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American History X [DVD] [1998]

Edward Norton , Edward Furlong , Tony Kaye    To Be Announced   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
Price: 4.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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American History X [DVD] [1998] + Fight Club [1999] [DVD] + Seven [DVD] [1995]
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Product details

  • Actors: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Stacy Keach
  • Directors: Tony Kaye
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: To be announced
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Nov 2012
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008YMDI9G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,293 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Perhaps the highest compliment you can pay to Edward Norton is that his Oscar-nominated performance in American History X nearly convinces you that there is a shred of logic in the tenets of white supremacy. If that statement doesn't horrify you, it should; Norton is so fully immersed in his role as a neo-Nazi skinhead that his character's eloquent defense of racism is disturbingly persuasive--at least on the surface. Looking lean and mean with a swastika tattoo and a mind full of hate, Derek Vinyard (Norton) has inherited racism from his father, and that learning has been intensified through his service to Cameron (Stacy Keach), a grown-up thug playing tyrant and teacher to a growing band of disenfranchised teens from Venice Beach, California, all hungry for an ideology that fuels their brooding alienation.

The film's basic message--that hate is learned and can be unlearned--is expressed through Derek's kid brother, Danny (Edward Furlong), whose sibling hero-worship increases after Derek is imprisoned (or, in Danny's mind, martyred) for the killing of two black men. Lacking Derek's gift of rebel rhetoric, Danny is easily swayed into the violent, hateful lifestyle that Derek disowns during his thoughtful time in prison. Once released, Derek struggles to save his brother from a violent fate, and American History X partially suffers from a mix of intense emotions, awkward sentiment and predictably inevitable plotting. And yet British director Tony Kaye (who would later protest against Norton's creative intervention during post-production) manages to juggle these qualities--and a compelling clash of visual styles--to considerable effect. No matter how strained their collaboration may have been, both Kaye and Norton can be proud to have created a film that addresses the issue of racism with dramatically forceful impact. --Jeff Shannon,

Product Description

This controversial film stars Edward Norton as Derek Vinyard, an angry young man seeking retribution for the murder of his father. Derek becomes the leader of a skinhead white-power movement, espousing racist views to his peers and using his intelligence to stir up as much race-hate as possible. Derek's actions culminate in murder and he is jailed. Three years later his girlfriend (Fairuza Balk) and brother Danny (Edward Furlong) await his release, but discover that Derek is a changed man, ashamed of his past and no longer driven by hatred. However, the consequences of his actions still haunt Derek's family and the threat of a return to violence is never far away.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are not enemies. 1 Dec 2001
This is the only film i have seen which really tackles racism in a realistic and intelligent way. The Ed Norton character is an intelligent and articulate individual who convincingly preaches the twisted logic of racism. The film manages to convey most psychological explanations of racism - the authoritarian personality,the scapegoat hypothesis, in-group out-group bias, transference, etc, without feeling preachy. I can't think of a more socially important or responsible film than this. Derek's emotional oddessy is both moving and disturbing, with all points of view given equal airing, no matter how extreme. Personally I found the question asked of Derek 'Has anything you have done made your life better?' a stark and penetrating wake up call for anyone who is unhappy. The ending has been criticised for being overly emotional but I thought it was appropriate, Derek gets hurt by former chosen enemies who have not yet learnt the lesson he has. This makes us question whether Derek was wrong in the first place. This is a complicated film about a difficult subject which should be required viewing in all schools. The ultimate message is to do your best and try to get along with other people. Its not just about racism, its about personal choice, do we live to hate or do we try to make life better for ourselves and others. The director walked away from the film, my question is if he was unhappy with this cut, what would his version be like? This version is a technical, artistic and emotional triumph.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This film represents a huge leap forward from the sickly, prescriptive preaching of "the world would be lovely if it wasn't for the bad people" into an aknowledgement that there are fallible human beings on both sides of the racial divide, some of whom mistake personal bitterness for a moral justification of hatred. Hearteningly, the more recent "Crash" also takes this approach, though from a wider perspective than American History X's specific focus on racially motivated violence.

I take the point of the previous reviewer that this film reduces some of the neo-nazis to cardboard cut-outs, but to be fair its approach was ambitious enough already. (To fully develop all the characters in such a complex subject might require a stage tragedy rather than a general release movie.) Similarly, the handful of liberals were probably necessary, sadly, to prevent idiots taking the film as a vindication of their so-called beliefs, and also to avoid alienating much of the target audience. For a film released in 1999 this was a very brave production.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great films of all time 12 Oct 2003
This is a truly great film, intelligent and thought provoking. Edward Norton is amazing.
Films like this need to be made because the problems confronted are still very real. The film takes you into the mind of a hardcore, militant racist in a world were he has to confront that which he hates. The debate between Norton and Eliott Gould is masterful, Gould's character being Jewish leads to inevitable consequences. The politics of the white power movement are depicted amazingly and it is a refreshing change for a skinhead to be depicted in a morally balanced way.
It is a shame that, because of the language, this film will never be shown in schools. If the teachers werent so seemingly scared of the language that most teenagers use anyway, this film could easily be used as a great film to analyse morals and beliefs in our society.
In the year 2003, we should have evolved past racism. Unfortunately, we havent.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On of the most powerful films ever 21 Dec 2006
By Stampy
Edward Norton (Fight Club) stars magnificently as derek, an opinionated soul living in Southern America, a place where racism and cultural values are strong. His brother Danny (Furlong) wants to follow in his footsteps but after his time spent in prison, Derek has changed his views about society.

This is an extremly powerful film containing a massive pressure on culture and what various people from all walks of life believe about certain values. Norton is terrific as the hating immigrants emotional dominant protagonist and deservering of an Oscar nomination.

The way the film conveys issues such as racism is remarkable, what certain people will do and say is jawdropping in Kaye's 1998 film. The ending is sensational and had me in tears, showing how powerful it is.

Violence in shooting, gangs, bullying are all used to emhpasise the true meaning of the film, and it came off superbly, catching my breathe on various scenes.

the direction is remarkable, especially the flashbacks which are filmed in black and white to convey passion and recollection for the characters.

without a doubt, this is simply a must watch to make the audience see how wrong racism and violence is in society.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films I've ever seen 18 April 2001
By A Customer
This film is stunning and quite possibly one of the best films you'll ever see. No film has had such a sudden impact on me quite like this one has. From the eye opening and absorbing plot to the breathtaking performances, this is a true epic. Ed Norton is simply superb - how he can go from being so scary one moment and then so friendly the next is beyond me. His fascinating character immediately draws you into the film and somehow forces you to care about an individual that at first is full of antagonism. There are also strong performances from the supporting actors, in particular the brother, who appears to be no older than he was in Terminator 2. The direction of the plot is also top-notch with the events leading up to and the development of Norton's hateful and violent nature portrayed in authentic black and white. The portrayal of these events are smoothly intertwined with the present day events allowing you to learn of why things are happening as they are happening. The story is told through the eyes of the brother who appears to be rapidly following in the fatalistic foot-steps of his older brother (Norton) who is desperate to teach him what he has learnt form his recent experiences inside. The ending is brilliant leaving you shocked and stunned and is the final piece of the jigsaw that is hatred, sorrow and remourse. As for the dvd, there's not too many extras, just the usual biographies etc, but who cares when the film is this good. Plug it into your speakers and be amazed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this film
Came very quick, I love this film. Defiantly would recommend a watch, maybe even twice or more.
Published 13 days ago by Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars social film
good film good directed good actor
so good moment
good screenplay sur un vieux tabou de la société américaine too
Published 1 month ago by Saidi Malik
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd
a classic dvd great story line a really gripping story ive watched it a lot and will watch it a lot more
Published 1 month ago by stephen
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful
I had previously owned this on VHS (anyone remember those!) so bought this copy to replace the outdated one. Read more
Published 1 month ago by vic
3.0 out of 5 stars Hardcoded Dutch subtitles
Despite being the hard to get uncensored version, the Dutch subtitles are hardcoded and cannot be disabled. A bit annoying but no better version on the market.
Published 1 month ago by Bo Jensen
1.0 out of 5 stars Item faulty and seller entered order date as over a year ago I'm 2013...
Waste of money. DVD does not play. This was meant to be for educational purposes as well. Thanks for wasting my time and money!
Published 1 month ago by caroline eastwood
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the most stupid ideas ever
A direction that uses the same effects that what it is supposed to denounce and attack. No wonder the director totally denied the final editing done by dumb producer. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Artemus n'H
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Classic
Very powerful performance by Edward Norton on what is undoubtedly a modern classic. To make such an obvious villain not only likeable but relatable is an achievement in itself. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stephen Gallagher
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite films
A fantastic film, Edward Norton is one of many great actors in this film and a very moving one at that.
Published 2 months ago by Linda Ryley
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving
Very good acting but also a lot and I mean a lot of swearing, blood and fighting
Good to watch
Published 3 months ago by Rupert Loseby
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