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The Pursuit of Happyness (Widescreen Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Will Smith stars in this moving tale inspired by the true story of Chris Gardner, a San Francisco salesman struggling to build a future for himself and his 5-year-old son Christopher (Jaden Smith). When his girlfriend Linda (Thandie Newton) walks out, Chris is left to raise Christopher (Jaden Smith) on his own. Chris' determination finally pays off when he lands an unpaid internship in a brutally competitive stockbroker-training program, where only one in twenty interns will make the cut. But without a salary, Chris and his son are evicted from their apartment and are forced to sleep on the streets, in homeless shelters and even behind the locked doors of a metro station bathroom. With self-confidence and the love and trust of his son, Chris Gardner rises above his obstacles to become a Wall Street legend.

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A heartwarming film that demonstrates how good, hard-working people can become homeless almost overnight, Pursuit of Happyness is a tour-de-force showcase for Will Smith, who convincingly portrays a down-and-out dad trying to better his family's life. Smith, who usually is cast in effortlessly boyish roles (Men in Black, Independence Day), is wonderful in the film--even in the scenes that shamelessly tug at viewers' heartstrings. Based on the true-life story of Chris Gardner, a San Francisco salesman forced at times to shelter his young son (played by Smith's adorable look-alike offspring Jaden Smith) in a men's room, there is little suspense to the film in terms of Chris' outcome. (His story and eventual success a successful and wealthy Chicago businessman was well-publicized on the newsmagazine show 20/20.) And let's face it, Hollywood's not too keen on making feel-good movies with unhappy endings. The beauty (and suspense, to a certain extent) of this film is in the way the story is told. Though he is constantly rushing around to get to appointments and pick up his child, things do not happen quickly for Chris. When he accepts an internship with a prestigious stock brokerage firm, there's a catch: The position is unpaid, suitable more for trust-fund children than single parents with no other source of income. In many scenes, the viewer panics along with Chris, wondering how he's going to feed his child. While Smith and his son, Jaden, share many tender moments together, Thandie Newton has the thankless role of playing Chris' shrill wife, who deserts her family early in the film. It's not a particularly challenging part for the talented actress, and her departure doesn't impact the storyline much at all. As for the movie's misspelled title, it's inspired from a scene in the film. (Seeing a mural drawn by the children at a daycare center, Chris points out to the proprietor that "happiness" is spelled incorrectly. She notes that it doesn't matter how the word is written--just that the kids have it.) With Pursuit of Happyness, Smith has come out of his safety zone and, in turn, ends up playing his most heroic role to date. --Jae-Ha Kim


Extras from The Pursuit of Happyness



Behind the scenes footage of

The Pursuit of Happyness
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Chris Gardner:

"On Being Studied By Will Smith"

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Will Smith And Jaden Smith:
"On Will Always Being In Character"
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Beyond The Pursuit of Happyness on Amazon.com


More Films Starring Will Smith

More Films About Fathers & Sons

The Book

Stills from The Pursuit of Happyness (click for larger image)








Special Features

  • Father and Son: Onscreen and Off
  • The Man Behind the Movie: A Conversation with Chris Gardner
  • Making Pursuit: An Italian Take on the American Dream
  • Inside the Rubik’s Cube
  • “I Can” Song (audio only)
  • Audio commentary with director Gabriele Muccino

Product Details

  • Actors: Thandie Newton, Brian Howe, James Karen, Dan Castellaneta, Kurt Fuller
  • Directors: Gabriele Muccino
  • Producers: Will Smith, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, Todd Black, James Lassiter
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (754 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000N6U0E2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,250 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Pursuit of Happyness (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"The Pursuit of Happyness" is an unabashed tearjerker about the American Dream and commitment to family in the face of great odds. It was inspired by the true story of Chris Gardner, who spent some time in the 1980s homeless while trying to care for his young son and make it through a stockbroker internship. The film is fictionalized but stays true to Gardner's struggle for success and dedication to his son. Gardner's autobiography, which goes by the same title, was actually published after the film was written. In San Francisco, 1981, Chris Gardner (Will Smith) can't make ends meet selling portable bone density scanners, while his embittered wife Linda (Thandie Newton) waitresses 2 shifts a day. Chris spies a man with an enviable sportscar on the street one day and asks him what he does for a living. He's a stockbroker. So Chris decides that's what he'll be. He must be at the top of his class after 6 months in Dean Witter's competitive internship program to be hired. Meanwhile, Chris has no wife, no money, no paying job, and a 5-year old son (Jaden Smith).

A story of hardship and hard work, paternal love and frustration, could easily be too saccharine for words. It's saved from this fate by Chris Gardner's desperation. Behind his indomitable pluck, Gardner is truly desperate. He has no money, no home, uncertain prospects, and the responsibility of providing for a young child. He hides his circumstances from his colleagues. He's spends an inordinate amount of energy chasing errant bone scanners around town. He compromises his ethics. His single-mindedness eventually takes a toll on his son. Chris is struggling for his life. And his financial problems are something the audience can understand and may themselves fear. That's why "The Pursuit of Happyness" works so well.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By David M. Rossi on March 31, 2008
Format: DVD
Those who have written reviews for this movie of anything less than 5 stars have NO idea what it means to be lower than low, at the absolute bottom with no visible way out. You see, in order to understand the struggle, you have to have LIVED it. I understand this movie because I HAVE lived it. Some other review cited that it took far too long to display the epic struggle that left us no time to relish the moment of success. I submit that were it not for the INTENSE struggle he faced, there would BE no reason to celebrate his ultimate success. It would have less meaning. I have NEVER cried so hard as I did at the end of this movie. During the course of the film, you FEEL his pain of wanting to be just that little bit more than what he felt himself to be. You yearn for him to experience that one bit of happiness to know that he doesn't HAVE to sell his blood anymore to make a few bucks to be able to fix a light in a bone density scanner he sells to provide a meal and a place to live for a few weeks for himself and his son. This man went through more tribulations than any of the other reviewers here have seen in their own lives or the family and friends that surround them. If you want to see a film that TRULY lifts you up by the climax, see the pursuit of happyness, and IGNORE the many discouraging reviews from people who have no clear understanding of personal anguish and eventual triumph. Will Smith would be hard pressed to ever again be handed a script for a more heart wrenching and satisfying movie. 5 stars +++
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mike Renzulli on July 16, 2007
Format: DVD
The one film that sticks out in my mind as the best movie of 2006 is The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith. This movie is based on a book of the same title authored by Chris Gardner.

In the movie, Gardner is a medical product salesman who ends up splitting up with his wife and ends up homeless with his 5 year-old son. Determined to not give up, Gardner endures homelessness and ends up pursuing an internship for a stockbroker position at a major Wall Street investment firm. Despite the trials and tribulations Gardner went through, not only due to the lack of a roof over his head but also the hard work related to his internship and even an IRS seizure of his money to boot, Gardner's endurance and hard work pays off.

The movie, and I am sure the book, is a testament to how anyone can get themselves out of poverty and become wealthy with hard work, persistence and determination. Gardner had an even bigger reason to work hard due to the need for him to provide a good life for his son.

The story of Chris Gardner's going from rags to riches is an inspiration for us all and all of the elements of this film makes for one heckuva great flick!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Suvit Singhsachakul on March 13, 2007
Will Smith takes a departure from his usual daredevilry to star in this most emphatic story about a man trying to make it in the world. Chris Gardner (Smith) has made a bad business decision: He spends his entire life savings on a batch of bone density scanners that he can't sell, and now his family is in deep financial jeopardy. His wife, Linda (Thandie Newton), is forced to work two jobs and his son is placed in a day care facility that looks like a makeshift sweatshop. Chris himself travels from clinic to clinic, trying (but failing miserably) to sell what looks like a giant paperweight.

On one of his daily escapades, Chris finds himself in front of the San Francisco Stock Exchange and has an epiphany that will change his life. He wants to be one of those happy people that seem to pour out the double doors everyday with their smiling faces, shining cars, and jingling pockets. In a last ditch I've-got-nothing-to-lose effort at "happyness", Chris enlists for a non-paying internship at a brokerage firm, armed with only a high school diploma and the ability to solve the Rubik's cube at a mind-boggling speed. However, the hits keep on coming: Chris loses his home, his wife and a few of his colossal paperweights while he and his son brave unbearable odds on the streets of San Francisco.

"The Pursuit of Happyness" will make you laugh, cry and empathize with a character that is executed to three dimensional perfection. Chris is a man who is willing to stake everything to go for a dream that most people would say was far beyond his reach. He is sick of hearing "no" all his life; he is fed up with having no money all the time; and he is tired of being emasculated by his embittered wife everyday. Chris' only source of inspiration is his eight year old son, a mascot egging him on with the simplest of smiles. No obstacle is going to deter him, even if it means sleeping in a public toilet. Will he make it? You have to watch the film!
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DVD or Blu-ray
I don't think this is a stupid question at all... I believe all Blue-Ray players play DVDs. I (personally) have never noticed a drop in quality when playing DVDs vs. Blue-Rays (though, I am sure there is some upside to BR - I don't know that the average consumer would notice...). Considering the... Read More
Dec 19, 2014 by ReviewedByHeather |  See all 4 posts
Is anyone having problems playing this disc??
See http://slashdot.org/articles/07/04/15/1914248.shtml for more on this.
Apr 15, 2007 by Rollo Tomasi |  See all 11 posts
The best film ever that featured a black man as the protaganist
why are you acting like this is the first "inspiring" movie ever made?

it's not!

and the movie i didn't find that "inspiring" either!
Mar 9, 2007 by paris |  See all 4 posts
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