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Sleepers [DVD] [1997]

4.7 out of 5 stars 175 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Jason Patric, Billy Crudup
  • Directors: Barry Levinson
  • Writers: Barry Levinson, Lorenzo Carcaterra
  • Producers: Barry Levinson, Gerrit van der Meer, Lorenzo Carcaterra, Peter Giuliano, Steve Golin
  • Format: Anamorphic, Full Screen, PAL
  • Language: German, English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Dutch
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Polygram
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Oct. 1999
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004R95E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,362 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Kevin Bacon and Robert De Niro star in this crime drama directed by Barry Levinson. In 1960s New York, four young boys - Shakes (Joe Perrino), Michael (Brad Renfro), John (Geoffrey Wigdor) and Tommy (Jonathan Tucker) - are growing up in Hell's Kitchen and find themselves befriended by both the local priest (De Niro) and the gang boss (Vittorio Gassman). However, when a prank has near-fatal consequences the boys are sent to reform school where they are sexually abused and beaten by the prison guards. 14 years later, the now grown men seek brutal revenge on the men who made their childhoods a living nightmare. The cast also includes Dustin Hoffman, Jason Patric, Brad Pitt and Minnie Driver.

From Amazon.co.uk

The first thing you need to know about Sleepers is that it's based on a novel by Lorenzo Carcaterra that was allegedly based on a true story. The movie repeats this bogus claim, which was attacked and determined by a wide majority to be misleading. Knowing this, Sleepers becomes problematic because it's too neat, too clean, too manipulative in terms of legal justice and dramatic impact to be truly convincing. And yet, with its stellar cast directed by Barry Levinson, it succeeds as gripping entertainment, and its tale of complex morality--despite a dubious emphasis on homophobic revenge--is sufficiently provocative. It's about four boys in New York's Hell's Kitchen district who are sent to reform school, where they must endure routine sexual assaults by the sadistic guards. Years after their release, the opportunity for revenge proves irresistible for two of the young men, who must then rely on the other pair of friends (Brad Pitt, Jason Patric), a loyal priest (Robert De Niro), and a shabby lawyer (Dustin Hoffman) to defend them in court. Despite the compelling ambiguities of the story, there's never any doubt about how we're supposed to feel, and the screenplay glosses over the story's most difficult moral dilemmas. At its best, Sleepers grabs your attention and pulls you into its intense story of friendship and the price of loyalty under extreme conditions. The movie's New York settings are vividly authentic, and Minnie Driver makes a strong impression as a long-time friend of the loyal group of guys. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Barry Levinson directs this film based on the book by Lorenza Carcattera about four friends growing up in Hell's Kitchen, New York......and how one mistake ruins their whole lives. An excellent cast including Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Patric and Brad Pitt make this film an absolute must for any film fanatic. Yes, the film does include scenes of sexual and physical abuse suffered by the boys when they are sent to a reform school but that is not what this film is about. Its really a tale of revenge and friendship - both of which are tightly bound together in this film. Levinson is not heavy handed in his direction and allows the actors free range to explore their individual characters with great effect. Although two Hollywood greats are present in this film (Hoffman and De Niro), the parts they play are such, that you don't really notice them and thats a good thing. No one actor should be greater than the story being told and there is no greater evidence of this than in this movie. Watch and savour each scene - it is a wonder that this film is overlooked so often by the movie going public - sheer brilliance is never so evident than here.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Director Barry Levinson's star studded 1996 production which is the story of four young boys growing up in the "Hell's Kitchen" district of New York in the 60's whose life's are forever changed when a childhood prank goes horribly wrong and they are sent to a detention centre where they are brutalised by the people trusted to look after them.

This film comes to Blu-ray in the UK on a 50GB disc using MPEG 4 AVC in full 1080p resolution and the soundtrack has been up-graded to English DTS Master Audio 5.1 this makes the dialogue easier to follow and the background sound effects are much improved this is a real improvement from the DVD release.

The copy I had was a two-sided affair which was really annoying presentation having to flip the disc over to see part two of the movie was never good.

There is also Audio tracks available in DTS Surround 5.1 in French, German, Spanish, and Russian and there is also an Italian DTS 2.0 there is also subtitles in English for the hard of hearing and subtitles in the following languages: - French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilin, Danish, Dutch Finnish, Latin American Spanish, Norwegian and Swedish.

Robert De Niro plays the local priest who tries to guide the boys; the boys grown-up are played by Brad Pitt, Jason Patric, Billy Crudup and Ron Eldard the cast also includes Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffman and Minnie Driver this movie is a real tour-da-force from the 90's, the running time is the full 147 minutes of the original theatrical presentation at the cinema the aspect ratio of 2.35: 1 is also how it appeared there no extras that I could find on the disc which is a little disappointing a little short-signed on the part of the film company...
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Format: DVD
For its quite all-star cast I found it a little strange that I'd never heard of

this film since its release in 1996 and it was only on a television rerun that I

actually caught seeing it. The film is an excellent portrayal of young wasted lives

and eventual revenge but mixes this with questions of conscience and loyalty.

The story begins telling the tale of the lives of four young boys, John, Michael,

Tommy and "Shakes", living in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York. The

neighbourhood is a mix of immigrant families, usually Italian, and it is ruled by

the unspoken rules of how the immigrants all protect each other. The two sources of

authority are the church featuring the charismatic Father Bobby and the local mafia

boss King Benny. The four boys are solid friends and spend their days playing stick

ball, performing altar duties at the church and getting into usual youthful pranks.

Their lives are set to change forever when one such prank goes calamitously wrong

and results in serious injury to an innocent bystander.

The boys are sent to a reform school and this is where the nightmare starts. A

brutal and vicious guard named Sean Nokes runs a paedophilic ring of other

perverted guards and between them they subject the boys to horrific sexual abuse and

rape. Throughout their terrible ordeal the boys are determined never to let their

secret be reveal and they make a pact not to ever tell anyone one the eve of

Shakes's release

This then is the cue for the second half of the film that deals with the revenge

the boys meet out to Sean Nokes.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Based on a true story this movie is excellent. A great cast comprising of Jason Patric, Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro sees a tale of 4 young boys that are sent to a juvenile correction facility after a prank goes badly wrong. The boys are subjected to horrendous abuse during their stay and years later they come face to face with one of their abusers. A story of friendship and revenge this movie is a compelling watch, and is as well acted by the young cast as the experienced ones. 5 stars.
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