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Kramer vs. Kramer [DVD] [1979]

Dustin Hoffman , Meryl Streep , Robert Benton    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
Price: £4.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Kramer vs. Kramer [DVD] [1979] + The French Lieutenant's Woman [DVD] [1981]
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Product details

  • Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander, Justin Henry, Howard Duff
  • Directors: Robert Benton
  • Writers: Robert Benton, Avery Corman
  • Producers: Richard Fischoff, Stanley R. Jaffe
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 16 April 2007
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001XLXTS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,650 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) is an art director for an ad agency. His wife (Meryl Streep) walks out on him, leaving Ted to care for their son. The additional strain causes Ted to lose his job, although he gradually creates a strong relationship with his boy. When his wife re-appears, demanding custody of the child, Ted decides to fight and is forced to hire an expensive attorney. The film won five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director for Robert Benton, Best Actor for Dustin Hoffman, Best Supporting Actor for Justin Henry and Best Supporting Actress for Meryl Streep.


Winner of five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Actor, and Screenplay, Kramer vs. Kramer remains as powerfully moving today as it was when released in 1979, simply because its drama will remain relevant for couples of any generation. Adapted by director Robert Benton from the novel by Avery Corman, this is perhaps the finest, most evenly balanced film ever made about the failure of marriage and the tumultuous shift of parental roles. It begins when Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep) bluntly informs her husband Ted (Dustin Hoffman) that she's leaving him, just as his advertising career is advancing and demanding most of his waking hours. Self-involvement is just one of the film's underlying themes, along with the search for identity that prompts Joanna to leave Ted with their first-grade son (Justin Henry), who now finds himself living with a workaholic parent he barely knows. Juggling his domestic challenge with professional deadlines, Ted is further pressured when his wife files for custody of their son. This legal battle forms the dramatic spine of the film, but its power is derived from Benton's flawlessly observant script and the superlative performances of his entire cast. Because Benton refuses to assign blame and deals fairly with both sides of a devastating dilemma, the film arrives at equal levels of pain, growth, and integrity under emotionally stressful circumstances. That gives virtually every scene the unmistakable ring of truth--a quality of dramatic honestly that makes Kramer vs. Kramer not merely a classic tearjerker, but one of the finest American dramas of its decade. --Jeff Shannon, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and still relevant 9 Aug 2002
From the first scene the well-crafted story grips you, and throughout the movie the virtuoso acting and superior direction are dizzying. This is a powerful film which explores the personal and social consequences of a family break-down. It broke new ground at the time of the original release, focusing as it does on a careerist father left to cope with his young son after his wife deserts them. It is quite astonishing how relevant it all still seems; Hoffman's Ted Kramer starkly defines the work that ultimately has to go into fatherhood, family and friendship. The ending is surprising and provokes deep emotions that stay with you long after you've put the disc back in the box.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, great upgrade. 10 Jan 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Kramer vs. Kramer has shown itself to have a lasting impact and quality that a lot of films don't possess. The nature of it's topic is still relevant today, and it makes for good viewing every time. I highly and heartily recommend it.

As for the upgrade to Blu-ray, it's quite impressive. The soundtrack is a little more fresh, but it's the difference in video quality that'll suck you in. The DVD version is completely watchable, but this print is absolutely pristine. There isn't a scratch or flicker in it, and it has the 'right amount' of grain for a film of it's age; it's kept the atmosphere that a lot of recent films lack. The film's mostly pale palette appears to have found a new life.

You'll notice the difference.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kramer versus Kramer 19 Feb 2006
Fantastically thought-provoking film. Incredibly moving acting by Streep, Hoffman (as always) and by the little chap who plays the son. The court scene is an emotional rollercoaster as your alliances shift from Ted to Joanne and back again. Such a beautifully crafted film. An absolute must see. The ending will stay with you long after the film had finished. A classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An excellent portrait of family dysfunction, I can imagine this hit a nerve with audiences for its frank take on a condition that was, unfortunately, affecting them in increasing numbers, in the late seventies: of course I am talking about divorce.

Nonetheless, it's an uneven film, not in terms of quality, but balance; the film truly belongs to Dustin Hoffman's performance of Ted Kramer, who takes centre stage as Meryl Streep's Joanna Kramer, disappears for large portions of the film. Only a few instances of Ted's short temper fuel any sort of backlash against an otherwise endearing paternal figure, while the audience is given far less cause to sympathize with Joanna, whose reasons for leaving Ted (and more importantly, her son) are never really explored.

It's the strange transfigurations of Ted's life that make Kramer vs. Kramer such an interesting study, such as when a court-ordered deadline forces him into the office of an executive, in the waning hours before the Christmas holiday, to practically beg for a job for which he is overqualified, this was probably my favourite bit of the film and it really made me smile.

While there's no reason Ted's story alone should not be the focus, the film's title suggests a war waged with equal ammunition by two wronged parties, and Kramer vs. Kramer is not such a film.

But the actors' perfect performances, and the way the script lays bare the despair and emotional warfare of an increasingly common and normalized legal process certainly makes me see why this film is considered a classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent drama 9 Oct 2009
By Gifts
This is a oustanding piece of acting from Dustin and Meryl plus the little boy. A really moving drama with some really original scenes. Very true to life with funny and very sad moments. As it deals with a marriage break up it is something that will relate to many people and is very touching.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars average 24 April 2012
Tony Parsons is a clever man. I don't mean clever in any kind of meaningful way, just in the sort of way that allows you to take a famous film (or the book on which this was based), in this case 1979's Oscar-winning Kramer vs. Kramer, utterly plagiarise the plot, and then make millions off it, without anyone seemingly noticing. Consider the plot of blockbuster "Man and Boy", by everyone's favourite Daily Mail opinion-spouter: "wife leaves family home, abandoning son so she can find herself, leaving father to juggle maintaining a successful career with the newfound duties of bringing up a young son. Just when they've recovered from a rocky start, and are beginning to be a real family unit, the EVIL mother returns to claim what is rightfully hers, and a legal battle ensues."

There are MANY more similarities, but to list them here would be to list the entire plot of both the film and the book, and that isn't really the purpose of this review. True, Tony Parsons' book-writing career has been following the law of diminishing returns ever since, but maybe he's just not keeping up with the right trend. He's been rewriting his own book again, thus diluting the original even further. He should go back to the source and maybe attempt to plagiarise another in the series of what originally made him wealthy. The question is, which series? Who from "Kramer vs Kramer" should he follow? Avery Corman, who wrote the original book, followed it up with "the bust out king", the director Robert Benton went on to direct "still of the night" (1982), and Dustin Hoffman went off to star in Tootsie (1982). The idea of Tony Parsons in drag might not be to everyone's taste, but maybe it's what he needs to write about to score another "hit".
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