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93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The most ferocious boxer to ever step inside the ring, Mike Tyson was at age 20 the youngest heavyweight champion in history. But within a few short years, the baddest man on the planet was himself on the ropes, the victim of his own rage and fear. Told exclusively through the compelling words and commentary of Iron Mike himself, TYSON is a powerfully frank and provocative look at one of the most controversial and misunderstood sports figures of all time.

In his younger days, the former heavyweight champ liked to say, "No one really knows Mike Tyson." Director James Toback, who befriended him while making 1999’s Black and White, allows Tyson to speak for himself as he illustrates his words through archival footage and fight clips, culminating in a subjective portrait that begins in empathy before ending somewhere more enigmatic. Neglected as a child, the Brooklyn-born youth took solace in his pigeons--much like Marlon Brando's boxer in On the Waterfront--before turning to stealing and brawling in his teens until legendary trainer Cus D'Amato spotted his talent and helped him to develop the discipline and self-confidence he lacked. Tyson fought many of his most famous bouts after D'Amatos death, but never quite recovered from the loss. Toback tracks the fighter’s rise in the 1980s, followed by his fall in the '90s and ‘00s: the turbulent marriage to actress Robin Givens, the infamous ear-biting incident, and the notorious rape conviction (about which he maintains his innocence). The filmmaker captures his now-retired subject in a reflective mood, and Tyson comes across as considerably more humble and eloquent than his reputation suggests--he describes boxing impresario Don King as "wretched, reptilian, and slimy" and has a special fondness for the word "skullduggery"--but continues to battle loneliness and feelings of abandonment, even fighting back a few tears at times. Tyson may disappoint those looking for the trash-talking pugilist of old, but Toback proves there's more to Iron Mike than meets the eye. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Stills from Tyson (Click for larger image)

Special Features

Commentary with Director James Toback
A Day with James Toback
Iron Mike: Toback talks Tyson
The Fabulous Picture Show

Product Details

  • Actors: Mike Tyson
  • Directors: James Toback
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: 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 Classics
  • DVD Release Date: August 18, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001UV4XBA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,523 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tyson" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By R. Sohi on May 23, 2009
James Toback, the director of "Tyson," has commented in interviews promoting this film that he sees Mike Tyson as "a classically tragic figure." The story, as presented here, of how he transformed himself from a lispy voiced overweight kid, who was regularly bullied while growing up in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in America, to a fighter, who at his peak was among the most dominant heavyweight champions ever, to the middle-aged man shown as he is today, his face wrinkled and his belly soft, his fortunes squandered, and his sense of self publicly shamed innumerable times for various outrageous acts both in and out of the ring, is a tragedy in it's truest sense.

Toback has been friends with the former heavyweight champion for several years and it shows as Tyson unguardedly reveals to the camera the damaged contradictive person that exists behind the popular image of his merely being some kind of brutal animal. Other than the numerous segments of archival television footage showing Tyson in the ring, in interviews or being followed in public, Toback's documentary zeroes in on its subject and leaves Tyson the only person to appear on screen, his voice the only one that is heard. Sometimes he is shown in split screen with snippets of his monologue looped to repeat or overlapped to form a sound collage, presumably to evoke the confusion in his obviously tortured mind, as he recounts the various losses he has suffered, the way he sees the scales of justice always balanced against him. The result is claustrophobic.

Like any tragedy this is not an easy story to watch. At times it feels like you are looking at the wreckage from a violent road accident: once you start looking at it you want to look away but can't.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Sean R. on April 9, 2009
I was fortunate to attend an early screening of this film. This movie is incredible. If you ever had any opinion of Mike Tyson, this movie will change it- good or bad. He talks about every single aspect of his life and there is nothing from his amazing or disturbing past that goes untouched...
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Inkhorn VINE VOICE on May 26, 2009
In the classic book The Art of War, written over 2,000 years ago, Sun Tzu said: "The battle is won or lost before it's even begun."

In this movie, Tyson's public and private battles, successes and failures, wins and losses, show the truth of this saying.

Through it all, Tyson talks to camera, and his speaking style mirrors the relentlessness he showed as one of the greatest fighters ever.

As you watch the story gets more gripping, and it's easy to be amazed and perhaps a little horrified by both his blinding speed and ferocity as a fighter.

I can remember a coworker asking me one time, after watching Tyson demolish someone in half a round, if I would fight him for $4 million. I said no way. "But you would get $4 million." I said if it was Ali I know he wouldn't kill me, so I might risk it because he wouldn't kill me, but with Tyson you would have no such assurance.

In life as in boxing, Tyson pulls no punches, and it's odd, and not a little surreal to watch him talk and hear the shocking and surprising things he has to say about Robin Givens, Desiree Washington, and Don King, not to mention his celebrated fights including the ones with Holyfield and Lewis, and with Berbick, where he was battling herpes.

It would appear that his mentor Cus d'Amato instilled discipline in him, and was a huge positive force in his life. That story is very touching.

Late in the movie we see a segment where he play boxes with his young daughter, a beautiful counterpoint to all that's gone before. I wonder if this is Exodus. If it is, it's quite poignant.

If you get the opportunity, I recommend you go see Tyson while it is still in release.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By The Book of Migz on September 13, 2009
Format: DVD
I watched most of Mike Tyson's big fights growing up. But after the stories of uncontrollable anger, biting off part of another boxer's ear, and rape conviction, how could I not think he was the scum of the earth?

I have come to realize three things after watching this documentary. First, Mike Tyson could have been the best fighter ever, had he done a better job controlling himself outside of the ring (no question about it). Second, the media seemed to have a good time portraying him as a jerk. Third, he was only human. I consider myself a good person, but I'm sure I would have made many of the same dumb mistakes if I were in his shoes.

I found myself feeling compassion for Tyson and believing he is actually a good person. Perhaps he was just too successful at too young of an age? Whatever the case, I would love to sit and enjoy a nice cold beer with the guy.

The documentary is told in Tyson's own words. The documentary shows clips of many of Tyson's fights as well as telling his story about his childhood.

This video would be enjoyed most by people who knew Tyson, regardless of what their opinion of him is. For others who weren't as familiar with him, they likely won't enjoy it is as much but should still be entertained by the story of his life.
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