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The Fisher King [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, Amanda Plummer, Mercedes Ruehl, Michael Jeter
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Producers: Debra Hill, Lynda Obst
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Dubbed: French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: UCA
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Feb 2006
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CQK0LQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,020 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Elements of fairytale run through this Terry Gilliam-directed drama, which stars Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams. Arrogant radio host Jack Lucas (Bridges) is devastated when an off-hand remark on air prompts a man to gun down seven people in a wine bar; he turns to drink and hits the streets. He is befriended by another down-and-out (Williams), who turns out to be a former University professor unhinged by the death of his wife in the wine bar.


Arthurian mythology and modern-day decay seem perfect complements to each other in Terry Gilliam's drama/comedy/fantasy The Fisher King. Shock jock Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges) makes an off-handed radio remark that causes a man to go on a killing spree, leaving Lucas unhinged with guilt. His later, chance meeting with Parry (Robin Williams), a homeless man suffering from dementia, gets him involved in the unlikely quest for the Holy Grail. The rickety and patently unrealistic stand that insanity is just a wonderful place to be and that the homeless are all errant knights wears awfully thin, but, there are numerous moments of sad grace and violent beauty in this film. The screenplay by Richard LaGravenese launched his successful career and his smart wordplay helped garner Mercedes Ruehl an Oscar as Lucas' girlfriend. --Keith Simanton --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Robert Arnott on 3 May 2004
Format: DVD
What do you expect from a Terry Gilliam film? Something inventive, an entertaining but thought-provoking take on the human condition? A meaningful story shot with the imagination and cheerful dismissal to reality, which ironically brings the movie closer to home?
I saw 'Brazil' a few months ago, and didn't think cinema could get any better. I bought 'Fisher King' with the expectation that it would be good, but dominated by the huge personalities of Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges. I didn't expect anything close to what I'd seen in 'Brazil'. But, contrary to what I'd expected the big on-screen personalities work in perfect harmony to this wacky world Gilliam presented us with.
A perfect script, a perfect cast, a perfect director. Perfect.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Nick Olson on 21 Nov 2003
Format: DVD
Terry Gilliam's films are always worth catching, and this is my favourite of them all. The story of redemption and triumph over tragedy makes this the most poignant of the fantastic stories that Gilliam has told in his unique cinematic way.
Like The Shawshank Redemption, this film is a treasure many never heard of upon it's release, or if they did, seem to have forgotten. Starring the almost demonic Jeff Bridges as Jack Lucas, a 'shock jock' who blames himself for inciting a listener to murder, the story catches up with him as his drunken self-loathing leads him to the brink of suicide. Enter Robin Williams as Parry, a seemingly unhinged tramp, whose decline was triggered by the death of his wife in the shootings Jack feels responsible for. The pair battle together for each other's sanity in a tale that encompasses Arthurian myth, knights on horseback in central park, and love blossoming in chinese restaurants.
While emotionally wrenching at times, this is still a beautiful, whimsical, and even very funny journey, with the price of entry justified by the real story of the Fisher King that Parry tells Jack in central park alone.
You'll laugh, cry, and swear off eating dumplings in public, but this is a small price to pay, as is the cost of the title. Even if Monty Python was never your thing, and Twelve Monkeys was just too sci-fi for your taste, still this film deserves a place in everyone's collection.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By P. Davie on 7 Aug 2007
Format: DVD
No one could accuse Terry Gilliam of being conventional. Understatement of the year, I realise, but when you really look at this film and its message(s) there is ultimately quite a simple premise at work - the triumph of altruism over ego. Both Parry and Jack are forced to over-come this by the same hideous event while Jack's poor wife remains the staunch figure of altruism (sometimes despite herself) throughout.
That said, the manner in which this is conveyed is typical Gilliam - visual metaphors illuminate the screen at every turn, dazzling the audience no matter what the focus of the scene may be. It is, put simply, the clearly recongisable work of one of the few contemporary film-makers who truly deserve the tag "auteur" - each and every shot kind of grimy but colourful at the same time. Every character somewhat unusual yet played with a sense of warmth. If you are a fan, you will know what I mean.
Jeff Bridges turns in (as usual) an amazing performance - by turns arrogant, and pathetic (sometimes both) as does Williams who is his usual manic self but delivered with the kind of pathos that he would come to use in later films such as One Hour Photo. Really, though, it is Mercedes Ruell as Jack's long-suffering wife who brings the whole film together. Her perpetually nasal (deliberately so, of course) New York whine complementing her tortured character's attempts to rehabilitate her husband and stand by him no matter what happens - or how he treats her.
The film is, like so many (particularly another favourite of mine It's A Wonderful Life) loosely branded "soppy", actually pretty dark - its sentimentality having been drawn out of tragedy and the manner in which people cope with it.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Feb 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This is a beautifully directed film, as Terry Gilliam exacts bravura performances from the entire cast. This film is a cinematic masterpiece that the viewer will not easily forget.
Jeff Bridges plays Jack, a radio shock jock whose unthinking tirade provokes a caller into a senseless act of violence that culminates in tragedy for a number of faceless New Yorkers. The tragedy derails Jack's career and ends his glitterati lifestyle. Gone is the fabulous hi-rise apartment, the model type, trophy girl friend, and the high paying media career.
Three years later, Jack finds himself living over a video store in a run down part of town with the video store owner, a blue collar ex-beautician, consummately played by Mercedes Ruehl, in a bravura performance that won her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, and deservedly so. Despairing of his life and looking like the bum he believes himself to be, Jack goes down by the water front and toys with the idea of killing himself.
The issue is taken out of his hands when he is accosted by two youths who are sick of "his kind", as they apparently mistake him for part of the great unwashed horde of humanity of which they are heartedly sick. They beat him with a baseball bat and douse him from head to toe with gasoline, but just before they ignite him, a knight errant named Parry, touchingly played by Robin Williams, comes to his rescue and saves him from an untimely and excruciating death.
Parry takes Jack to his refuge, and there Parry tells him of his quest for the Holy Grail. A curious bond between the two men begins to form. After Jack leaves, he later returns, curious to know more about this strange, but kindly individual who saved his life.
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