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124 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

When Sergeant Michael Dunne (Paul Gross, Gunless) is wounded in battle during World War I, he is sent home to Calgary, Alberta. While recovering from his injuries, he becomes enamored with Sarah Mann (Caroline Dhavernas, Breach), a beautiful young nurse. Sarah's brother, David, desperately wants to follow in Michael's heroic footsteps in order to impress his girlfriend's father, but he is not able to enlist because of his asthma. When strings are pulled and David is allowed to join the ranks, Michael finds himself fighting for the safety of the young man, for the heart of his true love, and for his own survival.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Gross, Caroline Dhavernas, Joe Dinicol, Gil Bellows
  • Directors: Paul Gross
  • Writers: Paul Gross
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0046YK4KW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,592 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

215 of 227 people found the following review helpful By Nachtjager on April 21, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm still waiting for someone to do a "great" WWI movie, and bought Passchendaele thinking this might finally be it. In short, it's far better than most movies on WWI, but this still isn't the "great" movie that desperately needs to be done.

The combat scenes and authenticity in this movie are BY FAR the best done thus far on trench warfare. Even more impressive, this film was written by and produced by, the main "star" or character in the movie. This man did an outstanding job! The story, or at least the opening scene, is based on the experiences of his grandfather in WWI. The extra features are fantastic and you get a great idea of the pains they went through to get the look of Passchendaele correct. As a fanatic on authenticity, the uniforms, weapons, and the battlefields are top-drawer - I didn't see any mistakes and that seriously impressed me. The "major" battle scene at the end of the flick is superb, a bit campy right at the end, but over all, it's the best and most graphic WWI battle sequence yet filmed.

On the down side, as always, it seems film makers find it necessary to implant some type of love story into a movie which doesn't need one. In this case, the main character falls in love with a nurse and therein lies the problem I had with the film. The love story only serves to slow the movie down and adds a bit of unrealistic puffery which wasn't needed. The love story comes off a little too much like something you'd expect to see in a 1940's era flick and because of this, you can pretty much figure out who's gonna' die and who's gonna' make it through. This movie would've been much better if they had stuck to telling the story of the Canadian troops and their German opponents and left the soap opera out of it.
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75 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 23, 2009
Format: DVD
While this is more of a genuine love store it is also a very good war movie. I thought the love interest plot was well done and was an integral part of setting the stage for the incredible war scenes. I visited the actual battlefield area last year. It is remarkable to see when you are there just how compact the actual battlefield really was. While the war scenes were very realistic I was not a big fan of ending which was a bit contrived, yet the writer needed some kind of story line so I will let it go at that. The lead and supporting actors were excellent. If you are looking for a 120 minute action packed war movie then watch When Trumpets Fade by HBO or the tremendous Black Hawk Down. But if you are interested in a overall great WWI genre movie with a great love story interwoven with first rate battle scenes then definitely get Passchendaele. Note that I actually bought my copy as no local video stores have in stock. As as side note, in the city of Ypres, Belgium they have a ceremony to honor the WWI dead EVERY NIGHT of the year in the town square. I wonder if we do that anywhere in the States?
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Lynn G. Guest on September 3, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At 20 million dollars, PASSCHENDAELE was the most expensive Canadian movie ever produced. And I think it's fair to say that every dollar of that budget shows on the screen. From the ultra-realistic battle scenes at Ypres and Passchendaele, to the portrayal of Calgary as a small prairie town at the turn of the 20th century, it is faithful to the visuals of what it must have been like to live at that time.
PASSCHENDAELE is a throwback to the kind of war movies made by John Wayne, albeit with a hero in the throes of neurasthenia (PTSD) for having needlessly killed a young German soldier in a particularly cruel fashion. It wavers between glorifying the soldiers who fight in war, while criticizing war itself, especially the old men who stay safe at the home front and shame young men into joining the army.

This movie is amazing in that it is a war epic quite literally made by one man, Paul Gross. Gross, wrote, solicited funding, produced, directed, starred, and even wrote the song "After the War" for this movie. I'm a fan of war movies, and it was this fact that led me to first watch PASSCHENDAELE. I must say, that for a one-man war film, it is astounding. I really enjoyed it. Other reviewers have commented on anachronisms in the speech of the characters and a "plastic love story", and, to some extent, these are valid criticisms. But I ask them, could they single-handedly make a better movie?

The love story is between the character played by Paul Gross, Sgt. Michael Dunne, and his nurse, Sarah Mann, played by the wonderful Caroline Dhavernas. The cast is rounded out by wonderful Canadian character actors, many of whom will be recognizable to fans of The Murdoch Mysteries, dueSOUTH, Slings & Arrows, and others.
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55 of 71 people found the following review helpful By T. Cole on May 16, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like many of the reviewers, I hope to someday see a comprehensive WWI movie. This is not it.

I felt like I spent two hours watching a Hallmark Movie set in Canada that just happened to be during the WWI time period, only to watch 20 minutes of tepid combat footage.

The "making-of" documentary said this was going to be shown to Canadian school kids. That's too bad. The only thing they'll learn about combat is that it is muddy, bloody and one must keep his matches dry. The latter was actually a good detail thrown into the film. If the whole movie had been about trench life, then there would have been more such insights.

The main character and his love were trite and hackneyed. A bitter, anti-hero falls deeply in love with Florence Nightengale, who happens to have a dark secret that makes her a black sheep.

The combat would have been well done if it wasn't so subservient to the greater love story. I thought that the love story would end at the front lines, but inexplicably, and quite implausibly, it follows to the end. The love making scene was laughable (bombs going off in the distance ala Linda Lovelace?). Why do modern war films try and insert sexual content into the grimiest, dirtiest context (as in Rachel Weisz and "Enemy at the Gates")? The prostitute scene in the original "All Quiet on the Western Front" was more realistic.

I'll keep waiting for a better film that is actually about WWI. Don't waste your money on this one.
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