Watch now

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Image Unavailable

Image not available for
  • Sorry, this item is not available in
  • Image not available

Breaking The Waves [DVD] [1996]

Price: £21.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Only 1 left in stock.
Sold by Great Buys Uk and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
7 new from £13.70 5 used from £5.64 1 collectible from £12.99

Amazon Instant Video

Watch Breaking the Waves instantly from £2.49 with Amazon Instant Video
Also available to rent on DVD from LOVEFiLM By Post

Looking for Bargains?
Check out the DVD & Blu-ray Deals of the Week page to find this week's price-drops. Deals of the Week end on Sunday at 23:59.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

Breaking The Waves [DVD] [1996] + Dancer In The Dark [DVD] [2000] + Dogville [DVD]
Price For All Three: £31.04

Buy the selected items together

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Product details

  • Actors: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Katrin Cartlidge, Jean-Marc Barr, Adrian Rawlins
  • Directors: Lars von Trier
  • Writers: Lars von Trier, David Pirie, Peter Asmussen
  • Producers: Axel Helgeland, Lars Jönsson, Marianne Slot, Peter Aalbæk Jensen
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Italian, French, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Sep 2003
  • Run Time: 153 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009KOW5
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,805 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

In 1970's Scotland, young Bess meets and falls in love with oil rig worker Jan. Despite opposition they marry, and when Jan returns to the rigs Bess counts the days until his return. After Jan is paralysed in an accident, he urges Bess to take a lover and relate their sexual acts to him. The soundtrack includes music by David Bowie and T-Rex.


Set in an unmercifully rugged, coastal village in Scotland in the 1970s, this extraordinary film by Lars von Trier stars British actress Emily Watson as a barely contained naive named Bess, who holds regular conversations with God and whose pure and intensely personal faith is hardly tolerated by the gruesome Calvinist elders of her church. Bess marries an oil-rig worker (Stellan Skarsgard) and comes to believe that erotic discovery is a part of God's grand plan. But after her spouse is hurt in an accident, she decides that divine instruction is leading her toward the life of a prostitute--with disastrous but somehow beautiful results. Von Trier (The Kingdom) has made a wonderful, entirely unexpected, and rigorous work of discovery in this film, with a formal visual design that recalls classic films by Carl Theodor Dreyer and Robert Bresson. Watson is a phenomenon, her wide-eyed wonder at the world as God's handiwork a breathtaking portrayal of conviction. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Drew TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Nov 2012
Format: DVD
To have divided audiences so massively indicates the power of this astonishing film. Coming to it with no knowledge of the subject matter but some of the "Dogma" school of film production I was swept away by it's ambition and extraordinary accomplishment. I have never seen or read any work which deals so profoundly with the nature of religious faith. The attack made on the film for it's misogyny is understandable but I think misguided. Von Trier is not advocating or promoting such behaviour "simply" examining and presenting an admittedly extreme tale of "the divine fool's" (a classic literary and cultural archetype) relationship with the divine (see Dryer's Joan of Arc and even The Passion of The Christ). The performances are outstanding with Emily Watson both radiant and totally captivating in the epic lead role. No - this film is not for everyone! But for those who wish to see how cinema can transcend the obvious, the petty and the entertainingly inconsequential and grapple with subject matter of such staggering complexity and profundity - well "Breaking the Waves" is certainly for you. No, I don't believe the film's premise nor celebrate the "heroine's" life-choice - but I'm humbled by the power of Von Trier's vision, passion and magisterial artistry. For those who found the experience "boring", "offensive", & "rubbish" - well, there's always Eastenders and Come Dancing!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The lone voice of reason on 7 Feb 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
firstly words cannot describe the performance offered up here by emily watson in her first movie role. Its simply a disgrace that she never won any 'awards' from the industry. but then again, the 'industry' always prefers to lap up the likes of lightweight bubbleheads such as angelina jolie and julia roberts rather than acknowledge true acting talent.

this is a truly bleak film. Shot in a hand-held style using grainy film stock (a truly inspired move), it has the feel almost of a documentary, and it certainly captures the feel of the early 1970's (along with the sublime music that introduces the various chapters) it is compelling, sad, shocking and powerful stuff. portraying unconditional love, mental illness and religious hypocrisy in uncompromising terms. At first i was somewhat confused and disturbed by watsons slide into sexual promiscuity and this side of the film is very uncomfortable to watch indeed. i was wondering if it was neccesary for the writer to go this far but after thinking about it i realized that it is an integral part of the story in order to demonstrate the characters intense love along with the depth of her illness. It is, however, exceptionally disturbing stuff

the only time i felt let down was by the ending where the husband, after being virtually paralyzed, in a coma, and at deaths door, is somehow up walking about on crutches with all mental faculties back to normal within a week or so of her death. This was pushing it a bit and i felt a bit cheated. i think this was a clumsy move and the ending could have been handled with more care. but still, this is a truly thought-provoking movie and highly recommended to those of you who prefer some depth in their viewing material rather than the usual tripe we're fed with
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Mrs.D on 25 Oct 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this movie for the first time tonight, and I am completely blown away. I had it on while I was doing other things so missed bits of it, but it gradually wound its way into my consciousness and I sat, transfixed, through the remainder, and I *will* be getting this for my collection.

I don't know directors. I don't know cinematography. I'd never heard of this film before tonight, but what I do know is that this is a masterpiece. It was as powerful and touching as it was brutal and raw.

Bess' conversations with God are believable in a way that I would never have credited. Her fragility and unwavering goodness and devotion to both God and her husband worked so well that I can't even begin to describe it. Someone said that it had a disappointing ending, but I can only think that they either missed the point or left before it was finished.

While the elders of the church and village are consigning Bess to eternal damnation and hell, the heavens ring out their approval of Bess and their acceptance of her sacrifices, of her love, and a miracle is born.

This film is, in itself, a miracle. The acting was superb throughout. The method of filming added to the power of the story. It is not a pleasant film. It will definitely not be for everyone. It's a love story that batters you to exhaustion, and when it finally releases you, you are grateful for the battering, for the opportunity to have experienced Bess in all her beauty and innocence and certainty.

The only films I can think of that even come close to the brilliance and brutality of this one are Pulp Fiction and Snatch, but this one goes further; it lacks the slickness of Hollywood. That isn't a criticism, either... it's a benefit.

I can't recommend it highly enough, but you will need guts to watch it.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ken Hickey on 12 Jan 2012
Format: DVD
I think this film is amazing. Anyone who reads Von Trier's work as misogynistic is simply misreading the film (in my humble opinion). If a film depicts violence against women that doesn't make it misogynistic. The same criticism was leveled as David Lynch for 'Blue Velvet'. There is violence against women in the world. There is no need for Von Trier's to ignore it. If there is something as simple as a 'message' in this film (I don't believe there is one simple interpretation) then I think it involves redemption and sacrifice not misogyny. Bess McNeil is the hero of the film not the victim. An amazing and deeply affecting film.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category