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The Hurricane [DVD] 
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True story of wrongfully imprisoned middleweight boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, based on his own autobiography and the testimony of those who helped to obtain his release. In 1973, Carter (Denzel Washington) languishes in jail, having been falsely accused and convicted of murdering three whites in a New Jersey ballroom. The man responsible for his arrest is corrupt white detective Vincent Della Pasca (Dan Hedaya), who has already had Carter imprisoned twice before on jumped up charges. When young black boy Lesra Martin (Vicellous Reon Shannon) reads Carter's autobiography, he is moved to campaign for his release. Supported by Canadian educationalists Terry (John Hannah), Lisa (Deborah Kara Unger) and Sam (Liev Schreiber), Lesra manages to obtain an appeal, but when this goes against him Carter begins to lose hope of ever clearing his name.
In his direction of The Hurricane, veteran filmmaker Norman Jewison understands that slavish loyalty to factual detail is no guarantee of compelling screen biography. In telling the story of boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter--who was wrongly convicted of murder in 1967 and spent nearly two decades in jail--Jewison and his screenwriters compress time, combine characters, and rearrange events with a nonchalance that would be galling if they didn't remain honest to the core truth of Carter's ordeal. Because of that emotional integrity--and because Denzel Washington brings total conviction to his title role--The Hurricane rises above the confines of biographical fidelity to embrace higher values of courage, compassion, and ultimate justice.
Jewison is woefully heavy-handed in his treatment of the fictionalised, absurdly villainous detective (Dan Hedaya) who zealously plots to keep Carter in jail, and anyone familiar with Carter's story may object to the film's simplified account. But what matters here is the shining star of hope that is Lesra (Vicellous Reon Shannon), the Brooklyn teenager who rejuvenates Carter's legal battle in the early 1980s. This surrogate father-son relationship is what revives Carter's hope for family and future, and makes The Hurricane so engrossing and emotionally effective. Lesra's real-life Canadian mentors are compressed from nine characters to three, but their efforts are superbly dramatised, and Jewison hits the small but important grace notes that make a good film even better. By its final scenes, The Hurricane conveys the rich, rewarding satisfaction of surviving a difficult but valuable journey of mind, body, and soul.--Jeff Shannon, Amazon.comSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
You could call what happened to Rubin Carter a travesty of justice, yet even this term barely begins to explain Carter's plight. He was tried and convicted of the murder of three individuals in a New Jersey bar in 1967 for two reasons: he was black and he was successful. He and a fan were heading home in a white car when they were pulled over, hauled over to a murder scene they knew nothing about and then to the hospital to see if anyone could identify them as the murderers - which no one did. This did not stop the lead detective from arresting and trying them for murder - by suppressing evidence and forging documents, not to mention engineering the false testimony of quite impeachable witnesses, the police and prosecutors got their conviction. Rubin Carter's boxing career was over, and this man - who could have been the middle-weight champion of the world - found himself looking at three life sentences for a crime he did not commit.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An absolute must see film. Denzel Washington was first class. It's very saddening to think that this wasn't the only miscarriage of justice in the American legal history.Published 5 days ago by P J Turrell
Denzel in top form as ever - but this is the film he SHOULD have won the oscar for!!
A truly inspirational man and a complete film. Great performances, I can't recommend watching this film enough. Really top class.Published 5 months ago by Dave Lewis
Excellent film. Very good story. Worth watching a few times.Published 5 months ago by Destiny's Child
A true story most well known due to Bob Dylan's classic song "Hurricane" about a champion boxer framed for murder. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ozymandias
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