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The second half of the film, in which Patty and the gang are on the run from the cops, is exciting enough in its way. Schrader's trademark willingness to explore what many people would regard as total amorality enables him to make us care for this raggle-taggle bunch of outlaws, as one after another they're arrested, gunned down or burned. Richardson herself is very good as Patty, having to run the gamut from spoiled heiress via terrified captive to bitterly experienced convict.
It's the first half, though, that makes the second half work. Patty's captivity is rendered in a dark, surreal, almost theatrical way; we are locked in a room with her for much of the first half an hour, experiencing her captors only as black silhouettes against white light. The stylisation that worked so well on Schrader's "Mishima" is here employed to other ends, and suprisingly successfully. If the earlier portions of "Patty Hearst" weren't so good, the later part wouldn't carry the charge that it has; Patty's wish to join the SLA only makes sense in terms of the extreme experience she's been through.
The real Patty Hearst went on to act in a John Waters movie, which must make Schrader wince whenever he thinks of it.Read more ›
It is not only taking part in viewing Patty's transformation while in captivity, but viewing the mores of this subculture/cult, and day to day living is fascinating.
Now that Ms. Richardson has just died at such a young age, it saddens me that the majority of Americans will never get to see this amazing performance because someone with the rights somewhere doesn't want to release it for us on DVD. Some online movie rental services allow you to watch the film streamed to your computer, but it is the pan and scan "video" version we get to see, not the quality we are used to viewing today. But it is worth adding to you movie collection even if it is just the VHS copy.
Over all the movie is a good one. But if you are looking for some cheap made for TV movie of the week skip this one. If you are looking for a thought provoking, well acted movie this is the one for you.
I was on set of this film to be an extra (the bank robbery) but didn't make the cut.
The film is very acturate in facts and the performances are great. Ms. Richardson gives a great performance as Patty and from what I recall from the filming, a nice woman and beautiful.
What I love about this film is that at the Cannes Film Festable, Patty Hearst herself met John Waters and became friends. Since then she now has had rolls in all of his films. Good for Patty. The SLA may have taken years of her life, but in the end Patty has the last laugh. Go on Patty!
UPDATE: I just got this on DVD. The quality is great. I just got one of them thar fancy shamancy TV and even it this DVD isn't Blu Ray ... it look good!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The press had a tremendous influence over the results of the trial of Patty Hearst. What a shame! It's worth seeing.Published 12 months ago by Kathleen King
Condition of VCR was fine. It was what I asked for, it just wasn't exactly what I expected, it was ok, I guess.Published 23 months ago by Gail D'ARCY
For the time period, this movie deserves much higher recognition than it gets. I am surprised that it portrays Ms Hearst not as a hero or a villian, but as someone who basically... Read morePublished on April 9, 2014 by vikingsnut
Very interesting movie w/suspence. The best was knowing this story was based on a true crime. I would not believe it any other way!Published on August 12, 2013 by William Curto
It was dragged out and lost my interest early on.i would not buy it. I was very disappointed. Please save your money.Published on July 21, 2013 by patty morland