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Stalker [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Alisa Freyndlikh, Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Nikolay Grinko, Natalya Abramova
  • Directors: Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Writers: Andrei Tarkovsky, Arkadiy Strugatskiy, Boris Strugatskiy
  • Producers: Aleksandra Demidova
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 2
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • VHS Release Date: January 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 163 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302719666
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,658 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

One of Andrei Tarkovsky's (Solaris, The Sacrifice) most acclaimed films, Stalker is an unforgettable film experience that evokes the spiritual lucidity of Carl Dreyer and the unbridled imagination of Philip K. Dick. Since its release in 1979, Stalker has inspired filmmakers as diverse as David Lynch and Steven Spielberg and ensnared audiences in a labyrinth of striking imagery revealing the familiar in the strange, the poetic in the disturbing, and the mythic in the mordant. In the near future, an unseen alien force has taken possession of an area of Russian wilderness that authorities have dubbed The Zone. The only thing known for sure about the region is that few who enter it ever return. Led by a Stalker, one of a small group of outlaws able to safely navigate the Zone, a renegade scientist and a cynical, burnt out writer penetrate the dangers outside in search of the power and transcendence rumored to exist inside. The Stalker longs to un-do a mysterious physical transformation the Zone has performed on his young daughter. The scientist will risk anything to see that reason triumphs over faith. The writer seeks a germ of inspiration that the crumbling and corrupt world beyond the Zone no longer provides. Together, these three men become desperate pilgrims walking a desolate trail leading to one of the most enigmatic and tantalizing endings in the history of cinema. A haunting and honest meditation on the intersections of science, feelings, and faith. Stalker is both profoundly unsettling and deeply moving.

Customer Reviews

All of Tarkovsky's films are of an unequalled beauty, Stalker is amongst his most beautiful.
derek wisdom
The journey of the stalker/guide into The Zone with his two companions is a metaphor for humanity's pursuit of...whatever it is humanity is in pursuit of!
James V. Holton
Like the Stalker, this was Tarkovksy's lot in life -- no magic, just a long and arduous journey to a place that someone else will get to enjoy.
Mad Dog

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Grigory's Girl on March 17, 2007
Format: DVD
This film is as amazing as you have heard. It's arguably Tarkovsky's best film (and the last one he made completely under the auspices of the USSR), and a film that gets inside your head and your soul. The plot is rather simple. An alien force lands on Earth, and then leaves. The area where they landed is a vast wasteland where the laws of physics are suspended. It's been dubbed the zone (or 3OHA in Russian). A stalker (not the current definition), a writer, and a professor venture into the zone, where there is a room that will grant you your most inner wishes. Now, it's not what you ask for, it's what you really desire. The room reads into your soul. This is a very slow, cerebral movie (it wouldn't be a Tarkovsky movie otherwise), but it has to be seen many times to fully comprehend it. I love Stalker's "dream" sequence, which has one of the most amazing shots I've ever seen in cinema. The ending is really exceptional as well. I have seen Stalker at least 10 times, and I can see 10 more. It was a difficult shoot (Tarkovsky had to stop shooting because there was a defect in the film stock he was using. He had to reshoot from scratch, essentially), yet, it is Tarkovsky's greatest film along with Solaris and Andrei Rublev. When you watch it, make sure that you choose the original mono soundtrack. The DVD company, RUSCICO, remixed the soundtrack to 5.1 dolby, but they ADDED sound to the original film, including music during the ride to the zone (which originally only had dialogue and the sound of the trolley car). It was awful. They ended up reissuing the disc with both tracks after the outcry by Tarkovsky admirers.
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146 of 167 people found the following review helpful By Peter S. Lunde on June 30, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The title STALKER is quite misunderstood because many think it is a translation from a Russian word that means 'to stalk.'. Actually Tarkovsky's script inserted the word STALKER thinking it was a catchy English equivalent for something like a Russian pathfinder or guide. In that context, the central character's role is better understood, for he spends time leading the writer and scientist toward discovery and revelation, which they ultimately cannot achieve. STALKER is a masterpiece of imposed reality on the viewer. Make no mistake: this film is very difficult to stay with without your utmost attention. Little artifice, few physical elements, hardly any plot, STALKER exists as a journey that draws your mind, heart, and soul into the nature of human existence. Only those intelligent and sensitive enough to ride Tarkovsky's waves of feeling, emotion, and thought can comprehend his message of possible salvation and redemption through love and persistent searching for human truth. The writing on the video box implies this is another sci fi film, but clearly it is not. Tarkovsky's great films are mythical allegories in the tradition of Pilgrim's Progress or Piers Plowman. For me, Tarkovsky is the ultimate challenge in intellectual film making, because he presents and discusses his ideas only in the context of the film itself, not just as a media vehicle to speak. What strikes me most is his absolutely consistent sense of pace in all his films: slow, deliberate, but fluid and highly organic. He is one of the few great masters of film as an art form.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Heaney on December 24, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker is another one of those movies with a bipolar disorder; You either love it or hate it. Having said this, I must admit that I loved the movie. So be forewarned. This is another review by an enthusiast. Stalker improves upon recollection and has a fascination that one cannot readily explain.
The stalker leads others into a mysterious and forbidden zone that is heavily protected by a police state. Was the zone caused by a meteorite? We do not know. We do know that many have entered the zone never to return. And we also know that in the twenty some years since the meteorite fell, a legend has grown up that there exists within the zone a room where one's innermost wish may be granted. The calling of the stalker, who has faith in the legend, is to lead others past the police guards and through the labyrinthine zone to the room.
The action begins when a writer and a physicist meet together with the stalker in a dreary bar. Everything is wet and slippery here, as it is through most of the movie. Curiously, the images change from sepia to color as we enter the zone. As the stalker explains the mysteries to us we know that we are not in Kansas anymore. In the decidely un-cartesian zone one never traverses the shortest distance between two points. An indirect approach is always best. Only the stalker can divine the way, which is confused beyond words.
It is an understatement to say that the scenes are disquieting. The zone is strewn with syringes, silt, and debris of all kinds. Everything seems to be wet, including the visitors. But they don't mind. They are engaged in philosophical-religious speculation! For shame to think of personal comfort when larger issues are at stake.
Read more ›
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63 of 74 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is a film about faith, divine grace and the fruitless vanity stemming from our soul's original sin. To quote from one of the characters in the film," My mind preaches vegetarianism, but my heart longs for a juicy piece of steak." And this is the premise of the three characters journey into the Zone - to seek out their steak: to find the Room in the Zone that will grant them their wishes; and this coming from the very same people whose professions demands higher standards of moral living from them, careers that require them to preach vegetarianism. Of course they have failed in their lives professions, and the characters know this but their inner chaos stem from the private pains in their lives, their failure to live up to their calling and their denial/certainty about their indivisual failures and states of their tarnished souls. Although Stalker is someone who leads others into the the Zone as a guide, his purpose apparently being to help others obtain their wish and thus bring about happiness for others, yet Tarkovsky hints that Stalker's outward explaination is dubious as he will not hesitate to make scapegoats and guinea pigs of his clients in the face of uncertainty and danger. As for Writer, he is, yes, a writer who is going into the Zone to look and beg for inspiration and faith in life as a whole; until Writer can obtain this wish, his cynicism and lack of faith can be summed up in one of his quotes:" A writer can only write about his readers." Professor is a scientist whose reason for seeking out the Room is unspecified until at the very end of the film but I will not divulge his reason.He is a researcher who has to bear his boss's fury and defintely hates his job at the lab.Read more ›
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Inspiration for the game?
Technically, no. Read Roadside Picnic by the Strugatsky brothers. It was the inspiration for BOTH S.T.A.L.K.E.R. the game, and Stalker the movie. The book, movie, and game are all #1 in there respective fields in my favorites.
May 6, 2014 by John A. Beeching |  See all 2 posts
Blu-ray?
I second that motion.
Aug 27, 2013 by grafdog |  See all 3 posts
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