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Mystery Train [DVD] [1989]

Masatoshi Nagase , Yki Kud , Jim Jarmusch    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 39.99
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Mystery Train [DVD] [1989] + Ghost Dog - The Way Of The Samurai [DVD] [2000]
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Product details

  • Actors: Masatoshi Nagase, Yki Kud, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Cinqu Lee, Rufus Thomas
  • Directors: Jim Jarmusch
  • Writers: Jim Jarmusch
  • Producers: Demetra J. MacBride, Hideaki Suda, Jim Stark, Kunijiro Hirata, Rudd Simmons
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Italian, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: 28 April 2003
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008OP6P
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,069 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

A sleazy downtown motel in Memphis, Tennessee provides the stopping off point for three very different groups of people: a rock'n'roll obsessed Japanese couple paying a visit to Elvis' home, Graceland; a beautiful Italian widow who has a surprise encounter with the 'King' himself; and an inept gang of thugs seeking refuge in the hotel after a liquor store robbery. Cult director Jim Jarmusch links their stories together by the comic antics of the night clerk and bellboy, played by Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Spike Lee's brother Cinque.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great film from Jim Jarmusch. 22 Mar 2003
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:VHS Tape
I don't think that Jim Jarmusch has ever made a bad film, sure Dead Man in the wrong mood is a bit dull & Year of the Horse is only appealing if you find epic guitar solos played by grizzled 50somethings appealing, but he more than warrants his place in US cinema.
Mystery Train was the follow-up to his early works, the student feature Permanent Vacation (once shown on Channel4, who like to show repeats of Graham Norton now instead), 1984's debut proper Stranger Than Paradise & its follow-up Down By Law- which was another joy featuring Tom Waits & Roberto Benigni.
Mystery Train is a film that few appear to be aware of- facets such as it's structure, the quirky fools who occur, the ghost of Elvis & its hotel locale will be familiar to viewers of Tarantino's True Romance and (especially) Pulp Fiction. Here we get three stories set in Memphis, the film beginning with the arrival of a train & ending with its departing to the classic Elvis song of the same name. Story #1 sees Jarmusch employ his love of world cinema- looking at Memphis through Foreign eyes, we follow a Japanese couple (Masatoshi Nagase & Youki Kudoh) as they come to the home of Elvis. They visit Sun studios, argue about who was more important: Elvis or Carl Perkins, smoke cigarettes & eventually arrive at a sleazy downtown hotel (where the night clerk & bellboy are Screamin' Jay Hawkins & Cinque Lee- who connect the stories). They then settle in for the night, an almost surreal scene occurs where Nagase puts on his girlfiend's make-up. & later, a shot rings out...
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alternative American Dream 6 Jan 2004
Format:DVD
From the second Amtracks' Texas Eagle comes curving along the line, to the sound of perhaps "The King" greatest Sun City recording, you know your in for real slice authentic Americana. What you don't expect is just how darkley funny and absoubing haunting this "Mystery" journey into Americas' deep south underbelly actually is. An unwelcoming neon lit,run down Hotel in an equally seedy Memphis suburb brings together the lives and stories of two Japanesse tourists, hoplessly out of place, Sreaming Jay Hawkins, Joe Strummer and the always brilliant Steve Buscemi to wonderful effect. Highly recommended.
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
By Sebastian Palmer TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
I've amended this review slightly since first writing it, see the footnote below, but I'm leaving it otherwise as was, for reasons I hope readers will understand.

I'd give 'Mystery Train' an unreserved 5 stars as a film, but I'm reducing that to 3 stars on account of the DVD release I received from Amazon (on MGM Home Ent) having no subtitles (I've read that the same is apparently also true of a release of Jarmusch's 'Night On Earth' DVD, but thankfully I found that out before shelling out for it).

I saw this fabulous film at the cinema when it came out, and the first mini-story with the Japanese couple is a wonderful and heartwarmingly deadpan bit of comedy; their dialogue is superb. My dissappointment at discovering this edition has no subtitles was therefore huge, and it more or less ruins the film for me. If you understand (or are) Japanese you'll have no problem. Why on earth have they omitted subtitles on DVD? It seems insane to me. If you love Jarmusch as I do, then write to MGM and ask them to amend this stupid oversight. I'm certainly not buying 'Night On Earth' until a subtitled edition is available.

FOOTNOTE

Just to clarify something, and in response to some comments about my review: this review was written when I received a copy of Mystery train (via an Amazon order), which was a Region 1 MGM Home Ent version, and *quite emphatically* does not have the subtitles I require: English subtitles for the Japanese language section of the film. It does have French and Spanish subtitles for entire film, but this still doesn't allow me to see the Japanese section of the film as I saw it at the cinema, i.e with English subtitles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jarmusch's best film, in my humble opinion 10 Aug 2008
Format:DVD
I'm not much of a fan of Jim Jarmusch, but 1989's Mystery Train (his fourth film and first one in color) is quite engaging in they way it tells three minimalist stories occurring in what is presumably the seedier side of Memphis. An Elvis motif runs through all the episodes, which are set mostly in a rundown hotel during one night (Blues legend Screaming Jay Hawkins plays the clerk). In the first episode, a young Japanese couple arrives in the town which gave birth to rock and roll (she is quirky, he is impassive; she loves Elvis, he Carl Perkins). In the second episode, an Italian woman (Niccoleta Braschi) whose husband has just died has to spend a night in Memphis. She shares the room in the hotel with a talkative American woman (Elizabeth Bracco). During the night, she imagines or sees the ghost of Elvis. In the third episode, a British guy who is called Elvis by his lowlife friends, and who has just broken with the woman of the second episode (and is played by the late Clash guitarist Joe Strummer) more or less accidentally shots a liquor shop seller, and has to take refuge in the hotel, along with his brother in law (played by Steve Buscemi). A gunshot heard during the night sort of links the three episodes. Nothing much happens, but Jarmusch shows his love with American pop culture and his fine ear for the way the American working class talk everyday.
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