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Seven Years In Tibet [DVD] [1997]

Brad Pitt , David Thewlis , Jean-Jacques Annaud    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Price: 11.87 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Brad Pitt, David Thewlis, BD Wong, Mako, Danny Denzongpa
  • Directors: Jean-Jacques Annaud
  • Writers: Becky Johnston, Heinrich Harrer
  • Producers: Alisa Tager, Catherine Moulin, David Nichols, Diane Summers, Iain Smith
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, German, Tibetan
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Oct 1999
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RCK4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,724 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



If it hadn't been for Brad Pitt signing on to play the lead role of obsessive Austrian mountain climber Heinrich Harrer, there's a good chance this lavish $70 million film would not have been made. It was one of two films from 1997 (the other being Martin Scorsese's exquisite Kundun) to view the turmoil between China and Tibet through the eyes of the young Dalai Lama. But with Pitt onboard, this adaptation of Harrer's acclaimed book focuses more on Harrer, a Nazi party member whose life was changed by his experiences in Tibet with the Dalai Lama. Having survived a treacherous climb on the challenging peak of Nanga Parbat and a stint in a British POW camp, Harrer and climbing guide Peter Aufschnaiter (nicely played by David Thewlis) arrive at the Tibetan city of Lhasa, where the 14-year-old Dalai Lama lives as ruler of Tibet. Their stay is longer than either could have expected (the "seven years" of the title), and their lives are forever transformed by their proximity to the Tibetan leader and the peaceful ways of the Buddhist people. China looms over the land as a constant invasive threat, but Seven Years in Tibet is more concerned with viewing Tibetan history through the eyes of a visitor. The film is filled with stunning images and delightful moments of discovery and soothing, lighthearted spirituality, and although he is somewhat miscast, Pitt brings the requisite integrity to his central role. What's missing here is a greater understanding of the young Dalai Lama and the culture of Tibet. Whereas Kundun tells its story purely from the Dalai Lama's point of view, Seven Years in Tibet is essentially an outsider's tale. The result is the feeling that only part of the story's been told here--or maybe just the wrong story. But Harrer's memoir is moving and heartfelt, and director Jean-Jacques Annaud has effectively captured both sincerity and splendor in this flawed but worthwhile film. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

DVD Special Features:

Trailer A and B
The Making of..
Letterbox Ratio 2:35
Dolby Pro Logic

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Adventure on the Roof of the World 8 April 2005
Format:VHS Tape
As so often, the film simplifies and slightly alters the story as told in the book of the same name and written by Heinrich Harrer; Brad Pitt plays the role excellently, by the way.

Harrer, a rather egoistic young Alpinist from Austria, is in the Himalayas when Britain declares war in 1939. He is interned in British-ruled India as an enemy alien (NB: NOT for any other reason). After several failed attempts at escape in the succeeding two years, he gets away, eventually linking up with a fellow Austrian climber. In order to avoid recapture, they trek high into the mountains and head for Tibet, then closed to all foreigners. By bending and breaking the rules, they get into Lhasa, the Holy City and are tolerated. Indeed, a young educated "civil servant" assists them and continues to do so after he is promoted to high ministerial rank. Harrer builds roads and becomes tutor to the young Dalai Lama, who lives in the Potala Palace high above the city. Harrer's friend marries a local lady; Harrer himself changes to a less egoistic person over time.

After WW2 grinds to its dreadful end, Harrer stays on until the Chinese invasion of 1949. He then returns to Austria, to find that his son (born after he left Austria) has almost grown up. The films ends with Harrer, back in the Austrian Alps, reconciled with his son and his climbing and escaping friend.

This film is largely true to the book. It was badly mauled on release in 1997 because the newspaper critics wanted the standard Spielberg-style Hollywood anti-Nazi propaganda message spelt out; this film is not a propagandistic film, thank God. The blanket condemnation of the critics really showed that there is a kind of "claque" at work in the UK and USA. In fact, Brad Pitt is stellar here, his performance just right. The film is heartwarming and never boring, which shows that Hollywood can do it, when allowed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Based on the late Heinrich Harrer's famous memoir, this 136-minute epic tells the tale of an arrogant Austrian climber (Brad Pitt) and his 1939 expedition to the Himalayas. The turmoil that comes with the onset of war leads him and his companion (the great David Thewlis, Remus Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Ultimate Edition) - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD)[Region Free]) to the mysterious realm of Tibet, where the young Dalai Lama in his hilltop palace is preparing for his rule and ministry. The unlikeliest of friendships grows up between the egocentric mountaineer and the gentle, humorous philosopher-prince, while all around them sinister forces are gathering...

This is, quite simply, a superb piece of cinema. Brad Pitt, David Thewlis and the many Tibetan actors all play their parts wonderfully. The story is by turns comical, cliffhanger-thrilling and deeply moving; the austere mountain scenery is sublime; the music - composed by the ever reliable John Williams and featuring the virtuoso cellist Yo-Yo Ma - is gorgeous, not least for its sonorous Tibetan chant. And we imbibe a good deal of fascinating history and - if we're minded to receive it - no little wisdom too. This is one film that's equally rewarding to eye, ear, mind, heart and soul.

The beauty of the film's cinematography and soundtrack practically oblige one to prefer the Blu-ray over the DVD if one is lucky enough to be able to afford it. As far as I know, no UK Blu-ray is available, but happily the American disc - featuring 1080p video and uncompressed 5.1 PCM audio - is region-free. One word of warning: imports from the US that cost more than 15 (including shipping) attract not just 20% VAT but also a swingeing 8 Royal Mail administration fee, so try not to cross that threshold if you can possibly help it!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and Inspirational 7 Dec 2002
This is the sort of film that it becomes easy to criticise as its topic and setting is so vast. It is also one which people seem to be either utterly compelled by, or are sent off to sleep within the first half hour; this is doubtless due to the low-impact nature of the first half of the film. However, Seven Years in Tibet is aesthetically breathtaking and inherently inciteful. While Brad Pitt's Austrian accent leaves a little to be desired, the characters are portrayed excellently and the gradual reversal of Harrer's character is intricately woven into the wider upheavals of the Tibetan culture and the war continuing in the world outside. I found myself watching in real sadness as the Chinese gradually overpower the peace-loving tibetans, and by the end feeling as though I had a real understanding of the pain suffered by the Tibetan people, despite entering into the film with no prior knowledge whatsoever.
Obviously there is only a certain amount that can be covered in just over 2 hours, perhaps leaving some viewers feeling that the film is too much based on Harrer than the Tibetan way of life, but after all, this is the story of an individual's journey, it is not a documentary. Jean-Jaques Annaud's direction is imperious, as is the score, the production and the leading performances; given this framework the film could hardly fail to be brilliant, and I found it to be one of the most entralling and inspiring films that I have ever seen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, great product :) 5 Nov 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Wanted this for ages on a disc format, so decided on Bluray .. glad I did, as it definitely does add to the quality .. one hting to note is that there's a very minimal 'shaking movement' to the picture, but is only noticeable when inspecting very closely, and it actually probably something to do with the original film. I stopped noticing it anyhow as I got into the film, which is a good thing, as I notice way too much stuff in general that can eventually spoil my enjoyment of things!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars in one word great!
Classic, in one word great!
Published 12 days ago by Marko
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As described and prompt delivery
Published 16 days ago by BB
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All Good, thank you
Published 19 days ago by S Godden
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good but not true to the book
Published 24 days ago by Carole Earle
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Great book, ok movie, watch it for the scenery. (certainly not Brad's German accent.)
Published 1 month ago by PHaire
2.0 out of 5 stars LETTER BOXING
I hate letter boxing, it ruins the film I can think of no good reason why films are made this way! Either Tv's are made the wrong dimension or film-makers have odd shaped TV's cos... Read more
Published 1 month ago by oddjob
1.0 out of 5 stars Incorrect film sent
Arrived promptly but although case was correct the film inside was not Seven Years in Tibet but another. Read more
Published 2 months ago by wendywoo
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Brilliant movie, and from a very trusted buyer, from whom i by from quite often, can not recommend enough, brilliant.
Published 3 months ago by noodle
5.0 out of 5 stars Seven Years In Tibet-Avisual Feast.
Beautifully photographed and a compelling story that is told with a fair amount of emotion. Brad Pitt looked the part as an Austrian
mountaineer despite the accent. Read more
Published 6 months ago by jazzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Sept ans en Tibet
I made a mistake by buying a French-titled version but, by some judicious use of the audio button on my remote control, managed to achieve an English soundtrack. Read more
Published 8 months ago by T. W.
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