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The Survivors (1983)

Walter Matthau , Robin Williams , Michael Ritchie  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Walter Matthau, Robin Williams, Jerry Reed, James Wainwright, Kristen Vigard
  • Directors: Michael Ritchie
  • Writers: Michael Leeson
  • Producers: Howard Pine, William Sackheim
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    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: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000633R5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,227 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Survivors" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

When Academy Award(r) winners Walter Matthau and Robin Williams team up as a pair of lovable losers pursued by a psychopathic killer, you can bet that madness and mayhem are not far behind. Donald Quinelle (Williams), a rising sales executive, is sacked by his boss's pet parrot the same day that Sonny Paluso (Matthau) watches his gas station go up in flames. Drowning their sorrows at a coffee shop,the two New Yorkers disarm a would-be bandit Jack Locke (Jerry Reed), and briefly become media heroes - then quickly learn about the price and perils of survival in an insane world. Jack is freed by a bureaucratic slipup and goes gunning for Sonny and Donald, who discover that their survival depends on their friendship at all costs. The unique blend of Williams' frenzied humor and Matthau's subtle wit makes the Survivors an outrageously hilarious comedy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It shouldn't work, but it does . . . May 21, 2005
The comic premise of this movie is a good one. Two passing acquaintances are thrown together trying to escape a hit-man with bad nerves and colitis---well-played by Jerry Reed. I think Williams does carry the movie, but his repartee with Reed is some of the funniest writing (more likely improvisation) I've ever heard. Whatever this movie lacks is made up for in the scenes pitting Williams' "Donald" against Reed's bad guy. Those scenes are worth the cost of the whole movie. I'm amazed and also happy this one was released on DVD.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorite Comedies April 11, 2003
Robin Williams is masterful as a zany survival nut who is being taken advantage of by a scheming businessman preying on fear that society will break down...Walter Matthau is the perfect straight man/foil for Williams...
Even though this is an older movie it is a theme which is still timeless...Is society getting ready for the "Big Flush" and how do responsible people respond to it?...
Williams and Matthau provide one very funny solution.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Killing us with laughter September 27, 2005
By Bomojaz
Both Robin Williams and Walter Matthau lose their jobs and then meet by chance in a restaurant; while there they become victims of a robbery attempt but scare the robber away. Williams goes crazy, arms himself to the teeth, and then joins a mercenary survival war school in the woods of Vermont. The robber wants to get rid of both Williams and Matthau for fear they can identify him, only Williams challenges him to a showdown in the snow in Vermont.

It's a wonderful romp, with the understated Matthau a perfect foil for Williams's off-the-wall zaniness. The movie falters somewhat in the woods of Vermont, with the anti-vigilante message becoming overly obtrusive, but there's enough hilarity to overlook it. A very funny movie. Definitely worth a watch.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars robin williams is hilarious in this film April 26, 2004
By A Customer
this movie is a genuine treasure to watch. sit back and enjoy one of robin william's best roles. walter matthau and jerry reed round out the cast in a twisting comedy about life, getting fired, and giving society the finger. enjoy
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, Robin Williams at his best. August 1, 2010
By Beth H.
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I first watched this movie twenty five years ago. It is just as funny now as it was then. It tells the tale of two very different men who meet and bond only because they are victims of crime of the same suspect (Jerry Reed), from a coffee shop robbery. Needless to say, both are outraged over the incident and are left feeling helpless. Walter Matthau usually the cagey type in prior films is the opposite here. He is a single father of a young daughter who's protective of her and scared of everything else. Williams and Matthau decide to sign up for a soldier of fortune type camp where they want to learn survival skills for self protection. However they have two big problems, Jerry Reed, the bad guy, is onto them and follows them to the camp. The camp's instructor turns out to be a ninja type maniac with the mentality of get them before they get us at any cost. I'd classify this movie as a comedy-thriller with an edge. It will keep you laughing and you can't go wrong with Williams and Matthau.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost in the SNL Cast Stars Movie Era May 30, 2010
By jd
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This could be the most underrated comedy of the 80's. I love playing this for people who missed it during the 80's. It's a classic in my mind.

The scenes are consistently entertaining, memorable, and very often hilarious.

A good story, and a real good idea for a story.

Jerry Reed stands out. Robin Williams doesn't disappoint and Walter Matthau provides credibility and balance.

Excellent watch over and over comedy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Diversion September 14, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Walter Matthau and Robin Williams team up in an accidental joining of miseries. Enter Jerry Reed, who enters their life as a hit-man who himself has bottomed out. Reed's cadence is a remarkable riposte to Williams' slow maniacal meltdown, and Walter Matthau adds the spice of wisdom and grace to make the film spark. Enough comedy to keep the movie moving forward, especially the scene in the telephone booth where Williams invites Reed the killer to a "mano a mano" showdown. Very 80's, very funny.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Survivors October 2, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
funny, funny, sooo funny, can't watch it enough,misplaced
our last copy, gonna get another one...don't forget Jerry
Reeds caustic southern humor also...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars video games? yeah video games got better
never saw it in theaters but watched it on cable in 2000. Was on the floor laughing. First time I enjoyed robin williams & he has the best witty word-play ever. Read more
Published 1 day ago by NiQ
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift worked out
I bought this as a gift and just talked to the person who got it. It worked fine and is one of his favorite movies. If all else fails I usually can find a DVD I need at Amazon,
Published 11 days ago by Corky C64
5.0 out of 5 stars Great hidden gem of a movie
The pairing of Matthau and Williams really works in this film. I've watched this a number of times in the past and it never gets stale. Read more
Published 1 month ago by SoylentGreen
4.0 out of 5 stars Great early Robin Williams movie
I loved this movie. I watched again so my wife could see it. Walter Matthau was great as the straight man. Also, Jerry Reed does a great job not playing the country boob. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joseph Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
very funny movie without being overly stupid. nearly believable and enjoyable to watch. Matthau is one of my favorites in the older characters he plays and Robin Williams is, well... Read more
Published 4 months ago by mike hendrick
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny!!!
Well, this is another "strange" movie with Robin Williams, but it is funny, in a "he-man" sort of way! Not the best script, but good for a laugh! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Avid Camper
Robin dizzy-wacky, Walter dour-sour. Both funny. Both funnier as they play off one another (more like bounce off). Read more
Published 5 months ago by Roy Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
robin williams and walter mathau were great in this movie, as usual for them. was as good as i remembered it
Published 6 months ago by John Wise
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny
Always liked this movie, finally got around to buying it. Good quality, plays good, no complaints. Enjoyed seeing it again.
Published 6 months ago by ManicBobo
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Comedy!
This is an obscure movie that not a lot of people seem to know about but it is so great! Funny and kinda sad but definitely worth watching! Every character is done so well!
Published 6 months ago by Stacie Suter
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