Import Blu-Ray/Region A pressing. The motion picture Passchendaele, an epic set amidst the horror of war, was shot in Alberta from August 20th to October 23rd 2007, directed and written by Paul Gross. The film represents a... more » lifelong dream of Gross s, who learned of this extraordinary period in Canadian history from his grandfather, Michael Joseph Dunne. The Battle of Passchendaele represents a story of determination, commitment and triumph, and this defining chapter in the forging of a nation shall never be forgotten.« less
Outstanding WWI flick, with room for improvement...
Nachtjager | Baton Rouge, LA | 04/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm still waiting for someone to do a "great" WWI movie, and bought Passchendaele thinking this might finally be it. In short, it's far better than most movies on WWI, but this still isn't the "great" movie that desperately needs to be done.
The combat scenes and authenticity in this movie are BY FAR the best done thus far on trench warfare. Even more impressive, this film was written by and produced by, the main "star" or character in the movie. This man did an outstanding job! The story, or at least the opening scene, is based on the experiences of his grandfather in WWI. The extra features are fantastic and you get a great idea of the pains they went through to get the look of Passchendaele correct. As a fanatic on authenticity, the uniforms, weapons, and the battlefields are top-drawer - I didn't see any mistakes and that seriously impressed me. The "major" battle scene at the end of the flick is superb, a bit campy right at the end, but over all, it's the best and most graphic WWI battle sequence yet filmed.
On the down side, as always, it seems film makers find it necessary to implant some type of love story into a movie which doesn't need one. In this case, the main character falls in love with a nurse and therein lies the problem I had with the film. The love story only serves to slow the movie down and adds a bit of unrealistic puffery which wasn't needed. The love story comes off a little too much like something you'd expect to see in a 1940's era flick and because of this, you can pretty much figure out who's gonna' die and who's gonna' make it through. This movie would've been much better if they had stuck to telling the story of the Canadian troops and their German opponents and left the soap opera out of it.
If it weren't for the love story, I would've easily given this movie 5 stars, but for that, I have to knock one off. Still, I HIGHLY RECOMEND this movie to any fan of excellent war movies or those interested in WWI history. This is an extremely well-done movie and it deserves a lot more credit and attention than it's getting."
Passchendaele, a very good WWI film
J. V. Smith | Schaumburg, IL | 08/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While this is more of a genuine love store it is also a very good war movie. I thought the love interest plot was well done and was an integral part of setting the stage for the incredible war scenes. I visited the actual battlefield area last year. It is remarkable to see when you are there just how compact the actual battlefield really was. While the war scenes were very realistic I was not a big fan of ending which was a bit contrived, yet the writer needed some kind of story line so I will let it go at that. The lead and supporting actors were excellent. If you are looking for a 120 minute action packed war movie then watch When Trumpets Fade by HBO or the tremendous Black Hawk Down. But if you are interested in a overall great WWI genre movie with a great love story interwoven with first rate battle scenes then definitely get Passchendaele. Note that I actually bought my copy as no local video stores have in stock. As as side note, in the city of Ypres, Belgium they have a ceremony to honor the WWI dead EVERY NIGHT of the year in the town square. I wonder if we do that anywhere in the States?"
More Love Than War
Rick E. | Maryland | 07/08/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is certainly a well-made film, with excellent acting and very realistic looking sets. But if you want a vivid account of the true horrors of trench warfare in the Ypres Salient, this movie may not be for you. It's actually more of a love story than war story - good for attracting a more female audience perhaps, but a bit "lite" on history."
A Hallmark Movie that Happens to Have Combat Scenes
T. Cole | 05/17/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Like many of the reviewers, I hope to someday see a comprehensive WWI movie. This is not it.
I felt like I spent two hours watching a Hallmark Movie set in Canada that just happened to be during the WWI time period, only to watch 20 minutes of tepid combat footage.
The "making-of" documentary said this was going to be shown to Canadian school kids. That's too bad. The only thing they'll learn about combat is that it is muddy, bloody and one must keep his matches dry. The latter was actually a good detail thrown into the film. If the whole movie had been about trench life, then there would have been more such insights.
The main character and his love were trite and hackneyed. A bitter, anti-hero falls deeply in love with Florence Nightengale, who happens to have a dark secret that makes her a black sheep.
The combat would have been well done if it wasn't so subservient to the greater love story. I thought that the love story would end at the front lines, but inexplicably, and quite implausibly, it follows to the end. The love making scene was laughable (bombs going off in the distance ala Linda Lovelace?). Why do modern war films try and insert sexual content into the grimiest, dirtiest context (as in Rachel Weisz and "Enemy at the Gates")? The prostitute scene in the original "All Quiet on the Western Front" was more realistic.
I'll keep waiting for a better film that is actually about WWI. Don't waste your money on this one."
A Fan's Perspective
NomadontheGo | 10/17/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"OK, let me preface this by saying that, I would pay to watch Paul Gross read phone books, so I would buy this DVD regardless of how good or bad the movie is. Setting aside my obsession with the writer/director/star, and keeping in mind I almost never give five stars, I can only give this film three. Paul Gross is, in my opinion, a stage writer. His plots can be too over the top for film. This story is certainly touching and beautiful, but the end is, unfortunately, a cheese fest. Gross does much better with humor (see Men With Brooms). Also, Paul Gross is just too old to be the star. I mean, he's aged like a fine wine, but the character is supposed to be, what, 20? Paul Gross is a *great* actor but it's a bit of a stretch. Although the writing is over the top, the directing is great. Beautifully done scenes, great settings, gritty warfare, etc etc. And all this on a Canadian budget. The years of thought and dedication in this film really show when you compare it to the cookie-cutter movie machines in Hollywood."