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The Killing Fields Blu-Ray

Graham Kennedy, Julian Sands, Sam Waterston, John Malkovich Haing S. Nor    Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Graham Kennedy, Julian Sands, Sam Waterston, John Malkovich Haing S. Nor
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Run Time: 142.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 176,495 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


The Killing Fields is the true story of one man's heroism and the struggle for two men to reunite. New York Times correspondent Sydney Schanberg (Sam Waterston) is sent to Cambodia in 1973 to cover the war between the revolutionary Khmer Rouge and the government. He meets Dith Pran (Haing S. Ngor): a local journalist who becomes his trusted assistant, interpreter, and friend. When the Khmer Rouge troops enter Phnom Penh in April 1975 and seize control of the country, Pran throws himself at their mercy to save the lives of Schanberg and several other foreign correspondents. What follows for Pran, and for all Cambodians, is unspeakable horror. Whilst Schanberg spends four and a half years seeking news of his friend, nearly half the population of seven million are massacred by the Khmer Rouge or die of starvation and disease. The once rich Cambodian countryside now bears a new name: "The Killing Fields". The first film by Roland Joff - director of The Mission -The Killing Fields features an acclaimed screenplay by Bruce Robinson and a superb supporting cast including John Malkovich.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
David Puttnam, Roland Joffé, Chris Menges..... what a wonderful team whose individual creativity and collective synergy brought us two out-of-the-world pictures: "The Mission" & "The Killing Fields". Nothing to say about the former. Regarding the latter, the rich combination of such themes as ravages of war, power of friendship and unrequited loyalty makes it one of the powerful films in its genre and greatest films ever to have come out of the British cinema.

"The Killing Fields" takes us back to 1975s Phnom Penh, Cambodian capital, during which the communist guerrilla group Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot seized the city, formed a new government and forced the dwellers to move to the countryside to work in collective farms and labor camps with the goal of restarting of civilization in "Year Zero". During the next 4 years of their rule, these "policies" caused the death of ~ 3 million people (one third of the population) either from execution, torture, starvation, overwork, and disease. Under this apocalyptic environment, "The Killing Fields" tells the true ordeal and survival story of Cambodian photojournalist, Dith Pran, who endured the atrocities of Khmer Rouge regime: captured, tortured, punished for befriending American journalists and forced to work in labor camps in barbaric conditions.

To me, the most impressive thing about "The Killing Fields" is the ravishing cinematography by Academy Award winner Chris Menges. From start to end, The photography is nothing but gorgeous. All shots are meticulously planned, properly balanced and perfectly contrasted, harmonizing the beauty of countryside with ravages of war. The colors are well saturated and look wonderful. Subtle details are well presented, sharp and clearly visible with an emphasis on naturalism.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves the three oscars it received! 5 Jun 2007
This film tells the true story of two journalists in Cambodia during the turmoil of 1970s Cambodia. One is the American Sydney Schanberg (played by Sam Waterston) and the other is the Cambodian Dith Pran (Haing S. Ngor). As the Khmer Rouge approach the fall of capital Phnom Penh becomes imminent, the foreign embassies pack up and move out and the journalists are forced to take refuge in the French embassy. The Khmer Rouge have however demanded that all Cambodians in the embassy be turned over, and fearing attack, the occupants agree. Dith Pran is therefore in trouble. The foreign journalists come up with a plan...

The film is very well cast, with excellent acting and character depth as shown by Haing Ngor winning a well deserved oscar for best supporting actor. It is at times brutal, at others touching.

Highly Recommended
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING! 2 Dec 2013
By Trajan
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
This well researched and historically correct film is a sad tribute to all those who died in the horrific camps of the khmer rouge . Sam Waterston leading a great cast combined with good production values make this a must see. Highly recommended.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
'Now is the year 0 and everything must start anew... I am full of fear Sydney, I must have no past, this is the year 0 and nothing has gone before'
These are the words spoken by Dith Pran as images of the unspeakable horrors of the Cambodian revolution fill the screen. The Killing Fields is a film that leaves a lasting emotional impression.
It portrays the real life friendship between NY Times correspondent Sydney Schomberg (Sam Waterson) and his Cambodian interpreter Dith Pran (Haing Ngor). The film depicts events stretching over a seven-year period, from the 1973 American bombing of Neak Luang village, to the Khmer Rouge takeover in 1975, and their eventual fall following the 1978 Vietnamese invasion. With such a difficult and disturbing subject matter and a complex timeframe the film could easily have floundered. Instead it succeeds because it filters these events through the eyes of two men, which bestows it with a real interpretive power.
It is superficially similar to Salvador directed by Oliver Stone. Both films critique the negative consequences of American military involvement in poor war-torn countries by depicting the work of journalists. However, inspite of the fact that the guilt of Schomberg at leaving his friend to suffer in Cambodia is intended to mirror the wider American involvement and subsequent neglect of that country (portrayed in one powerful scene), the content is never as bluntly political. It is very much more a personal account, and whilst the images shock, they are naturalistic in style and never as over-blown as in Salvador. The performances are very strong and full of integrity.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tribute to Haing S Nor 2 Dec 2007
By Jay
A very touching film that recounts the excesses of the Khmer Rouge during the 1970's regime of Pol Pot. This is the most important film that recounts the instability of South Eastern Asia and is on a par with other classics such as Deer Hunter and Apocalpyse Now.
The scene where Dith Pran's photo disappears as he is about to leave Cambodia, leaves an indelible indication of his ensuing fate.
The performances all around superb without exception. Haing S. Ngor, who was tragically killed a few years ago, delivers a riveting, emotionally wrenching turn as the guide who is trapped in Cambodia and forced to fight for his life. He deservingly won the Oscar, though it's a shame he was snubbed for the best actor award. Inarguably, he's the film's central character and he also has more screen time than top-billed Sam Waterston. Despite my complaint on that matter, Waterston is also excellent as the journalist with a guilty conscience.

The Killing Fields is a suspenseful and exhilarating experience, a journey through an apocalyptic landscape that features one shocking image after another. Watch, and you'll see why the film is so acclaimed.
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