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The Horseman on the Roof (1995)

Olivier Martinez , Juliette Binoche , Jean-Paul Rappeneau  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

Price: $22.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Olivier Martinez, Juliette Binoche, Pierre Arditi, François Cluzet, Jean Yanne
  • Directors: Jean-Paul Rappeneau
  • Writers: Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Jean Giono, Jean-Claude Carrière, Nina Companeez
  • Producers: Bernard Bouix, René Cleitman
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • 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: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: June 3, 2003
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008979K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,659 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Horseman on the Roof" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Academy Award(R)-winner Juliette Binoche (Best Supporting Actress, THE ENGLISH PATIENT, 1996) highlights this rousing, passionate adventure! In a world ravaged by revolution and violence, two strangers -- a handsome renegade (Oliver Martinez, UNFAITHFUL) and a beautiful countess (Binoche) -- find their only chance for survival in each other! Together they undertake a perilous cross-country journey where they will also discover unmatched danger, excitement ... and passion! Universally praised by critics and moviegoers, THE HORSEMAN ON THE ROOF is another extraordinary film from the creators of the Academy Award(R)-winning CYRANO DE BERGERAC (Best Costume Design, 1990)!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
118 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Half-love in a time of cholera November 28, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
"The Horseman on the Roof" opens in Aix-en-Provence in July, 1832, as Austrian secret police hunt down two Italian revolutionaries operating from exile in France. At that time, a huge chunk of northern Italy was under the control of the Austrian Empire, and Metternich's spies regularly scoured Europe sniffing out and assassinating opponents of Austrian rule there. This movie revolves around Angelo Pardi (played by Olivier Martinez), one of the two revolutionaries.
Fleeing from the Austrian agents in Aix, Angelo goes out into rural Provence, where he quickly finds an even worse enemy: a massive cholera epidemic, "the worst in a century", says one village doctor. As the epidemic spreads, mass hysteria follows in its wake. Rural Provencals start to hunt down perceived "empoisonneurs" (poisoners), innocent people accused of contaminating the water (a scene common in French history). Angelo himself is attacked as he drinks water from a fountain while coming into one town. Here Gerard Depardieu makes a nominal appearance as the town's police chief on the run, who says rightly, "The cholera's a bitch, but this is worse." Angelo ends up hiding from the mob in the house of the beautiful Madame de Theus (played by Juliette Binoche).
The main story takes off when the army comes in and moves the entire town out into the countryside to sit in quarantine. There, Angelo runs into some of his exiled Italian friends, who have a dangerous mission for him: break through the quarantine lines (he could be shot for doing it), brave the epidemic, and ride to Milan with two bags of money to help finance a rebellion against the Austrians.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure-romance at its best! January 9, 2005
This is such a beautiful movie, it leaves me speechless.

The scenery, the light, what a beautiful country the south of France is. It is a love story that takes place in the mind. No bed scene. But I swear, you won't be bored for a second! If you haven't read the novel (which you should do) you might think this to be some kind of Musketeer-Disney stuff. It isn't - not only because it takes place in another century. There is enough adventure, fighting and horseback riding to make this one a movie for both of you to enjoy, you and your girl. But it also gets so much deeper. The actors show you love can stand the test of time. It can even grow through pain. This one gives you strength and hope that things might get better.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
This movie was a rare treat to have seen on the big screen. It showcases Oliver Martinez (Angelo Pardi) and Julliette Binoche (Pauline de Theus) in this engaging tale of romance in the cholera epidemic of 1832.
Rather then get into the specifics of the plot which can be seen in the myriad of other reviews, I want to stress how this movie was only made possible due to the supreme casting by Director Jean-Paul Rappeneau and Producer Rene Cleitman. The choice of Mr. Martinez brought this movie to life. Befroe his death in 1970 Giono said that in the belief of Neo-Realism that the actor be a commoner. While not at that level, Martinez portrays an air that other well known actors are unable to feign.
In addition, Julliette Binoche is able to work with him to the point where we are able to actually see Martinez grow throughout the film. All in all a fantastic watch and the upcoming release on DVD will hopefully bring a few more fans of Rappeneau into the mix.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another great film gets MiramAXED July 2, 2005
This would be a 5-star review if only they'd released the uncut version shown everywhere else. The Horseman on the Roof has to be one of the most beautiful looking films I've ever seen, which is odd for a movie about a cholera epidemic.

Set in a beautiful summer in the mid-19th century, it follows Olivier Martinez's Italian in exile as he is chased across France by Austrian agents intent on killing as many Italian rebels as they can only for his pursuers to be outrun by a cholera epidemic that picks off friends and foes. Along the way his path crosses with various victims and survivors - a doctor who teaches him a neat disinfecting trick of setting your hands on fire, a cute governess, Jean Yanne's duplicitous peddler, Gerard Depardieu's paranoid mayor, and most importantly Juliette Binoche, who is determined to find her husband. Naturally they become travelling companions as they try to get through roadblocks and avoid being put into quarantine by the soldiers cordoning off the roads - a virtual death sentence - and eventually nearly become more. The film looks so good in cinemascope and so much of it is terrific than you can just about forgive the fact that the ending is a bit of a washout after everything that's gone before.

A really enjoyable old-fashioned epic, I'd definitely pick this up if it ever turned up on DVD uncut with English subtitles (the Miramax disc is typically cut by 17 minutes thanks to Harvey Scissorhands).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The French countryside depicted is incredibly beautiful and serves and an effective relief for the gory aspects of the setting (love, war and survival at the time of a major colera epidemic, which may have killed hundreds of thousand of victims). The acting could not be better, and the movie moves well. The initially "proper" romantic interests of the principles may seem frightfully out of date to the Playboy generation, but this approach adds erotic fervor to later scenes. For history buffs, this is possibly an acurate depiction of the misery and political/economic effects of a major medical emergency in the 19th century, as well as a capsulized veiw of the nationalistic struggles occuring in neghboring Italy. Highly recommended, but the squeemish should be prepared for some unpleasant sights.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Horseman on the Roof
This is one of those movies that you can watch countless times. The acting is superb the story is spell-binding.
Published 2 months ago by Jane P. Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars THE HORSEMAN ROCKS.
A very good movie I had seen before ...but the end was cut I had to have it complete.
It is a very tense story of evasion of forces out to destroy the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Lindsley
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Horseman on the Roof
This excellent movie is about an Italian revolutionary escaping assassins in France during a plague. He learns how to treat people with the plague from a doctor. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Paul Kao
4.0 out of 5 stars kind and platonic chivalry
I really enjoyed this film for many years. And was reminded of this film when watching The Plague (History Channel) yesterday although this takes place three hundred years later... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Dwight
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming love story - I want a sequel!
Juliette Binoche and Olivier Martinez do not fail to charm us in this movie set in dangerous times of plague and war in Southern France. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Written Word
4.0 out of 5 stars The Horseman on the Roof
I have been wanting to get this series for quite some time. Thank you for shipping this so neatly and securely. I was glad to have this to add to my collection.
Published 20 months ago by Diana M Chaplin
4.0 out of 5 stars The Horseman on the Roof
Very good movie, however sad. Very good performances by Olivier Martinez and Juliette Brioche. This was a good story and I enjoyed watching it.
Published 21 months ago by Lavender
5.0 out of 5 stars Horseman on The Roof
This movie was very nice and exciting! The main reason I purchased the movie was because of Olivier Martinez. He is a very good actor, sort of shy in a very special way. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Lynn
2.0 out of 5 stars The Horsman on the roof
the move did not fit the screen, very disappointing for me!
most movies fit the television screen but not this one, why not?Horseman On The Roof (Ws)
Published on May 12, 2012 by TThom
5.0 out of 5 stars John du Prey - Classical Review
Les mots, « je respire lourd, pas à cause du danger extrême que nous faisons face à, mais à cause de vous, mon Amour, » semble définir ce couche... Read more
Published on March 13, 2012 by John du Prey
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