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Revolution [VHS] (1985)

Al Pacino , Donald Sutherland , Hugh Hudson  |  PG |  VHS Tape
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)

Price: $15.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Al Pacino, Donald Sutherland, Nastassja Kinski, Joan Plowright, Dave King
  • Directors: Hugh Hudson
  • Writers: Robert Dillon
  • Producers: Chris Burt, Irwin Winkler
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: June 1, 1999
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790741970
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,068 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


This big and sometimes messy movie achieves the seemingly impossible: it demythologizes the American Revolution and lets us see it in a completely new light. Hugh Hudson (Chariots of Fire) has directed a starkly beautiful, powerfully visceral portrait of war from the point of view of the little people who are swept along in its wake. Al Pacino is Tom Dobb, a poor, illiterate trapper bringing up a young son when rebellion breaks out in New York. Dobb's small boat is requisitioned for the war effort, and he and his son become reluctant conscripts. It takes six months and some truly vile treatment by the British before the conflict becomes personal for Dobb and he makes the American cause his own. The Dobb family's tale intersects that of British Sergeant Major Peasy (a formidable Donald Sutherland) and his own son. As the tide of the war turns, the enemies' fortunes are reversed. Tom's love interest, Daisy McConnahay (Nastassja Kinski), is a fiery beauty who breaks from her family of wealthy Tories (British sympathizers) to fight for freedom. Kinski is wonderful as a living Lady Liberty, and Pacino has some extraordinary moments of raw emotion as Dobb. The film's highlights include authentic, grisly re-creations of famous Revolutionary War battles, including Yorktown and Valley Forge. This movie will draw you in, gradually but inexorably, as it creates its convincing and compelling world. --Laura Mirsky

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most unjustly maligned films of all time. August 10, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
The makers of Revolution made a few mistakes along the way, but those have been dwelt upon at length and are sufficiently summarized in the comments of other reviewers. What this movie did right was to show a fast-paced chronology of the American Revolution through the eyes of ordinary individuals actually caught up in the torrid flow of events. As a history major, I loved the details that they where able to throw into the two hours of viewing while also establishing characters that you could actually care about. It is a dificult task to please everyone when you put forth a work of historical fiction and the fact that they were able to trace much of the war while also telling an original story that crossed through events is worth praise. Casting Pacino as a Scottish trapper may not have been the best choice, but regardless, as a Pacino fan I still feel that this is one of his most emotionally satisfying roles and I think it's a shame he was so badly lashed for venturing out into new territory as an actor. I would highly recomend this movie to any history lover or any Al Pacino fan. Once you get beyond his attempt at a Scottish accent Pacino is brilliant and gives a moving performance, including a closing speech that still gives me chills.
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A better movie than most think May 31, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I am surprised at the bad press this incredible film received. The suggestion that "The Patriot" was a more accurate reflection of the American Revolution is laughable - talk about pure Hollywood. "Revolution" far surpasses "The Patriot" in both its beauty, realism and emotional depth. This film didn't try to romanticize the war, or make it out to be exciting and noble. The film is stark and harsh. One can't watch it without thinking about just how horrific it could have been to live in those times.
I'm also confused by the arguments about Al Pacino's character being "Scottish." I've seen this film several times and I never had the impression that he was playing anything other than an uneducated man with a poor grasp of pronunciation. I can accept that he might have been speaking with an extremely watered down Irish accent (watered down by being away from the country of origin for many years perhaps), or even a point halfway between the typical North American accent and the English-Irish accent that the former was derived from - a sort of "Proto-American" accent. But what no-one seems to have noticed is that everybody else in the film also had this accent! (Unless you count the Tories and the English). I found Al Pacino's performance highly convincing, and if anything, I think it is some of his best work.
In short, if you want to see a good film about the War of Independence - a film that doesn't try to make it into a box office exercise (e.g, "The Patriot") - I could not recommend "Revolution" highly enough.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Effective and Entertaining Movie October 31, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie has consistantly been trashed by numerous professional and amateur reviewers alike. Even Leonard Maltin, my personal favorite movie guy, rated it a "BOMB". I can`t understand why. Although it isn`t a perfect film endeavor, it does tell a story that`s never been told before...but obviously in a manner that many found extremely annoying at best. Aside from New York and L.A. movie houses, I don`t believe this film was released nationally at any time. Personally, I thought it was a very different type of movie, but effective and entertaining in a strange way. It gave me a feel for the time period, including an appealing atmospheric identity. Being an ex-NewYorker and exposed to the famous Revolutionary battlefields, that still exist throughout the metro area, I felt an aura of actually being present in that time period, with events occuring on both surrealistic and realistic levels. Al Pacino is a born/raised New Yorker and I believe captured the essence of his character very well. Pacino gave a solid portrayal of an 18th. century individual caught up in a violent period of American history....and lets not forget, without the hindsight of knowledge and understanding a contemporary person has of those past events and occurances. This movie has been unfairly criticized and overly maligned in my humble opinion. A unique film deserving of more praise then it has been awarded. See it for yourself.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fine film December 19, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Why this film is so reviled is a complete mystery to me. Its a very gritty and realistic view of the participation of some "ordinary" people in the American Revolution. Its production values are excellent and the acting is fine. What is particularly striking are the nearly identical story lines later used in the Patriot, a truly unintelligent and historically inaccurate film. But instead of the absurd distortions found in the Patriot, this seems to be a much better effort to give us a feel of what life was like in the 1770s. The conflicts faced my the heroine in dealing with her Loyalist family was particularly interesting to me. After reading all of the negative reviews, I watched it again. Perhaps the scarcity of American Revolution films led me to be too kind. But no. I still think its the best fictional treatment ever done on the subject and a fine film by any standard. And certainly a must see for any history buff.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars We were very disappointed with the movie
We were very disappointed with the movie, we had all kinds of truble wit this movie starting-stopping it was a wash.
Published 5 days ago by sweet pea
3.0 out of 5 stars Good storyline that was drawn out
This movie could have been shot within 90 minutes or less and probably would have portrayed the story better. Good set.
Published 24 days ago by Michael J. Neu II
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
One of Al's greatest movies. Great depiction of how things got started. I would say this is a must see for all.
Published 3 months ago by Mark F
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Depiction of the people's reactions in the Rev War
This is so well acted and depicts the reaction of ordinary people during the revolution. It was one of two that I bought that I thought of so well.
Published 4 months ago by DonG
4.0 out of 5 stars Positive review
Great story line captured the uncertainty of the time and place. Acting lapsed on occasion I wish it had been shot in America overall it is a film I can recommend.
Published 6 months ago by Albert R. Lankford
1.0 out of 5 stars Don"t
boring, inaccurate history, poorly directed, poorly acted, forced, waste, not kidding (not worth 9 more words) gave to local library - sorry to whoever checks in out.
Published 8 months ago by Carol Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare little movie that few have seen. Loved it!
I saw only an hour of it years ago and really liked it. I have been wanting to see it again for years and was happy to see it being sold on Amazon. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Duke Cortez
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst movie imaginable
The director should be run out of Hollywood permanently. This movie was a rotten mess of chaos and a complete waste of money. Every scene is filtered down to be dark & muddy. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Midge
4.0 out of 5 stars A different role for Pacino
As a Revolutionary War buff I enjoyed this movie. It was a different take on the history of the war in a gritty tale of a reluctant patriot and his son from the patriot's... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jas. Hook
1.0 out of 5 stars Not at all happy
I thought through the explanation that I would have a decision to buy or rent... I did not and I could not cancel the purchase. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Karen Y Dunn
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