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The Golden Door [DVD]

Charlotte Gainsbourg , Vincenzo Amato , Emanuele Crialese    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £10.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Golden Door [DVD] + Respiro [2003] [DVD]
Price For Both: £16.50

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Product details

  • Actors: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vincenzo Amato, Aurora Quattrocchi, Francesco Casisa, Filippo Pucillo
  • Directors: Emanuele Crialese
  • Writers: Emanuele Crialese
  • Producers: Alexandre Mallet-Guy, Bernard Bouix, Diana Frey, Fabrizio Mosca, Laura Adriana Nicotra
  • Format: PAL
  • Dubbed: Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Oct 2007
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,172 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


It's a voyage of discovery in this love story of two immigrants crossing paths on their way to the 'new world'. Widower, and poor Sicilian farmer, Salvatore Mancuso (Vincenzo Amato) meets enigmatic English woman, Lucy (Charlotte Gainsbourg) on a tempestuous ocean crossing to a new life in America. During the voyage, romance blossoms between the two, leading to marriage prior to their arrival in New York. But they have to use all their wits to make it through 'The Golden Door' at Ellis Island, if they are to realise their dreams.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Door to the New World 3 Jun 2014
By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER
Set at the beginning of the 20th century we travel to impoverished Sicily where we meet Salvatore (Vincezo Amato - `Respiro') and his family. They are struggling to survive and like a lot of fellow Europeans he is considering going to the New World, which flows with milk and honey and money grows on trees. He has an elderly mother who doubles as some sort of healer, and two sons in the shape of Angelo and Pietro.

After a sign from on high they decide to go for it and head off to the ferry to get a third class ticket to America. This is where red headed siren Lucy Reed (Charlotte Gainsbourg) comes into the picture. She needs a man to get her through the tests at Ellis Island and she decides he is the one. Along the way there is a lot of social history and some well observed attention to detail.

Director Emanuele Crialese (`Respiro' and Terrafirma') also uses a lot of surrealist imagery to exemplify how the propaganda of the US was such a pull factor that really most of the émigrés could never have made a logical decision. There are oversized vegetables, coins in trees and falling from the skies and a river of milk.

This is a beautifully shot film with Sicily having an austere beauty and the filth and dirt being omnipresent until they reach New York. The immigration system is also done extremely well and the plight of these people is palpable. I really enjoyed this film but it won't be to everybody's taste as there is little action, no bedroom diversions and no overly dramatic occasions. Yet still it tells a story that thousands will have had to go through and there are no monuments to their sufferings or struggle so I think this film has a special place in the world of cinema. In Italian and a bit of English with good translations and a run time of 118 minutes - a film I can readily recommend.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Directed with a magical touch 29 Feb 2008
The Golden Door is a wonderful film, beautifully photographed and directed with a magical touch. The images stayed with me long after - the peasants in Sicily, the boat leaving the port for America and the myriad of faces of the new immigrants at Ellis Island. In a sense it could be seen as two films in one - the first part is the sad leaving of a homeland but tinged with optimism and the second part is the harsh reception for the Sicilians when they eventually arrive at Ellis Island. This makes clear that they really had entered into a quite new and different world.

It was particularly touching the way the illiterate Sicilians from a peasant background had so little comprehension of what the "ability tests" were all about - it showed a complete culture clash.

The acting is great. Vincenzo Amato as Salvatore made a very solid centre to the film but the whole cast was excellent.

OK, there were things I could criticise. I thought the character of Luce (Charlotte Gainsbourg) was too much of a mystery. How would a refined woman in 1913 find herself alone in Italy?

A lovely film, well worth seeing.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Door 2007 14 Dec 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best films this or any year. The photography, the characters, the scenery, the story and Ellis Island ...are all woven together by a master director.

The sound track ending with Nina Simone's Sinnerman is lovingly selected. Too bad it cannot be found on the net.

Hollywood: eat your heart out!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as bad as some reviewers make out to be... 17 Feb 2008
By Le Dude
This is an interesting film, if only from a sociological point of view< and it is unfair to give it 1 out of five.

It deals with the trials and tribulations of a family of italian immigrants on their way to America.

It is also quite beautifully shot, with moments of visual poetry scattered here and there.

Not the best movie ever, but definitely watchable.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film at its best 14 Jan 2008
This beautifuly photographed film and its wonderful mixture of characters, carries you along from the very moment it starts, to its very poignant ending. A struggling Sicilian family scrape themselves together and head with the multitude for Statton Island and the Promised Land. Its a very human story with scenes that in the mind long after the final credits are rolling.
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