West of Memphis

Overview

Although the infamous case of the West Memphis Three has already been the subject of three first-class documentaries from director Joe Berlinger, Amy Berg's West of Memphis again explores the oft-documented incarceration of three teenagers for a triple homicide that many believe they never committed. Co-produced by one of the three supposedly falsely convicted men, West of Memphis lays out the case for their innocence and details how a number of high-profile figures -- including Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp, and ...
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Overview

Although the infamous case of the West Memphis Three has already been the subject of three first-class documentaries from director Joe Berlinger, Amy Berg's West of Memphis again explores the oft-documented incarceration of three teenagers for a triple homicide that many believe they never committed. Co-produced by one of the three supposedly falsely convicted men, West of Memphis lays out the case for their innocence and details how a number of high-profile figures -- including Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp, and Natalie Maines -- helped raise money and awareness in order to free the trio. West of Memphis played at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.
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Special Features

Commentary with Amy Berg, Damien Echols and Lorri Davis; Deleted scenes
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
After the Paradise Lost trilogy, three increasingly definitive documentaries from the team of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, the infamous case of the West Memphis Three would seem to be empty as a filmmaking subject. Director Amy Berg's West of Memphis, however, has one of the three accused men as well as Lord of the Rings mastermind Peter Jackson -- who personally became involved in the efforts to get Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr., and Jason Baldwin freed after their seemingly false conviction for the murder of three little boys -- as producers. They bring a fresh perspective and approach to well-trod material. Those unfamiliar with the case will find West of Memphis both a thrilling whodunit and a powerfully clear detailing of how the American legal system can go tragically wrong. Made over the course of several years, the picture does a superb job of telling this complicated story. The filmmakers follow the questionable maneuvers the prosecution made during the trial, present how -- thanks in large part to the Paradise Lost movies -- the case became a national cause that garnered support from numerous high-profile celebrities, and spotlight these three young men dealing with their fate. Taken on its own, it's a first-rate piece of nonfiction filmmaking. However, for those familiar with the case -- and particularly the Paradise Lost trilogy -- the movie can't help but suffer a little from a lack of new information. In addition to covering much of the same ground as Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, a good percentage of the footage in West of Memphis also appears in the final installment of Berlinger and Sinofsky's series -- the highly incriminating testimony given in a deposition by one of the murder victim's fathers being the most memorable. Thankfully, this case is so loaded with unusual twists, surprise discoveries, and groundbreaking legal battles that the films can each explore different aspects in greater detail. While Purgatory spent a great deal of time focusing on attempts to allow DNA testing on old physical evidence, some of West of Memphis' most startling passages are the in-depth explanations of how prosecutors railroaded the accused in the original trial with bad "expert" witnesses, and how they helped a young drug-addicted criminal clear his record in exchange for false testimony. The filmmakers sit down with that unconvicted purjuror, and his heartfelt apology to the trio is one of the few times in any of the movies about this case when a person directly responsible for this gross injustice expresses any repentance whatsoever. Since Damien Echols is one of the producers of this project, it's hard to complain about it being repetitive or unnecessary. After all, it's understandable that he would want the chance to tell his own side of events this traumatic, even if his life story has already been told -- seemingly to perfection. West of Memphis is a superb companion piece if you've absorbed the Paradise Lost films, and if you haven't seen those excellent works, it will be even more powerful. However, if this picture and Paradise Lost 3 could be stitched together, that would result in the definitive portrait of this disturbing case.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/6/2013
  • UPC: 043396415898
  • Original Release: 2012
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:27:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 25,018

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Damien Echols Participant
Jason Baldwin Participant
Jessie Misskelley Jr. Participant
Lorri Davis Participant
Peter Jackson Participant
Eddie Vedder Participant
Henry Rollins Participant
Natalie Maines Participant
Pam Hicks Participant
Jerry Driver Participant
Mark Byers Participant
Steve Jones Participant
Bryn Ridge Participant
Gary Gitchell Participant
John Fogelman Participant
Vicki Hutcheson Participant
Sharon French Participant
David Burnett Participant
Michael Carson Participant
Amanda Hobbs Participant
Terry Hobbs Participant
Dennis Riordan Participant
Martin Hill Participant
John Douglas Participant
Mara Leveritt Participant
Dan Stidham Participant
Jessie Misskelley Sr. Participant
Laura Nirider Participant
Steve Drizin Participant
Joyce Cureton Participant
Gail Grinnell Participant
Frank Peretti Participant
Vincent DiMaio Participant
Michael Baden Participant
Don Horgan Participant
Rachel Geiser Participant
Erin Moriarty Participant
Barry Scheck Participant
David Jacoby Participant
Jaime Ballard Participant
Judy Sadler Participant
Marie Hicks Participant
Cindy Hobbs Participant
Sheila Hicks-Muse Participant
Stephen Braga Participant
Cari Peck Participant
Patrick Benca Participant
Scott Ellington Participant
Holly Ballard Participant
Technical Credits
Amy Berg Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Maryse Alberti Cinematographer
Tiffany Anders Musical Direction/Supervision
Andy Cabic Score Composer
Ruth Carter Songwriter
Bill Carter Songwriter
Nick Cave Score Composer
Damien Echols Producer
Lorri Davis Producer
Matthew Dravitzki Co-producer
Warren Ellis Score Composer
Eric Johnson Score Composer
Katelyn Howes Associate Producer
Peter Jackson Producer
Peter Jackson Co-producer
Diaz Jacobs Costumes/Costume Designer
Ken Kamins Executive Producer
Ronan Kileen Cinematographer
Jonathan McHugh Musical Direction/Supervision
Billy McMillin Editor, Screenwriter
Alejandra Riguero Associate Producer
Linda Sena Production Designer
Fran Walsh Co-producer, Producer
Adrienne Weller Production Manager
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- West of Memphis
1. Scene 1
2. Scene 2
3. Scene 3
4. Scene 4
5. Scene 5
6. Scene 6
7. Scene 7
8. Scene 8
9. Scene 9
10. Scene 10
11. Scene 11
12. Scene 12
13. Scene 13
14. Scene 14
15. Scene 15
16. Scene 16
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Menu

Disc #1 -- West of Memphis
   Play Movie
   Subtitles
      English
      English Commentary Subtitles
      English SDH
      Chinese Traditional
      Chinese Commentary Subtitles
      French
      Korean
      Korean Commentary Subtitles
      Spanish
      Spanish Commentary Subtitles
      Thai
      Thai Commentary Subtitles
      Subtitles Off
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary with Amy Berg, Damien Echols and Lorri Davis
         Commentary: On
         Commentary: Off
      Deleted Scenes
         Play All
         Vicki & Aaron
         The Confession
         West Memphis 3 Panel Discussion
         Jeffrey Deskovic
         Anything Made of Paper
         Pam Revisits Crime Scene
         Jury Misconduct
      Damien's Past (Re-Creations)
         Play All
         Damien & Deanna
         Dad Leaving
         Skateboarding
         Trenchcoat
      Theatrical Trailer
      West of Memphis Soundtrack
      Previews
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