Snow Falling on Cedars

Snow Falling on Cedars

4.4 5
Director: Scott Hicks

Cast: Ethan Hawke, James Cromwell, Richard Jenkins


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Even its critics would surely agree that Scott Hicks' Snow Falling on Cedars is a film of rare visual beauty, making it an ideal film for DVD. Universal has not wasted the opportunity; this is an outstanding disc in every department. The stunning look of the film is maximized with an anamorphic widescreen transfer that magnificently realizes the elegant, almost…  See more details below


Even its critics would surely agree that Scott Hicks' Snow Falling on Cedars is a film of rare visual beauty, making it an ideal film for DVD. Universal has not wasted the opportunity; this is an outstanding disc in every department. The stunning look of the film is maximized with an anamorphic widescreen transfer that magnificently realizes the elegant, almost poetic visuals. James Newton Howard's highly emotive score is equally well cared for with a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track that also delivers clean dialogue throughout. A host of special features are included on the disc, including the original theatrical trailer, cast and crew biographies, and some very detailed production notes. The "Spotlight on Location" featurette lasts around 21 minutes, and includes interviews with all the main players. "Manzanar" is an educational, text-based history of a real-life relocation center. There are nine deleted and alternate scenes, the most interesting of which is a scene showing Ethan Hawke's Ishmael throwing away his Purple Heart. On his hushed feature commentary, Hicks sounds endearingly like a child slowly unwrapping a Christmas present, but he does discuss the complex shooting logistics and editing, and it is generally an engrossing accompaniment to the film. Snow Falling on Cedars perhaps merits more acclaim than it has had since its release, and this glorious DVD will do its reputation nothing but good.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Snow Falling on Cedars is one of those films that earns itself a viewing simply on the strength of its gorgeous look. Scott Hicks's follow-up to Shine might have been shot by Ansel Adams, so lush are its images of the Pacific Northwest circa 1950. The cinematographer is actually the great Robert Richardson (Eight Men Out, The Horse Whisperer), and his expert brushstrokes make the film a more profound meditative experience than it ought to be. Not a particularly interesting or suspenseful plot structure, the central murder trial exists more as a window to the memory of Ethan Hawke's Ishmael, who mentally catalogues so many past time periods that the viewer becomes desperate to sort them out as the scenes blend seamlessly from era to era. Some flashbacks seem like screenplay leftovers -- unexplained, existing more as dreamy fragments. The performances are mostly understated, in keeping with the largely visual agenda of the film, but the result is that it's hard to develop an emotional tie to either Ishmael or Hatsue (Youki Kudoh). The film wins points for exploring the wartime internment of Japanese-Americans, a topic too little understood and generally ignored by filmmakers. Further, it's always nice to see the talents of the wonderful Max Von Sydow continuing to be utilized. Though undoubtedly flawed, as pure visual stimulus, Snow Falling on Cedars is delicious candy.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

"Spotlight on Location: The Making of Snow Falling on Cedars"; Feature commentary with director Scott Hicks; Deleted scenes; Manzanar; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ethan Hawke Ishmael Chambers
James Cromwell Judge Fielding
Richard Jenkins Sheriff Art Moran
James Rebhorn Alvin Hooks
Sam Shepard Arthur Chambers
Eric Thal Carl Heine
Max von Sydow Nels Gudmundsson
Youki Kudoh Hatsue Imada
Rick Yune Kazuo Miyamoto
Jan Rudes Ole Jurgensen
Celia Weston Etta Heine
Max Wright Horace Whaley
Arija Bareikis Susan Marie Heine
Zeljko Ivanek Dr.Whitman
Caroline Kava Helen Chambers
Zak Orth Deputy Abel Martinson
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa Zenhichi Miyamoto
Daniel Von Bargen Carl Heine Sr.
Reeve Carney Young Ishmael Chambers
Anne Suzuki Young Hatsue Imada
Frank C. Turner Juror

Technical Credits
Scott Hicks Director,Screenwriter
Seth Arnett Stunts
Ronald Bass Producer,Screenwriter
Eric Batut Sound/Sound Designer
Carol Baum Executive Producer
Doug Byggdin Art Director
Hank Corwin Editor
Jim Erickson Set Decoration/Design
Katterli A. Frauenfelder Asst. Director
David Guterson Co-producer
Kerry Heysen Associate Producer
James Newton Howard Score Composer
Renee Ehrlich Kalfus Costumes/Costume Designer
Kathleen Kennedy Producer
Frank Marshall Producer
Jeannine Oppewall Production Designer
Robert Richardson Cinematographer
David Rubin Casting
Lloyd A. Silverman Executive Producer
Harry Ufland Producer
Richard Vane Co-producer

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Scene Index

Chapter List
0. Chapter List
1. A Death in the Fog [:02]
2. Main Titles [3:34]
3. The Trial [2:22]
4. The Evidence [2:25]
5. Memories of Hatsue [1:06]
6. Where Things Went Wrong [5:46]
7. Facts and Emotions [1:26]
8. Honorable Acts [5:55]
9. Marry Me... [7:09]
10. The Camps [3:18]
11. Seven Acres [3:12]
12. All the Unfair Things [5:05]
13. His Father's Son [1:09]
14. Hatsue's Letter [5:59]
15. The Whole Truth [:59]
16. The Summations [5:12]
17. The Second Lantern [1:50]
18. In the Interest of Justice [:15]
19. For Your Gentle Heart [6:45]
20. End Titles [:40]


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Snow Falling on Cedars 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent period film which show prejudice of Japanese-American people during World War II. Even though Japanese-Americans fought in the war for the US, they were still sent to concentration camp and were treated unfairly in the US. This movie has a story about a forbidden love affair between the Japanese girl and white boy and a murder trial of a Japanese-American man who was accused of murder of a white man who happened to be killed accidentally but the town already has in their minds that the Japanese-American man had killed the man in cold-blood in order to get his land back from the man who has died. The movie showed people's prejudice in that period which exists even in today's society.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Snow Falling On Cedars is more than a movie, it is also a deeply emotional and psychological experience. From the forest and snow images, the sound track, and the blending of time, the movie will keep you captive until past the ending. It has political importance for telling a part of the tragedy of Japanese Americans caused by racial fears during World War II. It is an accurate court room drama, a wonderful mystery story, and a truly compassionate love story. Do not miss the movie. It is a classic of cinema art.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everything from the plot to the music alone, will grab you.Ethan Hawke really makes you feel the pain he's going through physically and mentally. Great love story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was EXCELLENT truely one-of-a-kind (as all love stories tend to be) it really brings to mind the quote that 'the difference between love and obsession is drawin only by circumstance' if she loved him back - it would have been true; everlasting love; but sadly... it was not meant to be