Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb old-fashioned romantic adventure!
The Horseman on the Roof has finally emerged on DVD in an uncut widescreen version with English subtitles in the UK (the Region 1 disc is typically MiramAxed by more than a quarter of an hour), and it's well worth the wait.

Jean-Paul Rappeneau's grand romantic adventure starts off with Italian exile Olivier Martinez on the run from Austrian assassins until an...
Published on 7 July 2006 by Trevor Willsmer

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A superb old-fashioned romantic adventure - but avoid the re-edited US DVD!
Jean-Paul Rappeneau's grand romantic adventure starts off with Italian exile Olivier Martinez on the run from Austrian assassins until an outbreak of cholera outruns them both, turning the beautiful countryside into a treacherous series of army roadblocks, deadly quarantine areas and a feeding ground for flocks of crows. It's an episodic affair - leading lady Juliette...
Published on 18 Dec. 2010 by Trevor Willsmer


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb old-fashioned romantic adventure!, 7 July 2006
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Horseman on the Roof has finally emerged on DVD in an uncut widescreen version with English subtitles in the UK (the Region 1 disc is typically MiramAxed by more than a quarter of an hour), and it's well worth the wait.

Jean-Paul Rappeneau's grand romantic adventure starts off with Italian exile Olivier Martinez on the run from Austrian assassins until an outbreak of cholera outruns them both, turning the beautiful countryside into a treacherous series of army roadblocks, deadly quarantine areas and a feeding ground for flocks of crows. It's an episodic affair - leading lady Juliette Binoche isn't even introduced until a third into the film - but its shot through with such lavish old-fashioned romanticism that that's not really a problem. Indeed, not even the lack of a proper ending can do much damage.

As with Cyrano De Bergerac, Rappeneau shows a real understanding of movement and color, with a wonderful use of both the landscape of a semi-mythical Provence and the full width of the Scope screen. En route there are a slew of nice little cameos (Gerard Depardieu, Jean Yanne, Isabelle Carre) and memorable moments, adding up to a satisfyingly old fashioned epic that stands up well to repeated viewings (this is the fourth time I've seen it). The UK DVD also comes with a particularly good 28-minute interview with Rappeneau.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horseman on the Roof, 8 Aug. 2002
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Horseman On The Roof [VHS] [1996] (VHS Tape)
Fans of Olivier Martinez will not be disappointed with this offering which shot him to stardom in France. He and Juliette Binoche deliver excellent performances in this story. Martinez plays Angelo, a handsome hussar on the run from Austrian assassins. On his way to Italy he meets Pauline, and the two travel through cholera ridden France, trying to avoid the French army. She is looking for her missing husband, something which clearly upsets Angelo, as he struggles to contain his feelings. The relationship between the two keeps the viewer in suspense, right until the end. He plays a complete gentleman, and it is refreshing that they do not even kiss, yet there is unmistakeable attraction between the two. The ending is surprising, and full of twists, but leaves the viewer wanting more. The film sees a good combination of dry humour, as well as sadness. It is an excellent, well shot film, with captivating scenery. Well worth watching.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love in the time of Cholera, 8 May 2006
This film has taken a while to come out on dvd (1995 infact) yet actually I wouldn't say you could tell the date by looking at it. The story, adapted from the book by Jean Giono revolves around an exciled Italian soldier who's fled to Provence in the early 1800s only to be caught up in the Cholera epidemic and to be hounded by Austrian police. For the first hour or so dialogue and character are verging on the vague as like the book, the love interest doesn't much appear until quite far in and then only sporadically. The first part also focuses a great deal on the images of the "provence" created by director Rappenau (famous for Cyrano) although geographically covering a much wider area in reality. Peasants, fighting, witchunts and long trecking stretches ensue. Akin to The Birds, a large band of unfriendly menacing crows (using the first digital effects in a French film at that time) steal the show and both attack the departed and those still alive indiscriminately. After that when the ethereal beauty of Juliette Binoche becomes a main character alongside Martinez, things do get a fair bit deeper and clearer. Adventures and feelings progress into somewhat a Tristan & Isolde type triangle - medieval chivalry etc....Cholera being the evil dragon in wait.

Nature was a main intentional theme in the film - nature cycles - death constant and unavoidable despite beauteous "Provence" with nature renewing itself in the aftermath. There's mountians, corn fields, rivers, farms that you could stare at quite happily on their own. Peace vs the madness of panic spreading throughout the villages, space vs chlostrophobia. Animals feature in the farms, the crows and also the companion cat.

Depardieu apparantly wanted to play the lead but eventually was chosen for a cameo of a slightly deranged policeman. Weber also from Cyrano narrates the final scenes and was specifically chosen for this. JB helped in the casting of Martinez a deliberate unknown with limited acting pedigree prior to this. He's also her real life partner.

The book itself was considered for adaptation since the 1950s under various directors including Polanski and leads considered ranged from well known French actors to even Marlon Brando during early plans.

This would appeal to historical romantic fiction viewers but it's not quite as empty as many similar films out there. The main love scenes are very minimal in dialogue and also mostly revolve around the duality of life and death as opposed to merely physical or romantic love.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lovers caught between revolution and cholera, 20 Feb. 2009
A romantic adventure with a difference, set in medieval Europe where a renegade Italian aristocrat is being pursued across France by Austrian assassins in a raving frenzy is exciting enough ,but the focal point is the enticingly malevolent environment which is ravaged by death as the camera scans across desolately beautiful terrain devastated by a deadly cholera epidemic where humanity is fleeing and mass evacuations are ensuing with corpses littering the baroque towns and pastoral farmlands .

The narrow escapes of the leading man ,Olivier Martinez from the assassins are just as breathtakingly pounding as is the enthralling and horrific milieu of the natural disaster and the director creates a harrowingly hypnotic atmosphere which is rare to witness even in european cinema ,where all becomes a metaphor for the human will to survive against all odds both in communal and individual perspectives .

The random affliction of the cholera epidemic as it strikes with sudden fatality juxtaposed with a political revolution in Europe add to the passion of the fascinating drama by Rappenau -and the episodes where the rebellious hero lives on the tiled roofs of a hostile town is one of the best moments in European cinema with ravishing atmosphere created with superb cinematography as the camera cranes across the looming rooftops in tow of the solitary human figure and we see the city beneath from his perspective as the teeming humanity below is shown marauding and ravaging in chaos amongst fircely orchestrated mob violence .
Rappenau has used both nature and the human elements to enhance a very psychic and profoundly literary script and it comes complete circle when his leading man is adored by a feline cat and latter a french countess as if they are in competition for companionship.
The meeting of the renegade hero and the French countess and their subsequent perilous adventure across France is a fascinating experience to watch as their relationship evolves and then diffuses in deflated passion .
A surreal period drama with immaculate details and psychologically arraigned characters which is truly dazzling both cinematically and in historical elements it balances the style with the content immaculately .
The devastated land and the burning corpses picked by buzzards are horrid ;yet it is also mysteriously satisfying emotionally as a bizarre love story between two unlikely lovers thrown together by fatalistic design .
From the first frame where Oliver Martinez flees for his life to the last obscure finale it is simply stunning with its visual innuendoes and its psychic intellect,but it is the atmospheric artistry that makes it hypnotic and haunting in subtle shades of remorse and vulnerability exhibited by it's memorable characters .
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A superb old-fashioned romantic adventure - but avoid the re-edited US DVD!, 18 Dec. 2010
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Jean-Paul Rappeneau's grand romantic adventure starts off with Italian exile Olivier Martinez on the run from Austrian assassins until an outbreak of cholera outruns them both, turning the beautiful countryside into a treacherous series of army roadblocks, deadly quarantine areas and a feeding ground for flocks of crows. It's an episodic affair - leading lady Juliette Binoche isn't even introduced until a third into the film - but its shot through with such lavish old-fashioned romanticism that that's not really a problem. Indeed, not even the lack of a proper ending can do much damage.

As with Cyrano De Bergerac, Rappeneau shows a real understanding of movement and color, with a wonderful use of both the landscape of a semi-mythical Provence and the full width of the Scope screen. En route there are a slew of nice little cameos (Gerard Depardieu, Jean Yanne, Isabelle Carre) and memorable moments, adding up to a satisfyingly old fashioned epic that stands up well to repeated viewings.

Unfortunately, while the UK DVD is uncut, the Region 1 disc is typically 'MiramAxed,' with 17 minutes cut from the French version to make it more 'acceptable' to US audiences, and has no extras (the UK DVD comes with a particularly good 28-minute interview with Rappeneau).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fear, our greatest dread, 17 Oct. 2011
By 
D. Collard-Berry (West Sussex/Surrey/Hants) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great movie, really don't know why I waited so long to watch it. The movie is all about fear, very well told & atmospheric. Probably one of the best love stories I have watched for a long time, you feel as if you can actually touch the tension between them. You will want to watch it again so buy rather than rent.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great old-fashioned entertainment, 30 May 2012
By 
Burrobaggy (Newcastle, home of footie) - See all my reviews
The Horseman on the Roof has to be one of the most beautiful looking films I've ever seen, which is odd for a movie about a cholera epidemic.

Set in a beautiful summer in the mid-19th century, it follows Olivier Martinez's Italian in exile as he is chased across France by Austrian agents intent on killing as many Italian rebels as they can only for his pursuers to be outrun by a cholera epidemic that picks off friends and foes. Along the way his path crosses with various victims and survivors - a doctor who teaches him a neat disinfecting trick of setting your hands on fire, a cute governess, Jean Yanne's duplicitous peddler, Gerard Depardieu's paranoid mayor, and most importantly Juliette Binoche, who is determined to find her husband. Naturally they become travelling companions as they try to get through roadblocks and avoid being put into quarantine by the soldiers cordoning off the roads - a virtual death sentence - and eventually nearly become more. The film looks so good in cinemascope and so much of it is terrific than you can just about forgive the fact that the ending is a bit of a washout after everything that's gone before.

A really enjoyable old-fashioned epic, I'd definitely pick this up if it ever turned up on DVD uncut with English subtitles (the Miramax disc is typically cut by 17 minutes thanks to Harvey Scissorhands).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling AND bodice ripping ... Five stars, 4 Nov. 2013
This film is set in a swashbuckling period of some European conflict or other, the reason for which the film barely touches up on. But worry not - for unlike many french films, which can often be introspective and brooding this is a full-on Hollywood style historical romp and very entertaining.

Juliette Binoche looks as lovely as ever but the plot doesn't make any great demands on the actress. She fills the role of unconventional/borderline feisty female lead well enough. I found her beau the character Angelo rather unbelievable (if I had thought about it at the time), being rather too chivalrous for his own good. The film is saved from a saccharine fate by the gore and goo assocaiated with the cholera outbreak, which brings an intermittent injection of reality to the film.

The scenery and photography are wonderful and raise the spirits when watched on a grey winter's afternoon. I did find the music a bit intrusive in places though.

And without spoiling the plot I can confide in you dear reader that no horses are put at risk of falling off a ... roof. Phew!

PS Just gone back and given it 5 stars. As a fairly light-weight, entertaining piece of costume drama it does everything that you could expect of it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Feels dated, and all the better for it., 24 April 2013
By 
Pete Johnson "Pete Johnson" (Norfolk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Set during the 1830′s, in a France after Napoleon, this is not a war film, or even a film about a war. It is a film about a cholera epidemic, a terrified populace, and two lovers, spanning a long period of time. This is a big-budget, epic film, that was the most expensive film ever made in France at that time. The excellent cast is fronted by Juliette Binoche, and Vincent Perez, as the Horseman of the title, with cameos from Gerard Depardieu, and Jean Yanne.

This film feels old fashioned, but in a very good way; there are spies, assassins, Austrian revolutionaries, and soldiers to watch out for, as the lovers make their perilous journey across the fever-stricken land. Beautifully shot, in the dream landscape of Provence, if you like a troubled romance, palpable villains, and plenty of action, then this is one for you to look out for.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exilarating, 7 Nov. 2008
The Horseman on the Roof (1995) is Jean-Paul Rappeneau's free adaptation of Jean Giono's novel "Le hussard sur le toit", written between 1945 and 1950 and published in 1951. Adapted for the first time by Cyrano of Bergerac's director (1990), The Horseman on the Roof is a romantic and historical drama which shares the same lyrical and tumultuous atmosphere with Cyrano. It is the story of Angelo Pardi, a young horseman officer from an aristocratic Italian family, exiled from his homeland in search for another compatriot, Maggionari to warn him of danger. Pardi's country is struggling with the aftermath of Napoleon's fall (1832), when Austria is trying to take control of Italy. He escaped to southern France, only to discover that an acute cholera epidemic ravaged the country. He then found himself fighting against all sorts of enemies: the cholera, the Austrian mercenaries sent after him, the frightened and violent villagers and the army combing the countryside, seeking those who try to escape quarantine imposed by the government. Angelo's escape will finally lead him to a seemingly deserted house in Manosque, where he will meet Pauline de Théus (mysterious and determined Juliette Binoche), the young and beautiful wife of a much older marquis (Paul Freeman in an impressive guest appearance). The two decide to team up and travel the French countryside, each hoping to achieve a personal goal (Pauline to find her old husband, Angelo to return to Italy with money for the Carbonari's political struggle). Like in Rappeneau's Cyrano of Bergerac, The Horseman on the Roof is not short of thrilling situations, all experienced - and filmed too - with a sense of panache that alone would make this movie worthy of our attention. To some extent, that I wondered who/what is the real hero in this passionate story: Angelo and Pauline? The cholera epidemic and everything it unleashes? The stunningly beautiful Provence and RhÃ'ne-Alpes landscapes? Or perhaps, it is more Giono and Rappeneau's way of using Provence as a living character; it too full of passions, violence, dangerous and generous in the same manner, bathed in a golden light that seems to act as a developer for people's truest nature. Whatever the answer to these legitimate questions, The Horseman on the Roof is worth the ten Cesar Awards (two won for best cinematography and best sound) it was nominated for. Besides the beautiful, romantic swashbuckling and epic costume adventure that it is, The Horseman on the Roof succeeded in what many other similar movies of the genre failed, for it has such a haunting atmosphere, you will probably (if you are a daydreamer like me) find yourself prolonging the adventure in both your head and your heart. Why is that? Well, it could be because of the soundtrack which is a pure gem (by Jean-Claude Petit), or it could be because of the main characters who are true and deep enough, they became as close to you as any other real person might, or finally because the story appeals to the frustrated adventurer/adventuress in you, the one who is hiding behind a respectable-day-job-facade! To summarize: The Horseman on the Roof is an expensive movie (in fact, the French biggest budget production ever), it was shot in more than 60 different locations in Provence, required about 100 movie sets, 1000 extras, it has action, romance, thrills and is supported by an excellent screenplay and an attention to production details that make for a glorious and exciting movie experience. Phew! Anything else? The movie is presented in two different versions: a French one and the UK one (with a 28 minute interview with Jean-Paul Rappeneau), which is not region encoded. It is presented anamorphically in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The original audio track is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround and it is fine, as are the UK uncut version with English (non-removable though) subtitles and the beautiful case picture. Final word? Exhilarating!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Horseman On The Roof [VHS] [1996]
The Horseman On The Roof [VHS] [1996] by Jean-Paul Rappeneau (VHS Tape - 1998)
£13.87
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews