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Catchfire (Backtrack) [DVD]

Dennis Hopper , Jodie Foster , Nancy Cone    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Dennis Hopper, Jodie Foster, Dean Stockwell, Vincent Price, John Turturro
  • Directors: Nancy Cone
  • Producers: Curt Sobel, Dick Clark
  • Format: PAL
  • 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: 15
  • Studio: Lions Gate Home Ent. UK Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Sep 2007
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H8RW10
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,134 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Previous UK releases of Catchfire have listed the pseudonymous Allan Smithee as director, but this version proudly opens with "a Dennis Hopper film". Also known as Backtrack, it offers a plot that advances by illogical leaps and bounds while whole scenes seem to go astray. With prominently billed actors getting almost nothing to do while major players go un-credited, a bland music score that might have been laid in from another film entirely and an ending that makes a lot of noise without actually resolving much, the film certainly has its bad points. However, it's also one of Hopper's more eccentric films, and more fun than Colors or The Hot Spot (which he had no trouble owning up to), partly because the director also takes a quirky lead role and his own personal interests are stirred by the modern art frills of the chase plot.

The film opens with LA-based conceptual artist Jodie Foster, looking chunkily terrific just before her adult career took off, suffering a minor breakdown on the freeway and happening on a gangland execution. Pint-sized mob boss Joe Pesci sets his killers on her but the crooks ineptly murder Foster's boyfriend (Charlie Sheen, taking a very early bath). Pesci calls in Hopper, a professional hitman who immerses himself in Foster's life and art in order to track her down only to develop an obsessive crush on the woman. When he finds her, he gives her the choice between getting rubbed out or becoming his property.

Hopper retains the knack for finding odd-looking byways of rural America, but is uncomfortable with helicopter chases and shoot-outs. The leads, despite great chunks of missing story, are both interesting--Foster sexily vulnerable and Hopper doing a wry New York drawl as the sax-playing hit man. Catchfire also offers an amazing supporting cast of the director's friends, including Dean Stockwell, Vincent Price, Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich), Tony Sirico (The Sopranos), Bob Dylan (with a chainsaw), Helena Kallianotes (Five Easy Pieces), Julia Adams (The Creature from the Black Lagoon), and John Turturro.

On the DVD: the film itself comes in a good-looking widescreen transfer, but the lack of special features let the disc down, with only feeble notes for three cast members (and no Smithee filmography). --Kim Newman

Product Description

When artist Anne (Jodie Foster) inadvertently stumbles across a mob killing she becomes the target for hit man Milo (Dennis Hopper). But he falls for her, kidnaps her and then must protect her from his angry employers. Credited to Alan Smithee, 'Catchfire' was in fact directed by Dennis Hopper, who disowned the film after the studio took it out of his hands and released their own cut.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well acted but flawed 11 Jan 2009
Backtrack was directed by Dennis Hopper, who also stars. The movie was then recut and Hopper wanted to take his name off it. He later made a director's cut that runs at 116 minutes instead of the approximately 98 minutes.
Jodie Foster plays an artist who happens to witness a mob killing. She manages to escape but the mob fins out where she lives and kills no her but, by accident, her boyfriend (Charlie Sheen). She is offered to be taken into a witness protection program but instead goes into hiding on her own. Hopper plays the hitman that is hired to kill her. But he likes her and offers her her life in return for her company and obedience. Afer a while she starts to actually like the man. And here's the movie's main flaw. The relationship between Hopper and Foster develop from hostile to friendly much too quickly to feel realistic. I haven't seen the director's cut but maybe the character development feels more believable in that version. On the plus side, it's well acted. The cast also includes an uncredited Joe Pesci and one of the last performances of Vincent Price. Despite the flaw mentioned the movie is still watchabl and a decent way to spend an hour and a half, although I wouldn't spend too much money on it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Give me a break! 7 April 2004
BACKTRACK is unbelievably dopey. Its only redeeming factor is that Jodie Foster shows an eye-popping amount of flesh - and it's no body double. And what a great set of legs! That's why I'm awarding two stars, one for each gam, which just goes to show the sophistication level of the film (AND my review of it).
Anne Benton (Foster) is a "conceptual artist", which means, in the wacky Southern California milieu in which she has her gallery, she creates pieces using message board displays. You know, those where one line of illuminated text moves right to left across a long and narrow screen. Anyway, one night after experiencing a flat tire on the freeway, she witnesses a mob hit on the premises of an oil refinery. (For those LA viewers, it's the one just off the 405 south of LAX where the freeway curves to the east above Palos Verdes.) Like a good citizen, she goes to the police, who realize that they have in Benton a valuable witness against organized crime, and specifically against Big Boss Mr. Avoca (Vincent Price). But after her apartment is invaded and her boyfriend (a quickly expendable Charlie Sheen) shot to death, Anne realizes neither the cops nor the Feds can protect her, so she flees town and establishes a new identity and career. To hunt her down, mob goodfella Leo Carelli (Joe Pesci) hires the saxophone-playing assassin Milo (Dennis Hopper), who tracks her across the West using computer databases. The thing is, he begins to obsess about Anne after finding photos of her (un)dressed in dominatrix accessories. Milo has issues.
The plot has a Keystone Cops quality as law enforcement seeks to retrieve Benton by following Milo. And after the latter severs communication with his employers in favor of his own agenda of infatuation, Leo's thugs go after Milo and Anne by following the cops.
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5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable film just wish for the directors cut 5 May 2014
By dale h
dennis hoppers very good in this jodie fosters sexy just wish artisan or someone would release the directors cut or better still the original vision of dennis hopper
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5.0 out of 5 stars bang bang your not dead!! 28 Jan 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
one of hopper's best films of his liking to do things diffrently.knowing his way of portraying villians,it was surprising to see him as a killer with a heart.jodie as always sizzling sex appeal comes to the forefront.
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