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Mystery Train [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • VHS Release Date: July 11, 1995
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301794958
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,979 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
In MYSTERY TRAIN (1989), writer/director Jim Jarmusch ties three separate stories together using a run-down Memphis motel and an Elvis song on the radio (his SUN Records slow ballad, "Blue Moon"). Night manager of the hostel where everything converges is Screamin' Jay Hawkins, of "I Put a Spell on You" fame. This song was integral to an earlier Jarmusch feature (and short) called STRANGER THAN PARADISE (1984). (Hawkins BTW does a fine job here.)

First of the trio is two youngsters from Japan who make a Memphis pilgramage to visit the home and environs of Elvis Presley. The seedy part of town where they bed down for the night may in hindsight come as a culture shock, but these two are so "into" the experience of the moment, they only spend a brief time discussing the contrast to Yokohama. Her devotion to the King and his contrary preference for Carl Perkins, plus her sweet nature and his dour one would seemingly be incompatible, yet they're very much in love with each other and this American adventure. The sound of a pistol shot is the only actual link to the other stories.

Next is an Italian widow who's just passing through on her way to Rome; her husband's casketed body awaits at the airport. She meets a chatty NJ gal who's just left her boyfriend and has nowhere to go. They spend the night at Screamin' Jay's motel, where in the small hours the ghost of Elvis appears to the widow. The two also hear that gunshot.

The final segment is darkest yet most comic of all. The jilted boyfriend of the previous vignette robs a liquor store and accidentally shoots a clerk.
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By A Customer on January 6, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Directed by Jim Jarmusch, this film consists of three interlocking stories. Each is centred around a cheap hotel in a poor part of Memphis (USA), and involves foreigners who find themselves there for different reasons.
The first story, "Far From Yokohama", features a teenage Japanese couple, Jun and Michiko, who are in Memphis to see Graceland and Sun Studio. They spend their day carting their suitcase around town and lightheartedly bickering about whether Carl Perkins was better than Elvis or vice versa, before adjourning to the hotel.
The second story, "A Ghost", is the tale of an Italian widow, Luisa (Nicoletta Braschi), whose 'plane, carrying her husband's coffin, has had to land in Memphis for unstated reasons. While walking around Memphis she meets various money-mad Americans, and after escaping from two hustlers she lands at the hotel where she meets Dee Dee (Lorraine Bracco), who has just left her boyfriend - and the ghost of Elvis!
The third story, "Lost In Space", centres around Johnny a.k.a. "Elvis" (Joe Strummer), Dee Dee's moody English ex-boyfriend. She has left him in the morning and he has lost his job in the afternoon, and is drowning his sorrows in a bar as the story starts. After waving a gun around he is extracted by his workmate Will Robinson (forget his real name) and Dee Dee's brother Charlie (Steve Buscemi). A visit to a liquor shop results in Johnny's shooting the owner, and they hole up at the hotel, where Will's brother-in-law (Screamin' Jay Hawkins) is the night manager.
Hawkins, resplendent in a loud red suit, and the night porter (Cinque Lee) function as the link between the stories.
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By A Customer on July 26, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
If you have seen more bad movies than good, this movie will be a truly refreshing experience. It was the first movie I saw by Jim Jarmusch. I rented others -- "Night on Earth," "Stranger Than Paradise" -- but this was by far better. You may describe the movie as offbeat by Hollywood's standards, but I think this movie is a hilarious, realistic slice of life movie that always surprises. You can forgive the subtitles at the beginning because the Japanese couple is so entertaining to watch. Rick Aviles and Steve Buschemi had me rolling. I am disappointed that it is not available on video, since most movie rental stores don't carry it. However, I did find it at a small town Blockbuster, but not all chains carry it, disappointing. I hope they bring it back soon. It will probably take a major hit by Jarmusch to bring his smaller films back to video. Here's hopping.
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By A Customer on January 20, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Normally movies do very little for me. I may enjoy a film, but it rarely really...effects me. Mystery Train is one of the very few that did. It's hard to say what it is, but this is one of my favourite movies. The three stories rarely intertwine, and we have a lot of cutting backwards and forwards through time. It's truly fascinating, I suppose because it presents real people in relatively "normal" situations. Plus, it features The Clash's Joe Strummer! How can you lose?
Seriously, though, I know I did a bad job of telling you why, but this film resonated in my soul. See it.
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