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Sophie's Choice [1982] [DVD]

Price: £11.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol, Rita Karin, Stephen D. Newman
  • Directors: Alan J. Pakula
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, German, Polish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Prism Leisure
  • DVD Release Date: 19 Sep 2005
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004I9PK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,493 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline star in this drama adaptation of the novel by William Styron. Upon moving to a Brooklyn boarding house in 1947, author Stingo (Peter MacNicol) meets Nathan Landau (Kline) and Sophie Zawistowska (Streep). The trio become firm friends and spend much time together, but Nathan's explosive temper often results in Stingo spending time alone with Sophie, and it is in these moments that she slowly reveals her past to him, describing what she experienced at the hands of the Nazis in occupied Poland.


The sunny streets of Brooklyn, just after World War II. A young would-be writer named Stingo (Peter MacNicol) shares a boarding house with beautiful Polish immigrant Sophie (Meryl Streep) and her tempestuous lover, Nathan (Kevin Kline); their friendship changes his life. This adaptation of the bestselling novel by William Styron is faithful to the point of being reverential, which is not always the right way to make a film come to life. But director Alan J. Pakula (All the President's Men) provides a steady, intelligent path into the harrowing story of Sophie, whose flashback memories of the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp form the backbone of the movie. Streep's exceptional performance--flawless Polish accent and all--won her an Oscar, and effectively raised the standard for American actresses of her generation. No less impressive is Kevin Kline, in his movie debut, capturing the mercurial moods of the dangerously attractive Nathan. The two worlds of Sophie's Choice, nostalgic Brooklyn and monstrous Europe, are beautifully captured by the gifted cinematographer Néstor Almendros, whose work was Oscar-nominated but didn't win. It should have. --Robert Horton,

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Feb 2010
Format: DVD
William Styron's epic novel "Sophie's Choice," is a magnificent tour de force from one of America's great writers. Through Styron's own very public battle with depression, which he courageously wrote about in his book "Darkness Visible", he had a deeper understanding of the dark places that the human mind can travel too. It was a book that he was well qualified to write, and was one that only a handful of authors could have attempted. It is also a book that I would have considered almost impossible to film. Who could possibly convey the emotions going on inside Sophie's tortured mind? Who could possibly inhabit the paranoid schizophrenic mind of Nathan? It is a big ask, and very brave of that talented director Alan J Pakula to attempt it. I tend to remember Pakula from the excellent western , "Comes a Horseman", although you may remember him more for films like "Klute," and "All the Presidents Men." As is often the case, when having read the book, I would not have rated Pakula's chances of making a good film very highly. But I very glad to say that I would have been completely wrong. This is a very good film indeed!

The holocaust has been broached by film makers in many different ways. Spielberg famously took us directly to the heart of the atrocities in the concentration camps with "Schindler's List". The epic nine hour documentary "Shoah" interviewed many of the people involved directly in the catastrophe. That fine film "The Truce", based on Auchwitz survivor Primo Levi's powerful book of the same title, dealt with the immediate aftermath. Levi was a man who lived with depression himself, and would have understood Styron's book. Sadly he committed suicide.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Colin Mcwilliams on 28 Nov 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A story set after the second world war in New York, about the relationship between 3 people. Peter McNicol (better known for his role in 'Alley McBeal') is a young wided eyed aspiring writer who falls in with a couple (Streep and Kline) whose outwardly exuberent lives hide something darker, and for Streep a Polish immigrant, we are as the film unfolds wondering what ghosts she is struggling to free herself from. This unfolds beautifully as we observe the peice through the eyes of McNicol as he comes of age. Through his freindship with Steep, whose spell he falls under, he eventually comes to learn about the demons that haunt Kline and heatbreakingly those of Streep. McNicol is good but Kline and Streep turn in performances of real depth and intensity which I would challange anyone not to be moved by. This is Streep at the height of her powers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Phil on 25 Mar 2010
Format: DVD
I first watched this film shortly after it was released. At the time Meryl Streep was a fairly highly regarded new actress, famous mostly for the 'Deer hunter'. It is difficult at around 25 years remove to appreciate the sensation her performance created at the time. I think that this difficulty in part arises from the fact that Streep has become such a house-hold name now,a 'Star', rightly praised for the rigour which she brought to so many subsequent roles ( A friend once jokingly asserted that Streep went out and deliberately contracted syphillis to be more convincing as Karen Blixen in 'Out of Africa').In the light of this there are now identifiable idiosyncracies and Streep 'mannerisms', which can invade the viewers mind when this film is re-visited, or to younger people familiar with Streep films who are seeing this one for the first time. Had she dropped out of sight following this film I'm sure that this would be regarded as one of the most profoundly moving cinematic performances of all time.
Much has been made of her mastering two completely unrelated languages for the role, whilst this is an amazing feat, I think this is also something of a distraction. I'm sure that there are many first rate linguists who can't act for toffee.If the film had been mono-lingual I still think she would have carried it off.
Kevin Klein, another intelligent and talented actor is perfectly cast as the febrile, flawed schizophrenic Nathan, his Errol Flynn profile, making him "fatally glamorous". And the young and callow 'Stingo' is also ably played.

One criticism made at the time was that it boiled the Holocaust down to the experiences of one woman. Another was that Sophie, a woman spiritually destroyed by Fascism, is a Pole.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 30 April 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I must admit I'm amazed that Sophie's Choice has been rated so poorly. It's the first film for me that Meryl Streep truly showed what a powerful actress she can be. The story is told by Stingo who is a mostly passive character who befriends a couple, Sophie and Nathan. The film explores obsession and the lasting effects that a trauma as intense as the Holocaust must provoke.

Kevin Kline is also very watchable as a charasmatic but deeply flawed Nathan, but ultimately you are going to remember Meryl Streep as Sophie. The sequence showing her choice, which the title refers to, is I think one of the iconic moments of cinema.

It may not be a fast paced film and in retrospect I can tell that it was adapted from a novel. As a study of consuming obsession, guilt and grief it's subtle, moving and memorable. Well worth your time, but I would it without distractions to fully appreciate it.
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