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108 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful film I have ever seen!
Nicholas Roeg's second film as director, Walkabout, is truly the most beautiful and incredible film I have ever seen (although I say this at the tender age of fourteen)! It tells the story of a father taking his two children, nineteen-year-old Jenny Agutter and six-year-old brother Lucien Roeg (the director's real-life son), on a picnic deep in the Australian outback,...
Published on 19 Jun 2000

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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stunning film -- shame about the DVD
This is one of the most beautiful, original and intriguing films of the last 50 years, and has for a very long time been among my favourites. Nic Roeg is the equal of any director (even David Lean) when it comes to sumptuous camera work (he was a cinematographer before he became a director), and when combined with his imaginative direction and storytelling, as here, the...
Published on 7 Jan 2009 by M. D. Elston


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108 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful film I have ever seen!, 19 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Walkabout [VHS] [1971] (VHS Tape)
Nicholas Roeg's second film as director, Walkabout, is truly the most beautiful and incredible film I have ever seen (although I say this at the tender age of fourteen)! It tells the story of a father taking his two children, nineteen-year-old Jenny Agutter and six-year-old brother Lucien Roeg (the director's real-life son), on a picnic deep in the Australian outback, where he suddenly commits suicide and leaves them to fend for themselves. They make their way, bewildered and lost, through the hot, dry desert, having no contact with the outside world and fast running out of food and water, before encountering a teenage Aboriginal boy out on his test of endurance, a 'walkabout'. This walkabout, where a boy leaves the tribe and survives on his own for months, is part of his passage into manhood, and is a part of every Aboriginal boy's life. Having befriended the boy, the white children learn more of how to survive in the outback, while there is growing sexual chemistry in the relationship between the girl and the Aborigine. I won't spoil the rest of the film!
Nicholas Roeg's direction and camerawork are simply beautiful. He films wildlife in close-up, sometimes grainy images, and inserts surreal flashback sequences and comparisons between the Aboriginal and Western worlds. The film shows how prim, English Jenny Agutter becomes gradually more dishevelled and natural as she adapts, and the crucial turning point is when she swims naked in a pool. Her relationship with the Aborigine, which has to overcome poignant difficulties such as the language barrier and culture clash, is touchingly shown.
The acting is superb, making the story believable and moving. I was captivated from start to finish. The score, by John Barry, is perfect and atmospheric. The scenery, and Roeg's intense use of it and the animals found there, is spellbinding. All in all, the film is just so incredibly beautiful and moving that I felt I had to write a review. It is a genuine must-see.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stunning film -- shame about the DVD, 7 Jan 2009
By 
M. D. Elston "Mike" (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Walkabout [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
This is one of the most beautiful, original and intriguing films of the last 50 years, and has for a very long time been among my favourites. Nic Roeg is the equal of any director (even David Lean) when it comes to sumptuous camera work (he was a cinematographer before he became a director), and when combined with his imaginative direction and storytelling, as here, the product is unique and breathtaking. Perfectly acted by the young Jenny Agutter accompanied by Roeg's own son Luc (billed as Lucien John) and David Gumpilil, I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone who enjoys cinema as art.
It is therefore a matter of great regret that when reissuing the DVD last year, UCA did not see fit to provide us with anything better than a copy of the original release: the DVD is apparently still not anamorphic, only letterbox, the quality of the transfer is merely adequate (hardly better than the old VHS tape) and the extras are laughably basic. When there exists a German anamorphic PAL version, and the Criterion Collection edition released in the US (also non-anamorphic, sadly) has a Roeg+Agutter commentary, it is sad that the country of the film's origin cannot boast a DVD release worthy of such a classic film. Owning, as I do, the original DVD in its jewel-box case (remember those?), I shall not be buying this reissue, but will wait and hope for a future release that does justice to this beautiful film.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly remarkable film, 29 July 2004
By 
Fluffer (Queensland Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Walkabout [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
What more can I add to the other reviews of Nic Roeg's spellbinding,unforgettable and cryptic movie? The multitude of memorable visual moments and set pieces are its appeal. When their father inexplicably tries to shoot them and then kills himself, two youngsters are stranded in the Australian Outback, where they are rescued on the brink of starvation by a lone aboriginal boy.(David Gumpilil) Together, they begin the long, arduous trek back to civilisation.
It is the combination of sumptous cinematography of a beautiful and frightening landscape, a fantastic score by John Barry (probably his best ever) and Roeg's portrayal of the touching, complicated and ultimately tragic relationship that builds between the protagonists, that makes this work so effective. Jenny Agutter, in a role infinately more faceted and mature than in 'The Railway Children' (which this incidently predates by a number of months) has most of the infrequent dialogue and carries the story along superbly, but it's the final scene, a memory, a flashback to something that may or may not have happened, that stays with you long, long after the final credits have rolled.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable journey, 25 Mar 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Walkabout [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
Nicolas Roeg is one of the most daring and original directors that British cinema has ever produced.
In "Walkabout", a 19-year old Jenny Agutter and her kid brother are left stranded in the Australian outback when their father commits suicide on a family picnic. They wander through the wilderness and meet a young aboriginal man who protects them and develops an unrequited attraction for Agutter... It's a beautifully shot, meditative drama about freedom, nature, innocence and survival.
I will say this though, that while "Walkabout" is one of Roeg's most stunning movies, it isn't necessarily a film that you would want to watch over and over again. Though I love it, I tend to watch it once every few years, mainly for the beautiful cinematography... It's a quiet, contemplative film without a lot of dialogue or action, so maybe rent it first and see if it's your cup of tea. But no serious film fan should ignore it.
And check out Roeg's other movies, too!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A poignant movie, very close to being a classic, 30 Sep 2008
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Walkabout [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
It's unsettling to find that something you've treasured, now seen or met again, leaves you feeling a little flat. Did you change for the worse...have you become jaded...less open about feeling emotion? Or perhaps what you liked so much then simply isn't the wonder you thought it was. Note that elements of the plot are discussed.

A young girl (Jenny Agutter), 14, and her brother (billed as Lucien John, who actually was Nicolas Roeg's son, Luc) about 7, are driven far into the Australian outback by their father for a picnic. We've seen the family...the children at school, the mother preparing food while she smokes and looks distracted, the daughter swimming in the pool of their expensive apartment building, the father a businessman who stares out the window at her. For the picnic, the mother has stayed at home. The father is preoccupied in the car. He stops and the daughter lays out the food while her brother runs about among rocks. A shot rings out and the bullet hits the rocks by the boy. The father is firing. The daughter runs to her brother and scoops him up to hide. He shoots at them several more times, then demands that they come back so that they can return home. After a pause the father pours gasoline on the car, ignites it and shoots himself. The children are stranded in the middle of scrub desert with only what little food they can carry. They start walking. They eventually find some muddy water and fruit, but in the morning the water has disappeared and the fruit has all been eaten by birds. And they meet a 16-year-old Aboriginal boy (David Gulpilil) who is doing walkabout, the months' long initiation to manhood where he must survive, or not survive, by himself.

The heart of the story is how he helps them survive, how he looks after them, how sexual feelings arise, how the girl is shaped by her conventional attitudes and is unaware of the boy except as someone who will take them back to civilization, how the boy is shaped by his tribal rituals and has no other way to express himself. The climax of the boy's feelings and his attempt to express them is poignant and sad.

The film, however, is punctuated at the beginning and end and occasionally throughout with shots of civilized life which appear to make civilization less appealing than the primitive and direct life the boy brings to the girl and her brother. Is butchering to bring meat to the supermarket really any different than butchering a kangaroo or a lizard? Doesn't the treatment of Aborigines as children compare unfavorably with the resourcefulness and cheerfulness of the boy? Isn't killing for food better than using high-powered rifles to kill animals for sport? The movie is oblique enough so that these "civilized" moments don't overpower the basic story, but they are still there. Viewing the film now, they seemed unnecessary intrusions into what remains a very strong and affecting story of two young people utterly unable to communicate because of their own conventions.

The movie is beautifully photographed. Two sequences stand out for me. In one, after days in the desert and scrub, the three find themselves walking on through a forest of eucalyptus trees, palms and green scrub. The little brother is trotting along with the young man telling him a long and involved story about a boy on a ladder. Not a word is understood but they both enjoy the experience. The other sequence is in an abandoned, ruined farm house. The young man has painted himself and is dancing what appears to be a ritual of declaration to the girl. He can't express himself any other way and she can only show that she is frightened. He dances until he is exhausted. In the morning she and her brother find him in a resolution that is quite sad.

This is on balance a wonderful movie that, for me, hasn't aged as well as I thought it would. In particular, John Barry's film score seems now to be far too lush and intrusive. Concentrate on the story of the two young people, however, and you won't be disappointed. It's a film well worth having.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique experience, 16 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Walkabout [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
What is the unique appeal of this film? The beauty and desolation of the outback? Wonderful natural acting? An intimacy and empathy with the characters? Multi-layered themes and insights on modern life? A melodic, wistful score? Nic Roeg's clever direction and camerawork? An ending that makes you reassess the film? Or is it simply the magnetic Jenny Agutter?
Whatever it is, I find Walkabout to be a unique and absorbing film that stands up to repeated viewings. On second viewing, I enjoyed it more as I appreciated the subtle and subliminal nuances. However, it also has its faults. In my view, the sexual awakening and clash of cultures are too crudely sign-posted in places.
This film will linger in the mind because of its beauty, innocence, strangeness and sadness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No english subtitles!!!, 3 Oct 2013
By 
Archivist51 (Taranto, Italy) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Walkabout [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
This film by Nicolas Roeg is undoubtedly a masterpiece but, unfortunately, in spite of what is indicated in the product description, this edition does not contain english subtitles. This means that a person with hearing impaired is not able to fully enjoy the movie.
This is even more serious since the DVD was purchased just because the description indicates the presence of subtitles! ...
I hope that this is just an mistake (and soon to be corrected) and not a specific desire to sell anyway this DVD!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mystical Journey, 14 May 2013
By 
Bryan A. Pfleeger (Metairie, LA) - See all my reviews
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Nicolas Roeg's 1971 masterpiece Walkabout ia one of those films at that can be viewed on many different levels at many different times and never feels dated. The material is timeless and the film has the power to remain with you long after viewing it.

The concept of the film is quite simple. Two children a six year old boy (Lucien John) and his sixteen year old sister (jenny Agutter) are left to fend for themselves in the harsh Australian outback after the suicide of their father in the desert. After several days of trying to survive they meet a young aboriginal boy (David Gumpilil) on his walkabout (the tribal journey in the desert that serves as an initiation to manhood) who helps them to find the way back to civilization.

Even though the plot is simple the ideas are not. The film is a meditation on the primitive versus the modern. It explores societal expectations like few films before or sense and it takes on the clash of cultures as well. Beyond this Walkabout is a coming of age story for both its male and female protagonists.

Roeg was a cinematographer long before he became a director and his attention to detail comes across quite clearly in this film. There are moments when the film takes on the magic and mystery of a painting and the film's detail to landscapes is truly amazing.In addition to the photography the score by John Barry is well integrated into the structure of the film and continues the contrast between the old and the new.

The Criterion Collection Blu Ray is well worth the purchase price as it presents the film in a format that is better than most viewers originally saw it in the cinema. If there is a problem it may be that the audio is not as crisp as one would like but this is really only a minor problem. A wealth of supplentary material is offered including a commentary with Roeg and Agutter, interview segments with Luc Roeg and Agutter and an hour long feature on actor David Gumpilil.

This one comes well recommended.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful film, 28 July 2006
By 
B. Evans "a_evans_1190" (South Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Walkabout [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
The "best films ever" lists often compiled nearly always contain the usual Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, The Godfather and so on, and while they are all undoubtedly excellent films, Walkabout is an easy challenge to them.

I can't help but feel some anger towards those who criticse it for lacking a storyline... to say that is to miss the point. The whole point is that it was never supposed to have a real plot. Some things will never be explained; why would the father drive his children into the outback to kill himself after attempting to shoot his own children, and why would Jenny Agutter's character wander even deeper into the desert with her young brother when they could have followed the road in the direction they had just come? It's true that Walkabout is a strange film. It isn't weird because of any particular aspect of the plot, but because of the imagery, including the alternating shots of the city and outback at the film's start to the similarities between the hunting skills of the Aboriginal Boy to the preparation of meat at a butchers.

This puts some perspective into Walkabout... just because people live in the city their eating habits relly aren't that different to the Aboriginal Boy. Jenny Agutter's character experiences the same feelings for the Aboriginal boy as he feels for her, who in turn interacts with her younger brother. At the same time it makes you realise that in Australia - a modern, developed country - people live lifestyles that haven't changed in thousands of years (yes, ok, the film is not reality and it was made 35 years ago, but it's not exactly fantasy).

I can't really add anything to the comments on the imagery in the film, from the shots of the city to the sweeping desert and close ups of Australian wildlife, not to mention the impressive soundtrack.

The features are a little lacking. An interactive map of Australia, an unusual addition for a DVD, is included, and so is a biography for Nicolas Roeg. But sadly no commentary.

So, all in all, a fascinating film which will really make you think that we are not all so different afterall, and that people can live such primitive lifestyles in the most modern of countries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Walkabout" on BLU RAY - Compatibility Issues For UK Buyers With The ‘US’ Release...But Available Region Fee Elsewhere…, 2 Mar 2014
By 
Mark Barry (UK) - See all my reviews
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As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of the haunting and visually beautiful Australian drama “Walkabout”. And the 'BLU RAY' variant of it has long been available in the States and several other territories. But which BLU RAY issue do you buy if you live in Blighty?

Unfortunately the uber-desirable USA Criterion release is REGION-A LOCKED - although it doesn't say so on Amazon. So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't). Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the UK and other territory versions are REGION B - so they will play the 1971 classic on UK machines.

So check your player’s region coding acceptability if you want the pricier Criterion release (which is said to have a stunning transfer)...if not…opt for the UK released BLU RAY at a far healthier price…
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