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The Message (30th Anniversary Edition) (2005)

Anthony Quinn , Irene Papas , Moustapha Akkad  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)

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The Message: Story of Islam   -- --

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The Message (30th Anniversary Edition) + Lion of the Desert - 25th Anniversary Edition + Empires - Islam: Empire of Faith
Price for all three: $23.47

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas, Michael Ansara, Johnny Sekka, Michael Forest
  • Directors: Moustapha Akkad
  • Writers: A.B. Jawdat El-Sahhar, A.B. Rahman El-Sharkawi, H.A.L. Craig, Mohammad Ali Maher, Tewfik El-Hakim
  • Producers: Harold Buck, Mohammad Sanousi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown), Arabic (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: November 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 177 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AQ6A4E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,049 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Message (30th Anniversary Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Disc One:
  • "The Making of an Epic: Mohammed - Messenger of God"
  • Audio commentary with producer/director Moustapha Akkad
  • Disc Two
  • Arrisalah--Arabic language
  • Arabic audio commentary with producer/director Moustapha Akkad
  • Feature and extras are not close captioned

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Producer-director Moustapha Akkad made a true labor of love out of The Message, which seeks nothing less than to tell the story of the origins of Islam. Originally released in the U.S. as Mohammad, Messenger of God, the film has the appeal of most biblical epics: persecuted true believers, a revolutionary prophet scorned by the powers-that-be, and the miraculous triumph of faith. It also has the cheesiness of many biblical epics, with nose-flaring performances and awkward dialogue, but the whole mish-mash is generally entertaining (and informative for those unversed in the "origin stories" of Islam). Akkad had one major hurdle; he couldn't portray the person or voice of Mohammad himself, as such things are traditionally forbidden in Islam. To say the least, this presents an interesting narrative challenge. Akkad tackles it by having characters address the camera-as-Mohammad, or having disciples step out of Mohammad's tent to repeat what the prophet has just said. It's a weird device, but the surprising thing is how often you forget about it. Akkad is aided by some topnotch technicians, including cameraman Jack Hildyard (The Bridge on the River Kwai) and composer Maurice Jarre (whose score was Oscar-nominated); Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas, and Michael Ansara lead the cast.

Also included in the two-disc set is the Arabic-language version of the film, which was shot at the same time with different actors. (It comes without English subtitles.) It runs about 20 minutes longer than the English version; Akkad explains, in a helpful 44-minute making-of documentary, that Arab styles of storytelling (including pacing) and acting are quite different than in the West. Akkad would also make Lion of the Desert and executive-produce the Halloween pictures. He died in the November 2005 terrorist bombings in Jordan. --Robert Horton

Product Description

MESSAGE:30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION - DVD Movie

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
149 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving film April 17, 2002
Format:DVD
Years ago after my first visit to Egypt, the University of Minnesota sponsored a film festival of Egyptian made films and this was one among them. Although it features film stars with whom many of us will already be familiar, Irene Pappas, Anthony Quinn and Michael Ansara, it was directed by a Moslem director, Moustapha Akkad, and has the stamp of approval of the Al Azhar Mosque and University (the oldest University in the world and an institution much respected in the Islamic world for its Koran scholarship).
While it carries a religious message for Islamic people--in fact I saw parts of it again on Saudi TV as part of the Ramadan season's celebration while I was working in Tabouk--it also explains in a sympathetic way for Western viewers many of the basic tenets of Islam. It is as moving a story in its own way as the stories of the New Testament are for Christians, and it portrays the essence of what Moslems believe about Mohamed and their faith. The simplicity and straight forwardness of the tale as it portrays the sacrifices of plain people for their convictions and the ultimate triumph of good over evil will appeal to anyone with a sense of fair mindedness regardless of ones religious convictions. The light in which it places Christians cannot fail to impress. Mohamed's more vulnerable followers are told to seek asylum with the King of Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia), because as a Christian king he was their "brother" and bound by the "book" to protect them from their oppressors, which indeed he does! Nor are the Jews spoken ill of in the tale.
The actual cinematography is a little dated, and the story can be a little postured, but no more than any other film of the 1960-1970s.
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109 of 118 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I am not a Muslim, however, this movie presents a very historical and true picture of the struggles of Islam and the development of this religion. This is a movie you will enjoy watching regardless of your religious preference. I found myself having a much greater understanding of Muslims and a very deep respect for their faith after viewing this film. I highly recommend it for anyone and all ages. I am very surprised this movie was not a box office smash. One of the best I have ever seen......it answers a lot of questions and presents some great opportunities for interfaith understanding. As an American this film was a special "eye opener" for me.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great opportunities for interfaith understanding. July 19, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
One of the finest movies on Islam ever made. It is a movie made for those looking for an objective portrayal of the worlds fastest growing faith, Islam. The movie should help dispel and refute the lies and fraud that the popular news media portrays on Islam.... It is truly a great movie. Being a Moslem by birth, I am happy to see a very historical, true and accurate picture of the struggles of Islam and the development of this religion. This is a movie I enjoyed watching and I think that anyone would enjoy watching regardless of his or her religious preference. I found myself having a much greater understanding of my own heritage and a very deep respect for Christianity and Jewish faiths after watching this movie. The fact that Islam, Christianity and Judaism were good friends of one another during the time of our prophet is greatly overlooked by all the three religions. I think that it is a pity that the three religions that share so much in common, worship the same God, spent so much time fighting one another. I highly recommend it for anyone and all ages. I am very surprised this movie was not a box office smash. Again, it is one of the best I have ever seen...it answers a lot of questions and presents some great opportunities for interfaith understanding.
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89 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film for teaching about Islam. January 11, 2002
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I am not a Moslem so I can not speak about the authenticity or faithfulness of this film. My understanding is that Moslems like it. It looks like the reviews do that. I am a middle school teacher and I use this movie to teach my students about Islam. It is very popular with them. I find it interesting that the kids are cheering for Mohammad and his followers by the end of the film. Thinking of Moslems as "the good guys" is something our media and culture has not traditionally done, so I really appreciate the ways this film challenges societal predjudices.
I think an honest review would admit that the acting is somewhat cheesy in spots. It also raises some questions that a non-Moslem might not know answers to. For instance, why isn't Ali shown? In a teaching situation, though, that is good. You have the kids do some research and try to find answers. All and all I would highly recommend this film to any teachers out there who are looking for an highly engaging way to introduce their students to Islam.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST film about Islam & the Prophet (PBUH) ever July 15, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Bismillah ar-rahman ir-rahim. This movie is a MUST SEE for all muslims and anyone interested in Islam. As a recent convert to Islam I found this movie to be truly moving and an educational experience. It should be required viewing for any college course on Western & Comparative Religion. It truly captures the feeling of 7th century Arabia and the hedonism of the Meccans at the time of the Prophet (PBUH). Moustapha Akkad does a wonderful job directing the film and deserves kudos for getting approval from the religious authorities of Al-Azar and the Shiat on the script (as explained in the thorough documentary on the making of the film). Maurice Jarre (who composed the score for Lawrence of Arabia) does a wonderful job setting the tone for this movie with his wonderful score. The only aspect of this film I found disconcerting was when the characters would address the camera directly when speaking to the Prophet (PBUH), essentially putting the audience in the Prophet's shoes. I agree with the filmmakers that the Prophet (PBUH) should not be shown and they did a good job of making his presence felt even though he is neither seen nor heard throughout the movie. Anthony Quinn does a great job as Hamza, the Prophet's (PBUH) uncle and Irene Pappas is convincing as the wicked, coniving Hind. When Bilal gives the first call to prayer it sent shivers down my spine. This movie is truly a gem and should be more easily available in stores especially in the post 9/11 environment. It would be great to see the DVD reissued in the USA with both the English and Arabic versions of the film (with two separate casts). WATCH THIS MOVIE! YOU WON'T REGRET IT! Salaam.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It's wonderful
Thank you, It's wonderful
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't work
It is not compatible with any DVD player in the UK. So completely useless and a waste of money
Published 7 days ago by shireen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Gives great insight into the origins of the Muslim religion....and its a good movie.
Published 24 days ago by Me
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Wow amazing movie! Cried a lot love it watched it over and over again
Published 1 month ago by NazBaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice!
Remastered in Blu ray. A must have for collector's. The print looks better than ever.
Published 1 month ago by Rumi Alam Chowdhury
5.0 out of 5 stars Muslims and non muslims, watch and learn
Muslims must watch to remember where we came from, Non muslims must watch to learn not all the muslims are terrorist.
Published 1 month ago by Erdogan Bayburt
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
did not play
Published 1 month ago by SALEEM ABDUL-HAKEEM
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie
I LOVE THIS MOVIE. Shows another side of Anthony Quinn as an actor. Love the story line.
Published 1 month ago by Yolanda
1.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT MOVIE, VERY BAD DVD....
YES!, THE BEST MOVIE ABOUT ISLAM.
BUT NOT SUBTITLE: NOR ENGLISH, NOR SPANISH, SO, WE DONT KNOW WHY THEY SAY "SUBTITTLE SPANISH" WHEN EVEN NOT ENGLISH SUBTITLE.... Read more
Published 2 months ago by G.F.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Message
The Message is almost three hours long. it is slow and there is very little action and the battle scenes are short and not too exciting. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bwhami
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