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The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover [VHS]

4.0 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

Price: £7.99
Only 1 left in stock.
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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Alan Howard, Tim Roth
  • Directors: Peter Greenaway
  • Writers: Peter Greenaway
  • Producers: Daniel Toscan du Plantier, Denis Wigman, Kees Kasander, Pascale Dauman
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: 4 Front
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Oct. 1999
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CIL0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,061 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Peter Greenaway directs this culinary tale of passion and revenge. An arrogant gangster (Michael Gambon) invests in a popular French restaurant, which he begins to frequent with his wife (Helen Mirren) and a band of crooks. He delights in humiliating his spouse, and, when she begins an affair with another patron (Alan Howard), the restaurant's cook (Richard Bohringer) tries to protect them from her husband's wrath.

From Amazon.co.uk

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover is both adored and detested for its combination of sumptuous beauty and revolting decadence. Few directors polarise audiences in the same way as Peter Greenaway, a filmmaker as influenced by Jacobean revenge tragedy and 17th-century painting as by the French New Wave. A vile, gluttonous thief (Michael Gambon) spews hate and abuse at a restaurant run by a stoic French cook (Richard Bohringer), but under the thief's nose his wife (the ever-sensuous Helen Mirren) conducts an affair with a bookish lover (Alan Howard). Clothing (by avant-garde designer Jean-Paul Gaultier) changes colour as the characters move from room to room. Nudity, torture, rotting meat, and Tim Roth at his sleaziest all contribute the atmosphere of decay and excess. Not for everyone, but for some, essential. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the DVD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a superb Greenaway film from the 1980s that is, like his other films, a visual treat. Unfortunately this is utterly bargain basement with a rotten fuzzy transfer: there is even some print damage. It is utterly bare bones: not a single extra and not even subtitles. This effort has been released by Fabulous Films (!!) on the Universal label: Universal should be ashamed of themselves for associating themselves with this. This is the type of film that the BFI should be fighting to get the rights for so it can be treated with the care it deserves. I have sent it back for a refund.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is one of my absolute core films from college days - it was mind-blowing when it came out in 1989 and definitely got a lot of causal cinemagoers - the ones who normally avoided "art house" movies - into the cinema to see it, due to its notoriety. I can remember people leaving in disgust almost from the start, tut-tutting as they went. If you're reading this review, you need no introduction to the film at all. However, this blu-ray is a big disappointment. I was quite optimistic, because Fabulous Films had a halfway decent transfer for The Return of the Pink Panther from Universal earlier this year.

I project my blu-ray discs using a Sony VPL-HW65ES projector, professionally calibrated onto a 140 inch screen in a totally light-controlled environment. I play the discs using an Oppo BDP-103D player with the Darbee video processor set at about 40% through a Denon AVR-X7200W receiver.

I have compared The Cook, The Thief.... to three other Peter Greenaway titles, which I own on blu-ray:
- Drowning By Numbers is also licensed from NBC Universal - to MediumRare films. The print is spotless with no obviously grain reduction or other digital artefacts, the bitrate averages about 30 Mb/s, there are subtitles and a very interesting 30 minute interview with Peter Greenaway included. The colours are accurate but the blacks are mastered incorrectly and I had to bring down the brightness a few notches.
- A Zed & Two Noughts and The Belly of an Architect come from BFI masters. They are similarly mastered as Drowning By Numbers, with the same average bitrate and the same incorrect black level mastering. They are both subtitled and have a few supplements.

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and her Lover blu ray is quite different.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Very disappointed in this purchase. Little or no effort has been made to give this wonderful film the release it deserves. A very poor quality transfer when really the sumptuous colours and incredible soundtrack should radiate in Blu Ray. No extras at all. I would save your money and wait for it to be lovingly restored into HD.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Just read the other reviews and you will get a feel for just how good this film is, but why on earth has the transfer to DVD been done in such a botched manner?
The opening titles illustrate the problem that persists throughout.
The orinigal wide screen presentation has been cropped such that the titles are incomplete.
Within the body of the film one is frequently left watching an empty centre of the original with the speaking characters somewhere off screen.
This brilliant film deserves much better treatment.
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Format: DVD
Peter Greenaway's "The Cook, The Thief..." is part black comedy and part surreal drama starring the brilliant Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren. As lush and darkly beautiful as some of his other work (Prospero's Books, Drowning By Numbers), "The Cook, The Thief..." has the huge advantage of being a highly watchable film because Greenaway creates a dramatic story that engages you with characters alot more than in some of his other work. The film looks and sounds great throughout, with the keen eye of Sacha Vierny and the surreal touches from Greenaway that bring each scene to life.
Once again, Greenaway has used the music of Michael Nyman to add a whole new dimension to the film. Indeed, Nyman never 'scored' any Greenaway films... the process was infact the other way around, with Greenaway choreographing his scenes to fit with Nyman's music. This film is by far and away the best example of this, and the result is superb. Incorporating some of Nyman's best music, the musical centrepiece of the film is Nyman's 'Memorial', and epic funeral march-like piece, originally composed as a memorial to the victims of the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985.
As well as some great costumes (by Jean Paul Gaultier), set designs and brilliant acting (esp. by Gambon), this film boasts some great dark humour, as well as it's fair share of geniune nastiness. Gambon plays the abominable Albert Spica, a grotesque and vulgar man who abuses and humiliates his wife (Mirren), who seeks refuge with another man, only for Spica to turn his wretched attentions to him, with terrible consequences (can't say any more without giving the end away!)
As a piece of film-making, it's a masterpiece. As a nice cosy film you can sit down to watch on a rainy weekend over and over again, forget it! But for Greenaway's talent, Gambon's acting, Nyman's music, Gaultier's costumes and Sacha Vierny's cinematographic excellence, how many more reasons do you need to go out and buy this film? Great stuff!!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Avoid at all costs. What a disappointing release (2016 Blu-ray). Awful transfer, lots of visible print damage and no subtitles. If english isn't your first language, good luck understanding shouting Michael Gambon. Another great movie ruined by Universal.
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