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The Deep End [DVD] [2001]

20 customer reviews

Price: £2.46 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic, Jonathan Tucker, Peter Donat, Josh Lucas
  • Directors: David Siegel, Scott McGehee
  • Writers: David Siegel, Scott McGehee, Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
  • Producers: David Siegel, Eileen Jones, Laura Greenlee
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Sept. 2002
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006JI04
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,628 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

When Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton) discovers the dead body of her son's gay lover Darby, she immediately assumes her son, Beau, was the killer and tries to protect him by disposing of the corpse in the lake. A man named Spera (Goran Visnjic) then arrives at Margaret's home and attempts to blackmail her with video footage of Beau and Darby making love. Margaret tries and fails to raise the money, and the sympathetic Spera says he will try to persuade his partner Nagle to accept a delayed payment. Nagle, however, is determined to push things through to their bitter conclusion. Based on the novel 'The Blank Wall' by Elizabeth Sanxay Holding, which had previously been adapted for the screen by Max Ophuls under the title 'The Reckless Moment' (1949).


A tense tale of menace, murder and redemption, The Deep End is a film that sets itself high and stylish standards but ultimately fails to meet them all. Set in a sleepy American lakeside town, it traces the sudden and rapid disintegration of the life of Margaret Hall, a devoted mother who discovers her son is having an affair with a seedy older man Darby Reese (played by the suitably sleazy Josh Lucas). Matters take a turn for the worse when, after Reese's death, she finds herself the victim of a blackmail plot. With her husband away at sea, it falls to her alone to keep the family safe from harm. Salvation comes in the unlikely form of Alex (ER regular Goran Visnjic), her blackmailer, who develops a close and unexpected bond with his intended victim.

Tilda Swinton dominates proceedings as the increasingly desperate Margaret, although her relationship with Visnijc stretches the boundaries of credibility just a little too far. The direction is self-consciously showy, jumping at every opportunity for a clever shot. Although it isn't half the film that it thinks it is, The Deep End is still capable of holding the viewer's interest for its modest duration.

On the DVD: The Deep End disc, in an annoying throwback to the days of video, opens straight into a series of trailers for forthcoming attractions. Once the menu itself appears there is a distinct lack of inventiveness and thought. The interactive features offer a choice of subtitles and scene selection. Picture and soundwise, the lush, deep shots of the lakeside location work well in the digital format and the subtle, suspense-building score is clear and crisp. --Phil Udell

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Camilla Macaulay on 7 April 2014
Format: DVD
*SPOILERS* This is by far the best performance I have ever seen Tilda Swinton give. She plays Margaret, a Navy wife living in an idyllic lake-side house with her three children while her husband is away at sea. Margaret's seventeen year old son, Beau, has started hanging out at gay clubs and has begun an affair with good-looking but untrustworthy older man, Derby. There is a very graphic sex-scene between Beau and Derby so this may not be a film to watch with your Grandma.
Margaret warns Beau that Derby is a bit of a chancer but he denies any sexual relationship and clams up completely. When Derby tries to extort money from Margaret the plot takes a sinister turn and Derby ends up dead.
Handsome Alek, played Goran Visnjic, turns up at Margaret's house and attempts to blackmail her. At this point in the film the viewer really feels the stress that Margaret is under. Visnjic plays Alek as a really multi faceted man who struggles with some of the choices he has made. There is real chemistry between Alek and Margaret and the film becomes very moving in parts.
I don't want to give anything else away but I will say that the tension in this film ratchets up by the second. More and more stress is heaped on Margaret while her son, oblivious to the trouble he has caused, suspects her of having an affair with the man blackmailing her. There were some scenes where I found myself holding my breath as I was so engrossed.
This film is essentially about a mother's love for her family and the lengths she will go to keep them safe. Margaret didn't care that her son was gay, she just didn't want him to fall prey to sleazy predators.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Sept. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Deep End is directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, both of whom also adapting the screenplay from the novel The Blank Wall written by Elizabeth Sanxay Holding. It stars Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic, Jonathan Tucker, Raymond Barry and Josh Lucas. Music is by Peter Nashel and cinematography by Giles Nuttgens.

An updated take on Holding's source novel (it had been adapted by Max Ophüls as The Reckless Moment in 1949), The Deep End explores how one reckless decision in life can let the equilibrium of normalcy be invaded by dark forces and deep seated desires. Here we have the magnificent Swinton as Margaret Hall, a mother of three who finds her life spiralling out of control when she tries to keep her eldest son from being found culpable in a murder investigation. With the husband and father constantly away from their beautiful Lake Tahoe home, due to his being in the Armed Forces, Margaret is practically alone and afraid but still fiercely protective, but when blackmail walks in to her world in the shape of handsome Alek 'Al' Spera (Visnjic), there's can open, worms everywhere.

What unfolds is a tale full of classic noir staples, yet it's no cliché addled picture. McGehee and Siegel paint a pristine portrait of middle class life, but once tainted by noir it's very unlikely the protagonist will get back to that pristine world. The relationship between Margaret and Al becomes fascinating, their respective impact on each other is the beating heart of The Deep End. It all builds to a finale that has caused some division amongst the people who have seen it, but it strikes the right chords and dangles the right questions in context to the human characteristics that have been played out.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 22 Oct. 2002
Format: DVD
Its not often that a low budget thriller comes along that can give some of the big budget movies a run for their money. If one compares this film with the dire 'What lies beneath' then it really does win hands down, no competition, but not necessarily because of it's storyline.
In 'The Deep End', British actress Tilda Swinton (last seen in 'The Beach' and outstanding as 'Orlando' in the Virginia Woolf-inspired film of the same name), puts in an Oscar award winning performance. She is a force to be reckoned with. Acting with honesty and is totally believable.
Swinton plays Margaret Hall a lonely wife living on the pretty shores of Lake Tahoe. Her husband is in the Navy and away at sea for much of the time leaving her to look after her three children and care for her ailing father-in-law.
Beau is the eldest teen-age son, and believes that his homosexual relationship with sleazy villain Darby Reece is a well-kept secret. Wrong! Unbeknown to Beau his mother has suspected his affair for some time, even confronting Reece at his club, to tell him to stay away. One evening Beau steals out of the house to meet Reece in the family boathouse. After an argument between the pair Reece is accidentally killed, and his body is discovered the following morning by Margaret who quickly realises that her son could be implicated. She decides to hide the bod, but it is not long before the police discover the corpse, and the story appears in the local press.
Enter hunk Goran Visnjic (star of TV show ER), a villain with a heart who initially tries to blackmail Margaret, before he is shown to relent. He was after sleaze ball Reece for money owed to him and his business partner, and has a video tape that shows Beau in an compromising position with Reece.
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