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The Bourne Identity [DVD]

3.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Chamberlain, Jaclyn Smith, Anthony Quayle, Donald Moffat, Yorgo Voyagis
  • Directors: Roger Young
  • Writers: Carol Sobieski, Robert Ludlum
  • Producers: Alan Shayne, Carol Sobieski, Frederick Muller, Gayle Scott, Martin Rabbett
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French, German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Whv
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Sept. 2002
  • Run Time: 176 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006HCO2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,587 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Espionage thriller in which a man who has lost his memory but gained several bullet wounds must avoid assassins on his tail in Europe and try to find out who he is. Originally made in two parts for television.

From Amazon.co.uk

Not to be confused with the 2002 Matt Damon big-screen version, this adaptation of The Bourne Identity is a 1988 two-part TV miniseries based on the Robert Ludlum paperback bestseller. "How can I find out who I am if I've been turned into another person?", cries amnesiac Richard Chamberlain, fished out of the sea by drunken doc Denholm Elliott, who patches him up and discovers a Swiss bank account number sewn into his thigh. Coming to believe that he is Jason Bourne, international assassin, our hero is sought after by the CIA, several European police forces and the gang of an evil terrorist. He hooks up with unlikely economist Jaclyn Smith to get to the bottom of the mystery, stay alive and face the big baddie.

Stretched over three hours, this has room for a lot of the complex plot dropped from the big-screen movie, but it also means that the thrills are often interrupted by soap opera scenes. Chamberlain is perhaps too aptly cast as a man without an identity, but Smith matches him for lack of expression without any excuse given in the script. Aside from Donald Moffatt and Shane Rimmer in the CIA, the supporting cast mostly consists of distinguished Brits delivering value-for-money ham, mostly with cod-French accents, especially Anthony Quayle as a DeGaulle-style General, Jacqueline Pearce as a dress-designing spy and Peter Vaughan as a heavy Swiss banker.

On the DVD: The Bourne Identity, though made for TV, is presented in widescreen, which sometimes chops off the tops of actors' heads like breakfast eggs but mostly looks fine. There are optional English subtitles. --Kim Newman

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Robert Ludlum's spy thirller has been one of my favourite novels for many years, yet I faced this TV version with caution. However, I will openly admit that I was pleasently surprised by this on-location adaptation. Richard Chamberlain stars as a man who is swept ashore after suffering numerous bullet wounds. On a French Island he is cared for by a doctor, who fixes him up, and waits for him to come round. Over the weeks, he recovers pretty well, but has one problem: He's suffering from amnesia. The man learns he has unusal skills - he can dismantle a gun and speak other languages with ease. Whilst walking one day, he is attacked, and shows off some impressive fighting skills. With the knowledge that he is wanted dead, and with the bank details implanted to his skin, he sets out to Zurich. What follows is a tale of espionage, assassins, murder, and excitement.
This is an honest version the novel, reaching roughly three hours in length, and achieving much of the novel's assets. Don't let the fact this is a TV movie put you off, the action is intense, the violence is intact, and the plot is not altered. However, this is dated in a number of ways, not only the hairstyles, clothes and set pieces, but in the movie-making and dialogue, particularly the ... er.... 'steamy' love scenes, the more cringe-worthy aspects of the TV movie. The DVD has no extras, but the trasfer holds up pretty well. Definately a must-own (film wise) for fans of the novel....
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This is one of my all time favorite movies. Every time someone mentions the Matt Damon one I always recommend this one. It is a million times better. The story is closer to the book and it actually has more plot than car chases. I'm always lending my copy to friends. Highly Recommended.
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I feel Chamberlain is a bit too old for this role, he doesn't have that air about him where you feel he can win every fight, catch every chase or shoot every target. The storyline is a lot closer to the books and I feel it is way more realistic than the more recent Matt Damon version, but there's less fighting and fast driving, and he doesn't speak in different languages. He reminds me a bit of Troy McClure from the Simpsons.

Film fans: Stick to Matt Damon, this film won't please you much.

Novel fans: GET IT! The scenery and the actors are EXACTLY how I imagined it in the book! A lot of the lines are straight out the book as well. Brilliant.
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Format: DVD
The Matt Damon starring films may be the more famous but this 3hr TV movie of the Bourne Identity is the superior and most faithful adaption of the story. It's a real journey full of intense action with a great music score and excellent casting. Maybe this is not the ultimate spy series, not being quite as good as the Alec Guiness Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy series, but it's still deserving of 5 stars.
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Format: DVD
This is an intriguing movie and it will hold your attention from beginning to end. The plot is well conceived and there are no holes to drive trucks through. They could not have picked better actors for the characters. They may not match the descriptions in the book; but this is not a book.
The Bourne in the movie is much nicer. You have to make allowances for the transformation to the screen. However he does a lot more borrowing instead of stealing and is not as vicious with people on his travels.
Unlike the movie [Three Days of the Condor (see my review September 25, 2000)], they did not let director distort the story for his own agenda. Basic story is someone wakes up with amnesia and naturally must find out who he is and why someone wants to kill him? As with all the amnesia stories he could be good, bad, or (I'm not going to say ugly) the person he is seeking.
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I've seen both the old and the new version of Bourne's Identity. Whereas the new one is fast-paced and compelling thriller which has little in common with the actual book under the same title, the old Chamberlain version is more faithful to the Forsyth's story.
It's nevertheless worth seeing, more for the comparison's sake than for anything else, but still... The difference in film-making 20 years ago and now makes watching the 1988 version quite an amusing experience. Low-budget and very still, it's supposed to be more of a psychological story (with the stress on psychological) type than the new Matt Damon's version, which in turn is more of a thriller. I'm not a fan of Richard Chamberlain and this film hasn't changed my mind, as his acting is just mediocre.
Still, I enjoyed watching it as it was an utterly different story from the one with Damon and much more faithful to the book too.
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I love this made for Sky tv movie it has much more to the story than the newer version glad they brought it out on dvd as I have been trying to get it for years the original was in beta format so I am well pleased, also delivery was really quick only 2 days considering the weather conditions Superb
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Bought as a gift for my husband. The DVD arrived within a few day, in excellent condition - no damage in the post. No fuss, no mess. The film was as described in the blurb.
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