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The Killing Fields [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Sam Waterston, Craig T. Nelson, Haing S. Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands
  • Directors: Roland Joffe
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Optimum Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 10 July 2006
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GHRCGM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,568 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The true story of the friendship between Dith Pran (Haing S. Ngor) and Sidney Schanberg (Sam Waterson). The film begins in 1973 with Schanberg a New York Times journalist assigned to Cambodia, and assisted in his efforts by local representative Dith Pran. When Pnomh Penh falls to the Khmer Rouge two years later, Dith Pran helps Schanberg escape but must himself remain behind. Back in New York, Schanberg begins to draw up plans for how he might rescue his friend. With John Malkovich and Julian Sands appearing in supporting roles, the film won three Academy Awards.

From Amazon.co.uk

This harrowing but rewarding 1984 drama concerns the real-life relationship between New York Times reporter Sidney Schanberg and his Cambodian assistant Dith Pran (Haing S. Ngor), the latter left at the mercy of the Khmer Rouge after Schanberg--who chose to stay after American evacuation but was booted out--failed to get him safe passage. Filmmaker Roland Joffé, previously a documentarist, made his feature debut with this account of Dith's rocky survival in the ensuing madness of the Khmer Rouge's genocidal campaign. The script of The Killing Fields spends some time with Schanberg's feelings of guilt after the fact, but most of the movie is a shattering re-creation of hell on Earth. The late Haing S. Ngor--a real-life doctor who had never acted before and who lived through the events depicted by Joffé--is outstanding, and he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Oscars also went to cinematographer Chris Menges and editor Jim Clark. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
David Puttnam, Roland Joffé, Chris Menges..... what a wonderful team whose individual creativity and collective synergy brought us two out-of-the-world pictures: "The Mission" & "The Killing Fields". Nothing to say about the former. Regarding the latter, the rich combination of such themes as ravages of war, power of friendship and unrequited loyalty makes it one of the powerful films in its genre and greatest films ever to have come out of the British cinema.

"The Killing Fields" takes us back to 1975s Phnom Penh, Cambodian capital, during which the communist guerrilla group Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot seized the city, formed a new government and forced the dwellers to move to the countryside to work in collective farms and labor camps with the goal of restarting of civilization in "Year Zero". During the next 4 years of their rule, these "policies" caused the death of ~ 3 million people (one third of the population) either from execution, torture, starvation, overwork, and disease. Under this apocalyptic environment, "The Killing Fields" tells the true ordeal and survival story of Cambodian photojournalist, Dith Pran, who endured the atrocities of Khmer Rouge regime: captured, tortured, punished for befriending American journalists and forced to work in labor camps in barbaric conditions.

To me, the most impressive thing about "The Killing Fields" is the ravishing cinematography by Academy Award winner Chris Menges. From start to end, The photography is nothing but gorgeous. All shots are meticulously planned, properly balanced and perfectly contrasted, harmonizing the beauty of countryside with ravages of war. The colors are well saturated and look wonderful. Subtle details are well presented, sharp and clearly visible with an emphasis on naturalism.
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Format: DVD
This film tells the true story of two journalists in Cambodia during the turmoil of 1970s Cambodia. One is the American Sydney Schanberg (played by Sam Waterston) and the other is the Cambodian Dith Pran (Haing S. Ngor). As the Khmer Rouge approach the fall of capital Phnom Penh becomes imminent, the foreign embassies pack up and move out and the journalists are forced to take refuge in the French embassy. The Khmer Rouge have however demanded that all Cambodians in the embassy be turned over, and fearing attack, the occupants agree. Dith Pran is therefore in trouble. The foreign journalists come up with a plan...

The film is very well cast, with excellent acting and character depth as shown by Haing Ngor winning a well deserved oscar for best supporting actor. It is at times brutal, at others touching.

Highly Recommended
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Forget the fact that this is an incredibly well crafted film. Forget that the soundtrack is a master piece. The acting, though superb, isn't the reason to watch this film either.
Why is it so good then?
This is a love story, about the love between two men. It is harrowing, heartwrenching, breathtaking and overpowering. It follows the plights of both men, thousands of miles apart, one fighting for his life, the other fighting with his guilt.
Dith Pran (Dr Ngor), victim of the brutal Khymer Rouge, has got to be one of the most convincing portrayals of fear and depseration ever captured on film. If you can watch his plight and remained unmoved, then seek clinical help, your heart has stopped!
If by the end of this film, you haven't choked back a large amount of tears, then rewind it, because you didn't see it, you only watched it!
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I was 22 when I first saw this film & I was glad that I saw it alone. I was living with my parents in a loving family in Renfrewshire, Scotland & although reasonably educated, was rather oblivious to the horrors that really went on in our worlds past. By the end of the film I was in tears as the story unfolded, but not in misery, just in the joy that after the failures of the military & politicians in america & cambodia, Sidney Schanberg kept on looking for his dear friend Dith Pran not knowing what might become of him. A film of endurance & of what might be, when the heart has the will to endure the fight ahead, even though the consequences may be great. I didn't realise until the end that this was a true story & it makes all the difference when you realise the struggle Dith Pran, a New York Times Photogropher & Cambodia itself went thru at the hands of the Khmer Rouge were to take, would have such a dramatic outcome. When the Red Cross are all that can save them, we are treated to a truly delightfull outcome to what was a terrible area of the worlds forgotten past. A past that the west has forgotten although the wake of it is still in our midst.
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Format: DVD
It was a travesty that 'The Killing Fields' was overlooked for best film Oscar in 1984 - the severely average adaptation of a play 'Amadeus' won, which doesn't compare. Fortunately the late Dr Haing S. Ngor (himself a victim of Pol Pot's Cambodia)did win and there were Baftas and nominations for most involved (including screenwriter Bruce Robinson -'Withnail and I', 'How To Get Ahead in Advertising','Jennifer Eight').The early 1980s, despite the backdrop of Reagan, remained leftist in American cinema: Costa Gavras' 'Missing', 'The Year of Living Dangerously', 'Under Fire', Beatty's 'Reds' and later films such as Stone's 'Salvador' (probably greenlighted because of the success of this) and the whole Vietnam cycle in the 80s owes this a debt (and a counterpoint to Rambo-style tosh!).
'The Killing Fields' is a key war film and one that I'd rank alongside such key examples of the genre as 'Come and See', 'Fires on the Plain', 'Rome, Open City', 'Three Kings', 'All Quiet on the Western Front', 'The Deer Hunter','Downfall','The Battle of Algiers',Ashes and Diamonds' & 'The Red and the White.' I would highly reccomend the chapter of 'Smoking in Bed' (a book comprising interviews with Bruce Robinson regarding his career) on this film. It's probably the most honest take on the film - countering Joffe and Puttnam's utopic notions that films can change anything, criticsing the fictional 'friendship' between Dith Pran and Sydney Schanberg and the use of John Lennon's 'Imagine' at the end.
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