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The Proposition [DVD]

Ray Winstone , Guy Pearce , John Hillcoat    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
Price: 5.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce, Emily Watson, Richard Wilson, Noah Taylor
  • Directors: John Hillcoat
  • Writers: Nick Cave
  • Producers: Cat Villiers, Chiara Menage, Chris Auty, Chris Brown, Christopher Simon
  • 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: 2
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan Video
  • DVD Release Date: 17 July 2006
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FIGF1U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,494 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Based on a screenplay from Nick Cave, The Proposition is a slow, thoughtful, brutal and diligent western, that rightly mopped up numerous awards back in its native Australia.

It starts when Ray Winstone’s Captain Stanley makes an unpopular deal with a much-wanted outlaw, Charlie Burns, played by Guy Pierce. Charlie has two brothers: an innocent younger sibling (Mikey), and a heavily wanted older one (Arthur). The Captain takes the younger one into custody on threat of hanging, giving Charlie a matter of days to bring his older brother in.

That’s the core proposition that gives the film its title, yet what really makes the film is its willingness to explore the details. How do the townsfolk feel when they find out Captain Stanley has let a wanted gangster go? What will Stanley’s wife do when she finds out he’s willingness to play a dangerous game with an innocent young man as the stakes? And what will Charlie actually do when confronted by his deadly brother?

The beauty of Cave’s script too is that it doesn’t speed through any of this, consequently building up notable moments of tension, brutality and genuine shock. The performances throughout are strong, with Pierce and Winstone spearheading the cast with skill, yet finding tremendous support in the shape of John Hurt, Emily Watson and Danny Huston. Married up to the subtle and thoughtful direction of John Hillcoat, The Proposition is, quite simply, one of the finest films of the year, and the latest resurrection for a genre that rightly refuses to remain dormant.--Simon Brew

Product Description

John Hillcoat directs this violent western set in the Australian outback, from an original screenplay by musician Nick Cave. Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) is presented with an impossible choice by ruthless lawman Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone). To save his younger brother from the gallows, he must track down and kill his violent older brother Arthur (Danny Huston). In a harsh and oppressive environment, Charlie is forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, while Stanley tries to impose his own brutal codes of law and order, and shield his innocent young wife (Emily Watson) from the consequences.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
By russell clarke TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
A new cinematic sub genre now exists. The Australian western. The Proposition though transplants the mythic landscape of The American versions into a broiling sun/sand blasted fly plagued hell hole. It's not a nice place, slavered in heart that regularly fluctuates between 40-50 degrees centigrade. You sort of wonder why anyone would want to be there in the first place.

But there people are, in 1880 the British have set up a settlement in Banyon, a newly established town in Queensland. Overseen by Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) who along with his wife Martha (Emily Watson) have made a futile attempt to relocate their homeland into this godforsaken place with their net curtains carefully tended garden and roast Sunday lunches the settlement is under a pall of fear after a vicious gang of outlaws led by the psychopathic Arthur Burns (Danny Huston) have slaughtered a family of settlers. Stanley eager to tame this frontier land hunts down and captures Burns brothers Charlie (Guy Pearce) and his semi-retarded kid brother Mikey (Richard Wilson) and offers Charlie a gut wrenching proposal. In order to save Mickey and himself from the hangman he must hunt and kill his older brother.

Given 9 days to carry out this onerous task Charlie sets out on a journey redolent of Marlow's search for Kurtz in Conrad's "Heart Of Darkness", into an unforgiving unknown with god knows what horrors at the end of it.

The Proposition is as, everyone remotely interested in the film knows, is written by Nick Cave , and anyone familiar with his music, most notably it's preoccupation with death , murder and brutal lyricism , and also his novel "And The Ass Saw The Angel" will not be too surprised at the levels of violence.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Life is beautiful!" -The Proposition 1 Nov 2006

This is an excellent DVD package. On Disc 1 you get the superb main feature. On Disc 2 you'll find a raft of extras: loads of interviews and a Making of documentary that's almost as long (118 minutes) as the feature itself!

The Film

As for the film itself, the first point that must be made is that this is NOT a Western. Anyone who calls it a Western has no idea what they are talking about. A Western is a film about events taking place in the American West during the second half of the 19th Century, i.e. circa 1850-1900. There may be some variation on the date or location, e.g. drifting across the border into "Mehico", but what we're talking about is the good old Wild West.

The Proposition takes place in the Australian Outback in the late 19th Century. The parallels that exist with Westerns are fairly obvious (brutal landscapes, drifters on horses, indigenous population being mistreated by white settlers, gun-play, etc.) but that's where the similarities end. This is a morality tale concerning white settlers (British and Irish), indigenous aboriginals and local whites in Australia.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film for its beautiful photography, interesting characters, tense and foreboding story and brief history lesson on white settlement of the Australian Outback - not a subject one is overwhelmed with in films today.

The acting is outstanding from everyone in the film. Danny Huston (Arthur Burns) caught my eye in particular. Arthur, although a very violent and disturbing man, also comes across as intelligent, educated and not lacking a certain amount of integrity, at least where his `family' is concerned.

Guy Pearce puts in another fine, if limited, performance. For my money, Guy Pearce (L.A.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suitably biblical take on the Western... 23 July 2006
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
*May contain spoilers. Or may not *

'The Proposition' reunites writer Nick Cave with director John Hillcoat - the pair previously collaborating on 1988's grim prison movie 'Ghosts...of the Civil Dead' (Cave & the Bad Seeds also provided the soundtrack to the so-so 'To Have & To Hold'). Fans of Cave's records will note he has often nodded towards this kind of territory in songs such as 'Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow'), 'Jack the Ripper' & 'A Box for Black Paul', as well as his classic spin on Southern Gothic found in his sole novel to date, the brilliant 'And the Ass saw the Angel.' 'The Proposition' nods to the Old Testament side of Cave's work, one that he has veered away from since 1997 in his music, and it certainly has the feel of writers like William Faulkner & Flannery O'Connor.

The setting of the film gives an interesting spin on the Western, a genre that often surfaces in a manner that is spun in a direction - the indie film ('Dead Man'), the sub-Searchers wannabe ('The Missing'), the Costner vehicle ('Open Range') & a total failure such as the dire 'Dust.' Cave and Hillcoat bring their respective identities to this genre, nodding to the colonial past of Australia, apparent from the opening period photographs and the Aboriginal slaves. Cave's work recently has nodded to history and war (single 'Nature Boy' alluded to Vietnam, as did his unproduced screenplay for 'Gladiator 2'), and here his screenplay nods to a difficult period in Australian history, that many people will know through stuff like Ned Kelly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Xmas present
Another Christmas Present for my husband; as he really likes this film. I can't watch it personally as it's really violent and bloody.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. W. Simkin
5.0 out of 5 stars Australian Ouback Western
This unusual film set in the Australian Outback in the 1880's,has a storyline that is uncomplicated but its telling is both gripping and develops the characters in depth. Read more
Published 6 months ago by B. D. Compton
4.0 out of 5 stars western review.
slow but telling story got violence in as would expect from a western. winstone/pearce play good part in the film.brotherly love soon takes a turn for the worst.
Published 11 months ago by steve
5.0 out of 5 stars The Proposition
I think possibly Ray Winstones finest film, his character is superb and he plays it well. Although a very violent film, lots of blood about, its a very watchable film that keeps... Read more
Published 13 months ago by C. J. Towler
3.0 out of 5 stars Good actors bad acting
I read other reviews saying how good it was but , now I know why I'd never heard of it , acting was not good and it was too slow not enough action no pace to it
Published 14 months ago by Big Daddy
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greats.
Highly under appreciated in its home country. One of the greatest films Australian cinema has produced. Looks fantastic on blu-ray. A must own.
Published 14 months ago by Jarom Atkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Very bleak, very brutal but superb acting. Ray Winstone stands out as the troubled law enforcer, as does John Hurt in an entertaining cameo.
Published 16 months ago by R. A. V. Barnes
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad. Quite arty.
This is a very watchable film. A tiny bit cliche but not boring and good acting. Some good special effects and a bit bloody.
Published 16 months ago by pdcasapian
5.0 out of 5 stars Proposition
Started to watch this on TV recently, and had problems with transmission. So bought the DVD, what a fabulous film. Photography fabulous and very atmospheric. Really enjoyed it.
Published 24 months ago by Polly Perkins
5.0 out of 5 stars aussie cult classic
One of the finest films ever made in australia,one of the best ever.Aviolent film that shows the ultimate futility and waste of violence. Read more
Published on 19 Nov 2011 by wayne mca
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