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  • Primal Fear [Blu-ray] [1996] [US Import]
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Primal Fear [Blu-ray] [1996] [US Import]


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Primal Fear [Blu-ray] [1996] [US Import] + Murder in the First [Blu-ray] [1990] [US Import] + The Shawshank Redemption [Blu-ray]
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Product details

  • Actors: John Mahoney, Richard Gere
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Paramount Catalog
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Jan. 2013
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AEFYWDC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,316 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Clever twists and a bona fide surprise ending make Primal Fear an above-average courtroom thriller. Tapping into the post-O J scrutiny of the American legal system in the case of a hotshot Chicago defence attorney (Richard Gere) whose latest client is an altar boy (Edward Norton) accused of murdering a Catholic archbishop. The film uses its own manipulation to tell a story about manipulation and when we finally discover who's been pulling the strings, the payoff is both convincing and pertinent to the ongoing debate over what constitutes truth in the American system of justice. Making an impressive screen debut that has since led to a stellar career, Norton gives a performance that rides on a razor's edge of schizophrenic pathology--his role is an actor's showcase and without crossing over the line of credibility, Norton milks it for all it's worth. Gere is equally effective in a role that capitalises on his shifty screen persona and Laura Linney and Frances McDormand give memorable performances in their intelligently written supporting roles. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By E. Paice on 5 Dec. 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When i first watched this, I hadnt heard of it, and to me it seemed like another Hollywood glamourisation of a courtcase. But by the end of the movie, i thought it was quite fantastic. Why? Well two reasons; the first being the acting is good throughout, especially Edward Norton, who excells in his first film. The other being that the ending is utterly sublime, it's a twist that changes everything you've just watched before, resembling the classic twist in The Usual Suspects. This film is definatly worth watching when you have a chance, especially for the ending.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By P. Gajic on 20 Aug. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Primal Fear is a masterpiece! Superb acting from Edward Norton who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his brilliant portrayal of murder suspect Aaron and Richard Gere as his suave, confident defence attorney who seems to be the only one convinced of his innocence.

This film really stands the test of time some 10 years on with a great opening scene that gets your interest right from the start! No nipping out to put the kettle on with this one!!

A 'must have' if you're a Gere or Norton fan!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Newstead VINE VOICE on 2 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD
What an incredible actor Edward Norton is as the defendent in a murder involving a church priest. The acting is quite simply brilliant and the ending is going to knock your socks off. A film that even when you know the ending is still brilliant to watch again just to pick up the details.

This is a must buy and Norton's greatest film and most definitely Gere's too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD
Primal Fear is directed by Gregory Hoblit and is adapted by Steve Shagan & Ann Biderman from William Diehl's 1993 novel. It stars Richard Gere, Edward Norton & Laura Linney. With support coming from John Mahoney, Frances McDormand, Alfre Woodard, Andre Braugher, Steven Bauer, Terry O'Quinn & Maura Tierney. Cinematography is by Michael Chapman and the score is composed by James Newton Howard.

High profile lawyer Martin Vail (Gere) loves his own press, hugely successful he never misses the chance to further his profile. So when altar boy Aaron Stampler (Norton) is arrested for the vicious slaying of a prominent archbishop, Vail spies an opportunity for major publicity. However, it looks a slam dunk case of guilt, Stampler is a simple kid who was caught after running from the scene of the crime-covered in the archbishop's blood. But Vail comes to believe Stampler to be innocent, something that baffles the prosecution, led by Vail's ex lover, Janet Venable (Linney). A turn of events will further complicate matters and Vail finds that the longer the case goes on, the dirtier the whole episode gets.

Now seen as the launch pad to Edward Norton's career (for this his debut film he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and won a Golden Globe Award in the same category), Primal Fear is a tightly written thriller that sits with the better modern day entries in the court room based genre. The secret to a successful court room thriller is being able to keep the drama flowing before the verdict comes to pass. Hoblit's film does this because it has a ripper (no pun intended towards the nature of the crime) of a case at its core and that in turn is developed expertly by an on fire cast.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Inmi Opinion on 14 April 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Richard Gere appears as the suave Defence Lawyer Martin Vail,looking for that one case that really is going to jettison him up to the top bracket and he seizes his chance when he defends Aaron, the choirboy accused of murdering the Archbishop in whose home he lives.Aaron,played by Edward Norton is caught after a long chase,running from near the scene covered in blood,though he has no memory of committing the crime admits to witnessing it.He has no reason he says for killing the Archbishop who he says he loved as a person.Aaron has a very bad "stammer", and when seen by a psychologist in a holding cell she sees he has another side to him?
Exceptional acting from Norton in his first role.If you like court room dramas then this will be for you.Laura Linney is the the prosecutor and Geres ex,but it's not all in the court.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Aug. 2006
Format: DVD
The popular archbishop of Chicago has just been brutally murdered and 19-year old altar boy Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton) is found running from the scene, covered in the man's blood. It looks like an open and shut case against the simple, stuttering boy, until dashing Martin Vail (Richard Gere), a self-proclaimed "big-deal lawyer," offers to defend him - pro bono. The prosecutor he'll be facing in the courtroom is none other than his ex-girlfriend (Laura Linney), who is still bitter about their past. With the help of a psychologist (Frances McDormand), Vail discovers a shocking secret about young Aaron that may save his life.

This is a great movie; I've seen it many times and it never gets old. Gere is perfectly cast as the handsome, confident charmer, and Edward Norton surely had one of his best roles ever as the unfortunate Aaron - and this was his first movie role. He is so charismatic that you will not be able to take your eyes off him. The search for the killer's motive is intense and surprising, with lots of opportunities for Gere to showcase his tremendous appeal. Highly recommended for those who like character-driven mysteries.
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