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Patty Hearst (1988)

Natasha Richardson , William Forsythe , Paul Schrader  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Natasha Richardson, William Forsythe, Ving Rhames, Dana Delany, Frances Fisher
  • Directors: Paul Schrader
  • Writers: Nicholas Kazan
  • Producers: Marvin Worth
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: April 4, 2011
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,445 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A dramatization of the newspaper heiress' abduction and subsequent brainwashing by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patchily brilliant July 23, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
"Patty Hearst"'s title is about as self-explanatory as they come. Natasha Richardson (Vanessa Redgrave's elder daughter) plays the eponymous, uhhh, heroine, kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (don't even ask...) and eventually brought round to the point of joining them on a bank robbery.
The second half of the film, in which Patty and the gang are on the run from the cops, is exciting enough in its way. Schrader's trademark willingness to explore what many people would regard as total amorality enables him to make us care for this raggle-taggle bunch of outlaws, as one after another they're arrested, gunned down or burned. Richardson herself is very good as Patty, having to run the gamut from spoiled heiress via terrified captive to bitterly experienced convict.
It's the first half, though, that makes the second half work. Patty's captivity is rendered in a dark, surreal, almost theatrical way; we are locked in a room with her for much of the first half an hour, experiencing her captors only as black silhouettes against white light. The stylisation that worked so well on Schrader's "Mishima" is here employed to other ends, and suprisingly successfully. If the earlier portions of "Patty Hearst" weren't so good, the later part wouldn't carry the charge that it has; Patty's wish to join the SLA only makes sense in terms of the extreme experience she's been through.
The real Patty Hearst went on to act in a John Waters movie, which must make Schrader wince whenever he thinks of it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul Schrader's best film April 6, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is hard to take at times. The first part of the movie puts you right inside Patty's head which isn't a nice place to be. The movie asks some really hard qestions like what would I have done if I was Patty? How far is to far to take your beliefs?

Over all the movie is a good one. But if you are looking for some cheap made for TV movie of the week skip this one. If you are looking for a thought provoking, well acted movie this is the one for you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Please give us a Region 1 DVD March 19, 2009
Format:VHS Tape
This is the film that made me a fan of both Natasha Richardson, and Paul Schrader. I love the Storys progression, and how the views of Patty's kidnappers change from frighting creatures to just ordinary people - wishing they could be extraordinary and change the world - and in this case go about it in a most outlandish way.

It is not only taking part in viewing Patty's transformation while in captivity, but viewing the mores of this subculture/cult, and day to day living is fascinating.

Now that Ms. Richardson has just died at such a young age, it saddens me that the majority of Americans will never get to see this amazing performance because someone with the rights somewhere doesn't want to release it for us on DVD. Some online movie rental services allow you to watch the film streamed to your computer, but it is the pan and scan "video" version we get to see, not the quality we are used to viewing today. But it is worth adding to you movie collection even if it is just the VHS copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE PEOPLE HAVE RISEN UP AGAINST FASCIST AMERICA! August 10, 2012
PATTY HEARST(1988) Directed by Paul Schrader

Starring Natasha Richardson, William Forsythe, Ving Rhames and Dana Delany.

America's reaction after the Twin Towers left me somewhat ruefully bemused. Everyone was so shocked. Yet in the 20th century. the country has been victimized by Terrorists before. Be it the assassination of Presidents (McKinley and Kennedy) or another Sept in 1920 when Terrorists attempted to blow up Wall Street.

Likewise the incomprehension regarding John Walker and now Charles Bishop. The country again within the 20th century has experienced the traitorous murderous likes of Kathy Boudin, Bill Ayers and Lori Berenson. And there was always the story of Patricia Hearst.

Yet it occurred to me that, for the most part, save for a few Faux terrorists like Sean Bean in PATRIOT GAMES and Alan Rickman in DIE HARD plus the pernicious sympathetic Muslim Barbarian, Hollywood has pretty much fumbled the ball in it's artistic imperative of ennobling, entertaining and enlightening when it has come to terrorists and terrorism. The reason is not too difficult to imagine when one considers that the origins of the majority of the World's Terrorist Orgnizations be it the Huks, Beader-Meinhoff, the Red Brigades or the Shining Path are not ones the "Artistic" community is much interested in "illuminating".

Thusly I came to the film in question with dread and much foreboding only to be stunned by how good it turned out to be. In fact, the film is an undiscovered Classic. The plot concerns the kidnapping, abuse, brainwashing and conversion of Patricia Hearst into a member of the murderous Symbionese Liberation Army.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see for anyone November 7, 2007
Format:VHS Tape
Paul Schrader's superb direction and Natasha Richardson's hard hitting performance as Patty should have been a shoe-in to win on Oscar night. Film captures in great detail the terror felt by Hearst, tortured by kidnappers and forced to participate in bank robberies. Ending also is effective in the way it redicules the state's case at her trial (ex. The DA asks if she ever sent her parents any birthday cards) but I won't give the rest away. Like most movies, the lack of backing from a major studio probably reduced critic's reviews by a few stars. Natasha will be missed, passing away at a ripe age when an Oscar-winning part might have come her way.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Condition of VCR was fine. It was what I asked for
Condition of VCR was fine. It was what I asked for, it just wasn't exactly what I expected, it was ok, I guess.
Published 1 month ago by Gail D. ARCY
5.0 out of 5 stars spellbinding
For the time period, this movie deserves much higher recognition than it gets. I am surprised that it portrays Ms Hearst not as a hero or a villian, but as someone who basically... Read more
Published 5 months ago by vikingsnut
5.0 out of 5 stars "Patty Hearst"
Very interesting movie w/suspence. The best was knowing this story was based on a true crime. I would not believe it any other way!
Published 13 months ago by William Curto
2.0 out of 5 stars Party hearst
It was dragged out and lost my interest early on.i would not buy it. I was very disappointed. Please save your money.
Published 14 months ago by patty morland
4.0 out of 5 stars GETTING LOST IN YOUR ROLE
This film is interesting and visually striking. The cinematography helps to give a feeling of what it's like to be a prisoner and, later, a group of people in hiding but dedicated... Read more
Published 14 months ago by grace richardson
3.0 out of 5 stars Her Kidnapping and Conversion
Patty Hearst, 1988 film

We see an apartment at night with a young couple in it. The doorbell rings, armed robbers invade to capture Patty Hearst, he boyfriend escapes. Read more
Published on July 5, 2011 by Acute Observer
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful
Feels a bit like a made for tv movie but with that aside, my eyes were glued to the screen from beginning to end. Read more
Published on June 4, 2011 by filmbuff78
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD's for sale outside Region 1
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to view this movie. I was not aware that a DVD in another region would not work on my VCR--I now know that I cannot purchase a DVD outside Region 1. Read more
Published on May 5, 2009 by Carol H. Brooks
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Film
This film shows the story from the side of the only person that can tell the story, Patty Hearst.

I was on set of this film to be an extra (the bank robbery) but didn't... Read more
Published on May 1, 2005 by Ronny Marshall
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