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Hillsborough [DVD] [1996]

27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Christopher Eccleston, Rachel Davies, Ricky Tomlinson, Annabelle Apsion
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Sept. 2009
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002GDM2VE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,130 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Moving, fictionalised account that tells, through the stories of three families, the events of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster, in which 96 fans lost their lives. On 15th April 1989, 96 fans attending the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield United's Hillsborough Stadium were crushed to death when police monitoring the crowd outside allowed supporters to enter an already heavily packed terracing. This award-winning drama starring Christopher Eccleston and Ricky Tomlinson, reconstructs the tragic chain of events with clarity and compassion, making damning indictments against those, particularly the media, it sees as being culpable.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Odoni on 16 Mar. 2012
Format: DVD
In hindsight, Jimmy McGovern's Hillsborough is possibly a little over-rated, as it doesn't exactly go out of its way to let the audience draw its own conclusions about (undoubtedly) one of the most flagrant instances of British legal corruption in the Twentieth Century. But even if its message could have been stated a little more subtly, it was probably for the best that it wasn't, given the then-widespread misunderstanding of what happened on April 15th 1989. The Disaster had been badly and cynically misportrayed in the media and in Government for over seven years by the time the docu-drama was made, and correcting for this had to be the first priority. That the film had to be made at all was a tragedy in its own right, and over-rated or not, it is still one of the great British docu-dramas.

It is undeniably harrowing, effective viewing, acted with great realism by a gifted and knowledgeable cast; a very young Christopher Eccleston portrays Trevor Hicks so convincingly, for instance, that it's easy to miss that he was probably TOO young, while Ricky Tomlinson, as John Glover, shows he can do drama at least as effectively as he can do parody.

Every time I watch the film I well up, alternately wanting to cry at the needless loss of life, and shaking with the same powerless rage that the families of the Disaster's victims forever feel, in the face of the bungling and mendacity of the South Yorkshire Police force, and the heartless indifference of the Thatcher/Major Government. (How sad that the likes of Paul Middup, Irvine Patnick and Bernard Ingham weren't given the 'treatment' in this as well.)

Most of the scenes portraying the unfolding Disaster are remarkably well done given budget limits, although the reconstruction of the Leppings Lane terrace is a bit obvious.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David Rowland TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 July 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I did not see the tragedy as it began to unfold at Hillsborough but I can vividly remember being shocked when it began to appear on news flashes soon afterwards and the memory of these scenes has stayed with me ever since. The film brilliantly reconstructs how an ordinary day for a group of people who go to a football match or stay at home to watch it on television becomes a nightmare of panic, uncertainty and anger as first the people are caught up in the crush, then their relatives at home suffer the agony of not knowing if they survived and then the survivors and their relatives having to cope with realising how badly the emergency was handled by the authorities. Particularly galling is the knowledge by some relatives that their loved ones who died that dreadful day could have been saved if the rescue had been better organised by those who were charged with the responsibility of doing this.

The acting is uniformally fine by the cast, their portrayal of how families would feel in these circumstances is superbly conveyed and the scenes of what happened afterwards when the enquiry took place is particularly well done. You could really feel their frustration and rage as the full extent of the failures of the authorities and their refusal to acknowledge them became apparent.

As with many tragedies lessons were learnt and football grounds were made safer and the authorities are now, hopefully, better at dealing with such emergencies. I only hope that it does not take another Hillsborough for us to find out differently.

David Rowland
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By R. Morrison on 24 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I remember vividly watching the events of Hillsborough on TV in 1989, which had a huge impact on my 14-year-old self, and remember watching this drama-documentary when it was first transmitted in 1996. Jimmy McGovern captures the excitement for those attending the match, which quickly turned to tragedy and then the subsequent anger as the authorities treat the victims and their families appallingly, partly to cover up their pathetic behaviour during and after that horrible day.

The acting is uniformly excellent. It's one of the programmes I would use as an example of why TV is as much an artform as film or music. Highly recommended, with one small mention that this isn't the complete version that transmitted on ITV in 1996. There is a section missing, which dealt with the coroner's conclusion as to when all the victims were clinically dead. He said it was 3:15pm, even though police witnesses and paramedics had testified that some victims were still alive well past that time. There was originally a scene with an investigator calling a policeman asking him to "confirm" his story about his dealing with a victim who he said was still alive near 4pm. Apparently, the actual coroner was unhappy with this section, and his portrayal during the inquest, and the scene was removed from subsequent showings (including the repeat on ITV3 this year for the 20th anniversary).

It's a shame it isn't the complete uncut 1996 version, but I'd assume Network DVD will only be able to release the version ITV is willing to authorise, so it's not their fault, and that it's available at all is still reason to celebrate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Incontinentia Buttocks on 31 Dec. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I will start my review with the only negative point I can think of - my one complaint with this DVD was the sloppy editing. Why leave the titles up where the adverts would have been shown when it originally aired on TV? If you can cut the ads out, why not the titles? That was the only thing that kept reminding me it was a film, which was a shame because it would otherwise have been totally absorbing.

Still, it has 5 stars from me regardless of that. I was 15 years old at the time of the Hillsborough disaster, and I remember seeing it on the news, but at that time it did not really affect me and my life - I was 15 and like many 15 year olds, probably more interested in myself and what I was planning to do with my friends that weekend. But now I am 39, and due to the recent campaign by the families of the dead for justice, the tragedy has been once more pushed into the forefront of my group of friends' conversations I decided to give this film a watch. I have seen Jimmy McGovern's work before and regard him as extremely talented and found his series "The Street" thoroughly absorbing, and I can honestly say "Hillsborough" was no exception. It being true just adds to the drama and I was glued to my seat throughout, at many times tearful, but most of all frustrated for the characters during the build up, disgust at the police chief Duckenfield, and what the poor parents must have felt at learning that they had lost one, or even both of their children simply while seeing a football match. One scene which struck me as being particularly poignant was the mother of Sarah and Victoria Hicks, played by Annabelle Apsion, upon looking out of the living room window and seeing two coffins brought out from two hearses, saying excitedly to her husband (Christopher Eccleston) "The girls are home!
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