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By Laura Mirsky

This big and sometimes messy movie achieves the seemingly impossible: it demythologizes the American Revolution and lets us see it in a completely new light. Hugh Hudson (Chariots of Fire) has directed a starkly beautiful, powerfully visceral portrait of war from the point of view of the little people who are swept along in its wake. Al Pacino is Tom Dobb, a poor, illiterate trapper bringing up a young son when rebellion breaks out in New York. Dobb's small boat is requisitioned for the war effort, and he and his son become reluctant conscripts. It takes six months and some truly vile treatment by the British before the conflict becomes personal for Dobb and he makes the American cause his own. The Dobb family's tale intersects that of British Sergeant Major Peasy (a formidable Donald Sutherland) and his own son. As the tide of the war turns, the enemies' fortunes are reversed. Tom's love interest, Daisy McConnahay (Nastassja Kinski), is a fiery beauty who breaks from her family of wealthy Tories (British sympathizers) to fight for freedom. Kinski is wonderful as a living Lady Liberty, and Pacino has some extraordinary moments of raw emotion as Dobb. The film's highlights include authentic, grisly re-creations of famous Revolutionary War battles, including Yorktown and Valley Forge. This movie will draw you in, gradually but inexorably, as it creates its convincing and compelling world.


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Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)DVD unavailableSoundtrack unavailable at - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Hugh Hudson

Stars: Al Pacino, Donald Sutherland, Nastassja Kinski, Joan Plowright, Dave King, Annie Lennox, Steven Berkoff, Jesse Birdsall, Graham Greene, Robbie Coltrane

Released: June 29, 1985

Availability: VHS

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