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The Way Back [DVD]

3.9 out of 5 stars 198 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan
  • Directors: Peter Weir
  • 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 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: 9 May 2011
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004I2XX0A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,607 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The Way Back is the critically acclaimed new release from renowned director Peter Weir (Master and Commander, The Truman Show), starring Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Mark Strong and Saoirse Ronan. Inspired by an incredible true story, this epic film of survival against-the-odds tells the story of a group of seven prisoners who escaped from a Soviet gulag in Stalin-era Russia and walked over 4,000 miles across some of the most unforgiving terrain in the world, crossing the Siberian Arctic, the Gobi desert and the Himalayas before finally arriving in British-ruled India.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Many years ago I travelled by train along a stretch of the Trans-Siberian Railway from Novosibirsk to Irkutsk on the southern shore of Lake Baykal not long after reading Slavomir Rawicz's book "The Long Walk" and I vividly remember that Siberia was a region of endless space, where there were no signs of human habitation for hours on end and vast dense pine forests stretched from horizon to horizon for hundreds of miles. I tried to picture what it must have been like for a small party of people with hardly any food or suitable clothing walking across this region for months on end in the middle of winter in temperatures up to minus 30 degrees below zero and then walking through the scorching heat of the Gobi Desert and climbing over the huge peaks of the Himalayas. It is scarcely comprehensible that a few men did manage to escape this way from Russia's Gulags and eventually reach freedom.

Peter Weir's magnificent, enthralling and moving film tells the story of a group of prisoners from a Russian prison camp north of Lake Baykal who escaped and walked south for 4,000 miles across Siberia, Mongolia, China and Tibet and the survivors of the journey eventually reached India.

The authenticity of Rawicz's account has been widely questioned but there is no doubt that a few Poles and others did manage to escape and reach freedom in this way and some joined the free Polish forces and fought against the German's who ironically were fighting the Russians.

It was these same Russians who had condemned thousands of Poles and others to long stretches in the Gulags on trumped up charges and when the Germans invaded Russia in June 1941, it suited the Russians to release many Poles from the camps to fight alongside them against the Nazis.
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Format: DVD
Just before viewing "The Way Back," I had, quite by coincidence, seen "Papillon." another escape movie, and one that's well worth seeing. Where the impediment to escape in "Papillon" is a prison camp and, latterly, the isolation of Devil's Island, in "The Way Back," it's nature that provides the challenge. How are the escapees from a Soviet camp in Siberia going to make it to safety over very unforgiving terrain -- safety being India, thousands of miles away. At first, there's the matter of getting away from the guards and soldiers, but after that it's literally into the wild -- bitter cold, soul-frying heat, deserts, mountains, open areas with little cover, and a with a young woman who has fled a camp too and who is allowed to carry on with them. The characters are not as sharply defined as those played by Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen in "Papillon," but they are given sufficient distinctness that creates just enough tension to give a human interest to the story -- but at bottom, it's man v. nature, and what matters are food and water, shade and shelter, and pain and fatigue are much more to be feared than disagreements about procedure. The actors are all fine -- Ed Harris is the biggest name, playing Mr. Smith, a grizzled American caught up by the Soviets c. 1941 and shipped off to the camp. The leader, if he is one, is Janusz (Jim Sturgess), a Pole whose wife has been tortured into informing against him -- a harrowing early scene. Colin Farrell plays Valka, a ruthless criminal and gambler, and gives a performance that's as unglamorous as can be, and who surprises the others and the viewer about halfway through the movie. The young woman, Irena, is played by Saoirse Ronan.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
'The Long Walk', first published in 1956, is a gripping account of a Polish officer's imprisonment in the Soviet gulag in 1940, his escape and then a trek of 4,000 miles (6,437km) from Siberia to India, surviving unimaginable hardships along the way, testing the seven men and their companion, a seventeen year old girl they came across on the way, to the limits. Its dramatic passages tell of extremes of exhaustion, starvation and thirst as they survived snowdrifts and storms and even the pitiless Gobi Desert.
There is a controversy as to who actually made the journey, however, Australian director Peter Weir, celebrated for contemporary classics such as `Dead Poets Society' and `The Truman Show', decided the account deserved filming. "As a feat of endurance and courage and the tenacity of human beings to survive, I thought it was superb. It's about the struggle that all of us have to survive every day. The struggle is on an epic scale, but survival is at the heart of it, and what keeps you going with all the difficulties and pain of life and the bad luck. As a director, I asked, `Does it stay with you enough to want to pursue it as a film?' And this was the case."
"I hope `The Long Walk' will remain as a memorial to all those who live and die for freedom, and for all those who for many reasons could not speak for themselves."(Slavomir Rawicz)
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Format: DVD
The Way Back on DVD is a stunning cinematographic film with National Geographic at the helm. The movie is based on a true story of how a group of men escape from a Russian Gulag in Siberia and make there way through the frozen wastelands to Mongolia, China, Tibet and on to India, a 4,000 mile trek to freedom in the late 1930s. The film skips through China within a minute yet the entire film is 2 hours in duration - 2 hours that flies by in this gripping film.

The scenery is amazing, the glory of creation declares God, the acting is great, very good Russian accents. The film starts of largely subtitled (and includes 2 F words subtitled) at the characters speak several European languages in the Gulag but then gradually moves into English. Did not know that Americans helped build the Moscow metro as many went over during the depression of the 1930s and latter ended up in the Gulags.

There is many an adventures as they travel on a fight for survival and not all make it whilst there is a number of moving scenes. The extras included the director talking about the film; relating what some escaped prisoners told him about their escape, where it was filmed (not all on location) and what Cyril, a man inspired by the book actually walked in the footsteps of the escapees!
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