Patty Hearst

Patty Hearst

Director: Paul Schrader

Cast: Natasha Richardson, William Forsythe, Ving Rhames

     
 
A newspaper heiress is kidnapped, brainwashed, and forced to join a group of terrorist bank robbers in this docudrama, based on the saga of Patricia Hearst. In 1974, Hearst (Natasha Richardson), the granddaughter of publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst, was a student at the University of California. On February 4, members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, a

Overview

A newspaper heiress is kidnapped, brainwashed, and forced to join a group of terrorist bank robbers in this docudrama, based on the saga of Patricia Hearst. In 1974, Hearst (Natasha Richardson), the granddaughter of publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst, was a student at the University of California. On February 4, members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, a radical political group, broke into the Berkeley home she shared with her boyfriend and kidnapped her. Hearst then allegedly spent 57 days locked in a closet as she was indoctrinated into the group's revolutionary beliefs by their charismatic leader, Cinque (Ving Rhames). Eventually, Hearst joined (or at least pretended to join) the SLA, adopted the name Tania and participated in a number of high-profile bank robberies. After several SLA members died in a police fire storm, Hearst and fellow members Bill and Emily Harris (William Forsythe and Frances Fisher) went on the lam and were later arrested. Although she claimed her participation in the group was a ruse carried out to protect herself from further rape, torture, and mind control, Hearst eventually served several years in prison after her 1976 conviction for bank robbery. Based on the novel Every Secret Thing, Hearst's own account of the events, Paul Schrader's film tells the story from the heiress' own viewpoint, with little in the way of conflicting evidence. After President Carter ordered her release from prison in 1979, Hearst went on to act in several films, including Cecil B. Demented, a John Waters spoof whose plot bears some resemblance to her own life story.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Neither a cold-eyed, objective survey of the evidence nor a straightforward, sob sister puff piece, this biopic uses Patty Hearst's own account of her kidnapping and stint in the Symbionese Liberation Army as a springboard for ambiguous and at times curiously inert storytelling. Continuing the stream of fact-based screenplays that would culminate in the Oscar-winning Reversal of Fortune two years later, writer Nicholas Kazan tries to take the audience inside Hearst's world as she's brainwashed in a closet for two months and then inculcated into the SLA's cultish lifestyle. Unfortunately, Hearst's response to these events -- glassy-eyed pretend acquiescence -- isn't exactly easy to portray visually. Natasha Richardson tries hard to explicate the turmoil Hearst suffered, but the character's inner life can't exactly leap off the screen. The strongest scenes are therefore the ones that depict her actual participation in the group, including sexual liaisons with the males; here, the conflict between self-respect and self-preservation proves compelling. Elsewhere, director Paul Schrader does an excellent job exploring the middle-class guilt and leftover '60s rebellion that fuelled the actions of the SLA's lower echelons. At the opposite extreme, Ving Rhames gives an early display of his star-worthy intensity. His compelling performance as Cinque, the group's principled but misguided leader, is the most dynamic piece of acting in the entire film. As a gritty exploration of countercultural excess, Patty Hearst is never less than gripping. But it sheds no more light inside its protagonist's head than the last 25 years of impotent media glare.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/04/2011
UPC:
0883904241560
Original Release:
1988
Source:
Mgm Mod
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:43:00
Sales rank:
55,986

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Natasha Richardson Patricia Hearst
William Forsythe Toko
Ving Rhames Cinque
Frances Fisher Yolanda
Jodi Long Wendy Yoshimura
Olivia Barash Fahizah
Dana Delany Celina
Marek Johnson Zoya
Kitty Swink Gobi
Pete Kowanko Cujo
Tom O'Rourke Jim Browning
Scott Kraft Steven Weed
Ermal Williamson Randolph A. Hearst
Anne Marie Gillis Juror Wentz
Pam Rack Actor
Jeff Imada Neighbor
Hawthorne James Tall Muslim
Mayah McCoy Girl #3
Carey Fox Hippie
Erich Anderson 1st Male
James Bershad 2nd Male
Bradford Bancroft 3rd Male
Marta Kober 2nd Female
Moss Porter FBI Man #1
Ron Boyd FBI Man #2
John Petievich Policeman
Jeanne McGuire Booking Officer
Gerald Gordon F. Lee Bailey
John Achorn Al Johnson
Jeff Allin Assistant D.A.
Robert Dickman Doctor
Jack Slater Psychiatrist #1
Byron Clark Psychiatrist #2
Nora Meerbaum Psychiatrist #3
Thomas Wagner Juror Wright
Marc Siegler Charles Gould
Steven Anderson Psychiatrist #5
Maurice Hill Judge Carter

Technical Credits
Paul Schrader Director,Screenwriter
Mark Allan Production Designer
Bojan Bazelli Cinematographer
James D. Brubaker Producer
Thomas Coleman Executive Producer
Stephen P. Dunn Asst. Director
Richard Hornung Costumes/Costume Designer
Scott Johnson Score Composer
Jerie Kaelter Set Decoration/Design
Nicholas Kazan Screenwriter
Michael R. Miller Editor
Jane Musky Production Designer
Pamela Rack Casting
Linda Reisman Associate Producer
Michael Rosenblatt Executive Producer
Harold Thrasher Art Director
Greg Walker Stunts
Ed White Sound/Sound Designer
Gordon Wolf Production Designer
Marvin Worth Producer

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