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Hell In The Pacific [VHS]


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£6.99 Only 3 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by qualityfilmsfromuk.

Product details

  • Actors: Lee Marvin, Toshirô Mifune
  • Directors: John Boorman
  • Writers: Reuben Bercovitch, Alexander Jacobs, Eric Bercovici
  • Producers: Henry G. Saperstein, Reuben Bercovitch, Selig J. Seligman
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Fremantle
  • VHS Release Date: 4 Jun. 2001
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005CBZ0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 347,296 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A US Marine pilot (Lee Marvin) and a Japanese Naval officer (Toshiro Mifune) find themselves marooned on the same island in the middle of World War II. The pair's first impulse is to continue the wartime struggle and engage each other in a battle to the death, but they soon realise that their chances for survival will be much stronger if they work together. Can they suspend their mutual hatred long enough to begin the struggle against the hostile island environment or will their wish to destroy each other win out? John Boorman directs.

From Amazon.co.uk

Hell in the Pacific is one of the most original and thoughtful war films of the 1960s. Fresh from Point Blank (1967) Lee Marvin reunited with director John Boorman for this elemental story of a US pilot and a Japanese naval officer washed ashore on an otherwise uninhabited Pacific island. Lee Marvin speaks English; Toshiro Mifune (The Seven Samurai) speaks Japanese; and the audience shares their frustrations as they attempt to communicate, as Boorman does not use subtitles. Once the men become aware of each other's presence they move from wary avoidance through conflict to an uneasy truce as they realise they will have to cooperate to survive. The naturalistic acting is key to the film's success, greatly aided by the fact that both stars served their respective countries in the Pacific theatre during the Second World War. Conrad Hall's cinematography is superb, using natural light to evoke the beauty of the island, and the wide Panavision frame to show the men's isolation and their reactions to each another. Boorman developed further his fascination with man against nature in Deliverance (1974) and The Emerald Forest (1985), and there wouldn't be another poetic war film until Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line (1999).

On the DVD: The stereo sound is fine, atmospherically reproducing both the natural sounds of the island and Lalo Schfrin's imaginative score. The picture quality likewise is very good, with the image well focused with strong colours and plenty of detail. Unfortunately the 2.35:1 image has been panned and scanned to 1.33:1 TV ratio, destroying the scale and beauty of the compositions and sometimes meaning the viewer sees only one side of the interactions between the two men. Extras are perfunctory, with production notes, biographies of the stars and a "slide show". Considering even BBC2 occasionally shows the film in near full Pavavision and with Boorman's preferred, TS Elliot inspired ending, this DVD is a lost opportunity to bring a modern classic into the digital age. --Gary S Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By marcel on 16 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD
This movie is mutilated by cutting the aspect ratio from 2.35:1 to 4:3.
If you want to see this movie in all its glory, by the U.S. Region I version.
I do not understand why some companies still bring out mistreated cinema's great films.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Not Dr Brodsky on 19 Oct. 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Not a film about war but about humanity. You actually feel the relief as these two find a little civilisation and eventually sit down to tea together. But reality, like Harry Angels debt in Angel heart, cannot be cheated. There is another ending to this film, which I wish had been included on the DVD, but maybe that will come in for the 'Directors cut' re-release. The humour is all Marvin's, an especially funny bit is when it sort of rains on the other guy, you need to see it. Don't be put off by the title or the fact it takes place during wartime, it's more than that.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter C. Harpley on 20 Mar. 2012
Format: DVD
Firstly, how any studio can put this out in anything other than its true 2.25:1 aspect ratio really does show how crassly ignorant so many studio executives are - this film is truly ruined when its panned and scanned. But thats not the worst of it, the 'explosive' ending was forced on John Boorman by the studio when in fact the original ending was that they reach the island - they shave, tidy themselves up etc then the camera just quietly moves away in an elegiac and poetic ending. Of course audiences are presumed to be too dense to appreciate that. Boorman's good friend Stanley Kubrick would never have allowed that to happen. I'm surprised John Boorman did.
The BBC showed Boorman's original cut on a film spot it had called 'Film Club' sometime in the 1980s and the critic Michel Ciment presented it - properly letter-boxed . So it does exist.... somewhere
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S. Haddow VINE VOICE on 12 April 2009
Format: DVD
This review contains spoilers. John Boorman's Hell in the Pacific, is perhaps not an easy watch for anyone expecting a war movie. The war itself, makes very little appearance for most of the film, which deals with the two protagonists attempts to 'conquer' the small island they are stranded on, and the wary truce that deepens to friendship before coming full circle to aggression as the film reaches its conclusion. It's a slow and deliberate film, beautifully shot (it's easy to see parallels with Deliverance in terms of the portrayal of nature), which forces you to think about the nature of human conflict (whether you want to or not). The protagonists treatment of each other is even handed - but bear in mind that this film was made in the 1960's, when second world war movies (as is largely still the case today) had clear goodies and baddies - so Toshiro Mifune should be the baddie, Lee Marvin, the goodie. Hell in the Pacific removes that line completely.
One stroke of genius is that neither man learns the others language, and there are no subtitles in the film, so we feel each man's frustration when they try to make themselves understood - and yet finally they do reach an understanding deeper than language, with a vein of Odd Couple humour becoming apparent during the middle of the film.
Lalo Schifrin's soundtrack (his Bond music was the inspiration for Pixar's The Incredibles soundtrack) underpins the action (and lack of it) perfectly, adding at times a deconstructionist element similar to the original Planet of the Apes soundtrack.
The ending is bleak - but as the film is looking at war as a microcosm - it does sadly fit. If the men had for example reached civilization, and one was rescued while the other was imprisoned or shot - I would have felt cheated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD
Hell in the Pacific is directed by John Boorman and stars Lee Marvin and Toshirô Mifune. It's written by Reuben Bercovitch, Alexander Jacobs & Eric Bercovici and the music is by Lalo Schifrin. During World War II, two men, one American and one Japanese, are marooned on an uninhabited Pacific island. In order for them to survive they must find away to co-exist and maybe, just maybe, forget the War and find a way off the island.

Intriguing premise and two watchable stars not withstanding, Hell In The Pacific is not a particularly great film. Decent? Yes! But the novelty value of a two actor piece, with sparse dialogue, soon wears thin. The central idea of two racially different characters forced to come together, is hardly a new one. It's been done considerably better before this film with the likes of The Defiant Ones in 1958. But Boorman's movie does not lack for invention or trying to veer from the norm. Neither character speaks the other's language, so with no dubbing or subtitles, the viewers are forced to be part of the unique situation; sharing in the frustrations of two people unable to communicate verbally. That both Mifune & Marvin are fine actors physically and with their faces, also benefits the piece and the viewers. With both men ex-servicemen of their respective countries also a notable plus point.

The film was entirely shot in the Rock Islands of Palau in the north Pacific Ocean, near the Philippines in the Philippine Sea. Visually it is a treat with the blues and greens offering up a beauty that battles the harsh like atmosphere for supremacy. It's impact being that of throwing up a heaven and hell comparison. Yet this pleasing aspect of the film is almost ruined by Schifrin's score.
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