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West of Memphis [Blu-ray]

152 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

West of Memphis [Blu-ray] + The Paradise Lost Trilogy Collector's Edition + Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three
Price for all three: $48.79

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Editorial Reviews

From Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg (2006, Best Documentary Feature, Deliver Us From Evil) in collaboration with the multiple Academy Award®-winning team of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh (2003, Best Picture ' Best Adapted Screenplay, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), WEST OF MEMPHIS tells the untold story behind an extraordinary and desperate fight to stop the State of Arkansas from killing an innocent man. Told and produced by those who lived it, Damien Echols and Lorri Davis, the film uncovers new evidence surrounding the 1993 murders of three eight-year-old boys in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas, and exposes the wrongful conviction of three teenagers who lost 18 years of their lives imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.


Product Details

  • Actors: Jason Baldwin, Damien Wayne Echols
  • Directors: Amy Berg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: August 6, 2013
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AIBZKNS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,451 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "West of Memphis [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By J. Perrotta on August 6, 2013
Format: DVD
I have to give this documentary 5 stars because it was even more riveting, thought-provoking and devastating than the original Paradise Lost film which I saw on HBO when it first came out in 1996. Though a bit long and drawn out in parts (should have been edited down to make it a neat 2 hours) I simply could not stop watching. I have never been convinced one way or the other about this case. On the one hand, I thought the evidence against the WM3 as presented in Paradise Lost and several of the books written about the case was minimal, I don't think I ever lost sight of the fact that 3 beautiful little children were viciously ripped from the world by someone and, putting the evidence together as it was presented by the prosecution, I could understand why the 3 were found guilty. This film doesn't gloss over that evidence or pretend it didn't exist but carefully and precisely dissects that original evidence presented in the prosecution's case to illustrate how it was misinterpreted, misrepresented and used to paint a picture of what they thought likely happened, NOT what was, in fact, the truth.

Motivated by electoral pressure, hearsay and ignorance, the state of Arkansas concocted a scenario (which ends up being proven wrong in this film) fueled by Jerry Driver, a 'Satanic cult' specialist and an unlicensed medical examiner who worked for the prosecution. Putting these things together, the prosecution produced this satanic scenario and made Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley fit this profile along with the so-called ritualistic wounds that were purportedly present on the victims. These wounds were misinterpreted to be evidence of sexual assault and ritualized murder from the start, based on the penile mutilation of one of the victims.
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56 of 67 people found the following review helpful By sidandkurt on January 11, 2013
Format: DVD
This movie shows a true mistake in the American justice system. If you know anything about the case of the west Memphis 3 than you know that Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr were wrongfully convicted of the murder of 3 eight year old boys. West Of Memphis shows the damning amount of evidence against Terry Hobbs a victims step father. He is the only parent of the victims that still believe's the West Memphis three are the killers. What is truly sad is that because the state of Arkansas will not admit a mistake, Terry Hobbs has gotten away with murdering 3 eight year old boys. This movie shows when the West Memphis 3 walked free after accepting an Alford Plea. If you don't know what that is it means the West Memphis 3 can maintain their innocence but must plead guilty to the murders. That means that the case is closed and the real murder Terry Hobbs gets away with it. This shows that the state does not care about justice AT ALL they only care about being right.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Hui Shen ben Israel on December 12, 2013
Format: DVD
WEST OF MEMPHIS (Dir. Amy Berg, Prod. Damien Echols and Peter Jackson, 2012, 145 minutes) ~ Since I just came away from seeing this riveting documentary about the three innocent men known as "The West Memphis Three", I have read no other review on Amazon as yet. This is deeply personal for me. I'd like my review to reflect that and stay simple.

Anyone not living in this dimension might say they don't know who "The West Memphis Three" are--so in case you do not know, they were the teen kids (Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin) who were falsely convicted and imprisoned for the murders of three little boys. That happened in the early 1990s. Help from all around America and the globe spurred action in Arkansas (that is where West Memphis is, not Tennessee).

This documentary covers just about all I could have hoped or imagined about this epic wrong-men story. Having been absorbed by HBO's seminal and important documentary series about this, The Paradise Lost Trilogy Collector's Edition (see my reviews but I reviewed each of the three films, not the set), this documentary shocked me deeply.

It was only days ago I saw a 2012 "Frontline" 55-minute special on this subject--"Frontline" seems to have stolen quite a bit of material from this documentary, and I suspect it was actually a slighlty ssanitized, shortened "free" version of this.

WEST OF MEMPHIS stunned me because several people who allegedly do not do interviews (or refuse to talk) were here, and BOY, were they a-talkin'.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on March 2, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I teach history at the university level. I have been using the first documentary in the Paradise Lost trilogy in the classroom for about eight years. While there is some previously unused footage in West of Memphis, the major difference for me between this film and the Berlinger/Sinofsky documentaries is the pace and perspective. West of Memphis jumps all around the timeline, from the trial to prison and back again - that alone makes West of Memphis unusable for my purposes because that is one hell of a spoiler, frankly. When I show the documentary to students, they feel confident that the trial will end in acquittal before the end of the movie. (Usually only a few of them know about the case a priori because the only news they get is Jon Stewart, otherwise they'd know all about the case outcomes from NPR etc.). Their rage, confusion, bafflement, and fear when they discover that the WM3 get sent to prison is what I want as part of their learning outcome; I teach the case in a unit on the early modern witch craze, and have students compare the WM3 trial to those of European cases and Salem. It robs them of their complacency, their "it could never happen now, it could never happen here" - and I *want* them not to feel complacent, I want them to be aware and alert and to participate in what's happening in their communities and states. The first documentary builds from the discovery of the bodies to the trial, and ends with the conviction. The camera perspectives and use of interview provide an immersive viewing experience and the documentary has a sense of narrative continuity. I would not want to show West of Memphis to someone unfamiliar with the case, they'd be confused as hell about the when/where of things as the narrative position on the timeline jumps all around.Read more ›
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West of Memphis [Blu-ray]
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