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The Comfort of Strangers


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DVD 1-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Walken, Rupert Everett, Natasha Richardson, Helen Mirren, Manfredi Aliquo
  • Directors: Paul Schrader
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Madacy Records
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000244ENS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,591 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Comfort of Strangers" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

An English couple holiday in Venice to sort out their relationship. There is some friction and distance between them, and we also sense they are being watched. One evening, they lose their way looking for a restaurant, and a stranger invites them to accompany him. He plies them with wine and grotesque stories from his childhood. They leave disoriented, physically ill, and morally repelled. But, next day, when the stranger sees them in the piazza, they accept an invitation to his sumptuous flat. After this visit, the pair find the depth to face questions about each other, only to be drawn back into the mysterious and menacing fantasies of the stranger and his mate.

Customer Reviews

I bought this movie because I Love looking at this house over and over again!
HUMMER H 1
A lot of appropriate adjectives fit this movie: sinister, scary, shocking, compelling, mysterious, sexually ambiguous, suspenseful.
H. F. Corbin
You will not care about these people; in fact you will need coffee to stay awake to the end.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Mark #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 14, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
The Comfort of Strangers will appeal to those who are perceptive, have a long attention span, and love films that require attention to detail. This film is the model for understated elegance, with a plot line that at times seems mundane but with a world of subtext that could only have been created by the combined genius of Harold Pinter, Ian McEwan, and Paul Schrader.

Rupert Everett gives an excellent performance alongside Natasha Richardson as the self-obsessed boyfriend. But Walken and Mirren are even better, putting in career defining performances as the deviant couple that pulls Everett and Richardson into their twisted web.

There seems to be some confusion over the relationship of Everett and Richardson's characters. They are a couple that is considering moving in together, but nowhere in the film does it say that they are married as several reviewers have stated. In fact, Richardson is not even sure if Everett likes her kids, and she does an excellent job evoking the angst of the single mother trying to decide what she wants out of this man. Their state of uncertainty is important to this film because it provides the vulnerability that Walken preys on.

Everett and Richardson do find comfort in their sexual connection, but it needs to be noted that this connection only peaks after they've been subjected to the cruel mind games of Walken's "Robert." They too are strangers, in a sense, to each other. Robert senses this, and cunningly picks apart their fears and weaknesses. In the end, their polite tolerance of Robert and Caroline's strange games has very negative consequences.

The dialogue of the movie can alienate the viewer sometimes. The "thighs conversation" and the "we were this gang" monologue are slightly forced.
Read more ›
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "sathompson" on August 20, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is an excellent adaptation by Harold Pinter of the McEwan Novel with superb cinematography and an evocation of the eirie atmosphere as well as the incredible beauty of Venice.All four main castmembers put in great performances with Christopher Walken at his dangerous best as the sophisticated yet strangely chilling protagonist.Helen Mirren,Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson are perfectly cast and give faultless performances.The scenes shot on the Lido are especially interesting and bring back memories of Dirk Bogart in Thomas Manns "Death in Venice",which you will find is a surprisingly appropriate reference even though the subject matter is vastly different. I also enjoyed the scenes shot late at night in which Christopher Walken mysteriously introduces an innocent Rupert Everett to some of the seedier nightclubs of Venice. Beautiful shots of the more well -known parts of Venice abound,with a beautiful soundtrack to highlight them. All this plus a spinechilling ending!
A pity this is out of production .I recommend it to the studio that they put this out on DVD.It could become a cult classic
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Ian Muldoon on April 22, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I return to this film at regular intervals as I return to other films such as Woody Allen's MANHATTAN. But where Mr Allen's film is as much watchable for its witty dialogue and characterisation , THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS is watchable for quite a number of different reasons. The overall idea of the story I take it to be is of two lovers from the modern world returning to an older and different culture to try and recapture their private past. If this older culture is a metaphor for their private past then their past is a murky, fluid, labrynthine, decaying place of intrigue and mystery which is how Venice is portrayed in the film. I may be misreading the major idea of the film but to my mind the film has a serious moral side to it. Certainly, the two lovers are not innocents. The male is portrayed as selfish, vain, indulgent , and the female as having abandoned her children, albeit temporarily. They are both self-absorbed and shallow people, looking for something. They find some relief in sexual passion. But after they meet two locals, their holiday changes. Having said that, the two lovers are deliriously good to look at. Rupert Everett must be one of the most beautiful men ever to have graced the screen and, dressed in his casual Armani clothes throughout the film, and in the prime of his youth, he is a visual and sensual treat to behold. Natasha Richardson has a wholesome beauty but her hair is a golden glory . Her Armani clothes also bewitch. The two Venetian locals , Christopher Walken, and Helen Mirren, aristocratic, decadent, sexually deviant, provide an interesting double for the visitors. He in his white silk/linen Armani suit, she in her gowns. The acting by this quartet, is pitch perfect.Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Kyle on July 14, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is not for those filmgoers who like plot points spelled out every step of the way. It explores the darker sides of the human psyche in provocative, disturbing ways. A great script, superior direction, overall excellent performances by all -- especially Helen Mirren as the housebound wife whose passions nonetheless know no earthly bounds.
Kudos to Angelo Badalamenti for what may be his best score; it sets the mood right away during the titles and lets you know this is a twisting and twisted film that will be seducing you at the same time it's pulling you into a dark abyss.
Don't expect any sort of traditional horror or suspense film; it stands on its own as an exploration of the dark side of sexuality. Put the tape in, relax, and let the mood engulf you.
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