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U-571 [DVD] [2000]

3.1 out of 5 stars 124 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi, David Keith
  • Directors: Jonathan Mostow
  • Writers: Jonathan Mostow, David Ayer, Sam Montgomery
  • Producers: Alan Collis, Dino De Laurentiis, Hal Lieberman, Lucio Trentini
  • Format: Anamorphic, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Jan. 2001
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000505IM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 802 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

DVD Special Features:

Story of U-571
The Enigma
Director's Commentary
Anamorphic 16:9
Dolby Digital
English Subtitles

From Amazon.co.uk

If you've never seen a submarine drama before, then U-571 will probably make a good impression as a tautly choreographed piece of entertainment. A strong cast led by Matthew McConaughey's sympathetic Lt. Tyler undertakes a perilous mission to seize a German Enigma machine, and encounter many dangers along the way. For anyone who has seen any other submarine movie, however, U-571 quickly turns into a succession of genre clichés: there's the depth-charge dropping scene, the diving so deep the reading goes off the scale scene, the near-mutinous tension among the crew, the sacrificial lamb who must save the day, the one torpedo left in the tube, assorted pipes bursting, and so on. The formula is set up by Bill Paxton's hard-nosed Captain, who tells Tyler what he must be prepared to do if he ever has his own command: a series of prophecies that, of course, all come true before long. From then on it's predictable action all the way.

Where U-571 scores highly is in its wealth of period detail: every cog and lever that operates the U-boat is dwelt upon lovingly. It looks and feels completely authentic. The central historical inaccuracy, that the first naval Enigma machine was in fact captured by a British ship, is apologetically mentioned in the end credits. The movie makes no claim to be a true story, admittedly, but other fictional dramas have dealt with the same subject more effectively. Try the magnificent Das Boot, for example, then The Cruel Sea, after which U-571 will seem very unambitious indeed. --Mark Walker

On the DVD: The director himself interviews two naval officers, one American and one British. The British officer is Lt. Commander David Balme, the very man who captured the first naval Enigma machine from U-110 in 1941; the American is the movie's technical adviser, Vice Admiral Patrick Hannifin. The Enigma machine itself is described briefly by an American cryptologist. There's also an old American documentary short about the 1944 capture of the U-505 in the Pacific and a "making of" featurette. The director provides a detailed commentary. --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I am speechless! I had heard of this film, but only got round to viewing it a few weeks ago. I began by counting factual & technical errors, but gave up at around thirty (probably about an hour in, by the way).

This is an insult to the intelligence, and the grudging reference to HMS Bulldog at the end of the travesty is the last straw. Thank God I did not see this rubbish in a cinema; I would probably have been ejected.

Coming soon! A new account of the sinking of the Bismarck! Thrill to the destruction of Germany's finest warship by aircraft from USS Enterprise and the guns of USS Missouri! See the British Home Fleet hiding behind a shed as the U.S. save the world again.

Is there any way I can award a minus number of stars?

When not writing furiously insulting reviews of cretinous films, I am a naval historian, by the way, but this nonsense simply does not deserve to be reviewed in measured professional tones!
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Format: DVD
I think this film is best summed up by the writing on the front of the DVD packaging: "nine ordinary men are about to change history." - yeah, literally.
Why? What is it that makes Holywood producers want to piss on the memory of the heroes of the Royal Navy by pretending that it was someone else who did it? In fact, why does Holywood seem to want to write the British out of just about every single war movie?
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Format: DVD
What can I say except this is a typical Hollywood-view of History, based on American Patriotism rather than the factual events of World War 2.
Consider the facts!
1. America had not even entered the War when the events contained in the film took place! Pearl Harbour had not occured yet!
2. The Enigma Machine was captured using information gained from the Polish Free Army and British forces!
3. The Germans had the best trained Submariners in operation until 1944. So how a U-Boat could not be repaired by its own crew is a mystery, even more so the fact that an American Submarine crew can fix it!
4. The U-Boat was crewed by 37 crew, how can the Americans operate a submarine in battle conditions with eight people is amazing!
For once I agree with the French on the grounds that Hollywood should be stopped from rewriting history and promoting the insane fantasy that America won the war solely!
Besides that the film contains one of the most irritating soundtracks that seems to conjure up the the typical expressions of American Patriotism at every opportunity!
If you want to see an accurate portrayal of World War 2 submarine life watch Das Boot - a mature, honest account!
If you really want to swallow the American Dream watch this and remember people died in capturing the Enigma machine - this film does not pay any respect to those individuals nor credits them!
Shame on you Hollywood!
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Format: DVD
You would have to be unbelievably sad and delusional to come up with a film like this. It is quite simply the worst example of Hollywood tosh to ever be screened. Avoid it like the plague.

It has been said that the film doesn't claim to be based on a true story ... so why did the film's producers ignore a request to make it CLEAR that it was a work of fiction? Only AFTER the film had been slated did the screenwriter come out with the mind-numbingly stupid quote "It was a distortion ... a mercenary decision ... to create this parallel history in order to drive the movie for an American audience. Both my grandparents were officers in World War II, and I would be personally offended if somebody distorted their achievements." It's a shame he didn't think of the blindingly obvious BEFOREHAND.

What next? A film in which the US Cavalry defeats Napoleon at Waterloo ... or perhaps the US Navy could defeat the Spanish Armada? Maybe the US Air Force could win the Battle of Britain single-handedly?
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Format: DVD
There's nothing wrong with the acting,camerawork or any other technical aspect of "U 571".It's just that it is yet another Hollywood script that proclaims that the US won World War Two single-handedly.
Of course,the Poles first got hold of Enigma machines and commenced the codebreaking,and the British had captured Enigma machines and were reading their codes even before the US entered the war in 1941.Not a word of fact such as the above is allowed to sully "U 571".
Ahistorical nonsense.It's true that everyone is entitled to their own opinion,but Hollywood scriptwriters should be aware that noone is entitled to their own facts.
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Format: Blu-ray
This is a decent film let down by poor utilization of the BD format. For a start the picture, while still streets ahead of DVD, is 1080i not 1080p. Even worse though is the lack of translation for the scenes in German. There is only the option of having all the subtitles (in other words subtitles under the English and German spoken parts) or none at all. If you want to practice your German this is probably a nice thing! Otherwise you're either reaching for your remote to turn the titles on/off or left wondering what the Germans are doing. I seem to remember the DVD did translate the German scenes.

I have now doubt that in 3 years time a special edition will be released in 1080p with proper subtitles so if you can wait that long I would recommend it.
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