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Steam - The Turkish Bath (1997)

Alessandro Gassman , Francesca d'Aloja , Ferzan Ozpetek  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Alessandro Gassman, Francesca d'Aloja, Carlo Cecchi
  • Directors: Ferzan Ozpetek
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005P2BLC4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,565 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Tired of his troubled marriage, an Italian businessman's life changes dramatically after he learns that an aunt has left him property in Istanbul. Francesco Alessandro Gassman arrives to the Turkish city hoping that he can take care of the matter swiftly and return to Italy. He is surprised to discover that the property is actually one of the last traditional hamams (old-fashioned bath houses) in Turkey. The family that has been running the Turkish bath for his aunt, takes him in and Francesco gradually rediscovers a long-missing sense of family as he accustoms himself to Turkish culture. Matters become complicated though when the couple's daughter Fusun falls for Francesco, who discovers himself increasingly and disconcertingly interested in her darkly handsome brother Mehmet. The situation comes to a head when Francesco's wife arrives to make an announcement.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia September 29, 2000
By A Customer
As far as I know this movie was promoted in abroad by focusing its romantic gay relationship but It means a lot to me. As a Turk who lives in Istanbul, movie reminded me what we are losing as time passes by. Relations, values and beautiful Istanbul. It is totally a nostalgie movie which can bore most of the people who are get used to see action movies since it is a so relaxing movie. Scenario just reflects the Turkish life and the diverse cultural heritage of Istanbul. The locations that are seen in the movie are not movie sets but the districts of the old city where you can still feel the past with its architecture and religous places.
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing December 2, 2000
Verified Purchase
Once again, I'm a bit taken aback so many reviewers did not understand this film. My advice is this: if you're a Hollywood or porn fan, you'll probably feel the same as the viewers here who offered negative reviews. But if you're up for experiencing an intelligent and aesthetically beautiful film, you will enjoy this one.

This film is so many things, but summarized it's a piece of exotica (the East as seen through the eyes of foreigners) which takes advantage of its distant locale to peer back and dissect the social flaws of the West, and the forgotten humanity of the East as well. It accomplishes as much through a deceased main character, an Italian who late in life discovered her place and contentment in Turkey. Through the living characters, we discover her tale and journey.

I say this is an intelligent film as there are no black or white characters here; every character is multi-dimensional. No one character is portrayed as more valid than another. Nowhere else is this more evident than in the character of wife, who to the astonishment of the lovers shows up in Turkey unannounced. And in a brilliant twist, it is this character who is the hereoine of the film.

This a peek into a strangely beautiful place. It profoundly moved me.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You either get it or you don't. . . I got it. August 27, 2000
This was one of my favorite films of last year, about an impatient yuppie with all the modern conveniences in Rome that becomes intoxicated by timeless Istanbul, Turkey. This is a very subtle, magical film that was a fairly mainstream success in Italy. If you are looking for the american gay-styled "porn with great locations" you will be very disappointed. Ancient sexuality, wafting from young women to young men in their sexual prime, is too complex for our very modern, narrow perceptions of gay and straight. It is more about feeling overwhelmed in the modern world and wanting to be taken away. The acting is sexy in a very sophisticated way that will be completely lost on all but the most seasoned American film viewer. Treat yourself.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent film September 24, 2000
"Steam" is yet another film ("American Beauty" and "Fight Club") which examines our lack of fulfillment in conventional society. "Steam" sets itself apart by being life-affirming; though not a "happy" film in the American sense, it shows that happiness through pursuit of one's desires is possible.
Those hoping to see an expensive porn movie will be disappointed, though it is not lacking in eroticism due to the superb acting (those stares!) and location.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By London
This is a superb film - very atmospheric, and captures Istanbul perfectly. The description of the winds is spot on. It's a film about self discovery and getting balance in life (in the same way that Local Hero was) and about beoming entraced by an idea, and a different approach to life.
It is not a 'gay' movie at all, despite the cover and the hype. Ok there is an element (without giving the story away), but it is a sensitive and clever film exploring a group of people.
It's not a 'romp' movie. Anyone who buys it for watching alone for self comfort will be hugely disappointed. Anyone who buys it for a great story and tremendous atmoshere will have an excellent evening.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie for the higher mind. November 12, 2000
If you're "lower chakra", this movie will disappoint you. This movie beautifully portrays the many forms that love can take, including the possibility that a place can also fall in love with a person. (I like this idea a lot.) The character Mehmet talks about the 'way of the hamam - where you learn the love for all things'.
This movie also shows a way of life in Turkey that is perhaps disappearing; an old style of architecture that is perhaps endangered there, as in the whole world, by developers. And this movie shows the wonderful ways of the Turkish people -they wrote the book on hospitality, and so many of them are totally psychic - if you travel to Turkey, someone somewhere will read your palm or your coffee grounds and will be amazingly accurate. They seem to be able to see right into your soul.
This is a wonderful movie.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest love stories April 6, 2001
This movie is one of the most eloquent, elegant love stories to come along in years. I cannot reccomend this film highly enough, not only to gay viewers,especially younger people who should see that there is more to life than cheap sex and dancemusic, but to straight people as well. The film is as much the tale of Marta's awakeing as it is about Francesco's. He is healed and transformed by Mehmet's love and his adoption of his Aunt's vision of life. Marta in fact is really almost the central character as she is almost transformed into the reincarnation of Francesco's dead Aunt (whose letters set the whole plot in motion and transform both her nephew's life and the lives of all around him: Marta, Mehmet)The soundtrack is one of the most sensual and evocative to come round in ages and is a must have! Buy or at least rent this hopeful, sad, subtle little knife of a film and you'll find yourself wanting to see Istanbul itself next....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Great photography. Well rounded characters. Interestingly woven story. Unexpected twists. Didn't see the end coming. Well worth watching . Very satisfying to watch.
Published 9 months ago by Terry O'Shea
5.0 out of 5 stars "Instanbul/Constantinople Baby"
STEAM is a tasty blend of Turkish/Italian cultures that proves love knows no boundaries. Absolutely no chemistry exists between drop dead gorgeous Allessandro Gassman and Francesca... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Samuel Augustus Jennings
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film!!
This is one of my favorites, along with "His Secret Life" & "Saturn In Opposition", "Family Flaw" & "The Man in His Life" (BTW, a GREAT French... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Jude Barnes
4.0 out of 5 stars Steam: The Turkish Bath
Wonderful film...I liked it a lot. It involves a man who inherits a bath house and his efforts to fix it up for others to enjoy. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Matti Kniva Spencer
5.0 out of 5 stars steam the turkish bath
an excellent movie from beginning to end but then i love drama alessandro gassman played a brilliant part will watch again
Published 19 months ago by allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic FIlm
There are plenty of reviews of this film kicking around. Here's the short version - it's marketed in the USA as "gay movie" - in fact although it is a movie about... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Tim Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and surprising film with great atmosphere
While it is true that the lead characters seemed too shallow in the beginning of the film, this turns out to be excellent acting -- as one finds out deeper into the movie and their... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Avocadess
5.0 out of 5 stars A Visual Love Letter to Istanbul (2012 DVD re-issue)
This DVD is a reissue of the film known in the U.S. as Steam: The Turkish Bath but elsewhere as Hamam. Read more
Published on April 19, 2012 by Bob Drake
4.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT a Gay movie
Suggestions in some commentaries that Steam is a "gay" movie are based on one very short scene. This Turkish film, originally titled "Hamami" (The Bathouse) but retitled for thre... Read more
Published on September 12, 2011 by Antaeuscass
5.0 out of 5 stars Simpler way of life
Haunting, intensely moving drama about an overworked Italian architect, Francesco (Alessandro Gassman), who inherits a hamam (traditional Turkish bath) from an aunt he never knew. Read more
Published on July 13, 2011 by Scadhog
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