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Pantani: The Accidental Death Of A Cyclist [DVD]

James Erskine    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
Price: £9.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Pantani: The Accidental Death Of A Cyclist [DVD] + The Armstrong Lie [DVD] [2014] + The Loyal Lieutenant
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Product details

  • Directors: James Erskine
  • Producers: James Erskine, Victoria Gregory
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Channel 4 DVD
  • DVD Release Date: 26 May 2014
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,090 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


"Pantani's is perhaps the greatest cycling story ever told"--Ned Boulting
"Essential watching even for anyone who can't stand the sport" ****--Total Film
"Stunning portrayal of a great sporting tragedy" ****--Rouleur

In 1998 Marco Pantani, the most flamboyant and popular cyclist of his era, won both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia--a titanic feat of physical and mental endurance that no rider has repeated since. He was a hero to millions--the saviour of professional cycling following the doping scandals which threatened to destroy the sport. However, less than six years later, aged just 34, he died alone, in a cheap Italian hotel room.

This film is not just about cycling but an emotional exploration of what drives athletes to compete; man versus mountain, athlete versus the system, Marco Pantani versus himself.

Extended interviews with Greg LeMond, Matt Rendell and Richard Williams.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
To head off any comments about how I saw this before the DVD release- this film was premiered a few weeks ago in a small number of cinemas and I was lucky enough to see it in Belfast just after the Giro team presentation at a showing followed by a Q&A with James Erskine and Matt Rendell. Why was Matt Rendell there? Well, this documentary was inspired by his brilliant, balanced and detailed "The Death of Marco Pantani" although due to the nature of film making there were only certain elements that could be included.
As for the actual documentary- it brings together many of the important people in Pantani's life to develop an picture of a complex and passionate individual. We live in a world shaped by media that prefers simplified binary oppositions- people are either for us or against us, good or bad- however this documentary challenges that simplistic dichotomy- it is too easy to condemn pro cyclists from that era for all being "bad people who cheated using drugs" but this work places everything in context. While not condoning what went on during a dark period for cycling, it forces viewers to ask themselves honestly what choices they would have made in the same position.
There is also a tendency among many to promote Pantani to the sainthood, such are the myths and narratives that were built around him, but again Erskine avoids this- the film doesn't judge Pantani, it simply offers opportunities to understand a very complex man who struggled a lot internally. It is to Erskine's credit that he cut through a lot of the protective bubble people close to Pantani erected to preserve his legend, and it humanises him all the more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First rate account of a great and tragic life. 18 Aug 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a thoroughly solid, professional documentary and made with passion and expertise. Clearly well researched, it doesn't over sensationalise a tragic story. I particularly enjoyed the early archive and all the key moments were there from Pantanis career. Good contributions from many of the usual suspects, although I found it a bit odd that Matt Rendall was interviewed for a film based on his own book. I think a slightly more rigorous approach to the doping aspect of his career would have been appropriate, as well as a wider look at the doping culture that existed while he was racing. Although his desperately sad death is covered, it feels almost as a coda to the main film, as thought the filmmakers didn't quite have the confidence to give it more prominence and depth. Of course, new speculation that Pantani's death was not accidental is ironic indeed. I can certainly reccomend this documentary to all cyclists and to a wider audience who should be interested in a story of a brilliant, but ultimately fatally flawed talent.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and beautiful 13 May 2014
Brilliant portrait of a young man who only ever strived to be the best and was naively exploited by the sometimes cruel business of cycling in which young men are apparently dispensable. The culture of doping is ugly and hopefully on the wain. A real insight into an interesting life
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4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, dramatic but inevitably sad 8 Oct 2014
I enjoyed this engaging documentary on Marco Pantani - whatever your opinions on the man himself and of drug use in cycling in general I think it's an interesting piece and creates good topics for debate (deliberately or otherwise).

The film has a wealth of relevant contributors - archive interviews with the man himself as well as recent input from his parents, friends, trainers, team bosses and other notables such as (Sir) Bradley Wiggins and Greg Lemond. It's a pretty sympathetic portrait of Pantani, covering his youth and earlier days as an amateur rider before following him through various Tour De France and Giro D'Italia campaigns. The sad conclusion to the story is of course covered also.

It's hard not to draw comparisons with another recent cycling doc - The Armstrong Lie - which takes a rather less sympathetic view towards its subject although it does cover similar ground, including interesting views on the doping epidemic and investigations from cyclings recent past. This is Pantani's film at heart though and the tone is more of sad regret of the circumstances in general and how it all played out. It doesn't offer any easy answers of course and what happened can be debated endlessly.

The film itself is well put together, including plenty of stirring footage from Pantani's glory days. Various highlights are used, often set to dramatic or sinister music to escalate the tension - it feels like a thriller at times. I'd say it's certainly worth a watch, even for those that don't have a great interest in the sport.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant 26 July 2014
Excellent documentary. What this really highlights is the damage done by the whole decades long doping scandal that rocked cycling. The film looks at how Pantani started as a youngster with a love of cycling and a gift for climbing mountains on the bike. It goes on to look at how somewhere along the way to winning a tour and Giro title in the same year he was charged with doping offences and from there spiralled into depression and drug use.

Its a great and well filmed documentary with lots of information I wasn't aware of. It takes a look at that era without focusing on Lance Armstrong (as so many others have).

Its very poignant as it uses members of his close friends and families - in particular his mother talks about how she always encouraged his love of cycling as she saw it as something healthy and social.....but she realised after that Marco was being pushed from a healthy love of sport and competition towards the sole quest of winning...and this unfortunately had to involve drugs in that era...

Well worth checking out and as good as the lance armstrong documentary (which was also excellent!)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Only average
Really rated by critics but only ok in my mind. He was a cheat like all the others so no need idolise him like this film does.
Published 6 days ago by Mr. Colin Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Pantani? Hate Pantani? You will still enjoy this.
Okay I am biased in that I grew up loving Pantani and his performances. A very good film, informative, and I will watch it again. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Mr A P Derbyshire
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant film about a fantastic cyclist.
Published 27 days ago by Bill Ripley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Shocking and sad!
Published 1 month ago by Primo˛ Janc
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but need to watch on computer only....
Movie was an interesting documentary on Pantani's life and death. Interesting insight into the world of racing at that time. Read more
Published 1 month ago by John D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by A. P. RENDELL-KNIGHTS
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth watching
Filled the gaps in where I knew what had gone on but linked the story of Marco together in a way that was believable. Highly recommended
Published 1 month ago by Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic watch, very good insight to top flight cycling
Fantastic watch , very good insight to top flight cycling
Published 1 month ago by Aski69
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A sad story of a supremely talented athlete well done.
Published 1 month ago by Alastair Macintosh
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome service. Great value.
Published 1 month ago by Constantino Lozano
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