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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 (34 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 (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767847466
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,063 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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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big Shrug (spoilers) April 18, 2006
By T.F.
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.

However, a plot seems to be missing. We meet the parents and grown kids, as well as dragged-along boyfriend/girlfriend of two of the grown kids as they gather at the parents' home for the holiday. All of them seem to have deep seated weirdnesses and problems, ranging from the oldest daughter, Mia (Julianne Moore) who seems to be stricken with a near-terminal case of the redass to the youngest daughter who seems to think it is hysterically funny to leap out from behind doors at people, screaming at the top of her lungs. The father, played by Roy Scheider, is distant and boorish and seems to be obsessed with the time and adhering to a schedule. The mother (Blythe Danner) acts as if nothing is going on at all, even though her children and their assorted guests are acting like twerps and her husband acts like he needs a lobotomy.

Fine, a good portrait of dysfunctional family dynamics - but it doesn't go anywhere from there. We never find out just why the kids are estranged from their father. The most shattering thing we see that he's done is that he gets bombed at some previous gathering and makes a pretty strong pass at his son, Warren's (Noah Wylie) then-girlfriend, kissing her in the hallway of the family home. In another scene, we see the father watching an old home movie of a birthday party for Warren, where he breaks a couple of eggs over the kid's head. Some confusing references are made to some kind of "game" the father has played through the years, which seems to consist of asking people who don't have watches what time it is.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great one if you too hate Thanksgiving
Published 8 days 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 25 days 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 2 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 19 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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... Read more
Published on December 16, 2006 by D.D.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars I Know Them
Loved this movie with an all-star cast playing characters who seemed too familiar. Thanksgiving in Maine was the perfect setting for the 4 adult siblings who return home to... Read more
Published on September 24, 2003
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