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Mystery Train

4.3 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

After the critical triumphs of Stranger Than Paradise and Down by Law, director Jim Jarmusch was called 'the most arresting filmmaker to surface in the American cinema by The New York Times. Mystery Train is a 'smart and curiously affecting (The Nation) comedy, that is funny and thoroughly satisfying (The New York Times)! Named after an Elvis Presleyhit, Mystery Train interweaves three engrossing stories, all centering around the Presley legend and his beloved hometown of Memphis. As the characters paths collidethrough laughter, fear and fateyou can practically feel the presence of the King himself in every scene and his legacy impressed on a generation of equally lost souls in 'this wry, brilliantly structured comedy (Boxoffice).

Special Features

  • Collectible Trivia Booklet

Product Details

  • Actors: Masatoshi Nagase, Yûki Kudô, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Cinqué Lee, Rufus Thomas
  • Directors: Jim Jarmusch
  • Writers: Jim Jarmusch
  • Producers: Demetra J. MacBride, Hideaki Suda, Jim Stark, Kunijiro Hirata, Rudd Simmons
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: March 28, 2000
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792844033
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,692 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mystery Train" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I recently got this DVD and was dismayed to find that the English subtitles were missing (as the last reviewer pointed out.) I just found a fix that may work for some people. The "Subtitles" screen lists only French and Spanish as choices. But the remote for my Toshiba 3109 player has a "Subtitles" button that can be used while the movie is playing. With "Mystery Train" this button brings up four choices: "1 Fre", "2 Spa", "3 Fre" and "4 Spa". The first two will bring up French or Spanish subtitles as expected. But choosing either "3 Fre" or "4 Spa" will cause English subtitles to appear for the Japanese portions of the film! So the disc is indeed bungled, but this workaround made it watchable for me. And yes, it's a great movie!
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Format: DVD
Mystery Train is a fascinating snapshot of Memphis through the eyes of foreigners and the disenfranchised. The stories in this film run the gamut from romantic to touching to amusing but all with a humanistic streak running through them. Jarmusch would follow this film with Night on Earth - Criterion Collection which would adhere to the same structure but on a much more ambitious level.

In the way of special features, there is a "Q&A with Jim." As he has done for past Criterion editions of his films, Jarmusch answers questions submitted by fans in lieu of an audio commentary. They are by no means restricted to the film but the bulk of them do pertain to it. Jarmusch confirms that Tom Waits' D.J. heard in the film is in fact the character he played in Down by Law - Criterion Collection. He talks about how he worked with the Japanese actors and the origins of their segment title. He also talks about his favourite Elvis era and addresses the barren and bleak look of Memphis in the film.

"I Put a Spell on Me" features excerpts from a 2001 documentary on Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Jarmusch is interviewed and talks about when he first heard Jay's signature song, "I Put a Spell on You," how he used it in Stranger Than Paradise - Criterion Collection and then cast him in Mystery Train. Jay talks about working on the film and shares some amusing anecdotes on this fantastic extra.

"Memphis Tour" revisits many of the locations used in the film.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A delightful trudge through Memphis with a couple of jaded Japanese tourists. The fact that they speak practically no English just adds to the charm and surrealism. It's actually a collage of three or four more or less independent stories, a form that I am particularly partial to, sort of like waking up from a dream into another dream several times.

This is one of those movies I saw "cold," having no idea what it was about. It turns out that that's the only way to see a movie. It is said that Gene Siskel would never read about or discuss a movie before seeing it, wanting to absorb its full impact (or lack thereof) completely free of prejudice. The only problem is that we civilians can't afford to see every movie and we need to perform a modicum of triage to avoid wasting our limited resources on the clinkers.

Seeing Mystery Train "cold" was an experience I won't forget, though I've watched it many times since.
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Format: DVD
A quirky minimalist movie by Jim Jarmusch that is well thought out and cleverly devised that will leave viewers either fascinated or cold. It takes place during a single night in Memphis, and revolves around three unconnected storylines: a Japanese couple on a "pilgrimage" to Elvis shrines, an Italian woman whose flight back to Rome has been delayed, and a trio of young sleazes who get drunk and shoot a liquor store owner. They all spend the night at a fleabag hotel (The Arcade, run by Screamin' Jay Hawkins!). Jarmusch's use of flashback, a la RASHOMON, is clever and inspired. But Jarmush also likes to use long takes of scenes in which virtually nothing happens, which can make the movie feel long and ponderous. It's still the best of his movies, though.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a very strange but intriguing movie experience. If you like any of Jim Jarmusch's films than you will definitely like this film, otherwise, you might be in for a movie that your either going to really like or really hate. I personally like this film alot, it's set in Memphis Tennessee, and has alot of Elvis Nostalgia in it. The film has three stories that are all different than the other, but all weave and interconnect to each other in the film as it goes on. It is a slow paced movie, with a little humor and a little darkness and also a little tired feeling. If your a fan of Jim's work than I would say you would like this film alot. Otherwise, you might have a difficult time watching the movie and feel a little wrestless in between.
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Format: DVD
I go to two or three movies a week and have for many years. Netflix and other such sources also keep my movie obsession fed. This is my all time favorite movie.
I particularly like very original movies with amazing photography. This has some of the best photography I have seen in a movie. It's just beautiful and artsy.

It's far out, different, funny and exhilarating. Japanese Elvis freaks touring Memphis,
complete with eerie night photography of neon Memphis, the lonliness, the mystery of it,
shadowy, off kilter, spooky, things are not what they seem, but hauntingly beautiful.
Gave me some delicious goosebumps. Sex in the night in a fleabag motel, the very idea of Japanese imitating Elvis, getting so into it, wandering around soaking up the atmosphere,
like aliens from another planet trying to fit in. The clash of cultures so subtle here,
ups the intensity, the strangeness.

This movie is a masterpiece of modern film making.
See my list on Amazon of best movies ever made that you may not have heard of.
This is number one.
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