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A History Of Violence [DVD]

Viggo Mortensen , Maria Bello , David Cronenberg    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
Price: 2.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, William Hurt, Ashton Holmes
  • Directors: David Cronenberg
  • Writers: John Wagner, Josh Olson, Vince Locke
  • Producers: Cale Boyter, Chris Bender, J.C. Spink, Jake Weiner
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Mar 2006
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E6TVRS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,641 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



On the surface, David Cronenberg may seem an unlikely candidate to direct A History of Violence, but dig deeper and you'll see that he's the right man for the job. As an intellectual seeker of meaning and an avowed believer in Darwinian survival of the fittest, Cronenberg knows that the story of mild-mannered small-town diner proprietor Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is in fact a multilayered examination of inbred human behavior, beginning when Tom's skillful killing of two would-be robbers draws unwanted attention to his idyllic family life in rural Indiana. He's got a loving wife (Maria Bello) and young daughter (Heidi Hayes) who are about to learn things about Tom they hadn't suspected, and a teenage son (Ashton Holmes) who has inherited his father's most prominent survival trait, manifesting itself in ways he never expected. By the time Tom has come into contact with a scarred villain (Ed Harris) and connections that lead him to a half-crazy kingpin (William ! Hurt, in a spectacular cameo), Cronenberg has plumbed the dark depths of human nature so skillfully that A History of Violence stands well above the graphic novel that inspired it (indeed, Cronenberg was unaware of the source material behind Josh Olson's chilling adaptation). With hard-hitting violence that's as sudden as it is graphically authentic, this is A History of Violence that's worthy of serious study and widespread acclaim. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Thriller from director David Cronenberg starring Viggo Mortensen as Tom Stall, a pillar of a small town community who runs a diner and lives a happy and quiet life with his wife, Edie (Maria Bello) and two children. But their lives are forever changed when Tom thwarts an attempted robbery and is lauded as a hero by the media, attracting the attention of some mobsters (William Hurt and Ed Harris) who believe he is someone else.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than US BD 3 Jun 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This UK BD is not grain filtered like the US and therefore provides the authentic film look. If you prefer people looking like wax puppets you are better off with the US disc. If you can appreciate what film looks like this is the disc for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the upgrade 9 Mar 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
No need to introduce this movie to film buffs but suffice it to say its worth the upgrade to blu-ray. The film is an anamorphic print and fills the screen. The opening shot of the motel in full sunlight is so sharp its almost unreal. The true dolby soundtrack is first class. Not too much in the way of extras but a worthy addition to your high def library.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - one of the films of the year. 6 Dec 2006
When all the attention was firmly focused on Ang Lee's other western, Brokeback Mountain, for me, David Cronenberg's excellent, contemporary western was the more arguably powerful film.

Taking the premise of a small, idyllic town, and the small-time cafe owner who kills two robbers who he feels are endangering his costumers, Cronenberg skillfully crafts a brilliant story of a man who tries to suppress the violence that is part of his nature, but which eventually consumes him. Cronenberg searches deep in to the human nature, examining the brutal, shocking violence that is at the core of this movie.

Viggo Mortensen fits the bill perfectly, looking so much like a man of the west -- the only thing missing is a cowboy hat. Perfectly portraying the quiet cafe owner, then his violent alter ego Joey, Mortensen is excellent throughout. The violence is brutal and sudden, but it is authentic and shockingly real -- Cronenberg apparently got some of the violence from a DVD on the internet which shows you how to kill a man on the street, which he stumbled across.

For those of you who have not seen this I urge you to get it. Underrated, this film deserves better as it is a brilliant examination of human behaviour and Mortensen's character is a perfect example of a man trying to forget his past, but which inevitable catches up with him.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, Great Bluray! 2 Mar 2009
If you're not familiar with this David Cronenberg gem, then you are missing out! It has style, substance & class performances from all. This new BD transfer is very good, with a very sharp & detailed picture & vibrant colours & inky blacks The DolbyTrueHD soundtrack is always fully immersive & given extra depth & dimensionality by a great musical score. This comes Highly Recommended!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Multilayered and absorbing 24 Mar 2007
By Mr. Stephen Kennedy TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a gem of a movie. It is one of those rare treats that you can enjoy on multiple levels - as a straight forward thriller, or as it is really intended, as something much more thought provoking.

We start the movie with Tom Stall (Viggo Mortnesen) and his wife played by Mario Bello exhibit all the characteristics of a happy, safe, marriage. Passionate, intimate, good kids etc... Then their world is disrupted, when two bad guys come into the diner where he works. They set out to do nasty things, and Stall is propelled into a brief but highly effective eruption of violence. He is feted as a hero, but we begin to see the changes in his relationship with his son in particular as a result. As the town comes back to normal however, the ever brilliant Ed Harris comes into town. He is convinced Tom Stall is actually someone else altogether, an explanation that fits with the violence we have seen. To say more about the plot would be to deprive you of seeing how things unfold, so I will leave it at that.

It is in the subtexts that the movie excels - not telling us what we should think, but questioning our own reactions. Is his son right for using more violent means with bullies? Was a little violence necessary to balance his pacifist ways? Is the couples `violent' sex more real than the passion we see near the beginning of the movie?

As stated by others, it is after the movie ends and you start talking about the movie.. and you WILL start talking about the movie, that you will realise how effective it actually was. The performances are uniformly excellent - Mario Bello brings real credibility to a wife dealing with the changes in her husband, and Ashton Holmes as Tom Stall's son is brilliant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is an old fashioned action film, it could even be a western the resemblance is so great and it definitely deals with a lot of themes which I'd associate with the western.

This film shares the title of a graphic novel A History of Violence popular as an attempt to deal with the "real world" or "true crime" storyline rather than super heroes or fantasy, however the film does not have the same conclusion (its seriously difficult to see how it could, given how grotesque and gross some people have found the film they should check out the book for real horror).

Thematically its the story of the "second lifer" who has their cover blown when some shady, sinister elements from his past return to haunt him when an act of violence, protecting others, leads to him hitting the headlines portrayed as a small town hero. The suspiscion, doubt and menace which are visited upon the title character and his family are realistic and the fissures quickly open up between the title character, his wife and kids.

Throughout the horrific, unanticipated, shocking and irreversible nature of true violence is portrayed very well. There is no martial artistry, no stylistic shooting or anything of that kind. It is brutal and the age certification is very much warranted.

However what is really interesting, or was to me, is how brilliantly the actors portrayed the characters and how violence effected them, the swift, unflinching nature of their actions, choices once made are not made by half measure.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 12 days ago by NEIL FIGG
5.0 out of 5 stars Way above average revenge story!
I thorougholy enjoyed this film: fantastic acting and a great script elevates it from what could have been a fairly bog standard action/revenge flick to a thought-provoking, taut... Read more
Published 25 days ago by K.Wood
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Extremely violent at times but riveting to watch with great performances from a top notch cast.Viggo Mortensen subtle character change is very good he is a bit wooden at times but... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Happy chap
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
A very creative and original film. Doesn't follow any of the standard formats for this kind of film. Read more
Published 3 months ago by J
5.0 out of 5 stars Really really good!
the brief story is a mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will change his family for good. This film was great! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dr. Horror
5.0 out of 5 stars crime drama
good cast. ex gangster virggo mortenson(aragorn in lord of the rings) runs small town cafe in mid west. i also reccomend 2nd film(not follow on) eastern promises
Published 4 months ago by dark magic
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice coffee Joey...
Tom Stall is a loving family man and well-respected citizen of a small Indiana town.

But when two savage criminals show up at his diner, Tom is forced to take action and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Corey S. Newcombe
4.0 out of 5 stars AOK
Good story line, based on a true life of a gangster who tries to break out of that life until it catches up with him
Published 5 months ago by Terence Stevens
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Enough- But Isn't it Just a Chuck Norris Movie in...
Had Chuck Norris been the leading guy instead of Viggo Mortensen would A History of Violence still have been remembered? Read more
Published 7 months ago by Colonel Decker
5.0 out of 5 stars A history of violence
This is such a great film, grips you and doesnt let go
Delivery on time
we were really pleased
great performances and well worth the money
Published 8 months ago by TGRSDinas
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History of Violence - Region Code 1 18 Nov 2011
Subtitles? Languages? 0 18 Jan 2010
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