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Drowning By Numbers DVD [Region 2 Import]

Joan Plowright , Juliet Stevenson , Peter Greenaway    DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Drowning By Numbers DVD [Region 2 Import] + The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover [DVD] [1989] + The Draughtsman's Contract [1982] [DVD]
Price For All Three: 29.78

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Product details

  • Actors: Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson, Joely Richardson, Bernard Hill, David Morrissey
  • Directors: Peter Greenaway
  • Format: Import, PAL, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Danish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003M6KGYE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,631 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Danish Edition, PAL/Region 2 DVD: Subtitles: Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish. Drowning By Numbers is a sharp and witty tale of female camaraderie with Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson and Joely Richardson giving first-class performances. Peter Greenaway's charming pastoral setting overflows with metaphors and mathematical riddles in a film that will continue to amuse for countless viewings.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece or mess? 6 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
You either love Peter Greenaway's films or hate them. They take much more effort than the usual Hollywood fare, and many folk can't stand films they can't grasp instantly.
Drowning by Numbers is a mixture of metaphor, allegory and narrative shot with immense style in elaborately constructed and richly-coloured sets. The biggest plot thread is the murder of their partners by three generations of women. This isn't crass US TV real-life drama. This is funny, startling and utterly absorbing cinema.
Woven into this is an array of cryptic sub-plots with some unsettling themes and a couple of horrifying denouments.
If you like your plots on a plate, you won't like this film. But if you like to sit back, absorb, and wait for the realisations to come to you slowly (maybe weeks later), this is a very satisfying and absorbing film indeed.
The cinematography, the ambience, the careful pace and direction - not to mention the soundtrack - are really rather extraordinary.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasingly weird 27 Jun 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Greenaway's films are always watchable for the cinematography, but in this one you can actually follow the story too. The plot is fairly simple but is padded out with descriptions of peculiar games that Madgett, the Suffolk coroner, and his strange son Smut invent to pass the time. Smut also celebrates any violent death (whether roadkill or drowned husbands) by painting a number at the scene and letting off fireworks. Yellow paint for Tuesdays, red paint for Saturdays (Tuesday is winning, being the best day for violent deaths). You can also try to count the ascending numbers from 1-100 that are placed in each scene. I only saw about half of them - some are well hidden.
There isn't a DVD version of the film available in the UK at the moment, but the Australian DVD (with UK FilmFour logo!) is region 0, so will play on any DVD player, and is probably the best bet for picture quality.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable 27 Jan 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Very few films have the vision and originality of Drowning by Numbers. Apart from being beautifully filmed and containing a fantastic collection of old English childrens' games, this film is erotic, heartbreaking and funny. Trevor Cooper's outstanding performance is remarkable for its portrayal of a man building his own downfall. Juliet Stevenson is excellent as are all the acast. I defy anyone to predict what happens from scene to scene. This is film making for thinking people. I saw it first on TV by accident and had to get the video. A DVD release would be fantastic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film, but could not enjoy it 20 Mar 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had seen this film many years ago and wished to re-visit: The description said that this version of the the film had English audio with Polish subtitles, which could be turned off.
In fact the English audio was very muted and there was a Polish commentary superimposed.
I tried to watch the first 20 min.
I could not enjoy the film and sent it back
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3.0 out of 5 stars A dip in cold water 25 May 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When I saw this film 20 years ago I thought it was one of the best, cleverest films I've ever seen. It's still very clever, and achingly beautifully shot, but there's something sterile about it. I can see why my coldly intellectual 18 year old self might love it, and now that I'm a bit more roadworn and experienced it seems emotionally thin. What the Americans would call 'sophomoric.' It doesn't have the vigour of The Draughtsman's Contract, far and away my favourite Peter Greenaway film. It also seems extraordinarily easy to drown people. 1, 2, 3 and they're gone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Old favourite and hard to find 10 Jan 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It was good to find this. The package was a bit daunting as it was all in German but irt was a high class package. The film plays in English and if I brush up my German, I will be able to read the enclosed booklet.

Great buy,
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5.0 out of 5 stars Drowning by Numbers 20 Mar 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film should be a must for all lovers of good cinematography. It is well cast, well made and beautifully finished.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Watery black comedy 4 Aug 2014
Format:VHS Tape
A quirky black comedy with a dreamlike quality. Set in an English coastal landscape and with the music of Michael Nyman enhancing the experience of watching the bizarre lives of its eccentric characters.
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