Little Odessa


A hit man must choose between the lure of crime and family loyalty in this stark crime drama from Artisan. Presented in 1.33:1 pan and scan and featuring a closed captioned English Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack, this release features an outstanding performance by Tim Roth.
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A hit man must choose between the lure of crime and family loyalty in this stark crime drama from Artisan. Presented in 1.33:1 pan and scan and featuring a closed captioned English Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack, this release features an outstanding performance by Tim Roth.
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Special Features

Full Frame version; 2.0 Dolby Stereo Surround; Scene index; Interactive menus; Digitally mastered
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
A family drama set amid the violence of Brooklyn's Russian Mafia, director James Gray's debut feature, Little Odessa, takes a familiar prodigal-son story and buries it deep in the gray, snowbound landscape of a Brighton Beach winter. Tim Roth plays Joshua Shapira, a hit man for the Russian Mafia who returns to his old Russian Jewish émigré neighborhood for a kill. There he bonds with his adoring younger brother Edward Furlong, clashes with his estranged father Maximilian Schell, and learns that his mother Vanessa Redgrave is dying of cancer. There's some real intensity in the relationship scenes here, driven by Roth's quiet intensity and the virtuosity of the rest of the cast. But it's powerful atmosphere that makes the film memorable. Cold, gray skies and a blanket of snow lend an almost Siberian feel, while the soundtrack of Eastern European vocal music, including several pieces by the great Estonian composer Arvo Part, create an utterly somber, elegiac tone that makes one shiver.
All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Given its star, aesthetics, and date of release, it may come as no surprise that Little Odessa was nearly relegated to obscurity shortly after its original theatrical run in mid-1994. Those expecting an energetic, Tarantino-style crime film may have recoiled at this broodingly bleak, somber tale of an unfeeling professional killer who returns to his childhood neighborhood in Brighton Beach to perform a job, though those with the patience to give this quietly desperate, introspective gem a chance will find a somber but rewarding tale of moral decay and its repercussions on loved ones. As the killer in question, Tim Roth provides a quiet and expressive low-key performance which richly visualizes his struggle to connect with his family and old flame. His desperation to be understood is off-balanced by an emotional wall of ice he has created in order to effectively carry out his work; Roth's quiet desperation resulting from his inability to communicate with those closest to him provides viewers with a chilly sense of impending doom. As he interacts with his admiring younger brother (an effective performance by the sometimes shrill Edward Furlong) and his hardened love interest, Roth's expressive manner quietly conveys everything that his character can't verbalize. Cinematographer Tom Richmond's muted color scheme externalizes the dank emptiness of his subjects' souls, effectively projecting their despair onto the surroundings they inhabit, and rendering the scenes with Roth's dying mother and conflicted father heart-wrenchingly real. This case should also be made for the punctuated and decidedly non-glamorous violence in the film. A thankful contrast to the flood of stylishly violent crime films that came in the wake of Tarantino's films, Little Odessa's violence is present to serve a purpose, making it all the more effective and horrifying when characters do ultimately succumb to its deceptively seductive and ultimately soul-shredding allure.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/27/2002
  • UPC: 012236120551
  • Original Release: 1994
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lions Gate
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Sound: Dolby Surround
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 40,946

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tim Roth Joshua Shapira
Edward Furlong Reuben Shapira
Moira Kelly Alla Shustervich
Vanessa Redgrave Irina Shapira
Maximilian Schell Arkady Shapira
Paul Guilfoyle Boris Volkoff
Natalya Andreichenko Natasha
David Vadim Sasha
Mina Bern Grandma Tsilya
David Ross Anatoly
Ron Brice Man with one leg
Technical Credits
James Gray Director, Screenwriter
Douglas Abiel Casting
Douglas Aibel Casting
Steve Apicella Asst. Director
Michael Clancy Costumes/Costume Designer
Charles Ford Set Decoration/Design
Christopher Goode Production Manager
Dorian Harris Editor
Claudia Lewis Executive Producer
Rolf Mittweg Executive Producer
Kerry Orent Co-producer
Tom Paul Musical Direction/Supervision
Judy Rhee Art Director
Tom Richmond Cinematographer
Dana Sano Score Composer
Kevin Thompson Production Designer
Paul Webster Producer
Nick Wechsler Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. A New Assignment [3:27]
2. Main Title [1:50]
3. Family Habits [5:14]
4. "Your Brother's Here" [5:28]
5. Recruiting Volunteers [2:14]
6. Mother's Sick [4:14]
7. "Get Out of My House!" [2:25]
8. Alla Shustervich [3:09]
9. Innocent Bystander [2:28]
10. To Hit an Untouchable [2:49]
11. Movie Date [4:47]
12. Memories of a Failed Father [3:11]
13. A Truce [1:15]
14. The Prodigal Son Visits [4:59]
15. The New Hangout [5:15]
16. Sex with the Dumb One [5:31]
17. Grandma's Birthday Party [3:17]
18. Killing as Planned [6:44]
19. "You Don't Respect Me" [5:25]
20. "You Have Destroyed Us" [4:27]
21. A Death in the Family [5:01]
22. Looking for Josh [6:41]
23. Wrapped Up [4:16]
24. End Credits [3:50]
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Side #1 --
   Scene Selection
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