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The Night Listener [DVD]

Robin Williams , Toni Collette , Sandra Oh    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: 2.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Robin Williams, Toni Collette, Joe Morton, Bobby Cannavale, Rory Culkin
  • Directors: Sandra Oh
  • Producers: Peter Nashel, Jill Footlick
  • Format: DVD-Video, 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 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Icon Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 16 April 2007
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MX7YMM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,150 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Dramatic thriller based on real events, adapted from the book by Armistead Maupin. Robin Williams stars as Gabriel Noone, a radio talk show host who has developed a loyal following for his deeply personal on-air monologues, many of which are related to his relationship with his HIV-positive partner Jess (Bobby Cannavale). However, when Jess starts to recover, he rocks Gabriel's world by announcing that he is leaving him. In the midst of his crumbling personal life, Gabriel becomes embroiled in the life and story of an HIV-positive 14-year-old boy, Pete (Rory Culkin) who phones into his show. But when questions about the boy's identity come up, Gabriel's life descends further into chaos.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Night Listener 13 Mar 2011
A fantastic film with a twist at the end. Well worth watching and great acting (as usual) from Robin Williams and Toni Collette.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't watch it alone 28 July 2007
By International Cowgirl VINE VOICE
Have I been in outer space for a while, or was this tight little film just under-reviewed? I'd never heard of it, and picked it out on a whim with no clue what to expect. I'm not exactly president of the Robin Williams' fan club, and knowing that Armistead `Tales of the City' Maupin had written the source novel I kind of expected some heart-warming melting pot story with guys in chaps and moustaches... But nothing could be further from the truth, I'm happy to say. Foregoing his usual hamming, Williams barely seems to be acting at all here. As Gabriel Noone he's a middle-aged writer and radio star, desperately lonely after his long-time boyfriend walks out on him. Along comes child abuse survivor, Pete, to fill the void - a teenager wise beyond his years and author of a shocking exposé, `The Blacking Factory'. A tentative father/son relationship begins to develop. But, needless to say, all is not what it seems.

Don't be expecting The Sixth Sense. Yes, Toni Colette's in this as well (she's fantastic as Pete's 'new mom'). But if you go to the Night Listener waiting to `guess the twist' you'll be sorely disappointed. It's not about that. In fact, quite the opposite - it pretty much wears the `twist' on its sleeve for most of the film, and therein lies the beauty. It's not about `what', or `who' - it's `why' that matters. Whether it's the tight camera angles or the muted colour schemes or some other directorial trick of the trade, there's just something indefinably creepy about this film. It's a mood piece, big on atmosphere, that manages to say plenty about the human condition without a split second of sentimentality.

One quibble, though - it's over too quickly. At roughly 80 minutes, I'm guessing this is a cut version. The book - which I've just started reading - makes quite a feature of Pete and Gabriel's phone conversations, and losing so much of that from the film takes meat off the bones and leaves it feeling just the tiniest bit insubstantial.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The night listener starts out promisingly but ultimate just leads to a disappointing conclusion.

The film tells the story of a gay writer/broadcaster, Gabrielle Noone, (Williams) who is given an unpublished book by a publicist. It is written by a 14 year old who says he is a big fan of Noones. The book tells of a traumatic upbringing which has lead to him contracting AIDS and the boy does not appear to have long to live. He is cared for a lady (Collette) who speaks to Williams frequently on the phone but everything may not be as it seems. When Williams' boyfriend suggests that the boy, and the carer voice, sounds the same, Williams embarks on a journey to uncover the truth and see the boy for himself.

The film starts off with an interesting and intriguing opening but quickly runs out of ideas and becomes a very pedestrian paced and ordinary thriller. With such a unique story there are just no memorable scenes in the film. Whilst all the actors involved are very good, they have nowhere near enough to do. Also, the film is strangely short. A lot of films of this type are too long and over indulgent. This on the other hand seems to have had huge chunks removed as its run time is only about 75 mins. This ultimately might be a blessing in disguise though.

Overall this is a hugely disappointing film. What could have been an interesting and genuinely unsettling film ends up being a very average one. It ends up as a film which you will have forgotten you ever watched as soon as the credits are over.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great film 6 Mar 2014
By banks10
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The film is fantastic; it really makes you think. I didnt see the ending coming the first time i watched it. Definitely recommended
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3.0 out of 5 stars Alas, not the best 21 April 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had read and immensely enjoyed the book - an excellent read, so I approached the dvd with some trepidation.
I am assuming that readers will have read the book or seen the film, so will not re-hash the plot here. (See my review of the book)

The film was something of a disappointment. At about 77 minutes running time, it felt like huge chunks had been edited out.

By comparison with the book, Gabriel's father hardly appeared at all and the unwinding of Gabriel's relationship with Jess was skimmed over, as was his growing relationship with young Pete and his adoptive mother Donna, which was at the core of the book and, I think, should have been at the core of the film.

It seemed like, almost the first two thirds of the book, had been shoehorned into the first twenty minutes of the film. The rest of the film only made sense if you knew fully what had gone before. Indeed, a friend who had not read the book, was watching it with me and had to keep asking what was going on and why. For instance, why make a point of the tank with the star on it, when the film had made no previous reference to its significance?

Once Gabriel had set off to visit Pete and Donna, the film picked up pace and interest, only departing significantly from the book at the very end. The book kind of left the reader to make up his own mind about Pete and Donna, whereas the film presented the viewer with a fait accompli, with not just one, but two final twists.

I'm a great admirer of Armistead Maupin and, it's a pity the film version doesn't do justice to the excellent book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't ...
Is this for real ... an emphatic NO ! 76 minutes I'll never get back. Was going to give to a charity shop but thought wouldn't want to be a time stealer of others, a useful black... Read more
Published 13 months ago by HoHaCaboodle
2.0 out of 5 stars The Night Listener (DVD Review)
I decided a while back to start a Robin Williams Collection. This was one of the films that I had not heard of, I must say that this is one that I won't be watching again. Read more
Published on 25 Oct 2010 by A. WILLIAMS
1.0 out of 5 stars A wasted opportunity
I'm very sorry to have to tell you Amazon readers that Night Listener is pretty much the dullest film I've ever seen. Read more
Published on 25 Nov 2007 by Billy Ray Cyrus
3.0 out of 5 stars slow
a very slow and very strange film not what i thought it would be, but it drew me in and i found that i had to keep watching to the end
Published on 16 Nov 2007 by Suzanne Sparkes
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
Despite its apparent real life premise (author corresponds with writer of groundbreaking autobiography who may not exist), this film quickly descends into conventional... Read more
Published on 12 Nov 2007 by Stephen Newton
3.0 out of 5 stars A good movie that doesn't live up to its potential
I have to admit I was a little disappointed by this movie. I was expecting a tense, psychological thriller (Robin Williams has more than proved his ability to deliver along these... Read more
Published on 13 May 2007 by Daniel Jolley
2.0 out of 5 stars something of a let down
Some films sound great in theory, but are not so great in practise. A case in point would be Right At Your Door, which was a great premise but at best a so so film. Read more
Published on 5 May 2007 by Mr. Rwj Nixon
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