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The Myth of Fingerprints (1997)

Julianne Moore , Roy Scheider , Bart Freundlich  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Julianne Moore, Roy Scheider, Noah Wyle, Randee Allen, Arija Bareikis
  • Directors: Bart Freundlich
  • Writers: Bart Freundlich
  • Producers: Noah Wyle, Bart Freundlich, Anthony Bregman, Howard Bernstein, James Schamus
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • 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: May 9, 2000
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767847466
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,723 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Myth of Fingerprints" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Trailer For The End of the Affair (1999 Version)

Editorial Reviews

Blythe Danner, Julianne Moore, Roy Scheider and Noah Wyle head up an incredible ensemble cast in this bittersweet comedy about a family reunion that goes awry. Wyle stars as Warren, who returns home after a three-year absence and soon falls into the uneasy rhythms of his childhood: bickering with his siblings, hanging out with his stoner buddies, and avoiding his strange, cold father. But when Warren's ex-girlfriend reappears, she becomes the catalyst for a Thanksgiving that changes everything.THE MYTH OF FINGERPRINTS is a powerful story about the complexities of life, love and family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I've watched this movie several times - to see if I missed anything before, just to see it again, because it's mesmerising (for me, anyway), and because I'm secretly hoping that it wasn't really THAT sick ......... the acting, photography, direction were all superb - the message came across so very true to life in every way ........... and because of all that, I often watch it when it's re-run on the tube; Noah Wyle does an excellent job of portaying the son who suffered so pointedly, the betrayal that goes on in this family - and as in all (or most anyway) families - this one is affected via the trickle down of the tone set by the parents - the father - Roy Scheider - isn't just distant; he's downright mean and destructive - blurred from being discerned clearly, because of his eccentricities - although I did feel that he contrived all of those too. And Blythe Danner did an excellent job of portraying the mother who goes on for decades overlooking her husband's cruel streaks, his creepy deceits, his silence, anger, and his tone-setting refusal to tolerate open communication; in spite of all this unpleasantness in the household, and the effect this all has/had on the now grown children - I enjoy this movie because it all "hangs together" so real and true. It's hard to believe that in this day and age, that there surely are families like this - who simply never communicate openly atall - ever!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Ordinary People' go 'Home for the Holidays' January 3, 2001
A beautifully photographed film with an incredible cast of wonderful actors ... and a very heavy-handed script about a supremely disfunctional family. The plot offers no real exposition or resolution, treating the audience as unwelcome guests who have gate-crashed a private family gathering; we interrupt a drama that has been unfolding for many years, witness the latest exchanges of unpleasantness and angst, and then are asked to leave prematurely. Too many characters are left unfully explored or developed. For example, does the mother not wonder why her oldest son knocks his father down?! What causes the youngest son to suddenly conquer his doubts concerning emotional commitment? Is there a reason for the father's nocturnal singing activities?
The DVD offers an excellent anamorphic picture and remarkable sound. Worth a look just for the cast, but the main theme of a family in relationship crisis was more successfully explored in the dramatic "Ordinary People" and the comedic "Home for the Holidays" (which featured "Myth" bookshop owner Cynthia Stevenson in the role of Holly Hunter's younger sister).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dysfunctional family so real, it hurts..... March 6, 2006
you'll recognize yourself and people you know, and it will strike an emotional chord wth you.

thought provoking, intense, distant and cold.

all performances are a sensation, julianne moore a standout as usual. a thanksgiving gathering gone wrong. buried and bitter feelings abound and resurface again.

look elsewhere if your expecting a happy ending, this isn't that kind of movie. the father/son relationship is very sad. anger underneath the surface between them.

there is a cellar scene where the father goes down and sees a family film from long ago. a birthday party for his son. this scene is very moving, showing the father how horrible he acted toward him. the look on roy scheider's face while watching the reel is heartbraking....he has no feelings at all of what he did, and why. subtle to its center, it is a good film.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great soundtrack through and through November 2, 2001
Format:Audio CD
David Bridie and Rufus Wainright on one CD? To fans of them it is a dream. This is where i first found them both (The music really grabbed me when i watched the flick). David Bride and John Phillips are from the Aussie band "Not Drowning, Waving" and this soundtrack sounds a bit like the NDW soundtrack to "Hammers". The addition of 2 great Rufus' traditional covers and Bing Crosby keep you in visual movie mode. This very mellow and introspective music, so if that's what you like, I recommend it highly!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Family drama just misses greatness. July 13, 1998
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
THE MYTH OF FINGERPRINTS follows the grand tradition of ORDINARY PEOPLE and, more recently, THE ICE STORM, in dissecting family relations, jealousies, hatreds, and closely-held secrets. While many characters and situations work, the focus ends up unclear; we are never quite sure what we're supposed to feel, as the characters themselves come across as mostly weak and not all that likeable. The actors fight gamely. Though Roy Scheider is as cold and remote as the winter setting, Blythe Danner and Noah Wyle are uniformly excellent. Overall worth watching but I look forward to director Bart Freundlich's next effort even more. END
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars D.D. December 16, 2006
By D.D.
Is the family both the centerpoint of our adult strength and the source of our weakness?

The question lingers upon coming to the end of Myth of Fingerprint, and one is left with the age-old family conundrum of love as both an unspoken bond and a lonely device.

This movie about a family gathering at Thanksgiving - always the best time of the year to resurrect demons and compare scars - deals with familial relationships from the aspects of four adult children home for the holiday. The isolated setting of the large New England house amidst the backdrop of the cold and bare landscape is perfect for a film about the difficulties of family communication rendered more glaring when thrust together in an enclosed social setting. Noah Wylie as the son Warren, and Julianne Moore as daughter Mia are the most powerful of the sibling characters, with different and yet similar personalities. Mia is all anger, Warren all emptiness and regret. Both are uncomfortable in their own skin and seem confused about what makes them this way. The mother is the glue of the house, warm and caring, and yet gently and firmly willing to hold up a mirror for each family member to see their reflection.

But it is the father who is central to the story. Emotionally constipated and rigid, he seems almost fearful of his children when he isn't cultivating a detached, yet powerful presence over them. Though he speaks rarely the actions and expressions of the father expose the quiet source of his childrens reciprocated fear. By not saying much verbally he seems to say a lot emotionally.

The beauty and complexity of the movie are the lack of background as to why exactly the children have such a strained relationship with their father, though by his aforementioned actions one hardly needs to guess.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie to watch about child neglect in a middle ...
Touching and heartbreaking to watch. These young adults still suffer from childhood abuse because they never received any help to deal with it. Their father was a mean monster. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ms. C
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great one if you too hate Thanksgiving
Published 2 months ago by Jeanine M. Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars family ties and tears
I enjoyed this movie a great deal. It has the honesty that so very many miss: children grow up and become who they really are. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jeff Thalheimer
5.0 out of 5 stars good
Bart Freundlich is cool. Blythe Danner is in this movie. I think she is cool too. I also like Julianne Moore. I watch this movie a lot around Christmas time.
Published 4 months ago by nestor bloodvessel
1.0 out of 5 stars Class Assignment
I was required to watch the movie for a class. I can understand why the professor choose this flim, the assignment was to dissect it for the dysfunctional family system and what... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Lori Moreth
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst movies I have ever seen.
Is this movie being pretentious or what? Except for Blythe Danner, the mother, everyone has a problem, the root and solution of which we hope to find out as the movie progresses,... Read more
Published on July 22, 2011 by Luis P. Fernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film
I am not going to say much. This is simply one of the finest films I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. I've watched it several times a year since it came on video. the end....
Published on June 10, 2009 by Serial Fella
2.0 out of 5 stars Very boring and unfulfilling
I watched this movie a couple of years ago, because of the cast mainly.
I don't remember if I liked it or not, must have not hated it or loved it because I would have... Read more
Published on February 2, 2008 by rickshayne
2.0 out of 5 stars Big Shrug (spoilers)
Some pretty pictures, some good acting on the parts of some of the actors as they portray a bunch of dysfunctional people home for Thanksgiving. Read more
Published on April 18, 2006 by T.F.
3.0 out of 5 stars disfunctional Wyle
lots of love making in this one. Wyle gives a great role as the son of a father and their lives arent really great as Wyle comes back after he is gone for awhile. Read more
Published on October 14, 2003 by Michael Bolts
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