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Geronimo - An American Legend

4.2 out of 5 stars 182 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

An American legend comes to breathtaking life in this explosive epic Western starring Jason Patric,Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman and Wes Studi as Geronimo. Studi (The Last Of The Mohicans) gives a stunning performance as the fearless warrior who was the last Indian leader to surrender to the white man. Betrayed by the Army's legendary Indian fighter, General George Crook (Hackman), Geronimo leads a small band of warriors in escape. Pursued by a principled officer (Patric), a grizzled Army scout (Duvall), and a gung-ho West Point graduate (Matt Damon, Good Will Hunting), Geronimo evades capture through brilliant military strategy and cut-throat courage. His true story is both an action adventure and a spiritual journey through the heart of a warrior.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Jason Patric, Wes Studi
  • Directors: Walter Hill
  • Producers: Walter Hill, Neil Canton
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 17, 1998
  • Run Time: 2 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767817672
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,982 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Geronimo - An American Legend" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
I share the opinion of several other reviewers that "Geronimo" is an outstanding -- but undervalued -- Western. Let me tick off some of the reasons why this is such a good movie.
First, the scenery and the cinematography are fabulous. Some of the photography deliberately imitates great scenes from other Westerns in the past. I was overcome with deja vu at the scene in which a file of mounted Apaches is silhouetted on the skyline. This is right out of John Ford's "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" if memory serves me right.
Secondly, the performances of Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, and Wes Studi, as Geronimo, were outstanding. Matt Damon and Jason Patric were fine as young cavalry officers, and I liked the performance of Steve Reevis as Chato, a friendly, trusting -- and ultimately disillusioned -- Apache scout. Third, the movie was reasonably true to fact and avoided the "noble savage" philosophy that made movies such as "Dances with Wolves" tiresome. Nor did the movie gloss over the perfidy of U.S. policy toward the Apaches.
The story of the long pursuit of Geronimo and his tiny band of Apaches by thousands of soldiers and Apache scouts is an American epic. Perhaps what "Geronimo" the movie doesn't have, and thus didn't capture the attention of the critics and the public, is a blockbuster scene that raises you out of your seat. But I thought "Geronimo" was an honest, informative, well-made film that should be rated among the top twenty Westerns of all time.
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Format: VHS Tape
Sometimes, stunning camera work adds significant value to a film's overall merit. Case in point is 2001: A SPACE ODDYSSEY, in which the visuals (and musical score) contributed to make it one of the great films of all time. (I saw it 8 times when originally on the big screen.) Yet the acting and storyline were so nondescript that who can remember who the actors or their characters were beyond Hal? Although certainly not carrying the same weight as 2001 in the evolution of movie making, the 1993 release GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND is elevated for the same reason, and the acting is much better besides.
Matt Damon plays 2nd Lt. Britton Davis, newly commissioned out of West Point, who arrives in Arizona in the mid-1880's just in time to accompany the savvy 1st Lt. Charles Gatewood, played by Jason Patric, on a mission to accept the surrender of Geronimo, and bring the Apache leader to the reservation. Eventually, Geronimo abandons the reservation to again take up arms against the white man, ultimately fleeing into Mexico. The local Army cavalry command led by Gen. George Crook, played by Gene Hackman, and which includes Davis and Gatewood, must then go retrieve the war chief and his followers. Robert Duvall has the role of Al Sieber, the army unit's Chief Scout.
As I've indicated, the cinematography in GERONIMO is absolutely gorgeous, the film being shot in the scenic expanses of southeastern Utah. Moreover, the acting doesn't deserve the reproach it's received. The Crook character, criticized as too bland, is played just right. By that time in his long military career, Gen. Crook had seen it all when it came to battling the Indians, and his unflappability, evenhandedness, and strength of character were fully established. There is no need for flamboyant theatrics on his part.
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Format: VHS Tape
Walter Hill's film is full of action and drama concerning the Apache Chief Geronimo. Wes Studi should have got an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of the Apache Chief. Also outstanding performances by Robert Duvall as Al Siebur the Indian Scout, Jason Patric as Lt. Charles Gatewood, Gene Hackman as Gen. Crook, and Steve Reevis as Apache Scout Chato. Jason Patric's horsemanship is showcased in a scene where an Apache warrior is charging at him on horseback, firing a pistol. A standout scene. A must see for Western Fans. This is an eye opening look at how the Apache were treated by the U.S. government. A truly sad part of American history.
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Format: DVD
This is the second Walter Hill movie I've seen recently, and I believe I'm getting the hang of it. At least as far as his westerns go. Hill takes as his subject matter a larger-than-life character, in this case the Apache warrior Geronimo, and embellishes the facts to fit a larger truth. I say that without sarcasm or disapproval. Hill turns a bandit queen into a prostitute, kills off one of his characters in the wrong place at the wrong time (to give a big star a death scene,) invents a fight between two men who probably never met, much less knew of each other. There's a good reason this one is subtitled "An American Legend." It's a fair approach for a filmmaker to take, but the raw material of his films have been so finely sifted by so many passionate students for so long they're almost magnets for those prone to nit-pick the tiniest historical accuracy.

When I set aside my concerns for historical accuracy I discovered I enjoyed the heck out of this movie. It looks beautiful, always a plus with a western shot on location. Wes Studi, an American Indian of the Cherokee Nation, really reaches deep into the core of Geronimo - courageous, proud to the point of arrogance, and ultimately doomed. To Hill's credit Geronimo isn't a two-dimensional wooden noble. Likewise, his "bad" guys, in this case racist scout Robert Duvall, aren't caricatures either. Hill doesn't paint in bold contrasts, and GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND feels real. This mature approach comes at a price. It's hard to build up to big dramatic moments in an action film when you don't have highly contrasted Good Guys and Bad Guys. Fortunately for the film and the audience GERONIMO'S cast is filled with high-caliber actors able to portray complex characters without losing the audience in the process.
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