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Out of Africa
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Product Description

Set in kenya in the early 1900s this is a true story of danish writer karen blixen. It is the romantic tale about an independent womans love for both her husband and a dashing adventurer. Bonus features: song of africa feature commentary with director sydney pollack production notes and much more. Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 01/23/2007 Starring: Meryl Streep Robert Redford Run time: 160 minutes Rating: Pg Director: Sydney Pollack

Sydney Pollack's 1985 multiple-Oscar winner is a sumptuous andemotionally satisfying film about the life of Danish writer Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep), better known as Isak Dinesen, who travels to Kenya to be with her German husband (Klaus Maria Brandauer) but falls for an English adventurer (Robert Redford). The film is slow in developing the relationship, but it is rich in beautiful images of Africa and in the romantic tone surrounding Blixen's gradual discovery of her life and voice. One downside: while we may all love Redford, he is as convincingly British as Kevin Costner is in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Pollack's classic Oscar winner
    The recently deceased Sidney Pollack made many fine movies but this one along with "They Shoot Horses, Don't They", ranks among his best. An Oscar winner for Best Picture and Best Director, Pollack in the best David Lean fashion has made a love letter to Africa--the land, its people. It's basically a love story of Issak Dinesan who tries to tame Africa, her adopted land and the man she loves, Denys Finch Hatton. Streep & Robert Redford are excellent in their roles though for some reason only known to Pollack, Redford speaks in his normal American rather with a English dialect since the character is a Brit. I'm told Redford wanted to use an English dialect but Pollack said no. Also outstanding is Klaus Maria Blandauer in the dual roles as Dinessen's husband and the husband's brother. I've hesitated purchasing this because I am hoping Universal will release it in Blu-ray soon. This film deserves to be seen on a big flat-screen TV!!...more info
  • Iluvshpping
    The DVD arrived within the week of ordering on line . My husband & I love this movie we watched it together at home thirteen years ago, when we started dating and had a hard time finding it at our local stores so we looked on and found it....more info
  • Out of Africa DVD
    The story line was great, that's why I bought it, but the quality of the DVD was poor at best. I had to turn the volume all the way up to barely hear it and it had a glitch right in the middle that I have to skip through.
    Very poor quality!!!...more info
  • Classic Movie
    This is one of Meryl Streep finest movies. A moving love story of a man and Africa. ...more info
  • Now a Classic
    Sidney Pollack intertwines a beautiful love story with stunning photography of East African vistas. Based on the true life story of Isak Dinesen the movie takes us back to a colonial period when Africa was still wild and fresh. I especially liked the scenes of flying in the Tiger Moth biplane. Pollack, a pilot, gives a perfect view of the African rift from above. Simply stunning and memorable....more info
  • Still the best film ever
    This is still one of the best films ever.Any film where the images can stick in your mind over time has to be great....more info
  • Breathtaking
    This is one of the best romantic movies I have ever seen. It touches on the need to be independent but at the same time wanting companionship and closeness with another. I can say that I found this to be somehow feminist especially in the way karen Blixen handled her life and went against what might have been considered proper female behaivor at that time. She followed her heart and regardless of what was thrown her way she handled it with dignity and strength. The part of the movie that I particularly liked was when marriage was being discussed with robert redford's character and he says that a piece of paper will not make him love her more(my feelings exactly). i loved this movie and will definitely watch it again....more info
  • Spectacular Scenery and Emotionally Satisfying
    "Out of Africa" stands out as one of the most spectacular movies ever made. At the 1985 Academy Awards this movie won seven Oscars including Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Picture. It deserved all seven!

    It is filled with romance, scenery, real-life struggles and the inevitability of fate. It is a journey into Africa and into love. The escape is in the hand of fate. This movie presents Africa as a paradise. The natural environment is harsh, yet unspoiled in this movie.

    This is based on the true story of Danish writer Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) who left Denmark to marry German Klaus Maria Brandauer/Baron Bror Blixen (Klaus Maria Brandauer) and start a dairy in Kenya.

    Some women do enjoy the security of a man looking after them, however Karen is different. She seems to desire companionship and offers her fortune in exchange for marriage. Her husband changes his mind about the dairy and instead they use her money on a risky venture to grow coffee. This is not a marriage based on an intense romance, in fact, Karen is marrying her lover's brother.

    Soon after they arrive in Africa, it becomes apparent this is not a satisfying marriage for Karen. Not only is her husband unfaithful to her, he gives her syphilis. Disease is not the only threat, she also has to fight floods and fire. There are lions which apparently try to attack Karen and Denys although I thought that was pretty unlikely in the situation.

    I didn't like the "hunter" aspects or when the two lions are killed, but if you watch at the end, I think even the lions forgive the hunter. When I've seen lions during the day they were normally napping in the shade. Apparently they had trouble getting the lions to act aggressive and there is information on the DVD explaining these details.

    Karen finds acceptance in big game hunter Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford) who loves her ability to tell stories. He starts the stories and she completes them. I think he is impressed by her confidence and creativity. He sees who she really is. Her husband is obviously blind to this beautiful goddess he has taken to Africa.

    She in turn is delighted by this interest and slowly allows him into her world. While Denys and Karen are a perfect match and as close to soul mates as possible, Denys is unsure of commitment and explains how a piece of paper won't make him love her more. Meryl Streep and Robert Redford have chemistry, chemistry and more chemistry in this movie! They mostly share a few kisses, yet their relationship is on such a deep level, I think it could survive if they just told each other stories.

    What Karen seems to truly desire is a man who will sacrifice to be with her. She wants to be of value. Denys tells Karen she has confused "want" and "need." This is an excellent portrayal of the gender differences. Man wants to be free to come and go and woman wants security, love and commitment. She wants to be treated with respect.

    Denys "wants" Karen and Karen seems to "need" Denys. The question is not whether he will realize this in time before he loses her, but whether or not fate will turn their lives into a tragedy or allow them to form a true relationship. As Karen says:

    "When the gods want to punish you, they answer your prayers."

    Karen seems the surrender to her fate and is able to experience a brief moment of ecstasy in her life even though she is wounded from the experience.

    When you view this movie, there are various elements which hint at the ending, yet I didn't recognize them until viewing this the second time. This is a movie I watch every few years because I too once lived on a farm in Africa. It was not quite this romantic because I was still a child. This movie makes me terribly homesick because once we left Africa, we never went back. Africa seems a moment in time, maybe everyone should live there once. When I watch this movie I need a big box of tissues!

    The best moment in the movie is when Farah asks Karen to build a very big fire so he will know where to find her. It is a moment so beautiful and poetic, I've not seen anything like it in any other movie. I appreciated this movie more now that I'm in my 30s and married than before when I was single and had just returned from Africa myself. This movie is contemplative and deals with complex issues.

    ~The Rebecca Review ...more info
  • Still a winner after all these years
  • Great movie
    Beautiful filming, the country is gorgeous so how can you go wrong?!? The music was beautiful also. ...more info
  • Out of Africa
    Watching this movie was an amazing surprise. I had heard of it but never had the opportunity to watch it. It was beautiful, and a wonderful story. ...more info
  • Shouldn't have been made.
    This is one of my all time favorites of horrible movies. Runs a close second to Inside Moves and just about any movie with Jon Voight in it. Here's the summary.....(streep) I love him (redford) but...he has the syph...I'm sad the end! Add in the backdrop of Africa and there you have it. At least someone made a few bucks off this movie. ...more info
  • "What matters to me is that you tried so hard."
    This is a real love story - with all of love's loneliness, desparations, fragilities, and infinite values. This movie is like a masterful painting, I want to stare at it and soak it in for long periods of time. I want to come back and look at it again when time and patience allow.

    The story uses a repeated device where Karen (the female lead played by Meryl Streep) enjoys telling stories. Her method of telling a story is to ask the listener to start the story by making up one sentence. Initially, Robert Redford's character, Denys, starts with a sentence about a foreign woman in a foreign land. And Karen proceeds to weave an elaborate tale. The movie fast forwards as they lounge through several rooms until she finishes her storied romance with a telling reveal in front of a fire.

    Karen learns she has syphilis, given to her by her philandering husband. She goes away for several months back home to Denmark to have it treated. After her long time away, she returns to Africa. Denys asks to take her on a safari. She resists plainly, "If you like me at all, don't ask me to do this." But she yields to his undeniable invitation. On safari, they spend a great deal of time talking one on one.

    Karen asks, "Why am I here?"
    Denys replies, "Because I wanted you to see all this . . . I wanted to show it to you. I thought you'd understand it."
    Karen sips her drink, then says, "I had syphilis . . . That's why I went home."
    Denys calmly responds, "I knew."
    "They say I'll have a normal life now. But no children . . . The school. The farm. That's what I am now."
    Denys disagrees firmly, "No."

    And THAT, if you are lucky, is what the great loves of your life may change for you. When you think your world is thoroughly boundaried and defined, and when you think your activities and pursuits have been clearly labeled or assigned, a great love will show you new things you can become that you either always hoped for, or never knew how much you would enjoy.

    Karen loses her ability to have children, but supported by Denys' ideas and insistent behaviors toward her, she does not lose her abilities to love, to help others, to tell her story, or to create. His persistence takes her outside her "homeland" perceptually, culturally, and role definably.

    The title to the film, "Out of Africa," is perfect. The author, whose autobiographical story this film is about, never returned to Africa after her lover left her forever. And the film suggests you may leave where you have been and never return to that place, but that does not mean that place, or the events that took place there, will ever leave you.

    On their next evening on safari, talking alone, Denys invites Karen to create another story. He starts by supplying her one requested sentence, "There was a young girl from Denmark who took passage on a steamer bound for the Suez." And Karen creates the story from his start.

    I won't give away the ending to this beautiful film, but suffice to say, like most great romances, life throws some complications and tragedies their way. And one of the themes of this tale is that life may give you a romance that gives you only one great opening sentence. And sometimes your lover will not stay with you or finish the story with you, and your difficult choice will be whether or not to continue on, whether or not to write almost the entire story on your own.

    "Only this time I will go ahead."
    "It is far? Where you are going?"
    "You must make this fire very big, so I can find you."

    "I was beginning to like your things. You've ruined it for me, you know?"
    "Ruined what?"
    "Being alone."

    There is a scene following a character's death in this film where the lover remaining is surrounded by the deceased's beloved collection of books. Possessions and things often get a bad rap. They say, "You can't take them with you." But when someone you love disappears forever, you may discover more value in their collected artworks, books, movies, photos, and artfully expressed writings & letters. Those "things" give us some of the only remaining glimpses of their love that gave us reasons to live, to share joy, and to create....more info
  • Liked It A Lot More & More With Each Viewing
    Few movies ever increased in my ratings as much as this one did from first viewing to the last one - the fifth being several years ago. Let's hope this comes out on a quality Blu-Ray disc sometime in the near future.

    Until seeing this widescreen DVD, I hadn't realized just how beautiful this movie was shot. The accompanying music score also is outstanding. The main score, the theme song of the movie, if you will, still ranks as perhaps the prettiest I have ever heard on ANY film. (For the full version of the music, stay with the ending credits.)

    In addition to the appreciation of the visuals and soundtrack, I enjoyed the story much more by the third time and Meryl Streep's Danish accent as "Karen Blixen" went from annoying to acceptable. It is a romance story and there isn't much action, and parts of it can drag a bit, but not for long.

    One credibility problem, the other main character: " Denys," played by Robert Redford, was supposed to be British but had a 100 percent American accent. He didn't even try to fake it! His character also was a little too secular-humanistic for me to root for him, anyway. He didn't have much a moral base ("marriage is just a sheet of paper.") Streep's character wasn't too far away from that, either.

    Character-wise, I liked Blixen's husband, played by Klaus Maria Brandauer, probably best in this movie.

    Social agendas aside, I always enjoy what the rest of the film has to offer: mainly the magnificent African scenery, mellow story and rich music.
    ...more info
  • Very good cinematic experience
    Enjoyed the storyline and it had a strong cast; just not as enticing as other movies of the same genre that I have scene. Still recommend viewing it as 3 and above are "worth seeing" from my perspective. Very good use of 1.5 - 2 hours....more info
  • A romantic movie I understand
    Several years ago, I watched the "End of Innocence," I believe a Martin Scorcese movie, a story of unrequited love, filled with yearning, caught by societal roles and a desire never fulfilled - and for me a waste of time. And it is in the confronting, and making peace with the issues noted above that makes "Out of Africa" a poignant and powerful love story. A story of a couple who were true to themselves and their love despite the "rules" of society. People who triumphed not only against the restrictions imposed on them by their peers, but whom also faced and moved beyond the barriers they placed on themselves. They paid the price...but what a privilege to be in love - a profound and liberating love. I suppose that some would say that they paid for their insolence as evidenced by their eventual separation and Fynch Hatton's death, but I find that the decision to be true to themselves...and love anyway, the mark of true love. Well acted, well written and a credit to two remarkable people - pioneers not only in Africa but also in spirit. Highly recommended....more info
  • Classic Movie
    I chose this DVD to replace a tape that had deteriorated. It is a classic that can be viewed repeatedly with enjoyment!

    My purchase was delivered promptly and was just as described for a good price....more info
  • What a dud...
    Sorry, I know I am in the minority for this film but it just didn't make me think romantic and I didn't like the story. Why do we need to celebrate these particular people when there are much more romantic true stories? The acting was fine and there were some funny moments but for the most part it was not up to a good standard for me....more info
  • Some of Barry's Best Work
    Everything it seems, has been said about this gorgeous film, except perhaps about the sound track. John Barry's work is outstanding and seems to enhance the move at its most powerful moments. The lasting impression I have more than two decades after the movie is the "Flight over Africa," when Denys takes his love up for a flight in his plane. I could watch - and listen - a million times and be enthralled every time....more info
  • Epic
    Even though I did not see the purchased copy, I bought this movie to have in my library. This is a well known epic (unlike the Scent of a Woman) with power, big stars, beautiful scenery, and a great musical score. Meryl Streep is superb portraying this great woman (based on a true story) and Robert Redford is suave and seducing in his portrayal of the lover. This movie has everything: infidelity, war, disease, racism, imperialism, political statements, discrimination, intelligence, beauty, well I can go on, and on. One of the best movie ever made....more info
  • Out of Africa
    Some of the music from the film is not on the dvd. Very dissapointing....more info
  • Still great after all these years
    I watched this recently for the first time since 1985 and was surprised how well it's held up. The photography is the first thing you notice. Then, Meryl Streep's performance. Redford is just ok as the commitment-phobic safari-mad Brit whom Karen Blixen falls for. He hasn't changed much since then, at least on screen. This was big, old-fashioned movie-making by the late Sydney Pollack, and it's still well worth watching. It's a bit less than PC by today's standards in its treatment of the "natives," however....more info
  • Great movie!
    Classic movie that never ceases to entertain. A beautiful love story, beautifully told...still makes me cry.
    ...more info
  • I cant review this item
    How can I rate something when after a month I still havent received it. I send the seller an email, and I still have yet to hear back from them....more info
  • One of the Greatest Masterpieces of Modern Cinema
    This story unfolds giving the audience an extrordinary view into the mind, life and times of its' heroine, Karen Blixen (played to perfection by Meryl Streep), and captures the essence of what it means to be steadfastly stoic in nature, despite the surrounds and conditions that befall herself and characters central to the theme.
    Robert Redford while starring blends an incredible balance.
    The movie leaves the viewer with the impression they have just witnessed an almost Rembrandt type painting in every shot.
    No review can do this 2 hour 41 minutes collectors edition justice.
    Winning 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture in 1985 somehow now seems trivial (in a time when other movies were bringing in box office dollars by comparision, for example Cocoon and Back to the Future) this movie is pure quality and enduring. In what must have been and was certainly a mammoth task to recreate the ambience of 1914 Kenya, Producer and Director Sydney Pollack captures on screen what it is to live, love and lose and somehow, despite all tradgedy, to still win.
    I will go so far to say that this is probably in the top five greatest movies ever made- if not the one! ...more info
  • Meryl is jaw-dropping, however....
    OK. First, the positives. Meryl Streep delivers an unbelievable performance as Danish writer Karen Blixen, who travels to Kenya to be with her unfaithful husband, develops and runs a plantation, and falls in love with an elusive, emotionally distant adventurer (supposedly British). Meryl is convincingly emotional throughout; her Danish accent is quite good and was obviously perfected through coaching, and her heartbreak by the end of the film at how much she lost certainly tugs at one's heart as well. Why she did not win the Best Actress Oscar for this performance, possibly her finest ever, is unforgivable. The other positives are the gorgeous cinematography and wonderful musical score; it sets up quite a visual and audio treat for the eyes and ears.

    BUT...and this is a large caveat...the story becomes dull and quite ponderous. Why do we care about these characters ? What do we learn from them ? Do the details of their relationship with each other develop and involve us to the point where we really care about what will happen to them ? I think not. This is the fatal flaw of the film as a whole,and it doesn't help that Robert Redford is horribly miscast as the white hunter Denys who lives life on his own terms. In truth, he was actually a British man in real life, and Redford doesn't even attempt to affect a British accent or tone but simply portray him as a sort of all-American jock who somehow got waywardly sent to Africa. A British or Australian actor could have done so much more with this role (imagine Richard Chamberlain or, if he would have been around at the time, Russell Crowe).
    And the whole plot revolves around not so much as this -- Danish writer follows German husband to Africa; Danish writer ends up running a plantation while German husband is unfaithful. As a result, Danish writer falls in love with hunter who will not emotionally commit. Danish writer also catches venereal disease from her unfaithful husband. And then...well, I won't give away the conclusion. But to spend two-and-a-half to two-and-three quarters of an hour to develop this rather unexciting story can often find one snoozing or just focusing on the wonderful Meryl or sumptuous photography of Africa accompanied by lovely music in order to stay awake.

    As you can tell, I have very mixed feelings about 'Out of Africa'. At the time of its release, I thought it was a masterpiece, but in my opinion, it has not aged well even though the positives it always had remain there. If the story would remain more emotionally involving, it would be a great film. As it stands, it is only an interesting but overlong one and the overall effect is rather flat. ...more info
  • So good
    I remember going to see this in the theater. It is still a vivid love story - between her and Africa, as well as her and Denis....more info