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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lawrence of the South Seas
Well, Peter O'Toole was never going to find another character as magnificent as Lawrence of Arabia. And his first films after that triumph were commendable attempts to avoid typecasting - What's New Pussycat and Becket. But it was inevitable he would again become a tormented blonde Englishman in an alien environment. And he could have done a lot worse than starring as...
Published on 15 Sept. 2010 by Cowboy Buddha

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Richard Brooks's version of Joseph Conrad
After reading Conrad's novel "Lord Jim" I was delighted to know that there was a DVD version available, and I could hardly wait for the order to arrive.
Though the film version of this novel is pleasing to watch, its screen adaptation of the novel with all the changes was a disappoinment and shock. But then how does one translate a masterpiece, with its pages of...
Published on 18 April 2009 by George Redelinghuys


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lawrence of the South Seas, 15 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Lord Jim [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Well, Peter O'Toole was never going to find another character as magnificent as Lawrence of Arabia. And his first films after that triumph were commendable attempts to avoid typecasting - What's New Pussycat and Becket. But it was inevitable he would again become a tormented blonde Englishman in an alien environment. And he could have done a lot worse than starring as Lord Jim for Richard Brooks.

Any discussion of this film has to concentrate on O'Toole and Brooks. That is not to say there are no other impressive performances, or that the film is not beautifully photographed or graced with a lushly evocative score. But the film is Brooks' vision and O'Toole is the one who must bring it to life. They are both reasonably successful.

Brooks obviously wanted to create an intelligent epic - one to rival the David Lean/Robert Bolt collaborations. But Brooks was both writer and director - and he was adapting a book that was as psychological as potentially visual. Luckily for him, audiences in the 1960s were more sophisticated (dare we say intelligent?) and willing to think about what they were watching than today's consumers of assembly-line disposable entertainment. So characters could discuss and debate as well as blow things up. Although the disjointed nature of the film suggests pre-release studio interference. In the end, the film is a commendable attempt - perhaps more worthy than enjoyable, but still with lots to hold the viewer's interest.

The southeast Asian locations are frequently spectacular and some sequences - the storm at sea and the battle with pirates - are excitingly staged. The film always looks and sounds beautiful. And, for once, an international cast with various accents actually contributes to the flavour of the script and characters. Stalwart Jack Hawkins, industrious Paul Lukas, wily Eli Wallach (doing a variation on his Magnificent Seven bandit) and James Mason seemingly enjoying himself as a gentleman pirate. The "native" players are unusually good. Only gorgeous Daliah Lavi occasionally seems out of place, looking more like a sixties dolly bird than an exotic maiden.

But, of course, it is Peter O'Toole who commands the greatest attention. He is seldom off the screen and is probably the main reason for viewing the film today. He is properly enigmatic although without the multiple layers of Lawrence. This may well be the only film in which O'Toole actually underacts.

I'm quite glad to have seen Lord Jim again after so long - and with it looking so good on DVD. It's not a classic, not a film to be watched repeatedly. But it's a fine example of a large scale epic that could also be thoughtful and almost moving. A relic of an age of big and brave film making.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "LOOK UPON THE SEA IN A STORM", 18 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Lord Jim [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
How they managed to put Lord Jim on screen from the book by Joseph Conrad, which is full of long narration and prose, was a minor achievement in itself. Veteran director Richard Brooks pulled out all the stops and hired at least most of the right cast. Peter O'Toole direct from his success in 'Lawrence Of Arabia' and 'Becket' portrays the guilt ridden British ship officer Jim.

Our hero is an incurable romantic and daydreams about all sorts of heroic feats, with himself as the hero. But the hero performs an an act of cowardice in a storm on the high seas, jumping ship in a raging storm, leaving 800 muslims to their fate on on a rust bucket of a ship, the 'Patna' When the ship and passengers survive, there is a court martial and Jim eventually hides himself in the wilderness. Our hero is haunted by the memory and fears, 'Will anybody ever trust him again', and he strives to redeem himself. The story of Jim revolves around his redemption and he gets his last chance in the islands of the South China Seas. He comes to the aid of the natives who are a being terrorised by a dictating pirate, who pillages their villages at will.

O'Toole gives a fine performance as the the tormented hero, and the actor is excellent in these type of eccentric and introverted roles such as 'Night of The Generals'. those blinking blue eyes (nobody blinks better than O'Toole) Lord Jim was made a little too close in characrer to "Lawrence". O'Toole still retaining the same blonde blue-eyed look, one almost expects him to emerge in his robes of a Sherif of Mecca. But do not let that put you off, this is a great performance from O'Toole.

A good supporting cast including Jack Hawkins (as Marlow the narrator) James Mason, Curt Jurgens, Eli Wallach, Paul Lukas, Daliah Lavi. There is enough going on here to keep the 'action freaks' happy but, some may find it overlong and stagnating.

James Mason as 'Gentleman Duncan Malcolm Brown' almost steals the show as the bible quoting brigand. The actors studio veteran Eli Wallach as the pirate general is wasted with his talents but carries on regardless. Israeli actress Daliah Lavi is introduced as 'The Girl' in spite of the fact that she had made several movies prior to this.

Big epic movies like this were judged by their staying power in the opening theatres (no multi-plexes then) Peter O'Toole said in a radio interview that it ran in a London cinema for one year (Lawrence for almost three) before moving to the suburbial cinemas.
As a movie goer I loved this film, and yes I would suggest you buy it for its sheer spectacle, good acting, directing and not forgetting Bronislau Kaper's beautiful score
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking adventure under a cloud of Conradian gloom, 3 Aug. 2007
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This review is from: Lord Jim [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
A film they used to put on in the school holidays, which suits it well, as it is both a good adventure yarn, and a story of moral courage. It is actually a very decent film, its only slight flaw is its rather excessive length. Will boys (or girls) with today's attention spans be able to wait for the thought provoking end? I'm sure some will, maybe the more literate ones. And this links nicely to the literiness of the film. Based on a typically Conradian, dour, deep journey of one man's search for honour and self worth, it gets across the obvious moralistic messages and undertones very ably, with the help of the two star actors: Two of Britain's finest: Mason and O'Toole. They play enemies here, both educated characters, and both detesting each other's moral make up. Mason is almost admirable in his honest criminality, pitted against the nauseating goodness of the noble-spirited O'Toole. Their bickering rivalry is the highlight of the film for me, with all the action and explosions of this ripping adventure, it is the war of words these two share, when they get to exchange their opinions of each other that makes the film memorable. 'You stink of piety!' sneers the unimpressed Mason, when it's clear his adversary is not one to back down from his 'mission'. The sort of film that used to be made quite often, but may seem old fashioned to some kids now. Certainly not just a kid's film though, it has more than enough depth for any adult. A darn good yarn.

ps. Eli Wallach is also in top form here as a Kurtzesque crime lord in the Asian jungle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic adventure into hearts of darkness ... and light, 26 April 2012
By 
Josh "The Claw" (Wherever I'm needed) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lord Jim [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
This great adaption of a Joseph Conrad novel may be a bit too slow and thoughtful for some at times, a bit bumbling at others, but still has plenty of action (barrel loads of gunpowder!), drama and adventure to keep it moving on. It has many elements in common with the film Apocalyse Now(from another Conrad novel, Heart of Darkness), but is more faithful to the nature of its source material. It has a rich cast of characters, played by an equally rich array of class actors, with great effects (for the time) and grand sets. The main theme of the film, shame and the search for redemption, is framed in an old-fashioned social context that at times is a little hard to relate to, but is ultimately still relevant today. This is an epic adventure classic into which all should venture.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Richard Brooks's version of Joseph Conrad, 18 April 2009
By 
George Redelinghuys "Art lover" (Helsinki, Finland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lord Jim [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
After reading Conrad's novel "Lord Jim" I was delighted to know that there was a DVD version available, and I could hardly wait for the order to arrive.
Though the film version of this novel is pleasing to watch, its screen adaptation of the novel with all the changes was a disappoinment and shock. But then how does one translate a masterpiece, with its pages of dialogue, probing into the mysteries and reality of the soul of a man, to the screen? Mr. Brooks must also have had an eye on the boxoffice and this is the result. As an adventure film for mature boys it is above average and beautifully shot, but alas it is not Conrad.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Conrad went thataway..., 24 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Lord Jim [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Joseph Conrad isn't the easiest of novelists to film - there have been a lot of movies derived from his work, but very few good ones, and almost all versions have made sweeping changes to his stories. This good-looking but disappointing adaptation of perhaps his best-known book is no different. Dispensing with the intricate double-narrator method of the original (which carefully prevents us from ever getting too close a look at the enigmatic hero), this account of Tuan Jim's adventures becomes, simply, another action-packed epic spiced with a bit of high-flown talk - whatever Richard Brooks had in mind, what Columbia wanted was, essentially, "Lawrence Of Sumatra", and that was how it turned out. Peter O'Toole and Jack Hawkins are on hand from Lean's film, so is cameraman Freddie Young (who does conjure up some impressive images - very Lean-like images), whilst the set designer and editor of "The Guns Of Navarone" are here, too. The studio must have been hoping for a bit of sympathetic magic, but it didn't happen. The movie was a ten-million-dollar disaster, and James Mason drily reported that his parents, for whom he had wangled an invitation to the royal premiere, had walked out at the intermission, even though their son had not at that point appeared on-screen. It's not that it's an awful film, but it's neither fish nor fowl, half-baked as an epic, and woefully short on moral or emotional complexity or that vital Conradian density of characterisation. Mason's parents really should have gritted their teeth and stuck around for the second part of the film, for it gets a good deal livelier in its final hour, and Mason's performance as Gentleman Brown, an erudite river pirate, is terrific and takes over the film (and Akim Tamiroff, as one of his rascally band, is pretty good, too). Daliah Lavi is very beautiful as the heroine. O'Toole does his ocular thing, but rather less impressively than in several other films, and, oh, does he suffer! But it's more tiresome than compassion-inducing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Film Still Watchable, 15 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: Lord Jim [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Conrad's book is surprisingly modern, complex and has an inventive structure. Although a straight bloke myself, it's quite intriguing how the narrator, Marlowe (who also has a 'part' in the story) regards Jim. It has the ghost of a homo-erotic admiration and at the time, of course, quite impossible to be explicit about, either in the book, or the film. There is much guilt, shame and, like Lawrence, ambiguous treatment of torture. Jim's attempts to out-run his cowardice is fascinating in the book but turned into a travelogue pastiche in this film. When Jim reaches Patusan, the adventure story gets going and the action is generally well handled given the age of this film. Young viewers will find the mix of studio and location shots clashing and crude but technology changes so fast; effects in early Potter films are now old hat so allowances need to be made. The disaster in the novel appears to have been based on some real events but Conrad turned them into a magnificent meditation on character, honour and morality. Brook's film makes an heroic attempt to distill Conrad's work into an adventure yarn with added depth and almost pulls it off. Flawed, but forgivable faults and still watchable after all these years. I finished the novel, and the film the same evening. Although the novel, and through it the film were based on a real maritime story, I cannot escape the possibility that this is also a metaphor about the struggle in that time to deal with what were then unacceptable yearnings. Another similarity to Lawrence. As the officer snarls at Jim after his tribunal, it's not so much what Jim did, but that he confessed to it in public, and by that, tainted all of them.

.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lord jim, 10 May 2013
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This review is from: Lord Jim [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
experidently delivered. An excelent return to an old favorite of mine. Conrad was constantly pushing the limits of his "story within a storey technique," his first person narrator discovering aspects of the story from other subsiduary characters in such a way that the narration avoids a truly linear unfoldment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good adaptation, 21 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Lord Jim [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I saw this film years ago and have also read Conrad's book. Although the film doesn't follow the book faithfully, it is a good representation of it. Peter O'Toole is an amazing actor. One would hope the film might inspire folk to read the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars lord jim r2, 7 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Lord Jim [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Large scale epic ala Lawrence of the jungle.Good performances all round from an all star cast.Peter o toole as an merchant navy seaman trying to hide from his past and trying to prove he is not a coward at any cost even the loss of his own life.With honour,integrity,courage and these will ultimately cost him his life by trying to redeem himself.with Eli wallach,Curd jurgens,James mason and Jack hawkins.This could do with a Blu ray update as the dvd version is not very good very fuzzy with dull colours and bleed.Ratio 2.35.1 .4 stars for the film not the dvd.It is a shame as this film has become something of a forgotten film.
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Lord Jim [DVD] [2004]
Lord Jim [DVD] [2004] by Richard Brooks (DVD - 2004)
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