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Seven Years in Tibet (Superbit Collection)

4.3 out of 5 stars 772 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Brad Pitt stars in the soaring adventure and incredible true story of an Austrian prisoner of war who is transformed by his friendship with the young Dalai Lama.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lhapka Tsamchoe, Jamyang Wangchuk, David Thewlis, Brad Pitt, B.D. Wong
  • Directors: Jean-Jacques Annaud
  • Producers: Jean-Jacques Annaud, John Williams, Iain Smith
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (772 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000844MT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,219 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Seven Years in Tibet (Superbit Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is a story about a stubborn and arrogant man who needs to push his body to its absolute limits, but who dedicates very little of his energy to his soul or intellect. That's the concept the unites this film and the book on which it was based. But ultimately films owe no debt to the books or the reality on which they are based (read the book "Monster" by the late screenwriter and author John Gregory Dunne if you need to get that straight).

Brad Pitt is not unwatchable as Heinrich Harrer, but you may cringe at his Austrian accent. Just remember that this film may not have been made at all without his interest and participation, and it wouldn't have been permitted the sort of budget that gave us the amazing landscapes which dominate the movie.

I suppose once they had their big star, casting went for the very finest actors they could find regardless of their status: therefore, we have two beautifully resonant performances by David Thewlis as Pitt's climbing companion and Lhapka Tsamchoe as the Love Interest.

This movie is about Heinrich Harrer, but there is some focus on his ties to the Dalai Lama. Very little screen time is spent in the camp for enemy aliens (those were YEARS of his life) or the difficult scrabble simply to exist once he escaped. The shots of the Dalai Lama's early childhood are there not only to foreshadow the important role the Dalai Lama ultimately plays, but also to establish a link between the child who befriends Harrer and the son who Harrer does not know.

The authenticity and detail of Tibetan life, dress, buildings, and so forth is rare and overwhelming. Even if it was staged, it is a good record of a lost time.

Further praise to the screenwriter (Becky Johnston) who translated a good book into a good movie.
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By A Customer on September 9, 2003
Format: DVD
I watched this movie for the first time when it was released in the theaters -- at that time I thought it was good, but not great. Since then, I've had a chance to attend an event in which the Dalai Lama spoke, and have come to see this movie in a new light. The story of the personal transformation of Harrar is uplifting and inspiring. I was moved by the tenderness between the young Dalai Lama and Heinreich Harrar. I used to be one of those that thought Brad Pitt was more suited to roles in "teen movies," but seeing "Seven Years in Tibet" proved me wrong. He has a depth in his acting that I didn't realize before. He portrayed Harrar with sophistication and complexity. He showed the arrogant, selfish side of his character with equal believability as his portrayal of the tenderness and grief Harrar must have felt in his growing love for his friends in Tibet.
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Format: DVD
SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET

(USA - 1997)

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)
Theatrical soundtracks: Dolby Digital / SDDS-8

The only thing more beautiful than Brad Pitt in Jean-Jacques Annaud's low-key drama SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET is the astonishing location photography (Argentina, Canada, Austria and the Himalayas standing in for Tibet), rendered in glorious Panavision widescreen by cinematographer Robert Fraisse. Pitt, every inch the blond Aryan god, plays real life explorer Heinrich Harrer (on whose book this film is based), an arrogant Nazi bully who ran from his wife's unhappy pregnancy to conquer the Himalayas toward the end of the 1930's. Stranded there by the outbreak of World War II, Harrer found his way to the forbidden city of Lhasa, where his unexpected friendship with the teenage Dalai Lama (played with great warmth and sincerity by non-actor Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk) curbed his ruthless streak and provided him with a fresh outloook on life, until he was forced to flee the country following the Chinese invasion.

Suffering from unfair comparisons with Martin Scorsese's KUNDUN (1997), which opened shortly afterward - both movies were denounced by mainland Chinese officials - Annaud's film evokes the splendors of a remote mountain community founded exclusively on Buddhist principles (in an amusing sequence, Pitt is asked to build a movie theater without killing the hundreds of worms uncovered by his workers' excavations). It may be a Hollywoodized vision, but it's also respectful and, in places, deeply moving ("Do you think someday people will look at Tibet on a movie screen and wonder what happened to us?" the Dalai Lama asks Pitt in one of the movie's most self-referential moments).
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Format: DVD
In this lengthy (132 min) basically true tale, Brad Pitt portrays an egotistical, selfish, pompous, despicable, Nazi jerk (admittedly, not a pleasant combination of characteristics) whose abhorrent personality ruins his marriage and alienates all around him. While on a mountain climbing expedition, he is captured and imprisoned by the British in India. After numerous escape attempts, he finally does achieve freedom and begins a long trek to the relative safety of independent Tibet. Unfortunately, outsiders are not welcome in Tibet, and thus begins a 7+ year ordeal which culminates in his becoming a tutor and friend of the youthful Dahli Lama. Through their interaction and strongly influenced by Tibetan culture, Pitt's character achieves a complete reversal of personality, emerging an infinitely better individual. How all this happens is both believable and beautifully presented.

I found Pitt's uneven German accent to be inaccurate and highly distracting, but this is my only complaint about the production. Photography, music and settings are magnificent....successfully capturing the essence of the Himalayas and 1940's Tibetan culture. For those not familiar with the Dahli Lama's current exile to India, this movie provides a clear and honest historical review of events that made it necessary. You will come to understand why, to this day, so many people support him and his country so fervently.

I recommend the movie to all mature viewers who appreciate superb scenery, epic scope, excellent acting (accents aside), insights into history and exotic cultures, and a heart-warming character renaissance.
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