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The Fisher King (1991)

Jeff Bridges , Robin Williams , Terry Gilliam  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Adam Bryant, Paul Lombardi, David Hyde Pierce
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Writers: Richard LaGravenese
  • Producers: Debra Hill, Lynda Obst, Stacey Sher, Tony Mark
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • 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: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 16, 1999
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767811089
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,951 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Fisher King" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Arthurian mythology and modern day decay seem perfect complements to each other in this Terry Gilliam drama/comedy/fantasy. Shock jock Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges) makes an off-handed radio remark that causes a man to go on a killing spree, leaving Lucas unhinged with guilt. Lucas's later, chance meeting with Parry (Robin Williams), a homeless man suffering from dementia, gets him involved in the unlikely quest for the Holy Grail. The rickety, and patently unrealistic stand that insanity is just a wonderful place to be, and that the homeless are all errant knights, wears awfully thin, but there are numerous moments of sad grace and violent beauty in this film. The screenplay by Richard LaGravenese launched his successful career and his smart wordplay helped garner Mercedes Ruehl an Oscar as Lucas's girlfriend. --Keith Simanton

Product Description

Jeff Bridges. Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl. A despondent DJ is saved from death-and lifted out of depression-by a vagrant who's obsessed with finding the Holy Grail in Manhattan. Directed by Terry Gilliam. 1991/color/137 min/R/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
144 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Performances Highlight A Great Story July 30, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This is the one for which Robin Williams should have received an Oscar; for as Parry, the victim of a senseless tragedy, he is nothing short of brilliant in "The Fisher King," directed by Terry Gilliam and co-starring Jeff Bridges (who also gives an Oscar-worthy performance here). Gilliam has created the perfect mood and atmosphere to tell the story of successful radio talk-show host Jack Lucas (Bridges), and the homeless and mentally unhinged Parry, whose lives intersect in the wake of an act of unconscionable violence that leaves them both barely clinging to the memory of a reality that no longer exists for either of them. With this movie, Gilliam has deftly crafted a study of the symbiotic existence of mankind and the impact of human nature upon the space we all must share in a world growing smaller day by day. Through Jack's eyes, Gilliam examines the nature of cause and effect, and the results thereof, and Jack's story ultimately becomes Parry's story, and aptly illustrates how the needs of one become the necessity of another, and what it means to finally be able to look beyond ourselves and delve beneath those layers of contemporary frivolity we all manage to build, which in the end are nothing more than pretentious insulations that keep us from the things in life that really matter. Even as Jack's own act of irresponsibility comes back to haunt him and make him question his own values to the very core of his being, Parry receives the brunt of it all from the other end of the spectrum, with consequences even more dire, though for both the result of their shared circumstance is life-altering. Williams gives a masterful performance here that illuminates so well how thin the line between comedy and drama really is. Read more ›
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A profound experience August 29, 2001
By Matt
The Fisher King is a representational movie. It makes use of Arthurian legend, and parallels the legend of the Fisher King with the lives of the two main protagonists - Parry (Robin Williams) and Jack (Jeff Bridges). Symbolism and metaphorical techniques are utilisied extensively throughout the film, which makes it an extremely visual experience to watch. However, the symbolism extends beyond the visual plane, to a very psychological one. For example, Parry's creation of a fantastical world full of 'little fat people' and the 'Red Knight', is very much representative of his own mental condition; the fantasy world, minus the Red Knight, represents Parry's acceptance/ignorance of his mental trauma. At the same time the Red Knight is symbolic of the pain and suffering as caused by the trauma itself.
Whenever Parry shows glimpes of sanity (lucid speech, dating, feeling love again, etc.), the Red Knight always appears in his life. While the Red Knight is at bay Parry is not catatonic or overwrought by his trauma. To overcome/accept the trauma of seeing his wife murdered before his eyes, ultimately Parry has to confront the Red Knight and vanguish him. However, he lacks the insight and strength to do this on his own. Enter Jack - who ultimately feels responsible for Parry's condition! Jack is the equivalent of the fool or simpleton from the story of the Fisher King. Jack's intent is one of redemption, while he is absorbed into Parry's world. Eventually Jack begins to understand Parry's need for the Holy Grail, which represents Acceptance of Loss. If Parry is able to possess the Holy Grail, then he shall be able to vanguish Insanity as represented by the Red Knight.
While there are elements of fantasy and Arthurian legend woven into this story, there is also a theme of Christianity.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Arthurian movies going May 15, 2002
I have a passionate love for the Arthurian legends. To paraphrase Robertson Davies, however, these tales have a poor history of being adapted to stage or screen. "Camelot", "Excalibur", "First Knight", "Prince Valiant" -- if you really love the tales, you know just how short these films fall.
Then there is The Fisher King.
No, you won't find King Arthur here. You won't find Camelot or Guenivere or the Questing Beast. What you WILL find is the essence of the Grail story. Parry (Robin Williams) is Percival the Fool as well as The Fisher King himself; Jack (Jeff Bridges) is a fallen king-of-radio. Both are wounded and in a related manner. Neither faces his problems head on. Each needs another to pave the way to forgiveness, acceptance, and redemption. The ultimate physical object that leads to this may be a swimming trophy, but it is also the Holy Grail itself. Why? Because it truly is, if you only believe.
Along the way you meet the not-so-in-distress damsels (Mercedes Ruehl won an Oscar for best supporting actress; Amanda Plummer, who deserved one as well), the company of knights-errant (the homeless of New York City), an evil Red Knight, two even more evil local toughs, and the false-prophets from the land of television. Each of these is a person, or a type, from our own world. They also happen to fit the tales of the Holy Grail rather well. Forced comparisons? I leave that to the individual viewer to decide, but I found the characterizations marvelous. This is not a film about Real Life, but it is a film about something truer, something closer to the soul.
This is a film that deserves multiple veiwings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Who doesn't love Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams is
Who doesn't love Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams is, as usual, fantastic in this movie. He will be missed! This movie is dark and funny and the characters are great. Read more
Published 7 hours ago by Sophia
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best roles you'll ever see Robin Williams play
I love this movie and think it's one of the best Robin Williams roles he ever portrayed. And Jeff Bridges does some of his finest work backed up nicely by Mercedes Ruehl who... Read more
Published 15 hours ago by M. Montour
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
My favorite Robin Williams movie!!
Published 1 day ago by KP Jacob
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a Brilliant movie for this ensemble cast
This is a Brilliant movie for this ensemble cast. Why Robin Williams was not recognized for some of these movies is beyond me. What a great cast.
Published 4 days ago by Dr PJ Ford Slack
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie!!
Published 4 days ago by Michael R. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars THe Fisher King
The Fisher King on VHS Arrived 2-4 days after I placed my order. Very Powerful movie w/ a very detailed story, probably have to watch it a second time, Great Movie! Read more
Published 6 days ago by TIMOTHY G. JEDRZEJCZYK
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
Really like Robin Williams I think he's real funny guy but he is a really dramatic role in this movie.
Published 6 days ago by 1224
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Can't get any better than this. Old movie but fantastic.
Published 8 days ago by Kathycg
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favorites by Robin Williams
Published 9 days ago by Beverly Gilson
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Robin Williams's finest films with a great compliment of...
One of Robin Williams's finest films with a great compliment of costars. A little dark for some folks although a masterpiece none the less.
Published 10 days ago by Richard M.
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Fisher King - cut special effect?
Yes, I recall this unforgettable brief effect and yet have never seen this film in the theater. It has to be in my first edition video version -- which I have not watched for awhile as I no longer have a VCR.
Nov 21, 2010 by Patricia Mckenney |  See all 2 posts
Why has there been no Special Edition DVD??? Be the first to reply
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