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The End of Violence (1997)

Traci Lind , Rosalind Chao , Wim Wenders  |  R |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Traci Lind, Rosalind Chao, Bill Pullman, Andie MacDowell, K. Todd Freeman
  • Directors: Wim Wenders
  • Writers: Wim Wenders, Nicholas Klein
  • Producers: Deepak Nayar, Ingrid Windisch, Jean-François Fonlupt, Nicholas Klein, Ulrich Felsberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: March 28, 2000
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792844009
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,179 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The End of Violence" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

If Wim Wenders falls prey to overambition in this sprawling story of identity, conscience, and voyeurism in modern Los Angeles, it pays off in a richness absent from so many of Hollywood's safe, sterile films. Bill Pullman is the ostensible hero, a Roger Corman-like producer abruptly kidnapped by a pair of dim thugs who prepare to kill him in the shadow of the L.A. freeway. Gabriel Byrne watches, powerless, from on high, a meek Big Brother wired up through surveillance cameras hidden throughout the city. When Pullman disappears into the faceless population of L.A., adopted by a family of Hispanic gardeners, he begins his own covert investigation in parallel with the official inquiry conducted by movie-buff cop Loren Dean. Ostensibly a thriller, the film has little onscreen violence, but shadowy threats prowl around the edges, and echoes of unseen murders permeate the picture. The narrative is a tangle, neglecting characters and leaving the vast conspiracy more a suggestion than a fully conceived plot, possibly the victim of last-minute reworking after a disastrous showing at Cannes. But Wenders's unerring eye for image and color creates a stunning, often startlingly beautiful film of unsettling menace and haunting mystery, and his generosity of character fills this world with vivid personalities. Cult director Sam Fuller and character actor Henry Silva have small roles, and Traci Lind costars as a young stuntwoman with ambitions of an acting career. As always, Ry Cooder's score is superb. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

Celebrated director Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire) brings Bill Pullman, Andie MacDowell, and Gabriel Byrne together in an electrifying suspense-thriller that is an "audacious and seductive" (Los Angeles Times) tale of paranoia and murder that Gene Siskel calls "one of my favorite filmsof the year!" Manufacturing on-screen violence has created an entertainment empire for fast-lane Hollywood producer Mike Max (Pullman). But when Max comes into possession of details concerning a top-secret, anti-crime satellite surveillance system, the information turns this master of imaginary mayhem into a real-life victim. Escaping into L.A.'s shadowy underworld, Max is forced into a heart-stopping confrontation with forces beyond his comprehension and violence beyond his deadliest fictional creations. Is this the end of violence...or just the beginning?

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars love and hate March 10, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
It's clear why some people hate this movie. A very important plot twist that happens early in the movie is shown one third in sequence, one third as flashback, and one third in the viewer's imagination. It's okay for a movie to be about a mystery, but for it to be intentionally mysterious in its exposition of the plot infuriates many in the audience. I rated the movie down a bit for that reason, or rather, because its intentional mysteriousness did not seem to add anything to the movie. If my confusion ("what happened after that! ") contributed anything positive to the viewing experience, I am unaware of it. Combine that with the rather cerebral approach and the fact that the "good guys" don't really win at the end, the "bad guys" pretty much get away with murder, and it's no surprise that this movie was not a big boffo box office hit.
That said, I loved this movie. It is the thinking-person's "Enemy of the State". I rented it and wanted to buy it the next day (though I could not find it anywhere!). Some of the little bits are hilarious (the woman with the gun takes off her clothes) and the whole take on paranoia and government invasion of privacy made it very interesting. The central character goes through some changes that are not overdone, though they easily could have been turned into heavy-handed pc propoganda.
So the director isn't spelling everything out for you. Do you really need him to?
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The End of Freedom February 10, 2004
By jammer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In George Orwell's masterpiece "1984", Oceania is one of three new-world-order totalitarian governments that are in a perpetually mutual state of war. Oceania's propaganda motto is, "War is Peace", "Freedom is Slavery", "Ignorance is Strength". The Ministry of Truth, where the protagonist works, controls the dissemination of all information, and constantly rewrites the historical record. "Newspeak" is the re-formulated and politically correct language used in this process, designed to obliterate all original thought and any past or present events perceived as adverse to the health of the State. Government surveillance is everywhere, even in the "private" rooming houses for example, where all residents are forced into morning calisthenics under two-way television monitoring by BB - Big Brother.
This reviewer can't know where Wenders got his inspiration for this way under-recognized film, but one must conclude that he was deeply aware of Orwell's and other such work. After seeing this film in 1998, this collector prematurely dismissed it, perhaps having little appreciation of how prescient it would shortly become; and having considerable disenchantment with Wenders' previous artsy, unrealistic and truly awful "Wings of Desire". Yet despite this reviewer's negative view of "Wings", the themes and method of depiction in "The End of Violence" became, in retrospect, increasingly haunting. One could consider this film as being a more nuanced and updated "1984," or a more constrained and intellectualized "Enemy of the State" (another great movie). The pacing is just the opposite of Enemy's frantic activities, rather being (almost maddeningly) leisurely and surrealistic.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Searching to Define the End of Violence October 3, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'm curiously drawn to movies which seem to be panned by the majority of working and amateur critics, yet are staunchly defended by a small coterie of reputable adherents. What is it that most so disdain and compels but a few? Case in point: The End of Violence -- 26% on Rotten Tomatoes' "tomatometer", just 10% on their "cream of the crop"; not to mention a very mediocre average 3-star rating here on Amazon and a mere 5.5 out of 10 on IMDb. Yet, it received a glowing review from Stephen Holden of the New York Times who writes: "...with 'The End of Violence' Mr. Wenders has made a film as resonant as his most memorable work." At the time I first read that I wouldn't have known Mr. Wenders from Mr. Pibb, but the die was cast -- I had to see this film!

The End of Violence effectively weaves the strands of two tenuously connected main storylines and a few intriguing subplots to culminate in a profound meditation on the effects (real, imagined, and potential) of unfettered government, entertainment, and technology. We experience this theme in the epiphanies of one of the film's two main protagonists: a successful independent "violent movie" producer named Mike Max (Bill Pullman) who loses wife, home, career, and nearly his life as a result of his chosen profession. We also see the theme's manifestation in the thoughts and actions of the other main protagonist: an ex-NASA software engineer named Ray (Gabriel Byrne), an ostensibly innocent overseer of a new state-of-the-art government surveillance system in Los Angeles who discovers that the apprehensions he once had concerning the system are being made frighteningly valid.

In lieu of a plot summary, I'll just say that I was thoroughly engaged from beginning to end.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only I had watched the full-length movie... January 5, 2001
By emk
As I read the reviews, many people feel like Wenders has left much out of End Of Violence. This is true because the version we saw at the theatre and bought as a VHS copy is the short version of the movie. The rumour is that many Festival de Cannes (movie festival in France) officials want short(er) movies. Wenders has a knack of producing long movies (Until The End of the World was supposed to be MUCH longer!), but to be considered in the running for a prize, he had to reduce his movies' lenghts. Hence the version we know of The End Of Violence. In the longer version, Wenders goes in greater depth into the characters' relationships with one another.
With all of that said, I agree with most of the reviewers on this page about this movie. It is a must-see and seeing it a few times you will take away something different every time... as in all of his movies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised!!!!
Really prompt shipment, well packaged arrived in great shape.... Movie was a pleasant surprise, well acted , good plot and a remarkable deal.... Really a decent flick
Published 11 months ago by Paul D. Sarn
3.0 out of 5 stars Going Underground
Most people have probably imagined what it would be like to go "off the grid." This rich Hollywood producer suddenly finds his life isn't worth two nickels unless he can convince... Read more
Published 20 months ago by mr. contrarian
5.0 out of 5 stars Nowhere to Run To
Wim Wenders created a thoughtful film about a Hollywood producer who accidentally stumbles on a true plot by the government to curb the civil rights of the American people. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Lynn Ellingwood
5.0 out of 5 stars cinematography delight
Wim Wenders will baffle many with this film. This is chic Euro-cinema at its best, filmed in the US but clearly a Euro-flick. Read more
Published on February 13, 2012 by Johan RF
5.0 out of 5 stars Define violence!
Win Wenders once more shows us another proof of his unexhausted talent with this admirable and complex puzzle of intrigue, tribulation and fear around three personages who... Read more
Published on September 24, 2005 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm a computer scientist. This is Hollywood.
Painfully, Wim Wenders pushes us through two hours of convoluted story, comatose characters, and an array of random lines all attempting to connect at some point. Read more
Published on September 26, 2004 by A. Gyurisin
1.0 out of 5 stars Political toast with no beef to back it
Empty space, this movie has no coherent story. In the end, we are told that the government is watching everybody, but somehow, our hero gummed up the works before he disappeared... Read more
Published on December 12, 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Eh...
Too self-consciously artsy-fartsy for my taste. This is the sort of movie pretentious people love since it allows them to make a big show of pretending to appreciate something... Read more
Published on February 10, 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars pure garbage(-2stars)
They need a negative system to rate this one right.Just remember that time is precious and I would not recommend wasting time out of your life for this.
Published on January 23, 2003 by rickey l. esteves sr
3.0 out of 5 stars A Thoughtful Film
While I certainly recommend The End of Violence, I do so with some mixed feelings. One the one hand, it is full of *obvious* commentaries on the negative impact of violence in... Read more
Published on May 25, 2001
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