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Pollock (Special Edition)

4.3 out of 5 stars 238 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Directed by and starring Academy Award(r) nominee (for Best Actor) Ed Harris (The Truman Show, The Rock), POLLOCK is a beautifully-crafted, stunning drama about the legendary American painter, Jackson Pollock. Fellow artists and lovers, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner are at the center of New York's 1940s art scene, but as Krasner neglects her work to push Pollock's career forward, Pollock begins to unravel emotionally. Pollock and Krasner escape to the country and marry and, soon, Pollock creates work that makes him the first internationally-famous modern painter in America. But, with fame andfortune, comes a volatile temper and severe self-doubt; before long, Pollock's life threatens to explode. Featuring exceptional performances by a stellar cast, including Academy Award(r) winner Marcia Gay Harden (Meet Joe Black, The First Wives Club), Amy Madigan (Field of Dreams, Uncle Buck), Val Kilmer (The Saint, Heat) and Jennifer Connelly (Requiem for a Dream).


The long road to Pollock began when actor Ed Harris received a biography of Jackson Pollock from his father, who noticed that his son bore an uncanny resemblance to the artist. Harris's fascination with Pollock matched his physical similarity; the actor chose to direct and star in this impressive film biography. And his devotion assured a work of singular integrity, honoring the artist's achievement in abstract expressionism while acknowledging that Pollock was a tormented, manic-depressive alcoholic whose death at 44 (in a possibly suicidal car crash) also claimed the life of an innocent woman. The film also suggests that Pollock's success was largely attributable to the devotion of his wife, artist Lee Krasner, played with matching ferocity by Marcia Gay Harden in an Oscar®-winning performance.

In many respects a traditional biopic, Pollock begins in 1941 when Pollock meets Krasner, who encourages him and attracts the attention of supportive critic Clement Greenberg (Jeffrey Tambor) and benefactor Peggy Guggenheim (Amy Madigan). As Pollock rises from obscurity to international acclaim, Harris brings careful balance to his portrayal of a driven creator who found peace during those brief, sober periods when art brought release from his tenacious inner demons. The film offers sympathy without sentiment, appreciation without misguided hagiography. As an acting showcase it's utterly captivating. As a compassionate but unflinching exploration of Jackson Pollock's intimate world, there's no doubt that Harris captured the essence of a man whose life was as torturous as his art was redeeming. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Making Of
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Charlie Rose interview with Ed Harris

Product Details

  • Actors: Val Kilmer, Jennifer Connelly, Jeffrey Tambor, Ed Harris, Marcia Gay Harden
  • Directors: Ed Harris
  • Producers: Ed Harris, Jon Kilik, Fred Berner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English
  • 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: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2001
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005KHJJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,149 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pollock (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on May 5, 2001
American painter Jackson Pollock (1912-56) was a revolutionary figure in 20th century art. The film "Pollock" tells the story of his successes, setbacks, and inner torment. Directed by Ed Harris, who also plays the title role, this is very effective portrait of the man and the artist.
Excellent performances are also turned in by the supporting cast. Marcia Gay Harden is amazing as Lee Krasner, Pollock's wife and fellow painter; Harden is intelligent, sexy, passionate, and driven in this difficult role. Another standout performance comes from Amy Madigan, as art patron Peggy Guggenheim; Madigan creates an intriguingly creepy portrait of a powerful woman.
But this is Harris' film, and he is triumphant in the title role. His Pollock is the quintessential "tortured artist." But Harris rises above this cultural stereotype to create a complex, unsettling portrait of Pollock. Particularly magical are the scenes where Harris/Pollock is painting; these scenes are superbly complemented by Jeff Beal's musical score. And Harris is truly frightening when Pollock's inner rage finally spills out.
Ultimately, I see Ed Harris' "Pollock" as an important meditation on the role of a visionary artist in a society that is obsessed with consumption and profit. If you are interested in modern art or in good filmmaking, check out "Pollock."
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Based on "Jackson Pollock: An American Saga" by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, this film is a portrait of a destructive, self indulgent man who though brilliant, was nonetheless a double-distilled jerk. Was it self-interest that motivated the ambitious Lee Krasner to stay with him ? Perhaps the need to nurture, and be a part of a talent greater than hers ? Who can tell what drives such complex relationships, and had she not been at his side, it is doubtful that he would have achieved his current place in art history; perhaps it was a fated, infernal partnership, all for art's sake.
Ed Harris as director and actor brought this story to life with believability and his chemistry with Marcia Gay Harden is superb; he received Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and she won for Best Supporting Actress, and both deservedly so. There is a fight scene towards the end of the film that is so real it sounds as if it is actually happening. I find myself lowering the volume, so my neighbors don't call the police.
Also excellent is Sada Thompson as Pollock's mother, and Amy Madigan (Mrs. Ed Harris in real life) as Peggy Guggenheim.
The cinematography, set, and costume design all capture the look of mid 20th century America, and the soundtrack by Jeff Beal is lovely; I particularly like the sprightly theme that seems sometimes to connect one scene to another.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the depiction of the creative process, like when he discovered his drip technique, and also loved the representation of the 1950 exhibit at the Betty Parsons Gallery, with the final camera shot zooming into the paint itself.
Though he struggled long and hard for fame, once it was his, he said "I feel like a clam without a shell".
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Format: DVD
Ed Harris deserved the Best Actor trophy for Pollock over the heavily hyped Russell Crowe, who should have won last year for The Insider. And I even thought there might be a chance he'd win when the sublime Marcia Gay Harden beat the equally deserving (but younger, with a brighter future) Kate Hudson.
This film, based on the life and death of Jackson Pollock, is an acting paradise. Harris and Harden are both given ample scenery to chew, and Harris ups the ante by giving us a performance that not only shows the desperation and suffering in Pollock's life, but the peace he felt when he painted. And those painting scenes are so full of energy that it's easy to believe that Jackson Pollock is up there on the screen, painting yet another masterpiece.
If you're a fan of Pollock himself, there will be much for you to enjoy here, and even if you're not, you'll have the chance to see two of the best performances of the year.
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The romantic notion of suffering for one's art has been cinematically rendered in countless films, depicting the lives of real life artists ranging from Van Gogh to Camille Claudel to Beethoven to Jim Morrison to Rimbaud; but rarely has a film penetrated as deeply as "Pollock," directed by and starring Ed Harris as the abstract painter Jackson Pollock. The story begins in 1941 and chronicles Pollock's life until the early `50s. It's a vivid, and at times grim portrait of a true artist struggling for recognition, as well as with the inner demons that plague his soul and are reflected in his art and the way he lives his life. It is said that the artist "sees" the world differently than the average person, which may be true; and it is that unique "vision" that sets the artist apart. And Pollock was no exception to the rule.
As romantic as it may sound, the reality of suffering for one's art is just that: Suffering. For realizing that vision and bringing it to fruition is more often than not an arduous and tortuous path to tread. Coalescing the fragments of that vision and transferring that information into reality can be a painful process, and one of the strengths of this film is that it so succinctly conveys that sense of desperation and frustration that are seemingly an intrinsic part of "creating." There's a scene in which Pollock, after having been commissioned to do a mural, sits on the floor of his studio with his back against the wall staring for days on end at the blank canvas stretched across the room, waiting for that spark of inspiration, that sudden moment when what he must do will crystallize in his mind's eye.
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