Sommersby

Sommersby

5.0 1
Director: Jon Amiel

Cast: Jon Amiel, Richard Gere, Jodie Foster, Lanny Flaherty

     
 

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This Americanized remake of the French classic The Return of Martin Guerre (1982) transports the story's setting from the 16th century Gallic countryside to 19th century Tennessee at the conclusion of the U.S. Civil War. Richard Gere stars as Jack Sommersby, a wealthy landowner who returns to his small cotton farming town of Vine Hill three years after theSee more details below

Overview

This Americanized remake of the French classic The Return of Martin Guerre (1982) transports the story's setting from the 16th century Gallic countryside to 19th century Tennessee at the conclusion of the U.S. Civil War. Richard Gere stars as Jack Sommersby, a wealthy landowner who returns to his small cotton farming town of Vine Hill three years after the Civil War's end. The defeated Confederate soldier is ready to resume his past life with his young wife Laurel (Jodie Foster). Thinking her husband long dead, however, Laurel has become engaged to Orin Meecham (Bill Pullman), an arrangement she quickly calls off, enraging and embittering Orin. Soon it becomes evident that his experiences have changed Jack thoroughly. A callous and cruel man widely feared before the war, he is now charming and sensitive, offering financial opportunities to an ex-slave and caring for Laurel and his young son. Jack even persuades the town's citizenry that he can rescue their fortunes by pooling resources and switching Vine Hill's chief crop from cotton to tobacco. Jack's scheme works, but Orin becomes increasingly convinced that Jack is in fact an impostor masquerading as the wealthy Sommersby, a suspicion that the smitten and quickly pregnant Laurel secretly shares. When Jack is arrested and charged with a murder he drunkenly committed years before, the court trial leads to some startling revelations about the past.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
This surprisingly effective remake of The Return of Martin Guerre (1982) shifts the setting from medieval France to rural Tennessee following the U.S. Civil War. The central conceit of both films is one that requires an intellectual leap of faith on par with that of the familiar Superman/Clark Kent conundrum and it may not be bought wholesale by every audience member. Those that can groove with the idea will find themselves sufficiently entertained by solid performances from Richard Gere and Jodie Foster, two modern actors if ever there were any, but who inhabit their period roles with authenticity. The script is a taut, polished piece of work, typical of co-writer Nicholas Meyer, infusing the film with delightful character moments, some crafty visual tension (the protagonist's boot size, of all things, is employed to build a palpable sense of dread), and even providing an unexpected but powerful B-story by delving into postwar racial tensions. Director Jon Amiel is a reliable, if not particularly inventive, craftsman, but he gives cinematographer Philippe Rousselot free reign to create some gorgeous pictures, resulting in a fine-looking and engaging film that chalks up to a misunderstood, underrated gem unfairly compared to the classic that inspired it. With similar themes and settings, Sommersby makes a nifty companion piece to playwright Arthur Miller's rewrite three years later of his classic The Crucible (1996).

Product Details

Release Date:
05/21/2013
UPC:
0883929281961
Original Release:
1993
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Warner Home Video
Time:
1:53:00

Special Features

Theatrical Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Gere Jack
Jodie Foster Laurel
Lanny Flaherty Buck
James Earl Jones Judge Issacs
Wendell Wellman Travis
Bill Pullman Orin Meecham
William Windom Reverend Powell
Maury Chaykin Lawyer Dawson
Brett Kelley Little Rob
Clarice Taylor Esther
Frankie R. Faison Joseph
R. Lee Ermey Dick Mead
Richard Hamilton Doc Evans
Dean Whitworth Tom Clemmons
Stan Kelly John Green
Richard Lineback Timothy Fry
Mark Williams Boy #2
Paul Austin KKK #1/Folsom
Frank Taylor KKK #2
Doug Sloan Marshall #2
Ray McKinnon Lawyer Webb
Muse Watson Drifter #1

Technical Credits
Jon Amiel Director
Peter Boyle Editor
Danny Elfman Score Composer
Billy Hopkins Casting
Greg Hull Special Effects
P. Michael Johnston Production Designer
Sarah Kernochan Screenwriter
Mary McLaglen Co-producer
Josh McLaglen Asst. Director
Nicholas Meyer Original Story,Screenwriter
Arnon Milchan Producer
Charles Mitchell Screenwriter
Steven E. Reuther Producer
Richard Gere Executive Producer
Peter Robb-King Makeup
Philippe Rousselot Cinematographer
Bruno Rubeo Production Designer
Marco Rubeo Set Decoration/Design
Jean-Luc Russier Makeup
Michael Seirton Set Decoration/Design
Anthony Shaffer Original Story,Screenwriter
Suzanne Smith Casting
Marilyn Vance Costumes/Costume Designer
Maggie Wilde Executive Producer

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