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  • Devils on the Doorstep [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Devils on the Doorstep [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Product details

  • Language: Cantonese Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007PAMJW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 173,953 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Critic Ali Insane on 7 Aug. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Director/actor Jiang Wen's ultra black comedy is set during the closing days of Japan's brutal occupation of China during WWII. Ma Dasan (Wen) is doing press-ups on his widowed lover when suddenly there's a knock on the door and a gun immediately thrust against Ma's head, he's abruptly ordered to house two gagged and bound prisoners until the end of the week; a fanatical Japanese soldier and his Chinese interpreter. When the Chinese resistance fighters fail to return to the village the hostile elders refuse to boarding the prisoners a moment longer and hastily order Dasan to kill their unwanted guests but afraid of any repercussions Ma decides to hide the cantankerous duo in the Great Wall - that is until the villagers discover his crafty stratagem and almost lynch him.

Who said war isn't funny? Well, everyone in fact but when it comes to celluloid we all knows that tongue is firmly planted in cheek: don't we? Apparently NOT! Jiang's mordant war epic shot entirely in monochrome almost sunk his career after being banned in both Japan and China, and himself being blacklisted from the movie industry for seven years - more than enough reason to get this viewer interested in seeing what all the kerfuffle was about, and; i wasn't in the least bit dissapointed with the result.

The film's humour is based on cultural misunderstandings and farcical convolutions; as the plot unravels the outlandish dark tone curdles into hysterical outrage when the inexorable illogic of war sets in. The raging orgiastic rites of Bacchanalia do threaten to careen out of control, however, with it's absurdist spirit and delicate mise-en-scène Jiang's revolutionary black comedy proves a worthy addition to any film fanatics collection.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Conan P on 11 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Devils on the Doorstep is funny and gut-wrenching in equal parts. Jiang Wen has directed a few films and starred in dozens, but none approach the overall quality level of DOTD.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Six Stars (my wish) 2 Oct. 2006
By Mastorna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I could not give a better review to this movie. ( no more stars available to give).
after viewing it, I thought it was indeed movies like this one what makes collecting them worthwhile.
The quality of this film rests above the accomplishment of its fundamental subject and inclination, it goes beyond conventions, delivering an extremely creative approach to the delicate and still latent issues regarding the Japanese invation of mainland Asia. This movie has one of the most dramatic and well structured endings I have ever seen.... it wraps everything up in the most masterly way. Every piece falls in place, either with uttermost dignity or brutality.

Europeans have well assimilated the plain facts of WWII. Dutch and Germans often mock eachother, although it is in generally meant as joke. This is not the case of Asia, It is still, sadly, much more "emotion" than pragmatism and honest understanding of history. This movie shows, the inner gohsts of the ruthless Japanese Asian conquest campaign.

Script structure: Flawless, Photography: impeccable, direction: pristine, editing: superb.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
BRILLIANT WWII BLACK COMEDY FROM CHINA 1 April 2005
By Robin Simmons - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
A masterpiece of recent Chinese cinema, Jiang Wen's DEVILS ON THE DOORSTEP (Home Vision Entertainment) has two big endorsements: it won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes and was banned in China.

It's 1945. The Japanese army occupies a tiny north Chinese village. Ma Dasan (played by director Wen) is a peasant, who, one night at gunpoint, unexpectedly finds himself responsible for two Japanese soldiers bound in bags. One hostage wants to be killed, while the other, his interpreter, wants to live. Time passes and everyone around Dasan wants him to kill his prisoners, but he has another plan. What starts out as a howling farce, quickly turns fiercely harrowing.

Jiang Wen has not been allowed to make another film. This is a great looking black and white film. Its rich and bold cinematography perfectly matches its subject matter.

This work of by one of China's greatest filmmakers is not to be missed.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Forgotten Classic 29 Aug. 2006
By Pete Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For any fan of Kurosawa, or more recent Chinese Cinema, this will prove a delightful discovery. Sumptuous scenery around the Great Wall provides the backdrop for this most-forgotten of Wartime theatres. The sense of claustrophobia and at times, sheer terror, is well-portrayed by a cast unknown to Western viewers.

A lesson in betrayal and lost trust. Highly recommended.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Interview? Filmography? 27 April 2005
By Jisong Yi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Just watched this film. Where's the interview and filmography?

Great film though... to Chinese and Japanese audience who haven't seen this, this film is different than any film ever done about the war between the two counturies, it makes all other film i've seen about the subject matter, to quote Soderbergh "small". it's so much more than those films, so much more than that war, than any war in general really.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
World War 2 Historians........don't miss this. 3 May 2006
By J. R. Wilder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The brutality of the Japanese in China during World War 2 is one of the most overlooked atrocities in all of history. Over 30 million chinese were slaughtered by their Japanese counterparts.

Much attention is paid to the Holocaust of my own people, the Jews in Germany. However, I think we should not forget the vast human wanton murders which occurred in China. The Japanese slaughtered people there systematically, maybe not as horrificly systematic as the Germans did to the Jews........but just as horrifying.

This movie in many ways is a comedy, but anyone with knowledge of the war could FEEL the lingering brutality about to be unleashed by the Japanese. A sad, yet great story. Do not miss this.
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