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House of Saddam
House of Saddam
Actor: Igal Naor
Genres: Drama, Television
NR     2009     4hr 0min

Revealing the private world of Saddam Hussein and his inner circle, this gripping 4-part, 4-hour miniseries charts the rise and fall of one of the most significant political figures in recent history. Over the course of 27...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actor: Igal Naor
Genres: Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama, Miniseries
Studio: Hbo Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Miniseries
DVD Release Date: 04/14/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 4hr 0min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

A Well Put Together Biopic On One Of The World's Most Noted
Eric Ericson | Venice, Florida USA | 02/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"(NOTE:This review is in response to the original HBO presentation/airing and not of it's future home DVD release)

Presented and watched as one four hour block (with each of it's four parts averaging around 58 minutes each) this was one well cast and performed HBO/BBC production on the reign of Saddam Hussein. Showcasing the years between his take-over of the Presidency of Iraq in 1979 up thru his execution in 2006, this mini-series was well informative and even at it's length, not very dragging in parts. And don't think this is all about Saddam either, his family and fellow soldier/followers are in full force here too. And each part is extremely well-played, even reaching the point where recreated news-footage makes you think you're seeing the real thing. If there was any fault of this mini-series it lied in the final fourth act, basically showcasing Saddam's hiding exile, going from Iraq's largest leader to a pauper hiding in a hole (just like it was in real life). But not being a Hussein historian by any means (who'd want to?), I truly felt that this script followed the insane leader and those around him to a tee. Quite disturbing in parts without being too graphic (Saddam had a thing about his relatives getting to close to greatness...he didn't like it) and showing a side of the madman you may not expect (he loved film-making, especially if the star was playing him), this is one mini-series highly suggested to anyone who doubts taking him out of power wasn't the right thing to do or a neccesary evil. Would love to see some interviews with the cast on how each of them channeled these characters so well, will probably purchase this on DVD and sit through the dark-subject four hours even again.
(RedSabbath Rating:9.0/10)"
Traitors Abound
jokamachi | california | 05/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

""I know a traitor before he knows himself."

Indeed.

A fascinating study in power, even for those who think themselves well-versed in all things Iraq. Check it out."
Great 4 part Miniseries of Saddam BBC and HBO does it right
M. Lung | Indiana | 10/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"PLOT: 4 PART miniseries by HBO and BBC about Saddam Hussein's raise to power from 1979 until 2005 caputure BRILLIANT~

Ignal Naor is excellent as Saddam~ 4 parts ~ PART ONE~ Saddam gets rid of most of his enemies his a rapid move into the new leader of IRAW using the theme of get rid of any one you suspect any one~ PART TWO: HE arranges a marriage of his oldest daughter to and the groom becomes his new "body guard /security chief." we see the blend of marraige and alliances that give Saddam even more power. ADD to the scene is the out of control son Uday who uses RAPE, drugs and torture. PART THREE: the invasion of Kuwait LEADS TO his two daughters and their hudbands fleeing to Jordan~ Saddam using both pursuasion and intrigue with the promises of a full PARDON AND FORGIVNESS get the two sons in laws back who he promply has KILLED. none the less his daughters now widows at his hand continue to blindly love and obey and support him~ amazing~ PART FOUR: the invasion of Iraq and the hunt for UDAY and Quasay (his sons) are are sold out for [...] and end up dead in a shoot out and the hunt for the very elusive Saddam who hides with two body guards. His little "hole" he hides in is quiet brilliant but the soliders have some informants who give them the "clues" to find the last hiding place of Saddam~ this was based on the Diary of the oldest of Saddams daughters. very well written and outstanding acting~ does not drag and we are glued to it but part four is the BEST~ BBC and HBO does it right~ won an emmy ~ I GIVE IT A 9 OUT OF 10. AND IGNAL NAOR IS 10 OUT OF 10~"
Good, but misses a lot
James D. Crabtree | Fayetteville, North Carolina | 08/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"As a production this is an awesome film. The acting is superb (expecially the actor who played Udai... he made a convincing psycho) and while not as wide-ranging as I would have liked it did make a convincing show of the progress of history.

With that being said, there is much which is left unsaid. The movie begins with the point where Saddam, then Vice-President of Iraq, deposes the sitting president. However, Saddam's struggle for power began significantly earlier. In 1959 he had attempted to assassinate Qassim in, the military dictator who himself overthrew Faisal II. He sprayed bullets indiscriminately and apparantly ruined the planned attack. He managed to escape and in 1963 he became head of Iraq's security apparatus following a Ba'athist coup. He had a reputation for routinely using torture and terror against potential enemies and his role in that regime probably led to its overthrow. When the Ba'ath returned Saddam took measures to ensure that true democracy would never be a feature of Iraq. These things are not discussed in the movie at all, except for a brief couple of minutes in which an Iraqi movie is being made about Saddam's life.

Very little is made of the cult of personality that Saddam initiated after he assumed the role of President. You see billboards on the street and that sort of thing but Saddam's image was everywhere: stamps, books, watch faces, monuments, money... just about anything would have Saddam's image or a quotation from him. Nothing is shown of the secret police either, when an off-handed comment could land you in a prison and might even cost you your life.

The timeline of the story is usually correct but the events surrounding Desert Storm are off. At one point the Iraqis are talking about the Coalition crossing into Kuwait and how they would soon be crossing into Iraq. In fact, the far left wing of the line was the first to jump off, directly into Iraqi territory in order to reach the Euphrates and cut off the bulk of Iraq's army (I know because I was there, with the XVIII ABN Corps). Saddam gave the order for the Republican guard to pull back to Baghdad but in fact the guard, which was sitting astride the Kuwaiti/Iraq border, was waiting to go SOUTH and was already in the process of being engaged by VII Corps. All the RGC divisions were hit and several virtually ceased to exist after Coalition armor got through with them.

Another funny line from that scene is Qusay's comment that the regular Iraqi army units were retreating and "not even the Americans would attack retreating troops." Somehow, I don't thing these words passed the lips of one of Saddam's ruthless henchmen.

The sudden surprise cease-fire is another joke. You can bet the cease-fire was directly authorized by Saddam: someone else didn't have to tell him about it. Also, Coalition forces did not begin withdrawing on the day of the cease-fire... further forces were held back but the lines held for a couple of weeks.

Nothing is said of the uprisings north and south, even though one group of Iraqi dissidents ambushed Udai's vehicle and badly injured him. Even if this is mostly supposed to be about Saddam's family, THAT fact should have been mentioned. He walked with a limp after that.

Finally, during the part of the film that looks at the Coalition effort to find Saddam after the fall of Baghdad, a captured Iraqi is unhooded and it looks as if he has been beaten during interrogation. This is a flat-out lie. I would like to know if that information is supposedly published somewhere or if the film maker added it because "everybody knows that's what Americans do."

I still give this four stars for its acting and production values. But while it is entertaining it is hardly a thorough depiction of this story."