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Out of Africa

896 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The most acclaimed motion picture of 1985 stars Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in one of the screen's great epic romances. Directed by Oscar winner Sydney Pollack, Out of Africa is the fascinating true story of Karen Blixen, a strong-willed woman who, with her philandering husband (Klaus Maria Brandauer), runs a coffee plantation in Kenya, circa 1914. To her astonishment, she soon discovers herself falling in love with the land, its people and a mysterious white hunter (Redford). The masterfully crafted, breathtakingly produced story of love and loss earned Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay (based on material from another medium), Cinematography, Original Score, Art Direction (Set Decoration) and Sound.

Additional Features

Sydney Pollack's approach to audio commentary for DVD editions of his films is different from that of most other directors. Instead of detailing each scene of Out of Africa, for example, Pollack paints in broad strokes, talking about cinematic themes and in particular the translation of Karen Blixen's life in Africa from book to film. The fan of flubs and trivia won't find Pollack making any cute remarks, but he's certainly interesting for the run of the film, describing the location shooting in Africa and how he dealt with Robert Redford's casting and lack of accent. The new 45-minute documentary A Song of Africa has old and new interviews with Pollack and Meryl Streep, who clearly should have shared the film's commentary duties; she's insightful and quite fun to listen to. The documentary also includes new interviews with composer John Barry and Blixen historian Judith Thompson. --Doug Thomas

Special Features

  • Song of Africa: An Original Documentary
  • Feature Commentary with Director Sydney Pollack
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Michael Kitchen, Malick Bowens
    • Directors: Sydney Pollack
    • Writers: Kurt Luedtke
    • Producers: Sydney Pollack
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Collector's Edition, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 4.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: February 29, 2000
    • Run Time: 161 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (896 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: 0783240171
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,214 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Out of Africa" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    236 of 254 people found the following review helpful By Matt Howe on March 2, 2000
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    The transfer of OUT OF AFRICA is gorgeous on this newly released DVD. The African sun is bright and the detail is crisp -- very important since the scenery is practically a third character in this Oscar-winning "Best Picture" from 1985.
    I really enjoyed "Song of Africa", the documentary created for this DVD release. Not mentioned in the DVD's technical specs, this documentary features several cut scenes not included in the film (except in a network television showing). Example: the subplot of the servant boy with the bad leg whom Karen Blixen heals. There are a few Redford-Streep scenes there, too, which ended up on the cutting room floor (a last dance among Karen Blixen's packed-up home; a made-up story on safari.)
    Also, the documentary features incredibly funny and entertaining tales told by Meryl Streep. She is a great mimic -- listen to the sound effects that woman can make! At times hilarious and reflective, she shares stories about the making of the film (the story of a tethered lion she was supposed to whip is particularly funny). Conspicuously absent (just like in THE WAY WE WERE DVD) is Mr. Redford's point of view.
    Also interesting is screenwriter Kurt Luedtke's tales of the script. It is fascinating to learn about the genesis of classic moments. Wait til you hear how he came up with the idea of Streep getting her hair washed by Redford. (Then listen to Streep's hilarious story of the Hippos in the river!) Also revealing is composer John Barry's interview. His scoring of Blixen's desert march is interesting -- music can really shape a scene!
    OUT OF AFRICA is one of my favorite films. The widescreen version on this DVD is a great presentation! Definitely one for your collection! Thanks, Universal and Sydney Pollack for putting together a great package.
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    116 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 25, 2003
    Format: DVD
    "Out of Africa" stands out as one of the most spectacular movies ever made. At the 1985 Academy Awards this movie won seven Oscars including Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Picture. It deserved all seven!

    It is filled with romance, scenery, real-life struggles and the inevitability of fate. It is a journey into Africa and into love. The escape is in the hand of fate. This movie presents Africa as a paradise. The natural environment is harsh, yet unspoiled in this movie.

    This is based on the true story of Danish writer Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) who left Denmark to marry German Klaus Maria Brandauer/Baron Bror Blixen (Klaus Maria Brandauer) and start a dairy in Kenya.

    Some women do enjoy the security of a man looking after them, however Karen is different. She seems to desire companionship and offers her fortune in exchange for marriage. Her husband changes his mind about the dairy and instead they use her money on a risky venture to grow coffee. This is not a marriage based on an intense romance, in fact, Karen is marrying her lover's brother.

    Soon after they arrive in Africa, it becomes apparent this is not a satisfying marriage for Karen. Not only is her husband unfaithful to her, he gives her syphilis. Disease is not the only threat, she also has to fight floods and fire. There are lions which apparently try to attack Karen and Denys although I thought that was pretty unlikely in the situation.

    I didn't like the "hunter" aspects or when the two lions are killed, but if you watch at the end, I think even the lions forgive the hunter. When I've seen lions during the day they were normally napping in the shade.
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    41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By J. Michael Click on May 16, 2000
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    The most honored movie of 1985, "Out of Africa" is indeed an outstanding cinematic achievement. It works on every level imaginable: as an historical epic; as an adventure; as a biography; as a poignant romance. The film's success is partly attributable to many fine elements which blend together seamlessly: its script, direction, sets, cinematography, performances, and editing are each masterful accomplishments.
    These individual virtues are given synergy by two outstanding achievements that together form the movie's backbone and provide its true heart and soul. One is the sensitive performance of the radiant Meryl Streep, who dominates both in terms of screen time and charisma; the other is the exquisite, majestic score by John Barry. Actor and composer complement each other perfectly. The famous flying sequence in which his music underscores the emotions flashing across her face is a superb example of cinema at its best: it invites the viewer's spirit to soar.
    Happily, the DVD presentation of this gem is a treasure in itself. The video transfer is sharp and clear, with a fairly subtle transition between the dual-layers of the disc, and the sound is well-balanced and crisp, a definite improvement over the LaserDisc and VHS releases. There are fantastic extras offered on the DVD, including the advance theatrical trailer and a director's audio commentary. I especially enjoyed the documentary on the making of the film, which featured recent interviews with Streep, Barry, and director Sydney Pollack, intercut with behind-the-scenes footage taken during filming. All-in-all, this is a marvelous edition of a much-beloved film, and a worthy addition to your DVD library.
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