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Primal Fear [Blu-ray] [1996] [US Import]

4.6 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

5 used from £12.77

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Product details

  • Language: English, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NY4X4G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,548 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

From Amazon.co.uk

Clever twists and a bona fide surprise ending make Primal Fear an above-average courtroom thriller. Tapping into the post-O J scrutiny of the American legal system in the case of a hotshot Chicago defence attorney (Richard Gere) whose latest client is an altar boy (Edward Norton) accused of murdering a Catholic archbishop. The film uses its own manipulation to tell a story about manipulation and when we finally discover who's been pulling the strings, the payoff is both convincing and pertinent to the ongoing debate over what constitutes truth in the American system of justice. Making an impressive screen debut that has since led to a stellar career, Norton gives a performance that rides on a razor's edge of schizophrenic pathology--his role is an actor's showcase and without crossing over the line of credibility, Norton milks it for all it's worth. Gere is equally effective in a role that capitalises on his shifty screen persona and Laura Linney and Frances McDormand give memorable performances in their intelligently written supporting roles. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When i first watched this, I hadnt heard of it, and to me it seemed like another Hollywood glamourisation of a courtcase. But by the end of the movie, i thought it was quite fantastic. Why? Well two reasons; the first being the acting is good throughout, especially Edward Norton, who excells in his first film. The other being that the ending is utterly sublime, it's a twist that changes everything you've just watched before, resembling the classic twist in The Usual Suspects. This film is definatly worth watching when you have a chance, especially for the ending.
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Primal Fear is a masterpiece! Superb acting from Edward Norton who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his brilliant portrayal of murder suspect Aaron and Richard Gere as his suave, confident defence attorney who seems to be the only one convinced of his innocence.

This film really stands the test of time some 10 years on with a great opening scene that gets your interest right from the start! No nipping out to put the kettle on with this one!!

A 'must have' if you're a Gere or Norton fan!
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Format: DVD
What an incredible actor Edward Norton is as the defendent in a murder involving a church priest. The acting is quite simply brilliant and the ending is going to knock your socks off. A film that even when you know the ending is still brilliant to watch again just to pick up the details.

This is a must buy and Norton's greatest film and most definitely Gere's too.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Watching this in 2017 the film is very dated, and not only because of the padded shoulders and smoking in public buildings.
The intended twists along the way really aren't to a modern audience, who will predict every one along the way except, perhaps, for the finale. Even that, however, is not sufficient to raise the star value.
I intensely dislike courtroom dramas which attempt to establish that defence lawyers must be preoccupied with the actual innocence of their clients in order to do their job. It would be so much more plausible had they stuck to the original premise of Richard Gere's character that it doesn't matter, rather than those implausible and poorly constructed 'angst' scenes of dispute amongst the defence team as to guilt / innocence of the defendant. If screenwriters insist on trying to establish motivation of those in the justice system maybe try talking to actual defence lawyers and the need to have due process to prove guilt.
In addition, and I don't know why, but the scenes which revolve around the romantic history of the rival lawyers are nothing less than nauseating. Reminds me of being a child / young teenager and cringing with the smarminess. Just yuck!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
laura linney and edward furlong excel , judge lady shows great ability before getting recognition later in career . as for richard gere , think he rather spoils the film , as seems he is auditioning for acting classes , poor casting . ok , the film is excellent , but misses the five stars , due to it being a once use and dispose , impossible to enjoy when knowing twists , entirely plausible , but take away twists , does not really explain motivation or need to enact main event of film , certainly not the degree .
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Format: DVD
I approached this movie with some caution. Not being the biggest Richard Gear fan I was expecting a fairly standard courtroom 'whodunnit'. However, what i got was far,far more. The pace of the film follows the genre pretty closely but the plot line twists carefully around this, reeling you in. When Norton makes his appearence as the afflicted prime suspect the movie ups a gear and raises some interesting questions of the legal system. The acting is of an exceptional standard and the movie builds to an interesting finale without losing the viewer in excessive subplot. The resulting 'twist' is handled beautifully, leaving you in no doubt that what you have watched is a great movie. If you have not seen it then do so asap you will not be disappointed. I liked it so much I have bought the dvd and taken the time to write this review!!! What more indication is necessary that this is a 'must-see' movie!
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Well , its not bad at all, there are of COURSE SOME 80s CLICHES, which is expected, but one of the issues is that a lot of movies have probably been inspired from this one then on. So watching this in 2015, you kind of expect / know what is going to happen and what steps and twists the narrative is going to take. So there was no real finale / twist for us as we were anticipating the last 30 to 45 minutes of the movie. But it is still well directed, well shot and well acted. Including by Gere, which is never a given. Probably one of the early Norton's good performance, and Linney is spot on, as ever. One of the most under rated actress I know.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Richard Gere appears as the suave Defence Lawyer Martin Vail,looking for that one case that really is going to jettison him up to the top bracket and he seizes his chance when he defends Aaron, the choirboy accused of murdering the Archbishop in whose home he lives.Aaron,played by Edward Norton is caught after a long chase,running from near the scene covered in blood,though he has no memory of committing the crime admits to witnessing it.He has no reason he says for killing the Archbishop who he says he loved as a person.Aaron has a very bad "stammer", and when seen by a psychologist in a holding cell she sees he has another side to him?
Exceptional acting from Norton in his first role.If you like court room dramas then this will be for you.Laura Linney is the the prosecutor and Geres ex,but it's not all in the court.
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