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Pinochet's Last Stand (2008)

Derek Jacobi , Phyllida Law , Richard Curson Smith  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Derek Jacobi, Phyllida Law, Peter Capaldi, Anna Massey, Michael Maloney
  • Directors: Richard Curson Smith
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ZU98GW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,954 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

In 1973, General Augusto Pinochet overtook Chile in a violent military coup. During his 17-year rule, he ruthlessly repressed all opposition to his regime, leading to the deaths of 3,000 civilians and the torture of another 30,000. HBO Films presents the fascinating true story of the former dictator's surprise 1998 arrest for crimes against humanity while undergoing back surgery during a vacation in London. Caught in international conflict, Pinochet's (Emmy Award winner Derek Jacobi) time in London forever changed his life - and the prospects for dictators across the globe.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
(4)
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A story that needs to be told July 14, 2008
Format:DVD
Generally, I shy away from docudramas. If nothing else, they're a little too easily challengable. But when a friend reminded me that 9/11 is not only THE 9/11 but also the date of the Chilean coup in which Augusto Pinchet took over, I felt it about time that I see this fine film.

At the beginning, as is often the case with a docudrama, the film reminds you that it's based on fact, but some characters may be made up. Okay, I'll buy that.

Then the screen shows some of the atrocities of which Pinochet was accused: 3,000 dead and 30,000 tortured. The script added in a few places that about 1,200 disappeared too. (The activist with the most prominent role in the cast, Nicole Prouilly, had a sister who was among the 1,200).

Then, onto the story: General Pinochet is visiting UK for back surgery. Activists from UK's Amnesty International office, having tried unsuccessfully to have Pinochet arrested in the past, try again. They appeal to Home Secretary Jack Straw who then arrests Pinochet who's still recovering from the surgery.

Pinochet, played masterfully by Derek Jacobi, shows the hubris one would expect from a dictator. He's arrogant, can't believe that he's under arrest, even though he's sent to a rather elegant house used often by English show biz personalities. He gets put in his place by a young policewoman.

When Madame Pinochet leaves, Augusto says one of the most intriguing lines of the script: "So much time alone with my wife; the one masterstroke of my enemies."

In the meantime, the Pinochets hire Michael Caplan as their defense attorney. He attempts to convince the courts--and the Pinochets--that they are "victims of politics.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would I Want to Watch it Again? August 14, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a historical recounting of Augusto Pinochet's last trip abroad (to Great Britain), where he was placed under house arrest for a year and a half while being considered for extradition to Spain to stand trial for war crimes.

Expatriate Chileans are just itching for the man code-named "the gentleman" to arrive in the United Kingdom so they can have him detained by the court. When he does, they get their wish.

One thing that stands in the way of turning him over is that Britain did not adopt laws against torture on foreign soil until 1988. Any torture committed before then cannot be considered.

While the British Chileans explore every judical loophole to have Pinochet account for his crimes, the former dictator's lawyers mount a professional defense, and pressure on the home secretary to release him is intense. That includes pressure from the United States, Tony Blair, and the Vatican.

Into the mix comes a visit from Lady Thatcher, former prime minister of Great Britain, who gushes over the man as the "Savior of Chile." (This was the one surprise to me in the whole film, that Margaret Thatcher would have even considered the company of a mass murderer).

The Chileans too keep up the pressure, but in the end he is able to play the fool and be judged medically and psychologically incapable of standing trial. Pinochet returns to Chile, where he discards his walker after deplaning, and continues unattended.

The short drama lacks the same despite the superb acting of Derek Jacobi who plays in the title role, with a supporting cast that is top-drawer. It is the acting that carries a sparse storyline, and nudges it to the three star mark. The bottom line is the question, would I want to sit down and watch this again?

The answer is unfortunately, no.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pinochet's Last Stand April 17, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Of all the movies made about General Pinochet this is the fairest of them all. It is far from being accurate and does not include a good presentation of why Pinochet and the other chiefs of the armed forces had to take action. We had nothing to eat, the seeds for planting new crops had been consumed by hungry mobs, the bulls and cows had been slaughtered, the housewives were marching with pots and pans demanding action from the military,the truckers had stop delivering goods because there was nothing to deliver, the armed forces quarters were painted with blue grafitti so men could come out instead of girls where the pink colors was shown. Castro had thousands of cuban soldiers and aids helping Allende to destroy the Constitution,etc, etc. My parents were there, my cousins, my friends and many others. The Comunist/ Socialist propaganda is formidable and they are doing it again. What is the matter with the memory of all Chileans that went through HELL during Allende's government. He destroyed the country and the proof is that ALL the policies enacted during Pinochet's period are still in place, furthermore they have created the most prosperous country of Latin America. Eventually the TRUTH will prevail. Margaret Thatcher was right in admiring him and counting him as a trusted friend. He was a patriot and if you do not believe it, you go and visit the Cuban Paradise created by Castro. Castro has been in power as an absolute Dictator for over 50 years, Pinochet fixed Chile and then he called for free elections to elect the next President under the new Constitution.
There is no blinder person than the one who does not want to see. Open your eyes and stop lying to yourselves.
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