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Power Play

9 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Feb 23, 2010)
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$52.99 $40.99

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Editorial Reviews

Peter O'Toole, David Hemmings, Donald Pleasence. An outstanding cast bolsters this political drama about frustrated military officers planning a coup to overthrow their corrupt government. 1978/color/102 min/NR/widescreen.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Peter O'Toole, Donald Pleasence, David Hemmings, Dick Cavett, Barry Morse
  • Directors: Martyn Burke
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Scorpion Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,531 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Power Play" on IMDb

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By lordhoot on March 9, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Power Play actually starred David Hemmings, Barry Morse, Donald Pleasance as well as Peter O'Toole. The movie also came out in 1978 although this VHS was released in 1988. The movie is based on a book written by Edward Luttwak titled "Coup d'Etat". Its a book on how a nation can be overthrown by the military. In the movie, setting is based on a small fictional European nation, all English speaking but European in nature. David Hemmings leads a group of military officers to overthrow an oppressive and corrupt civilian government and the movie basically followed Luttwak's book on what to do, how to make it work and price to be paid. Donald Pleasance does a wonderful job as a master spymaster for the government who find himself one step behind. However, things don't go as plan and the movie as well as the book will tell you why.

I found the movie to be rather entertaining. I can forgive the fictional setting of the movie as easily as I can forgive all these English speaking Germans in all these World War II movies. The movie does give the viewer a clear and logical lesson in what needed to be done to overthrow a national government by the military. There are enough betrayal, political intrigue and powerbroking to satisfied most fans of this genre.

I supposed the unsettling subject matter of this film was probably one of the reasons why it got slam dunk by many of the critics back in 1978. There's also nudity where girl get tortured by electro device and some brutal killing scenes.

But overall, this proves to be an interesting and intriguing movie which draws out pretty faithfully to the Luttwak's book. On my VHS cover, its written "In the game of treason, only a fool plays by the rules" and this movie definitely tell you the truism of those words.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Belerophon on April 14, 2011
Format: DVD
Ths is a great movie with a great plot and an excellent cast. Why This flick remained a cult flick for so long astounds me. Maybe its just too intellectual. I think if Edmund Burke or Alexis de Tocqueville were around they would appreciate it. Its a stern warning to revolutionaries that Revolutions are a lot easier to start then they are to control and at the end of the day you may find yourself the victim of your own revolutionaries. A quick look at The Fench and Russian revoluttions should give anyone pause if not then they should watch this! Extremely well thought out and plausible and I suspect that someone was really thinking about recent events in South America when this was made but supposedly this takes place in a small European country. Which seems unlikely because The only dictatorships in Europe in the 70's were eastern Block countries. Personally I think that this was supposed to be Either Argentina or Chile. In any case someone did their homework and if you want a good primer on the fate of revolutions and not be bored doing it this movie is for you. Peter O'Toole is a slippery eel who lies in wait, Donald pleasence plays the head of the secret police who's inspiration must have been Heinrich Himmler. David Hemmongs plays The reluctant Revolutionary leader sucked in by a well meaning Intellectual (Barry Morse) who is its mastermind but not enough of a scoundrel for his own good.

In summary: There is lots of intrigue and twists that should keep you interested and the ending is chilling and very realistic. Highly reccomended
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Ellis on January 16, 2012
Format: DVD
I'm happy to see that Power Play has finally been released on DVD. This film, from 1978, takes place in an unnamed European dictatorship. A group of military officers conspire to overthrow the repressive government but it quickly becomes apparent that not all of the conspirators have the same altruistic motivations.

While both the DVD and VHS covers give the impression that Power Play is a simple action film, it's actually a rather thoughtful and surprisingly cynical docudrama and more emphasis is put on the plotting of the revolution than the actual revolution itself. This may make the film sound excessively dry but actually, it works out pretty well. The film has some exciting action sequences and a powerful ending, precisely because the filmmakers take the time to set up exactly what's happening and why. The film also features some excellent performances from David Hemmings (as the head conspirator), Peter O'Toole (who is at his decadent best here), and especially Donald Pleasance who is absolutely chilling as the head of the secret police.

Power Play is definitely recommended for fans of O'Toole and for those who like their action movies to have a little bit of intellectual and political substance.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rui C. Sousa on October 19, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
THis is a relatively unknown film describing a coup d'etat in what appears to be a third world nation. Donald Pleasance Peter O'toole give decent performances as the architype of the secret police commander and the coup usurper. In the end it shows how it can all go wrong.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Don P. Desilva on December 28, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It could almost be set in Argentina during the "dirty war" of the 70's. Fine cast, great direction and an excellent story line, with a "sting in the tail". It is the quintessential anatomy of a military coup, set in motion by unwitting particants, who are galvanized into action by personal tragedy. Donald Pleasance steals the show and Peter O'Toole is at his imperious best. Fine acting and great directing. How would one find these cult movies without AMAZON!
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