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The Caveman's Valentine (2001)

Samuel L. Jackson , Colm Feore , Kasi Lemmons  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Colm Feore, Ann Magnuson, Aunjanue Ellis, Rodney Eastman
  • Directors: Kasi Lemmons
  • Writers: George Dawes Green
  • Producers: Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Scott Frank, Elie Samaha
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2001
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JCA8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,692 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Caveman's Valentine" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Feature Commentary with Director Kasi Lemmons and Editor Terilyn Shropshire
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Recommendations

  • Editorial Reviews

    Samuel L. Jackson gives a virtuoso performance in this intensely visual suspense film. Jackson stars as Romulus Ledbetter, a brilliant musician whose mental demons have driven him onto the streets. When Ledbetter finds a murdered man outside the cave he calls home one morning, he is compelled to find the real killer. While interesting enough to hold the viewer's attention, the mystery of The Caveman's Valentine is a distant third to Jackson's performance and the film's sumptuous visuals. The film is gorgeously shot, and lights and abstract images are effectively used to show Romulus's beautiful but tormented inner world. While the plot does take a silly leap of logic or two, Romulus's illness and the strain it puts on his family are sensitively and realistically handled. His all-too-real run-ins with his policewoman daughter are nicely contrasted with his visions of his ex-wife, who serves as a combination of Greek chorus and muse. If one is willing to suspend a little disbelief here and there, this picture is well worth a look. --Ali Davis

    Product Description

    In this spine-tingling and visually stunning thriller, Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Unbreakable, Shaft, Pulp Fiction) delivers a "full-throttle performance" (People) as Romulus Ledbetter, a misunderstood musician turned recluse, hiding from personal demons in a New York City cave. When Romulus finds the frozen body of a young drifter in a tree, the authorities - including his police officer daughter (Annjanue Ellis) - claim the death is accidental. Romulus is convinced the man was murdered by prominent art photographer David Leppenraub (Colm Feore). But how can he prove he's right when everyone thinks he's insane?Directed by Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou) and from the Edgar Award-winning novel, The Caveman's Valentine is an "ingenious thriller" hails the San Francisco Examiner, "Samuel L. Jackson is nothing short of astonishing!"

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars An Underappreciated Award Winner June 28, 2001
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
    The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) has honored actor Samuel Jackson, director Kasi Lemmons, and her sister, Dr. Cheryl Lemmons, the psychiatrist who served as a consultant to the movie, with its 2001 Outstanding Media Award for a dramatic motion picture---because of its portrayal of a homeless man with paranoid schizophrenia, who is both protagonist and hero. Jackson's character, Romulus Ledbetter, who solves a murder mystery, is a figure of intelligence, insight, talent and dignity, even as he experiences paranoid delusions and hallucinations (which he calls--correctly--"brain typhoons"). The Caveman defies the stereotypes and stigma usually associated with mental illness, and represents a major, cultural breakthrough for Hollywood. Viewers will come to know and like Romulus as an individual. There are many funny, ironic moments, but he and his illness never are used as the butt of jokes. The acting, direction and visual effects are superb, the mystery only so-so, but there IS a twist at the end. The realism also is greater than many may believe. Don't expect a big, wonderful, warm, happy ending. Romulus is a man whose spirit survives, and he prevails...but so does his illness.
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    17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! December 5, 2001
    Format:VHS Tape
    The Caveman's Valentine (Kasi Lemmons, 2001)

    Lemmons, who gave us the well-above-average Eve's Bayou a few years back, helms George Dawes Green's adaptation of his own award-winning debut novel about a schizophrenic pianist, Romulus Ledbetter (Samuel L. Jackson), who wakes up one morning, walks out of his New York cave (yes, they do still have caves in New York, at least if you believe Green, and homeless people live in them), and discovers a frozen body in a tree. This may not be anything other than par for the course in winter in new York, but Ledbetter is convinced that the man's death is anything other than natural. Of course, Ledbetter is also convinced that the Chrysler building is inhabited by an evil overlord named Cornelius Beford Stuyvesant (groove on the name for a few minutes, if you're acquainted with the early history of NYC) who's out to kill him. So no one, least of all his daughter Lulu (Aunjanue Ellis, Cuba Gooding Jr.'s love interest in Men of Honor), wants to take him seriously. But Lulu, an NYC police officer, is a subordinate of the guy who ends up running the case. What's a girl to do? Add to this the fact that the dead guy's boyfriend, Matt (Rodney Eastman, of many indie films and a copule of Nightmare on Elm Street flicks-- he played Joey, the mute guy), DOES believe Ledbetter, and provides him with the name of the killer, interntionally-renowned photographer David Leppenraub (Colm Feore, who's been in most every movie made in the past decade). Ledbetter starts digging around to see whether there's a murder here to investigate, and, as we all know, complications ensue.
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    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Hidden gem! January 13, 2004
    I got this movie just because of Samuel Jackson. It turned out to be a great movie. On the one hand, it's a very decent thriller, on the other hand, it's a good psychological drama. The story of homeless man witnessing a murder is not the most original but the movie makes it fresh by very good character development. Having said this, the thriller part of the movie is not perfect. There are certain aspects of it that could be done better or plot sometimes could be more logical. But still the overall approach to the movie, its atmsosphere and great Samuel Jackson play make this movie worth watching.
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites! October 3, 2004
    This is perhaps one of the most underestimated films of all time. I don't see how this film went totally unnoticed by pretty much everyone. Samuel L. Jackson gives THE best performance of his career as Romulus Ledbetter - second only to Jules Winnfield in "Pulp Fiction". Kasi Lemmons proves once again that she's an excellent director, who strangely hasn't directed anything since this. The music by Terence Blanchard is also excellent. The cinematography is BEAUTIFUL. Everything about this film is excellent, although your suspension of disbelief will come in handy every now and again.

    Totally recommended!
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Look out for those Z-Rays! October 2, 2003
    The title of the movie sounds puerile enough. Who and what is a caveman's Valentine, anyway? However, this movie is anything but facetious or shallow. Astounding in its depth and the manner in which it treats certain subjects with sensitivity, I would describe this movie, which is based on a novel of the same name by George Dawes Green, as nothing short of genius.
    Romulus Ledbetter (Samuel L. Jackson) is a schizophrenic former musician who renounced middle-class life to live in a rocky enclosure in Manhattan's Inwood Park. One cold Valentine's Day, driven by voices and subliminal messages he finds on his TV set (That's the surreal bit: He gets to watch TV even though there's nothing in the cave for it to be plugged into), he ventures outside to find the dead body of 20-year-old Scotty Gales. Romulus believes this to be the work of an omniscient and evil mastermind by the name of Cornelius Gould Stuyvesant who happens to live in the Chrysler Building.
    Romulus believes it to be his moral and divine duty to track down the murderer of Scotty Gales and thus his adventure begins.
    We the audience are offered glimpses into the former life of Romulus; his musical education at Juilliard, his wife, his daughter now grown up and with the police force, and his decline into insanity. This movie deals sensitively with the issue of homelessness, mental illness and the emotional turmoil that families of the mentally ill go through. Romulus' family is torn between helping him and rejecting him for his non-acceptance of their lifestyle, values and middle-class sensibilities.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    Published 2 months ago by Sandra J. Chapp
    4.0 out of 5 stars One of Samuel Jackson's Best Movies
    If you are afraid of schizophrenia, this movie will dispel the fear. A very revealing view from Samuel Jackson's portrayal of a very serious mental illness.
    Published 6 months ago by Rosemary Merriman
    5.0 out of 5 stars It Plays
    All I expect from DVD's is that they Play. It Does. If you want a review of the Movie... You'd go find a Movie reviewer..
    Published 13 months ago by DA Elf
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
    When I first started watching this I didn't think it would be any good, but it turned out to have a lot of interesting twist. It is a good movie and I would recommend it to others.
    Published 16 months ago by giggles
    4.0 out of 5 stars good movie
    samuel l jackson plays a very good part. it open up some understanding of the mentally challenged person, i hope
    Published on December 8, 2011 by Sharon Hale
    5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than people give credit
    This movie is far better than people give it credit for. I'd never heard of it and just stumbled upon it the other night and gave it a watch and thought it was the best movie I'd... Read more
    Published on September 30, 2011 by JuRo
    5.0 out of 5 stars Best Movie Ever
    I Love this Movie SOOOooo Much!!! Samuel L.Jackson lived up to acting ability and much more. This movie keep you intrested and never take your eyes off the TV screen. Read more
    Published on August 10, 2011 by Jazziejem
    5.0 out of 5 stars Sammy at his best
    Not the typical role for Samuel L Jackson. Really enjoyed the departure from his more expected roles. Good film. VERY surprised more haven't heard of it.
    Published on February 5, 2010 by D. Cantland
    4.0 out of 5 stars Heartburned
    Romulus Ledbetter: "Swarms of moth-seraphs howl in my skull. Lies vex them."

    Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):

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    Published on April 23, 2009 by Amanda Richards
    5.0 out of 5 stars Caveman's Valentine
    Previously, I viewed this movie on cable and thought it was brilliant. There was nothing else to do but to order a copy for my video library.
    Published on April 19, 2009 by Carol
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