Passenger

Directed By: Michelangelo Antonioni Starring: Jack Nicholson

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Product Overview

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.

Specifications

Studio Sony
SKU 202172816
UPC 043396126541
UPC 14 00043396126541
Format DVD
Release Date 4/25/2006
Rating Rating
Keywords
Recommended
Reporters
Suspense
Switching Roles
Theatrical Release
Thriller
Editors Note
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.
Plot Summary
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.
Reviews
New York Times "...Primarily a superior suspense melodrama....Antonioni's most entertaining film..." 04/10/1975 p.46,"[F]ew filmmakers have revealed so much beauty inside a film frame." 10/28/2005 p.E13,"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
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
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
Directors
Michelangelo Antonioni
Actors
Jack Nicholson
Cast & Crew
Alessandro von Norman - Executive Producer
Carlo Ponti - Producer
Franco Arcalli - Editor
Ian Hendry - Actor
Ivan Vandor - Original Music By
Jack Nicholson - Actor
Jenny Runacre - Actor
Luciano Tovoli - Cinematographer
Maria Schneider - Actor
Mark Peploe - Story By
Michelangelo Antonioni - Screenplay
Michelangelo Antonioni - Director
Michelangelo Antonioni - Editor
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1975
Catalog ID 12654
UPC 00043396126541
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 126 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Awards
Nominee (1975) Cannes Film Festival, Michelangelo Antonioni, Golden Palm Award
Reviews
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review 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.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
Features
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Mono Audio, English, French, Spanish, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Nicholson,Jack
Label Columbia/tri-Star
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Quotes
Vincent Canby, The New York Times Dazzling...a superior suspense melodrama...probably Antonioni's most entertaining film.

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