmet Walsh, Charles Durning, Joel Grey
  • Directors: Philip Haas
  • Writers: Paul Auster, Philip Haas, Belinda Haas
  • Producers: Dylan Sellers, Frederick Zollo, Kerry Orent, Lindsay Law, Miles A. Copeland III
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • VHS Release Date: January 17, 1995
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630297352X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,656 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

This VHS tape was a previous rental. It meets the standard of a Very Good rating. Minor wear to the case.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
I always felt the script was very good and the casting was amazing.
Dr. Mom
No one is totally in control of what happens to him, and misfortune befalls everyone.
"beckenbauer"
Haas remained on task, however, and the film ran very close to the novel.
C. Middleton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John S. Harris VINE VOICE on August 13, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
James Spader and his "True Colors" co-star Mandy Patinkin play a pair of newly-acquainted men who hope to out-play an eccentric pair of millionaires in a high-stakes poker game. Not only do they lose, but they must work off their debt in a rather unorthodox indentured-servitude kind of way. Both men had their own financial troubles and reasons for getting into the poker game in the first place, but neither of them realized exactly how costly their repayment would be.
In an interesting casting twist, Spader plays the oily, hustling loser of the two.
The final scene poses an interesting possibility - that the end result of their misadventure is part of the cyclic karma that put them there in the first place. Or something like that.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. Middleton on April 17, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Making a film from a brilliant novel is a risky venture any way you look at it. The list of failures would run into the thousands. Granted, there have been some good ones: 'The Godfather' series comes to mind. So when I came across ~ The Music of Chance~ in the video store, I thought, "Will I take the chance?" How could anyone make or even think about making a film from this exceptional novel? It would be too difficult. Well, without question, director and co-screenwriter, Phillip Haas, pulled it off with such flair and elegance that it drove to return to the novel and experience once again.
James Nashe (Mandy Patinkin) has taken to the road without any particular destination in mind, and has been travelling for over two years. One day he picks up Jack Pozzi (James Spader), a poker player of apparent talent. An instant friendship follows, and they go in for a bizzare game of poker with two millionare, highly eccentric recluses in a far off manor in Pennsylvania. A strange twist of chance occurs during the game and our two protagonists lose everything. The two recluses make a deal to even up the debt, which James and Jack will regret for the rest of their lives.
The movie and novel's genius is the surface-mundane plot and the profound themes simmering underneath the day to day. What does it really mean to take responsibility for one's actions? How far do we take responsibility with others? Is there such a thing as luck? Are we fated to suffer as human beings? Is there growth in suffering? Can we control our destinies and how do we react when hard times befall us? The novel and surprisingly the film ask these weighty questions directly and through metaphor, pushing us to think about our lives.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "beckenbauer" on December 19, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This was a very enchanting and absorbing story, with wonderful acting and some memorable lines of dialogue. What particularly stuck with me was the character Nash(played by Mandy Patinkin)and his attitude about misfortune in life. No one is totally in control of what happens to him, and misfortune befalls everyone. The point is that it serves no purpose to feel sorry for yourself when something goes wrong for you, you should just work work towards getting out of the predicament you are in(and accept whatever you can't change). Everyone has things they want in life, and everyone has to undergo some kind of hardship to get them. It made me feel that there is a kind of inspiration even in what you have you have to suffer when overcoming your setbacks, because it is all part of the same process of setting yourself free to realise your dreams. This idea was symbolised in the story when the two main characters are held in a seemingly inescapable situation on the grounds of a mansion, working off their debt to two millionares by building a wall for them. It's the kind of film that could lead you to great things-it could inspire you to accept austerity unflinchingly to get what you want. What a blessing this film!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This is an outstanding film with outstanding acting. Why it's not on DVD is beyond me.
James Spader, Mandy Patinkin, and Samathan Mathis's breakthrough performances.
This movie is only for intellectuals, so not surprising that it is not popular release. Paul Auster appears briefly at the end.
This film deserves to be ranked among the best of the 90's, if not the century.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Music of Chance is a wonderful movie. If you are into movies that leave you wondering, this is one for you. I have seen in 15 times, and I still ask myself questions at the end. It is wonderfully acted, expecially Nash, played by Mandy Patinkin, he is a wonderful actor and brings wonders to his role. I would recommend this to everyone! It is a great drama with a hint of comedy.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
(
First I saw the movie, and halfway through, it literally detonated in my head. It's a Freemasonic allegory! (And not exactly complimentary to Masonry, I might add, if I'm interpreting it correctly.) The masonic references are subtle (with the exception, of course, of the stone wall. 10,000 stones ain't exactly subtle <grin> but they tip you off to start looking elsewhere for clues.) I am not a Mason, but have read quite a bit about them, and our man Nashe (Wonder what Nagy means in Magyar?) is clearly a "traveling man", a man whose obligations (career,family) have fallen by the wayside (a favorite Auster motif), leaving him careening aimlessly, like a rogue pinball, from western city to western city who, as we meet him, is going "from the West to the East". (See the exchange between Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer on the train in "The Man Who Would Be King" if you don't believe me.) He picks up Pozzi, who has been "struck on the temple", just as Hiram Abiff was struck in the Masonic story of the events surrounding the building of the Temple of Solomon, and which is reenacted in ritual in the induction of every Master Mason. There are a number of other clever details such as the brand of champagne they drink with the hooker that just happens to be my old favorite "Veuve Cliquot". (It's too small to read on the film, but no other champagne has that distinctive orange label.) "Veuve" is French for Widow, and Masons often refer to each other as Sons of the Widow. The names of the two poker players, Flower and Stone, may refer to Rosicrucians and Freemasons, but their trip to France might refer to either Hugh De Payens and his pal's trip to see Bernard de Clairvoux (which kicked off the Templars, whom the Masons claim as ancestors), or perhaps Ben Franklin's (and friend?
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