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  • The Execution of Private Slovik [VHS]
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The Execution of Private Slovik [VHS]

22 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Sheen, Mariclare Costello, Ned Beatty, Gary Busey, Matt Clark
  • Directors: Lamont Johnson
  • Writers: Lamont Johnson, Richard Levinson, William Link, William Bradford Huie
  • Producers: Richard Dubelman, Richard Levinson, William Link
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios Ho
  • VHS Release Date: October 30, 2001
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302161401
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

"Was it an act of cowardice or an act ov conscience?" Movie stars Martin Sheen, Ned Beatty and Gary Busey in the true story of Pvt. Eddie Slovik, the only American soldier to face execution for desertion since the Civil War.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Jillian Slovick on May 17, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This movie shows how brave, and great of a man my great uncle really was. I don't think any movie can ever top this. Not even Saving Private Ryan. This movie shows you that you don't have to have million dollar special effects, foul language, and blood to be good. Eddie Slovik was a truly brave man who stood up for what he believed in, even through death. I am proud of him, and I only hope he is proud of me. Thank you to everyone who has viewed this movie. I am sure he would be very proud if he knew he was looked upon as a very courageous man.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Ferree on April 17, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Being an active-duty military member, I have a special interest in the world of the profession of arms. Especially fond of WWII films, I have seen many of the wonderful and entertaining creations from this genre. It was my pleasure to view The Execution of Private Slovak, I ranked it right up there with films such as 12 o'clock High and Saving Private Ryan.
I must admit I was not all too familiar with the life and death of Mr. Slovak. As I watched his life develop under the brilliant acting of a young Martin Sheen, it became aware to me this young man only wanted to be happy and safe in life. He was not a fighter, but a lover of life.
After his reformatory days, Eddie is keen on getting his life together and getting a good job, and a fine woman. He gets both eventually, Antoinette was a definite match for him made in Heaven. They complimented each other perfectly. The draft board ultimately selects Eddie and he is off to training before you know it. You can sense the fear growing in Eddie already, not only because of his new warrior status, but because he is separated from his lovely new wife.
In the days that follow, he is sent to the front lines and comes under fire, which scares Eddie so much he decides to be a deserter, rather than face almost certain death from enemy fire. His zest for life picks up when the Canadians befriend him, but is reunited with his unit where he ultimately goes AWOL once again. This time, Eddie turns himself in and sign a confession stating his guilt. If only poor Eddie had broken parole back home and done a few months. He would've never been in that situation. But as Eddie said in a letter to his wife; "I never had a streak of luck".
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nick Francone on May 24, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A must see (and read) for anyone interested in WWII or the conflict each dogface must have experienced on the front lines. It is amazing to me how out of 40,000 deserters, 49 of which were sentenced to death, only ONE was executed. Indeed, the only one since the Civil War. What was so "special" about Eddie Slovik? The movie follows true to the excellent book by William Bradford Huie and Martin Sheen's performance is a study in reserved pain. He doesn't shout with indignation when sentence is conferred upon him. Rather, he takes it "in stride" as just another bit of dumb luck he has experienced his whole life. Snatched from the only good thing his short life ever provided, his wife Antoinette, after being reassured he would not be drafted was a cruel joke played upon a guy who was made to suffer cruelties all his life. I am not going to sit in judgment on his decision to confess to desertion. Hey, my dad faught in that war, you just can't have everyone deciding they are not going to fight. My argument is with the system that drafted this guy in the first place and the system that made him unique in the execution of sentence. Was Eddie Slovik the worst case of desertion in the entire war? I highly recommend this film and book. The book is out of print but Amazon found me a copy and I just finished reading it. I wish the film was available on tape but it isn't. I saw the movie on the "Encore" channel about a month ago after first seeing it on TV in 1974. It hasn't lost a thing. If you get a chance to see it, please do so, you won't believe how moving this story is.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. Raynor on March 14, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This movie boldly states that you don't need the special effects in Saving Private Ryan to tell an incredible (and true) World War II Story.
I cannot do the story justice in a few words, but I'll try. This is the tale of an individual who never got a brake in life except for when he found someone to love. When he married her his life began to turn around. Then he was drafted into the army and sent to France. His desire to return to her and his fear of sudden death led to his dissertion from front-line duty. He was not afraid to die -- he just feared knowing that it could happen any second he was out there.
The Execution of Private Slovik is the type of tale that makes you understand the underdog and although you know that he dies at the end - you wind up wishing, perhaps as much as he did, that there was some way he could escape it. Told through the eyes of the people he met, this film reaches deep inside you and touches those emotions you've forgotten about in your daily grind.
I rate this film a MUST SEE. Rent it, borrow it, or hope it comes on the History Channel. Films like this one remind us of what really happened during those hard years.
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