The most acclaimed motion picture of 1985 stars Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in one of the screen?s great epic romances. Directed by Oscar winner Sydney Pollack, Out of Africa is the fascinating true story of Karen Bli... more »xen, a strong-willed woman who, with her philandering husband (Klaus Maria Brandauer), runs a coffee plantation in Kenya, circa 1914. To her astonishment, she soon discovers herself falling in love with the land, its people and a mysterious white hunter (Redford). The masterfully crafted, breathtakingly produced story of love and loss earned Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay (based on material from another medium), Cinematography, Original Score, Art Direction (Set Decoration) and Sound.« less
Based on true story and winner of 7 academy awards including best picture. The story was slow and long but really good. Meryl Streep and Robert Redford were at their best! A must for beautiful Africa and Wild Animal fans!
Matthew M. from WAILUKU, HI Reviewed on 9/18/2010...
What can I say?... A timeless classic... Redford and Streep... How can you go wrong? It's beautiful...
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Darlene S. from FLORISSANT, CO Reviewed on 4/30/2009...
A woman (Meryl Streep) journeys to Africa and live on her land. Story of love, betrayal, and a woman's struggle in a man's world. She deals with her husbands betrayal, disease from her husband's,(Klaus Maria Brandauer) sleeping around, working her coffee plantation, the native peoples, loosing all her land and belongings, and a lover (Robert Redford) who dies. This story is written as a diary based on a true story. This is one of my favorite all time movies.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Justina C. Reviewed on 7/6/2008...
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Africa DVD is Gorgeous
Matt Howe | Washington, DC | 03/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The transfer of OUT OF AFRICA is gorgeous on this newly released DVD. The African sun is bright and the detail is crisp -- very important since the scenery is practically a third character in this Oscar-winning "Best Picture" from 1985.I really enjoyed "Song of Africa", the documentary created for this DVD release. Not mentioned in the DVD's technical specs, this documentary features several cut scenes not included in the film (except in a network television showing). Example: the subplot of the servant boy with the bad leg whom Karen Blixen heals. There are a few Redford-Streep scenes there, too, which ended up on the cutting room floor (a last dance among Karen Blixen's packed-up home; a made-up story on safari.) Also, the documentary features incredibly funny and entertaining tales told by Meryl Streep. She is a great mimic -- listen to the sound effects that woman can make! At times hilarious and reflective, she shares stories about the making of the film (the story of a tethered lion she was supposed to whip is particularly funny). Conspicuously absent (just like in THE WAY WE WERE DVD) is Mr. Redford's point of view.Also interesting is screenwriter Kurt Luedtke's tales of the script. It is fascinating to learn about the genesis of classic moments. Wait til you hear how he came up with the idea of Streep getting her hair washed by Redford. (Then listen to Streep's hilarious story of the Hippos in the river!) Also revealing is composer John Barry's interview. His scoring of Blixen's desert march is interesting -- music can really shape a scene!OUT OF AFRICA is one of my favorite films. The widescreen version on this DVD is a great presentation! Definitely one for your collection! Thanks, Universal and Sydney Pollack for putting together a great package."
Beyond this place there be dragons
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 03/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Out of Africa" stands out as one of the most spectacular movies ever made. At the 1985 Academy Awards this movie won seven Oscars including Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Picture. It deserved all seven!
It is filled with romance, scenery, real-life struggles and the inevitability of fate. It is a journey into Africa and into love. The escape is in the hand of fate. This movie presents Africa as a paradise. The natural environment is harsh, yet unspoiled in this movie.
This is based on the true story of Danish writer Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) who left Denmark to marry German Klaus Maria Brandauer/Baron Bror Blixen (Klaus Maria Brandauer) and start a dairy in Kenya.
Some women do enjoy the security of a man looking after them, however Karen is different. She seems to desire companionship and offers her fortune in exchange for marriage. Her husband changes his mind about the dairy and instead they use her money on a risky venture to grow coffee. This is not a marriage based on an intense romance, in fact, Karen is marrying her lover's brother.
Soon after they arrive in Africa, it becomes apparent this is not a satisfying marriage for Karen. Not only is her husband unfaithful to her, he gives her syphilis. Disease is not the only threat, she also has to fight floods and fire. There are lions which apparently try to attack Karen and Denys although I thought that was pretty unlikely in the situation.
I didn't like the "hunter" aspects or when the two lions are killed, but if you watch at the end, I think even the lions forgive the hunter. When I've seen lions during the day they were normally napping in the shade. Apparently they had trouble getting the lions to act aggressive and there is information on the DVD explaining these details.
Karen finds acceptance in big game hunter Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford) who loves her ability to tell stories. He starts the stories and she completes them. I think he is impressed by her confidence and creativity. He sees who she really is. Her husband is obviously blind to this beautiful goddess he has taken to Africa.
She in turn is delighted by this interest and slowly allows him into her world. While Denys and Karen are a perfect match and as close to soul mates as possible, Denys is unsure of commitment and explains how a piece of paper won't make him love her more. Meryl Streep and Robert Redford have chemistry, chemistry and more chemistry in this movie! They mostly share a few kisses, yet their relationship is on such a deep level, I think it could survive if they just told each other stories.
What Karen seems to truly desire is a man who will sacrifice to be with her. She wants to be of value. Denys tells Karen she has confused "want" and "need." This is an excellent portrayal of the gender differences. Man wants to be free to come and go and woman wants security, love and commitment. She wants to be treated with respect.
Denys "wants" Karen and Karen seems to "need" Denys. The question is not whether he will realize this in time before he loses her, but whether or not fate will turn their lives into a tragedy or allow them to form a true relationship. As Karen says:
"When the gods want to punish you, they answer your prayers."
Karen seems the surrender to her fate and is able to experience a brief moment of ecstasy in her life even though she is wounded from the experience.
When you view this movie, there are various elements which hint at the ending, yet I didn't recognize them until viewing this the second time. This is a movie I watch every few years because I too once lived on a farm in Africa. It was not quite this romantic because I was still a child. This movie makes me terribly homesick because once we left Africa, we never went back. Africa seems a moment in time, maybe everyone should live there once. When I watch this movie I need a big box of tissues!
The best moment in the movie is when Farah asks Karen to build a very big fire so he will know where to find her. It is a moment so beautiful and poetic, I've not seen anything like it in any other movie. I appreciated this movie more now that I'm in my 30s and married than before when I was single and had just returned from Africa myself. This movie is contemplative and deals with complex issues.
Spectacular Scenery and Emotionally Satisfying.
~The Rebecca Review"
Into the Heart of "Out of Africa"
J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 05/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The most honored movie of 1985, "Out of Africa" is indeed an outstanding cinematic achievement. It works on every level imaginable: as an historical epic; as an adventure; as a biography; as a poignant romance. The film's success is partly attributable to many fine elements which blend together seamlessly: its script, direction, sets, cinematography, performances, and editing are each masterful accomplishments. These individual virtues are given synergy by two outstanding achievements that together form the movie's backbone and provide its true heart and soul. One is the sensitive performance of the radiant Meryl Streep, who dominates both in terms of screen time and charisma; the other is the exquisite, majestic score by John Barry. Actor and composer complement each other perfectly. The famous flying sequence in which his music underscores the emotions flashing across her face is a superb example of cinema at its best: it invites the viewer's spirit to soar.Happily, the DVD presentation of this gem is a treasure in itself. The video transfer is sharp and clear, with a fairly subtle transition between the dual-layers of the disc, and the sound is well-balanced and crisp, a definite improvement over the LaserDisc and VHS releases. There are fantastic extras offered on the DVD, including the advance theatrical trailer and a director's audio commentary. I especially enjoyed the documentary on the making of the film, which featured recent interviews with Streep, Barry, and director Sydney Pollack, intercut with behind-the-scenes footage taken during filming. All-in-all, this is a marvelous edition of a much-beloved film, and a worthy addition to your DVD library."
Life In Kenya
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 01/08/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sydney Pollack's 1985 film Out of Africa is a beautifully filmed epic of the true-life story of Karen Blixen-Finecke. Blixen moves from her native Denmark to Kenya to marry and live with the Baron Blixen-Finecke. At first she is wary and unhappy with her new home, but eventually, she comes to love the land and its people. Along the way she must deal with her unfaithful and she herself starts a relationship with a dashing Englishman, Denys Finch Hatton. The romantic relationships are just minor subplots to the film's overall theme of Blixen finding her own place in the world and one that would lead her to become a writer (the film is based on her own book of the same name). Meryl Streep is winning as Blixen and shows why she is such a great actress. She is a true chameleon as she adopts a completely credible Danish accent and tone. No one can mold their voice like Ms. Streep can. On the flipside, Robert Redford plays Hatton with an English accent that fades in and out. It's tough to believe him as an Englishmen because he has the quintessential All-American look. Klaus Maria Brandauer is excellent as the smarmy Baron. The movie is lushly filmed and the cinematography is in places, breathtaking. Mr. Pollack uses the grand African Plains to perfection and this helps as the film tends to drag in places. The movie swept the 1985 Academy Awards, winning seven Oscars including Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Picture."