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The Year of Living Dangerously

4.2 out of 5 stars 214 customer reviews

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(Jun 06, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

GUY HAMILTON IS A JOURNALIST ON HIS FIRST JOB AS A FOREIGNCORRESPONDENT. HIS APPARENTLY HUMDRUM ASSIGNMENT TO INDONESIA SOON TURNS HOT AS PRESIDENT SUKARNO ELECTRIFIES THE POPULACE ANDFRIGHTENS FOREIGN POWERS.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hunt, Michael Murphy, Bill Kerr
  • Directors: Peter Weir
  • Writers: Peter Weir, C.J. Koch, David Williamson
  • Producers: Jim McElroy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2000
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RFGO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,831 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Year of Living Dangerously" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I loved the original theatrical release of The Year of Living Dangerously. I watched it over and over. It was a beautiful, sensuous film. This is not the original. This DVD was the work of some hack who left the best parts of the movie on the cutting room floor. Gone is much of the gamelan music, many scenic shots of Indonesian countryside, and one of the hotest make-out scenes in cinematic history. Just as Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver are about to go at it the scene abruptly ends. Even the sequence of the original is changed. The over all effect is a coursening of what had been a classic. This was such a dark and murky print I still wonder if I somehow got a bootleg copy surreptitiously videotaped by some artless thug. I feel angry and cheated.
I recommend waiting until the original version is released. DON'T BUY THIS TRASH!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What is this film about? Is it about political corruption and intrigue? Is it about how revolutionary movements start by promising a lot and end by delivering little? Is it about the conflict between love and duty? Or perhaps the cynicism of the press and the various and conflicting goals? The film could be about how hard it is to overcome fear and superstition. Maybe it is about doing small things to make the world better, but then reverting to dramatic acts when the small things don't work.
Mel Gibson is a novice reporter for Australian news recently assigned to Indonesia. He wants to make a splash and climb the reportorial hierarchy. Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt in a stellar performance) takes him under his wing and educates him about poverty and teaches him to recognize the shadow play of politics. Billy also introduces him to Jill (Sigourney Weaver). They fall in love and have a wonderful scene in the rain. He commits a dramatic act that costs him dearly. (I don't want to give away everything.) Through it all we meet a cast of characters - reporters and diplomats - who are in turns fascinating and loathsome.
The movie is beautifully photographed. The music adds to the atmosphere. Since I reserve a 5 star rating for true classics, this film gets only a 4. However I do recommend it very strongly.
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Format: DVD
Peter Weir's film 'The Year of Living Dangerously' was shown at a campus film festival during my first year as an undergraduate (a few years after Linda Hunt had won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for playing a male character), sponsored by the departments of political science, journalism, and East Asian studies.
The setting is 1965, Djakarta, during a time when Southeast Asia was high on the scope of European radar and coming into more prominence for American eyes. Indonesia was (and is) a big country, with population and resources (both underutilised) the envy of East and West.
The dictator Sukarno was playing a dangerous game trying the balance the two, internally as well as in foreign affairs. In the end, it did not pay off for him, and Indonesia has only recently begun to work at achieving a prominence a resource-rich, 100+ million populated country can attain.
Into this tight-rope situation dropped Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson), of the Australian Broadcasting Service, a fresh-faced journalist out to make a mark for himself, sabotaged by his predecessor and professionally ignored by other Western journalists (who had their own headline-deadlines to meet). However, a strange American/Chinese man, Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt), befriends him, and attempts to help him both professionally, personally, and spiritually.
Billy takes Guy on a trip through the slums of Djakarta, preaching Tolstoy, charity and compassion, and tries to get Guy to see beyond the headlines. Billy also introduces Guy to Jill (Sigourney Weaver), a British agent planning to leave Djakarta.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I reserve five stars for movies that create or recreate a world I want to live in or touch in some way. This is not to say that one film is BETTER THAN "Citizen Kane" or NOT AS GOOD AS "Casablanca." All good movies are their own reward for having watched them. A movie that can truly move you is a rare thing. It is the accumulation of these rare moments that enrich our lives.
"The Year of Living Dangerously" is a rare thing. It is a film that lets you see an alien culture in all its poverty and violence and political turmoil and renders it -- at its heart -- as a frightening and beautiful thing. I know I will perhaps never go to Djakarta, Indonesia. I certainly cannot know the fear the people of Java lived with under the Sukarno regime. I do not know what fears they live with now.
But I am haunted by the voice of Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt in her Oscar winning role) who is himself haunted by the misery and hardships of his adopted people. Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson) is the journalist trying to cover a budding revolution the western world watches but doesn't wish to understand. Hamilton is, as I would be, lost in this alien culture, visibly panicked as he struggles to keep up with his callous fellow journalists. Sigourney Weaver is the sophisticated British attache for whom he finds himself falling in love. Ultimately, Hamilton must decide between his loyalty to his job and his loyalty to himself.
Peter Weir's empathic direction and Maurice Jarre's lush score put you in Indonesia in the 1960s and hold you there. Stay. You will go back again and again.
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