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Seven Years in Tibet (Superbit Collection)

486 customer reviews

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(Mar 04, 2003)
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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


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)
    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 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • 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 (486 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000844MT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,343 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Seven Years in Tibet (Superbit Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Whiting on May 11, 2004
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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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful 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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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Libretio on May 9, 2002
Format: DVD

(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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52 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 10, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
There are so many spiritual moments in this movie. I was literally captivated from start to finish. The theme of mountain climbing was fascinating and the sheer beauty of the snow laden mountains gives the story a purity of spirit.

In my humble opinion, this is Brad Pitt's finest movie yet. As the Austrian mountain climber, Heinrich Harrer, he brings a sexy warmth to a freezing climate. At first Heinrich is only concerned with his own existence and is quite out of touch with his spiritual self. He abruptly leaves his very pregnant wife to fend for herself as he runs off to join an expedition to climb Nanga Parbat in British India in 1939.

He seems to be on a personal journey with destiny lending a hand. While climbing, he is captured and spends time as a prisoner of war. Not even this experience breaks the chains that seems to hold his soul captive. In his case, the enemy doesn't help him to develop patience and compassion. It takes the heart of a child to show him why he should climb down from the mountain of his own pride, so he can take on a higher challenge, love.

This is a breathtakingly beautiful story of two souls who find one another under the most hostile situation. For a brief moment in time, they know true friendship, despite the age and cultural differences.

Unfortunately, mankind is rarely happy with what they have and when Tibet comes under attack, the tranquility and harmony of the Tibetan city of Lhasa is completely destroyed.

While humans have the ability to destroy one another, they also have the ultimate responsibility to love one another and nothing is more difficult when your philosophies of life clash so horribly.
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