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Passenger (1975)

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni     Starring: Jack Nicholson
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Learn more about Passenger:

Format: DVD
Sku: 202172816
UPC: 043396126541
UPC 14: 00043396126541
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Family & Kids
 
A Carlo Ponti Production of Michelangelo Antonioni's [Film].|"A Carlo Ponti Production of Michelangelo Antonioni's ""The Passenger"""
A burned-out journalist assumes the identity of a dead man and embarks on a dangerous charade, including meetings with gun runners and an affair with a mysterious young woman.

"Dazzling...a superior suspense melodrama...probably Antonioni's most entertaining film.  Vincent Canby, The New York Times

Editor's Note
For decades, Michelangelo Antonio's existential drama has been nearly impossible to track down, but thanks to Sony Pictures Classics, THE PASSENGER finally gets the exposure that it deserves (making this event even more noteworthy is the fact that the re-released version contains Antonioni's preferred 126-minute cut). In an impressively low-key performance, Jack Nicholson plays David Locke, a reporter who is researching a story in the North African desert. But when he discovers the dead body of a mysterious man he had just recently befriended, a strange compulsion overtakes him. Passing off the dead man as himself, Locke assumes the identity of Martin Knight and travels to Barcelona on a dangerous mission. Once there, he finds himself falling for a beautiful girl (Maria Schneider) as he drifts further and further away from the man he once was. It isn't long before he realizes just how much danger he is in, but at that point, it might be too late to turn back.

Antonio's gorgeous, haunting film incorporates elements of a traditional Hollywood thriller, only to leave them behind in search of something deeper. The result is an unsettling and daring work that casts a truly hypnotic spell. Nicholson's surprisingly downplayed performance is perfect for the role, as is Schneider's timid, beautiful presence. Featuring one of the most unforgettable closing shots in movie history, THE PASSENGER is a must-see for anyone with a serious interest in film history.

This film screened as part of Lincoln Center's 2005 New York Film Festival.

Features

Video Features DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Mono Audio, English, French, Spanish, Subtitled

Technical Info


Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Sony
Video Release Date Release Date: 4/25/2006
Video Play Time Running Time: 126 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 1975
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 12654
Video UPC UPC: 00043396126541
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Ian Hendry
Video Cast Info Jack Nicholson
Video Cast Info Jenny Runacre
Video Cast Info Maria Schneider
Video Cast Info Alessandro von Norman - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Carlo Ponti - Producer
Video Cast Info Franco Arcalli - Editor
Video Cast Info Ivan Vandor - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Luciano Tovoli - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Mark Peploe - Story By
Video Cast Info Michelangelo Antonioni - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Michelangelo Antonioni - Director
Video Cast Info Michelangelo Antonioni - Editor
Plot Summary
A melancholy, depressed, and jaded television reporter assumes the identity of a dead man while at a hotel in a north African country, not knowing that the man was a renowned arms smuggler. The newsman sees this switch as a last desperate chance to escape his old life and start anew. However, as he begins to take on the characteristics of his new persona and understand his shady involvements, the decision becomes a risky one which leads to an inevitable showdown.

Awards


Nominee (1975)
   Video Award Name Cannes Film Festival, Michelangelo Antonioni, Golden Palm Award

Professional Reviews

New York Times
"...Primarily a superior suspense melodrama....Antonioni's most entertaining film..." 04/10/1975 p.46

New York Times
"[F]ew filmmakers have revealed so much beauty inside a film frame." 10/28/2005 p.E13

Entertainment Weekly
"[I]t retains a singular intrigue: It's the first, and probably the last, thriller ever made about depression." -- Grade: A- 11/11/2005 p.48

New York Times
"The underlying theme -- the alienated intellectual's attempt to find an authentic place in the world -- dates back to his work in the 1950's." 04/25/2006 p.E3

Premiere
4 stars out of 4 -- "Beautifully shot throughout Europe and North Africa, it's a movie of quiet surfaces that's nevertheless packed with brilliant observations, provocations and emotions. A masterpiece." 06/01/2006 p.99

Total Film
4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he film climaxes with a stunning seven-minute single take, which unites the story's multiple strands while preserving the lead players' mystique." 07/01/2006 p.52

Chicago Sun-Times 9 of 10
I did not admire the film in 1975. In a negative review, I observed that Antonioni had changed its title from "The Reporter" to "The Passenger," apparently deciding it was about the Girl, not Locke. Maybe it is simply about passengers who travel in someone else's life: Locke in Robertson's, the Girl in Locke's. I admire the movie more 30 years later. I am more in sympathy with it. When a film so resolutely refuses to deliver on the level of plot, what we are left with is tone. "The Passenger" is about being in a place where nobody knows you or wants to know you, and you are struck by your insignificance. There was a world where it was important that Robertson was Robertson and Locke was Locke. In the desert among strangers, it is not even important that Robertson be Robertson and Locke be Locke. The little white car that crisscrosses the square in the final shot belongs to a driving school. To its driver, it is important to pass the course and get a driver's license. Robertson and Locke disappear, and this is first gear, this is second, here is the clutch, here is the brake. - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Nicholson,Jack
Product attributeLabel:   Columbia/tri-Star
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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