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The Border
The Border
Actors: Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Valerie Perrine, Warren Oates, Elpidia Carrillo
Director: Tony Richardson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2004     1hr 48min

A U.S. Border Patrol agent in Texas is involved in an international drug smuggling operation, but decides to clean up his act to help a woman whose child has been sold across the border. — Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventu...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Valerie Perrine, Warren Oates, Elpidia Carrillo
Director: Tony Richardson
Creators: Ric Waite, Robert K. Lambert, Edgar Bronfman Jr., Neil Hartley, David Freeman, Deric Washburn, Walon Green
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/11/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 48min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Great film, great Nicholson
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 08/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"At one point in his career, not that long ago, Jack Nicholson mentioned that of all the films he'd done, he thought The Border was his best. And he just may be right about that. His performance as a good, simple man who's caught up in the pressures of corruption and material life is perfect. Tony Richardson, director of such diverse films as Blue Sky and Tom Jones, knows how to keep the focus on his characters rather than on the superficial bulls**t that so often marks films these days. The supporting cast includes Harvey Keital, Warren Oates, and Valerie Perrine, and they, along with the remaining cast, are just as great as Nicholson is.Keitel plays Cat, a fellow border patrol officer and Charlie's (Nicholson's) neighbor and so-called friend. Cat, the C.O. (Oates), a crude lowlife Texan, and a sleazy Mexican are all in on a corrupt scheme to sell wetbacks (Mexican laborers in the U.S.) for profit. When murder becomes part of the mix, Charlie--who had finally agreed to cash in--backs out and the others turn on him. He helps a young Mexican woman whose baby has been snatched and meanwhile tries to put up with his greedy wife (Perrine) who loves material objects more than life itself.For some very strange reason, this film has sunk so far into the depths of obscurity that no one seems interested in releasing this on DVD. This is a great dramatic work and showcases not only Nicholson himself, but a story that means something, a director who knows how to do what has to be done, and a film whose emphasis is where it should be--on story and characters, not on shallow emotions that can be resolved with the snap of a special effects finger.Very highly recommended."
What's this? A restrained Nicholson performance?
linus | the land of wind and ghosts | 07/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If you'd like to see Jack Nicholson give a simple, compelling performance with absolutely none of his usual crowd-pleasing hambone antics, look no further than this seldom-seen drama. Nicholson is a United States border patrolman so exhausted and demoralized that he needs to do just one good deed to make life bearable: locate and bring back the baby of a young Mexican woman. He butts heads with his ditsy wife and corrupt co-worker and gets furious with both of them, but Nicholson's anger is that much more effective because he doesn't overplay it. The movie is small, with no extravagant themes and almost no action, but it holds your attention. On some level it may be a Peckinpah rip, but it's a good Peckinpah rip. Nicholson can always break out the stuff everyone loves and get an Oscar (as he did for his vastly overrated performance in "As Good As It Gets"), but smaller movies like this allow him to exercise muscles he doesn't often get to use any more, reminding us that he can be an actor and not just Jack the Wild and Crazy Guy."
Tony and Jack
F. Benjamin Martin | Baden, PA United States | 05/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When i saw this film on it's first release back in 1982, i walked out of the theatre moved to tears. As i've grown older, i realize how much i've grown into the politics of this film. We're all corruptable, we're all tempted, but we all make choices and decide which line we will not cross. Further, as in Traffic, there are wars we cannot win. So choose small battles and win those. Do something you can feel good about. This is atypical Jack Nicholson (he even hides his famous arched eyebroes under mirror shades for much of the film)and i was thrilled to read elsewhere that he considers this perhaps his best film. (I've thought of trying to tell him this somehow just as i've wanted to tell Duton Hoffman about his Straw Dogs performance). He's amazing in a performace that matches the pain and sublte beauty of the film. He has so many quotable lines ("I sure miss feeding those ducks." "I married a #*&% bananna.")) Tony Richardson, the man who brought us Tom Jones, couldnt be more out of his element yet there's no one else who could have pulled the emotion from this riveting story. Buy, rent, steal today. Great freeze at the end with Ry Cooder playing over."
Excellent drama set in West Texas, EL PASO!
Dennis Littrell | 08/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've been a fan of Jack Nicholson for years, and this is among his best films. Harvey Keitel and Valerie Perrine also turn in fine performances too. The storyline takes place in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico, in which there is the border between the two places (the Rio Grande river, more specifically). It deals a lot with the illegal immigration problem, and other issues that occured at that time. Another reason that I love this film so much, is that literally, I was living in El Paso when it was made in 1981. El Paso is my hometown and the scenes filmed at the duplex were literally less than a block from my home. I as well as my parents watched quite a bit of the scenes there being filmed. (The scene where Jack hurls the barbeque into the pool seems to stick in my mind the most!) Anyway, it's very nice to watch this film and see my hometown as I remember it, particularily since I was there when it was made! But if you are a fan of Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, or Valerie Perrine, and/or like good, well made dramas, then I highly recommend this movie!"