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The Hi-Line [DVD] (1999)

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Actors: Rachael Leigh Cook, Ryan Alosio, Margot Kidder, Tantoo Cardinal, Stuart Margolin
  • Directors: Ron Judkins
  • Writers: Ron Judkins
  • Producers: Barbara Boyle, Collin Phillips, Martin Cohen, Michael Taylor, Molly M. Mayeux
  • Format: PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Disc Distribution
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Dec. 2000
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B0000505HS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,505 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Vera Johnson (Rachael Leigh Cook) is bored with life in her small Montana town; two years after leaving college, she is still living with her parents. However, when Sam Polvino (Ryan Alosio) walks into her life, all that changes. Sam uses his charm to convince Vera that she has obtained a job in a big Chicago store, but her parents make her see that he is nothing but a con artist. Sam then comes clean; he has in his possession a letter from a man who died in prison, claiming that he was Vera's real father, and that the people she thinks are her parents took her in when she was abandoned as a baby.

From the Back Cover

She is definitely all that! Vera Johnson is two years out of high School but still lives with her parents. Wasting time with meaningless jobs, she dreams of life beyond the limits of her small Montana town. When a young stranger walks into her life, bearing a horrible dark secret, it will turn her world upside down forever!

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By A Customer on 6 April 2001
Format: DVD
Backed up by a fantastic musical score and an enchanting story, The Hi-Line is a tale about a woman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery. The story contributes to an overall moody feeling along with the conversations which are minimal and notable for their long silences. Ironically, this is drowned out with the compositions by Jon Huck in the emotional scenes. Of course, it ends with the trademark "happy ending" which comes unexpected but is welcome. The real gem though is the Montana countryside; it's as hushed, forbidding and chilly as the characters it cloisters.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hi Line Hits a Soft Spot 18 Aug. 2001
By Amie S. Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Vera (the incredible Rachel leigh Cook) is two years out of high school, drifting in smalltown Montana, when oddball outsider Sam (Ryan Alosio) shows up on her doorstep promising a way out.
Winner of the audience award at the Austin Film Festival 1999, and a Sundance selection, Hi-Line takes off from familiar indie- ground and floats over a landscape both fresh and far-off, in the literal and psychological no-man's land between Montana and Canada known as "the hi-line."
Exquisite pacing and camera work draws the already lean and muscular storyline taut. Vera learns from Sam that she was adopted, and he agrees to take her on a roadtrip that will open her heart and his. Huddled together in subzero temps in his broken-down car, the poignance of their shared grief circumvents the obvious. This is a gentle, if searing tale, and when Vera finally tracks down her mother, Singing Bird (Tantoo Cardinal), their scene together wraps you up like a child, it is so visceral and honest.
Director Judkins savors the lapses of time between words, the dialogue is sparse and jagged like the lay of the land. Scenes drift away and together like snowbanks, in power, meaning and mass. I especially liked the relationship between Vera and Sam, which erupts slowly through layers of subtext... as they reach beyond each other to find themselves. Rare to find a romantic story held together with such grace and honesty. While the ending may for some feel overly nostalgic, say for the days of Billy Wilder and forties "women's films," it left this woman weeping.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicate Balance 2 Sept. 2002
By Theodore C Nicholas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Ron Judkins' directorial debut is a deceptively simple story of a naive Montana woman, Vera (Rachael Leigh Cook) who is told she is adopted. She is approached by a sleazy, but sad-eyed man named Sam (Ryan Alosio) who was given the ashes of her recently dead father and told to find his daughter. This is a character driven story, similar to films like "You Can Count on Me," where the screenplay doesn't focus on plot so much as how characters react to what is happening, and the plot follows. In the case of this film, it works nicely. Both Sam and Vera are complex characters in a love story that doesn't work on melodrama. When Vera discovers that she never knew her mother, she decides to go find her. And Sam decides reluctantly to go with her. Few films use such stark dialogue, with such sad undertones, but this is a quiet film. It uses dialogue only when the characters truly mean to talk. The cinematography by Wally Pfister is stunning, showing the hauntingly barren but mysteriously beautiful back drops of Montana. This is a very nice film that deserves viewing.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best American Independent Films of 1999 17 Aug. 2001
By Fetzer Mills Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is one of the best American independent films that I saw in 1999. I saw it at the Austin Film Festival where it won the Audience Award. Filmed in Montana along the old railroad rout known as The Hi-line, this movie's setting gives it a bleak and poetic ambience. The film's setting almost functions as a character itself. It walks the tightrope without falling into the sappiness that so many romances do. This film is an actor's script with outstanding performances by Rachel Lee Cooke, Ryan Alosio, Margot Kidder and Tantoo Cardinal. It's well worth owning.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hi-line sets the line high for others to reach toward. 20 Aug. 2001
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I am way past 13 years old.....Like my love for my teenage son, there are reasons I love him as much for what he is not as for what he is. I love this movie for what it is not also. It is not violant, or physically explicit. It is not filled with verbally rude vocabulary. What it is, is completely enjoyable. I was compelled to be envolved in a caring manner with the choices the characters make. In a Robert Redford style of less is more. I am left with the knowledge that there are always choices.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Independent Filmmaking At It's Best 7 Sept. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Undiscovered gem. Sure-handed, sophisticated direction by Ron Judkins in his feature film debut. A Sundance Film Festival competition selection. Here's how special that is-- nearly 1,000 films apply and a mere 16 are invited. Judkins is a two-time Academy Award winner for sound on JURASSIC PARK and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN; also Oscar nominated for SCHINDLER'S LIST. Hanging out with that kind of company, the dude obviously learned something about making movies. Beautiful cinematography by star-on-the-rise Wally Pfister (MEMENTO). The Hi-Line is independent filmmaking at it's best.
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