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The Insider [DVD] [2000]

Russell Crowe , Al Pacino , Michael Mann    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
Price: 3.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Diane Venora, Philip Baker Hall
  • Directors: Michael Mann
  • Writers: Michael Mann, Eric Roth, Marie Brenner
  • Producers: Michael Mann, Avi Kleinberger, Gusmano Cesaretti, Kathleen M. Shea
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Subtitles: Polish, Italian
  • 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: Walt Disney Studios HE
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Jan 2001
  • Run Time: 151 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004WCM4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,843 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



As revisionist history, Michael Mann's intelligent docudrama The Insider is a simmering brew of altered facts and dramatic license. In a broader perspective, however, the film (co-written with Forrest Gump Oscar-winner Eric Roth) is effectively accurate as an engrossing study of ethics in the corruptible industries of tobacco and broadcast journalism. On one side, there is Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), the former tobacco scientist who violated contractual agreements to expose Brown & Williamson's inclusion of addictive ingredients in cigarettes, casting himself into a vortex of moral dilemma. On the other side is 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino), whose struggle to report Wigand's story puts him at odds with veteran correspondent Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer) and senior executives at CBS News.

As the urgency of the story increases, so does the film's palpable sense of paranoia, inviting favourable comparison to All the President's Men. While Pacino downplays the theatrical excess that plagued him in previous roles, Crowe is superb as a man who retains his tortured integrity at great personal cost. The Insider is two movies--a cover-up thriller and a drama about journalistic ethics--that combine to embrace the noble values personified by Wigand and Bergman. Even if the details aren't always precise (as Mike Wallace and others protested prior to the film's release), the film adheres to a higher truth that was so blatantly violated by tobacco executives seen in an oft-repeated video clip, lying under oath in the service of greed. --Jeff Shannon,

Product Description

The story is based on the story of a tobacco excutive turned whistle blower. This edge of the seat thruiller recounts the chain of events that saw an ordinary man against a corporate giant in the fight for his life

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly intelligent and relevant 8 Sep 2003
To say that anyone outside the US won't fully understand this film rather misses the point. This isn't just a film about CBS, nor is it only about the evils of the tobacco industry. It is about how ruthlessly profit-driven business firms can bully, threaten and ultimately destroy the life of the little guy. It is about how they can use their financial power to manipulate the media into presenting the public with a distorted version of the truth. Such themes apply to far more than mere American domestic issues - they are problems inherent in big business and the media worldwide. This makes 'The Insider' a very important film. There is a classy director at the helm in Michael Mann, and a pair of live-wire lead actors in Al Pacino and Russell Crowe, who both give sympathetic portrayals, but are never cardboard cut-out heroes. This is a must see: it will change the way you think about the way in which corporations and the media work.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer brilliance 30 Sep 2001
Words cannot describe the impact that this film has on the viewer (a viewer, by the way, that has the required intelligence and attention span to appreciate this film for the sheer brilliance that it really is). Michael Mann delivers yet another gem into the movie world, a gem that contains NO shootouts (Heat), NO battles or fighting (The Last of the Mohicans) and NO killing (Manhunter). The film is packed full of violence however: violence in the psychological sense.
Jeffrey Wigand's descent into despair and psychological torture is riveting and deeply moving - in my opinion this is by far Russel Crowe's best and most powerful role. His portrayal of Wigand is astounding. Al Pacino is perfectly cast as the 60 Seconds producer Lowell Bergman, a hard-hitting journalist who vows NEVER to leave a source hanging out to dry. Such is the genius of the switch between Wigand's moral dilemma of whether to break his confidentiality agreement and expose the dirty dealing of a tobacco corporation in the first half of the film to Bergman's moral dilemma of whether to accept the decision of whether to edit the interview or to fight with everything he's got to air it intact... sound confusing? Watch this film!
Superbly directed and deeply moving, this is a must-see for all fans of Michael Mann, and indeed all fans of a thought-provoking film. An absolute wonder, this is in my opinion Mann's crowning achievement.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as any 70s conspiracy flick 26 Feb 2003
By A Customer
These kind of films (ie Parallax View, All the President's Men, The Conversation etc) were staple parts of the halcyon days of Hollywood in the 1970s, but died out somewhat in the 80s onwards.
So it's nice to see Michael Mann pick up the reins and show that in these days of exploding White Houses and strangely attired superheroes that he is the most sensitive and character focussed director around.
Based on an article that appeared in Vanity Fair, centred around the plight of 'whistle blower' Jeffrey Wigand, the film centres on the efforts of both Wigand and Lowell Bergman in exposing the unsavoury practices of the so called 'Big Tobacco' companies in increasing nicotine levels in cigarette produce to keep 'users' buying. When Wigand - essentially an executive chemist at one of the big companies - began questioning the ethics of such practices, he was hounded out of his job and tied up in legal tape to prevent him spilling the beans. Bergman, a producer on 60 minutes attempts to untie the tape . . .
Stunning visuals and a brilliantly direct script, allied to Crowe's mesmerising performance as Wigand and a more-measured-than-of-late performance by the legendary Pacino, mean this film flies past - quite an effort when it's three hours long.
One of Mann's strengths is, as I have said, characterisation, and he is careful not to deify either lead. Wigand in particular is presented as a flawed, lonely man, generally untrusting and uncomfortable around others. Crowe certainly merited his Oscar nomination and should feel robbed in not winning the award. Gladiator should be regarded as pay off for The Insider.
The set pieces are, as we have come to expect from Mann, sublime.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb,captivating and intelligent filmmaking 9 Oct 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this film with my girlfriend at an afternoon showing at my local multiplex,there were not a great deal of people watching,and the majority were restless or sleeping by the end. these people missed an astounding film.
The main performances are very powerfull- with Russel Crowe showing just what an amazing actor he is.
It is one of those films you dream about, a film that draws you in and for the lenghth of the film-the only the thing that matters.It is brilliantly directed by Michael Mann-very stylish as always,and although long at nearly 3 hours,you never get tired of watching.
Pacino and plummer add great performances in an unforgettable film.
Truly worth watching.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full marks all round 11 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Just when you thought that Hollywood had given up making quality films altogether, out comes this first class piece of film-making.
Excellent performances all round. This is the sort of part that Al Pacino can play with his eyes shut, but it is Russell Crowe who steals the show for his portrayal of a man caught between a legal obligation to turn a blind eye to what he has seen in the tobacco industry and a compulsion to tell the world what is really going on.
Even though Kevin Spacey's Lester Burnham in American Beauty was certainly a worthy winner of the best actor Oscar, Crowe's performance in this film out-ranks it and in my opinion should have won it.
While this is a long film, it's not over-long because of it's ability to keep your attention and take the audience along with the story it is telling.
This film is taken from real life events and it shows, because it has a definate sense of authenticity about it. It makes you believe what is really going on.
This is, quite simply, the best film I have seen in ages. Full marks.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant story
Intriguing factionalised story of the 1990s tobacco empire and ones mans concious in the struggle to inform people of the dangers the tobacco industry were covering in the use of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by L.C
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Great movie of a true story. It's like a thriller. Great casting and acting. A good movie to have, can be watched several times.
Published 4 months ago by C. Hanley
5.0 out of 5 stars Scientific facts v. the rest of the world
This is good. Two of our best serious actors, Russell Crowe and Al Pacino ably supported by Christopher Plumber and Michael Gambon in a very important story. Read more
Published 7 months ago by S.M. Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars insider view point
this is a good film , but not in the same league as private ryan or gone with the wind, its a matter of personal choice.
Published 8 months ago by DJBETTANEY
5.0 out of 5 stars The Insider
Goodness, this had me on the edge of my sofa alright. These large companies certainly don't like whistle blowers, and will try everything legal and not, to stop them. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Blue and white
4.0 out of 5 stars Good start, not so good finish
I thought for 3/4 of this film that it was really good, but the last half an hour or so of the film is a bit slow. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jamie Falconer
4.0 out of 5 stars The Insider
This is a really good movie, thoroughly enjoyed it, Russell Crowe really puts in a great performance. would recommend it to people who are trying to give up smoking.
Published 11 months ago by Maureen
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Film
This was a good film Russell Crowe is a very good actor i have only give the film a four star.
Published 12 months ago by John Singleton
5.0 out of 5 stars the insider
amazing film . and for Russell Crowe to take on such a role so early on in his American career . he is an amazing actor. this film deserved its nominations
Published 12 months ago by Caroline Brophy
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie.
Russell Crowe at his best in this glorious movie about one man's personal meltdown. Al Pacino is great in the sub plot.
Published 12 months ago by Ria
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