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Lord Jim

4.3 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Richard Brooks, one of America’s most influential and successful directors, teamed with Peter O'Toole, James Mason and Jack Hawkins for this ambitious adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s high-seas adventure, LORD JIM. The story of an idealistic Merchant Marine officer who disgraces himself when he abandons his ship, Conrad’s classic tale of cowardice and redemption was a stark departure for Brooks. Better known for the contemporary realism of such seminal hits as Blackboard Jungle, Elmer Gantry and In Cold Blood, Brooks was eager to tackle LORD JIM's epic themes. The casting of Peter O'Toole, a top box-office star, paved the way for the high-budget production to begin. Aided by an outstanding supporting cast, which includes Curt Jurgens and Eli Wallach, Brooks and his stars faithfully captured all the action, drama and depth of Conrad’s unforgettable adventure.


Three years after Lawrence of Arabia, the largely impressive Lord Jim (1965) finds Peter O'Toole again essaying a self-doubting but remarkable, white Englishman who leads a foreign people against their oppressor. Based on the Joseph Conrad novel, Lord Jim is the story of a British maritime officer, Jim (O'Toole), who takes a brief post on a tramp steamer and flees in terror during a storm at sea. Dogged by a reputation for cowardice, Jim attempts to reinvent himself in his own eyes, commanding an attack against a feudal warlord (Eli Wallach) in a distant, Southeast Asian village and basking in god-like glory afterward. A sinister plot by a gentleman pirate (James Mason) sets the stage for Jim's confrontation with his true destiny. Simplified and adapted by writer-director Richard Brooks (In Cold Blood), Lord Jim sometimes feels rushed and obvious, but O'Toole's golden performance and legendary cinematographer Freddie Young's 70mm footage are outstanding. --Tom Keogh

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: James Mason, Eli Wallach, Daliah Lavi, Peter O'Toole, Curt Jurgens
  • Directors: Richard Brooks
  • Producers: Richard Brooks
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 3.0), French (Dolby Digital 3.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Japanese
  • 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: 2.20:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002GTWQA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,615 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lord Jim" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Well, Peter O'Toole was never going to find another character or film as magnificent as Lawrence of Arabia. And his first films after that triumph were commendable attempts to avoid typecasting - What's New Pussycat and Becket. But it was inevitable he would again become a tormented blonde Englishman in an alien environment. And he could have done a lot worse than starring as Lord Jim for Richard Brooks.

Any discussion of this film has to concentrate on O'Toole and Brooks. That is not to say there are no other impressive performances, or that the film is not beautifully photographed or graced with a lushly evocative score. But the film is Brooks' vision and O'Toole is the one who must bring it to life. They are both reasonably successful.

Brooks obviously wanted to create an intelligent epic -one to rival the Robert Bolt/David Lean collaborations. But Brooks was both writer and director - and he was adapting a book that was as pyschological as potentially visual. Luckily for him, audiences in the 1960's were more sophisticated (dare we say intelligent?) and willing to think about what they were watching than today's consumers of assembly-line disposable entertainment. So characters could discuss and debate as well as blow things up. Although the disjointed nature of some of the film suggests pre-release studio interference. In the end, the film is a commendable attempt - perhaps more worthy than enjoyable, but still with lots to hold the viewer's interest.

The southeast Asian locations are frequently spectacular and some sequences - the storm at sea and the final battle with pirates - are excitedly staged. The film always looks and sounds beautiful.
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Format: DVD
Conrad's novel, like many he wrote, was on one level a ripping yarn, and on another, an exploration of the inner man. The psychological aspect to the story, written at the turn of the twentieth century, heralded a new style of fiction. This adds to its interest, although the heavily descriptive prose is an acquired taste.

It is the journey of a troubled outcast, roaming the South Seas in a time gone by, taking us through adventure and ending in redemption. It is both glorious romance and personal enlightenment. The novel opens with a description of the character, a manly seaman, dogged and taciturn, yet susceptible to deeper agony. This was the essence of the story: the soul in tempest.

The picture is a very competent adaptation of the book, well written and filmed on location with an excellent cast. Peter O'Toole is a fine actor and at this time was at the height of his powers. He is more suited to playing eccentrics and had already defined Lawrence of Arabia on screen. He might have been less convincing as Jim, but his performance was solid and sufficiently enigmatic to carry the role.

Like all good stories, it has a good ending. While not a happy one, it is the most satisfying resolution of a tale you will ever get. The written version is exquisite, and the film captures this beautifully. You will never forget it.
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Format: VHS Tape
"Lord Jim" is handicapped by the fact that people will always compare it to David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia," which had the same leading man and a similar theme. Despite its Conradian source, "Lord Jim" doesn't have a hero as complex or a setting as compelling as Lean's masterpiece. But it is spectacular entertainment, and a serious inquiry into the roots of human actions.
Despite some B-Movie flourishes (Eli Wallach and Jim's "love interest" are particularly risable), the vulnerability and humanity of its hero captivate the viewer. And the Indonesian setting, while culturally very inaccurate, does evoke the mystery and exotica of 19th century travelogues. At its conclusion, the script tends to talk to death certain conclusions that the viewer could have reached on his/her own, but O'Toole is gifted enough to make it affecting. And anyway, the action sequences, and musky South China Sea atmosphere, are breathtaking.
For those who complain that it is overlong, I suggest you view it as a trilogy, as it is divided quite neatly into three sections, each with its own conflict, cast, and rising momentum. The first is the best, but all have their own brand of power and fascination. I've seen this film many, many times, and even the clumsy or silly parts give me enormous pleasure. I think you'll feel the same way.
In conclusion, I don't share the general bitterness that Amazon endorses a reviewer like Leonard Maltin. He has simply seen more movies than anyone else (it's his whole "life," after all), hence is more likely to have seen whatever film Amazon needs reviewed. It's obviously a decision based on convenience, not ability.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had read where another reviewer stated an apt title for this film might have been `Lawrence of Malaya' as both films feature Peter O'Toole as a man who finds himself in a foreign land, fighting against an oppressive power structure, eventually earning the respect of the native peoples, but ultimately suffering from the undeniable fact that he is a stranger, and will always be regarded as such despite whatever honor and reverence imparted upon him by those whom he helped. Based on a novel by Joseph Conrad and written and directed by Richard Brooks (Blackboard Jungle), Lord Jim (1965) stars Peter O'Toole as the title character (although the `Lord' part isn't assigned to him until much later in the film). Also appearing is James Mason (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), Eli Wallach (The Magnificent Seven), Curt Jürgens (The Longest Day), Jack Hawkins (The Bridge on the River Kwai), Paul Lukas (The Lady Vanishes), Daliah Lavi (The Silencers), and Tatsuo Saito (Three Stripes in the Sun).

As the story begins we witness a young British sailor named Jim graduating from sailor's school (or whatever they call it) and taking a commission on a ship commanded by Captain Marlow (Hawkins). Jim seems a perfectly capable and able seaman, but he's also a bit of a daydreamer as thoughts of gallantry and heroic deeds swirl in his head. After an injury leaves Jim in a foreign port, he signs on aboard the S.S. Patna, a rusty, decrepit tramp steamer carrying a mess of Muslims on a pilgrimage. Trouble occurs at sea and the ship appears in danger of sinking, which drives the cowardly crew (Jim finds himself terror-stricken, reluctantly joining the rest of the crew) to abandon ship prematurely in one of the two meager lifeboats.
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