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Deserter [DVD]


Price: £4.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Hardy, Paul Fox, Kate Maberly
  • Directors: Martin Huberty
  • Format: Dolby, PAL, Surround Sound
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Jan 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0060UMR64
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,294 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Set against the sweeping landscapes of North Africa during the 1960s Algerian fight for independence from France, Deserter is a tense Foreign Legion drama starring TOM HARDY (INCEPTION, WARRIOR, DARK KNIGHT RISES). Deserter is the gritty true story of an idealistic young English gentleman, Simon Murray (Paul Fox), who is driven to join the French Foreign Legion after a failed romance. Simon s romantic illusions are soon shattered when he encounters his fellow recruits, including Dupont (TOM HARDY), who have all volunteered to escape a past far less innocent than Simon's.A sadistic training routine forges the recruits together. As fully-fledged Legionnaires they set out to do battle against the insurgents and face deadly firefights among the villages, hills and deserts of North Africa. But when French President De Gaulle grants Algerian independence, the Legion sides with the Pied Noir French Nationalists against mother France. Loyalties are torn apart. Comrade is turned against comrade. Simon and Dupont must face each other across a moral divide, their conscience dictating their actions; blurring the distinction between hero and deserter.

Review

Gorgeous imagery and scenes of devastating brutality --Variety

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3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER on 4 Jun 2012
Format: DVD
This is a 2002 film that has been re released to shamelessly cash in on the increasingly deserved success of screen hunk, Tom Hardy (`Warrior' etc). It places his name up front but he is not the star. This is the film of the auto biopgraphy by Simon Murray - `Legionnaire'. Murray is played by Paul Fox, who must be related to a side board his acting is so wooden. His previous acting highs have come in the TV soap `Coronation Street' and the voice of Corff the bartender in video game `Dragon Age II'!

Well the plot goes that he gets rebuffed by a lady and in stiff upper lipped fashion he runs off to join the romance of The French Foreign Legion as his hero is Errol Flynn. His timing is pretty off as this coincides with the Algerian awakening for independence and as France has just been kicked out of Vietnam there are not that many places for him to be sent - so Algeria it is.

First he has to suffer boot camp and it is really not a very nice place at all and is actually done rather well. There he meets Mr Hardy playing Dupont a Frenchman. The film follows the ever increasing fractionalisation of the authorities in Algeria as Mr Murray becomes a sort of tourist historian. He goes for walks in the souks and visits mosques to learn about the Islamic culture and it is all a bit cringe worthy, I actually thought this is all a bit history for dummies at one point.

There is some action with explosives and shoot outs and an almost love interest with a certain Nicole - who phoned in her performance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Aug 2013
Format: DVD
The year is 1960. Simon Murray (Paul Fox) joins the French Foreign Legion because of his romantic notions. It is an iron clad contract for 5 years during which he is sent to Algeria where the Arabs are fighting for Independence. Like "Full Metal Jacket" the film takes you through the rigors of training with cruel and sadistic trainers. The diverse group of trainees bond together. Simon supplies us with some boring first person narration to the background of some melancholy French tune.

Simon makes it through training, and life gets better...almost. He gets a "Dear John" letter and wants to leave. In town he discovers the locals hate the French and want their independence. His romantic notions have placed him on the wrong side, one that he is committed to be a part. His ideas of life become confused and tested in the reality of life and conflict. There are French and Algerians who are on both sides of the independence movement, primarily for economic reasons.

In many ways this movie mimics the US involvement in Vietnam, and just about any war against colonization. There is a major exception to this film in that...well I will let that one go as that becomes the twist in the tale. And even though it may be history, it was history I was unaware.

The acting was acceptable. The film jumps from scene to scene. You don't know how one scene ends before you are in a scene you wonder how it began. Perhaps this was deliberately done by the director so the audience can feel the confusion of the main character, or maybe it was just poor writing and editing. This is one of those areas where one person sees genius and another sees idiot.

The action is light. The drama involves mostly men. There is next to no humor. Excessive first person narration with a mediocre sound track. A story that is theme heavy.

No-f-bombs, sex, or nudity. Most of the actual killing is off camera.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hercule Poirot on 18 Jun 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I happens to know Simon Murray, and that is why I bought this DVD. We also served together in the legion, but this movie is very disappointing. I reckon Simon should do a remake and stick closer to his real life story. For instance, Tunisia would look a lot more like eastern Algeria than Marocco does,and which is where this movie was shot. Also, Simon finished his 5 years as Caporal Chef (chief corporal), two green and one gold chevron, in the movie he had suddenly jumped the ranks to Sergeant Chef, 3 gold chevrons. Come on, Simon, the truth is much more interesting than this rubbish.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mulwharchar TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 April 2010
Format: DVD
'Legionnaire', Simon Murray's account of his service in the French Foreign Legion between 1960-65 is one of THE classic military memoirs. He joined during the fag end of the Algerian War and witnessed some interesting times as the French began to fight amongst themselves and Algeria spiralled into chaos in the run up to independence in 1962. Unfortunately you won't get much sense of this from 'Deserter'. Sure, it's a handsome enough production, shot on location in Morocco, which makes the most of its modest budget but the problem lies in the acting, particularly in (I stand corrected) Paul Fox as the lead. Murray was by his own account a callow, naive youth but Fox certainly puts the blank in 'kepi blanc', and Tom Hardy is far more convincing as his friend (and ultimately nemesis) Dupont. The film briefly covers the 1961 army coup attempt and the fascist OAS terrorism in which Legion deserters played a leading role, but the main impression is of Murray as a bystander rather than a participant in history; his 'excursions' into Islamic culture, for example, are toe-curlingly embarrassing. I'd recommend Murray's book unreservedly but the film (which he had a hand in producing) is really only for die-hard Legion enthusiasts.
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