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Smithereens (1982)

Susan Berman , Richard Hell , Susan Seidelman  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Susan Berman, Richard Hell, Brad Rijn, Nada Despotovich, Roger Jett
  • Directors: Susan Seidelman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Blue Underground
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00030AZFW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,524 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Smithereens" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Desperately Seeking Susan & Richard: interviews with stars Susan Berman and Richard Hell
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Poster and still gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Filmmaker Susan Seidelman rocked the movie industry with this daring and quirky story of Wren (Susan Berman), a self-promoting Jersey girl desperate to break into the downtown Manhattan music scene. But with no money and no talent, she bounces between a nice guy artist (Brad Rinn) who lives in his van and an arrogant musician (Punk icon Richard Hell) who lives off of anyone who will let him.

SMITHEREENS – which also marked the debut of Oscar®-nominated screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (PHILADELPHIA) and features a score by beloved cult band The Feelies – remains a remarkable time capsule of the early ‘80s East Village scene and made history as the first American independent film invited to compete for the Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

EXTRAS INCLUDE: Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Susan Seidelman Desperately Seeking Susan & Richard – Interviews with Stars Susan Berman and Richard Hell Theatrical Trailers Poster & Still Gallery

Music by The Feelies

Official Selection 1982 Cannes Film Festival

First time ever on DVD


"Funny & Eccentric!" -- The New York Times

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pain, longing, romance and dirt: Ah! exquisite nostalgia! February 11, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Besides capturing the gritty reality of New York City and eighties punk nihilism (unlike Times Square, which makes NYC seem like the innocuous Disneyland it now sadly is), Smithereens captures both the intimacy and estrangement of the punk experience to the jangling beat of such notables as the Feelies, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and Television. Susan Berman delivers a stellar performance as a vulnerable, [angry], terminal misfit/victim/enfant terrible ambiguously coveting celebrity status and the affections of Richard Hell, who also shines as a punk icon and sexy-but-worthless cad. Fun, edgy and disturbing, with a harrowing conclusion and a heartfelt sympathy for its desperate characters. Includes Kitty, my fave cameo, as a sultry, manic-depressive downtown Bardot. If you weren't there, this film will make you feel like you were.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Punky sleeper November 19, 2004
Long before "Party Monster" or "Slaves Of New York" explored the underbelly of the NYC downtown arts scene, there was "Smithereens". A young woman hustles her way through the early 80's NYC punk scene in an attempt to grab her "15 minutes" any way she can. Basically a more nihilist, East Coast version of the standard "Bumpkin Getting Off The Bus In Hollywood With Stars In Her Eyes" tale. This gritty little independent feature was the debut for then unknown director Susan Seidelman, who is perhaps best known these days for her involvement with "Sex In The City". Good performances from the mostly unknown cast. Music fans are sure to recognize Richard Hell (of the Voidoids, who penned the memorable punk anthem "Blank Generation") playing an arrogant,self-absorbed musician (wow what a stretch!) "Sex In The City" fans will get a hoot spotting the future 'Mr. Big', Chris Noth, in a (very) small part as a transvestite. "Smithereens" was undoubtedly a blueprint for Seidelman's next film, the much more slickly produced "Desperately Seeking Susan", which I would go so far as to call "Smithereens" with a higher budget! I am hoping that the release of this little "skinny tie era" gem means we will see "Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains" and "Starstruck" available on DVD sometime before they put us in the home?!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Low Budget Masterpiece October 17, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
This film is a classic! It has a raw street like feel to it, and a sense of urgency and desperation that runs rampant throughout the film. Susan Berman plays a pathetic groupie-type set out to become famous. She will step on anyone's toes and stab anyone's back and burn all her bridges along the way in order to achieve this goal. She meets a boy along the way willing to help her and love her and shelter her even though he hasn't got a pot to pee in himself. But she is hell bent on getting her way and in turn becomes a mean, self absorbed street weasel. She pushes away the people who love her most and ends up walking down that dreadful path of self destruction. Amazing to watch the transformation nonetheless, all set to early-eighties street rhythms and a pinch of the punk scene thrown in for good measure.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Much to Offer - So Little to Give May 21, 2005
By khense
I can watch this film over & over. It is about the heart at the end of the rainbow - the million miles between what we want and what we get. Wren(Susan Berman)shows us the difference between charming and nice - so much to offer - so little to give. When a nice-guy-boy-next-door who really loves her invites Wren to Maine, she says, "I don't even LIKE trees." Powerful music in the film glues these smithereens of people's existence together. Wren reminds me of another great own worst enemy: Jane Fonda's Gloria in "They Shoot Horses - Don't They."
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