Miri R. from MARIETTA, GA Reviewed on 8/31/2014...
An excellent compelling story that I have seen numerous times. It presents a mystery that I've tried over and over to solve. Outstanding performances by the principal actors, probably the best I've ever seen by Richard Gere and Bill Pullman. James Earl Jones is as always superb, a delight to watch. A thoroughly authentic setting. Highest rating.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kathleen O. (Kathleen) from WALDPORT, OR Reviewed on 3/8/2008...
I really like this movie, until the ending. I could never watch it again but there are those who will just love it.
3 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Engulfing and desperate love story; all-encompassing.
L. Shirley | 09/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To see Sommersby is to understand what eternal and all-encompassing love is. Jodie Foster plays Laurel, wife to Jack Sommersby (Richard Gere). The Sommersby home and land have been ravaged by The Civil War. Laurel's life with Jack had been a war in itself. Fate has taken Jack away to the war for several years and she has had time to recoup and raise their son quietly. Suddenly, Jack returns. Handsome and honorable, war-ravaged townsfolk uphold this returned "hero" and Jack hopes his wife will do the same. But wait. This Jack Sommersby is a changed man. Time away has softened the normally calloused man into a man passionate about reviving his marriage and the prosperity of his village in Vine Hill, Tennessee. Everyone, including Laurel are taken back by his vigor and charm. Time and hard work strengthen the economy and the Sommersby couple are more in love than ever before. This dramatic change causes not only Laurel, but townsfolk to question the identity of this reformed Jack. Tell-tale signs of a forgery of identity soon unravel the clever stitching around Jack's personna. When the law gets involved, inquisitive Laurel switches gears and defends the honor of her well-providing husband. His past soon haunts him and the surrounding lies threaten. Murder charges come into play. If this man is Jack Sommersby, he will hang. If he is the imposter, he faces the shame of his community and the loss of the now-revived land and marriage. Love and Honor collide, forcing the heart to find it's place. "Sommersby" is a desperate, compelling and passionate drama that leaves you with one question: "Where does your heart lie?" Brian La Fountain"
It will leave you wondering who Sommersby is indeed!!
Aglae de Mizrahi | Weston, Fl | 05/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sommersby Set in the aftermath of the Civil War, Jack Sommersby (Richard Gere) returns, after about six years, to the town of Vine Hill, Tennessee, to find his plantation and house devastated by the ravages of war. Additionally, he encounters his beautiful wife Lauren Sommersby (Jodie Foster), who is actually engaged to another fellow. Sommersby returns as a completely different, loving, working, and caring person, and makes everyone believe he is back. In fact, his romantic relationship with Lauren achieves its most sublime point. He convinces the town to grow tobacco to get out of the wreckage and devastation and is quite successful at that. He even sells pieces of land to dark people to work with.
Everything seems fine until the moment that he is arrested and sent to trail for supposedly killing a man. At this precise moment, his identity is utterly challenged. He is hypothetically not Jack Sommersby, but some other murderer called Townsend. Judie Foster does a superb job at trying to convince the Judge and the Jury that he is not in fact her husband giving away even intimate details. However, Jack himself does the contrary since for him his love for his children and wife and the honor involved are more important than life itself.
I am not about to convey the end of the story. I will only say that this is a great DVD to watch and will leave you wondering who is Jack Sommersby indeed.
By the way, the performances of Richard Gere and Judie Foster are both outstanding, and this is a DVD that you will never forget until the end of your life! "
A touching romance
K. Chelsen | 05/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am a dyed-in-the-wool romantic. When I went to see this film in the theatre several years ago, I only knew it was a romance based on the French film The Return of Martin Guerre. (I knew nothing about the original film either.) I found Sommersby to be a very charming love story, everything I expected a romance to be. I'm not a fan of Richard Gere, but I enjoyed his performance as Jack and he and Jodie Foster had excellent chemstry. What I didn't expect was the way the film ended. As the film moved towards it's conclusion, I reached for the tissues only to find I didn't have any! I thus sat there struggling to keep the tears at bay (it didn't work :) )But it's not just a romance, there is a tinge of mystery. Jack Sommersby, we assume from what we see on the screen, was not a nice person before the war. He comes back a changed man -- is it indeed Jack Sommersby -- or is it someone else? For those who enjoy a good period romance movie, this is an excellent choice. If you enjoy a good cry, again, an excellent choice."
R. Penola | NYC, NY United States | 09/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, yes, yes, The Return of Martin Guerre is richer, more textured, more...believable. But what is up with the criticism of this beautiful commercial Hollywood-ized version? The characters portrayed by Jodie Foster and Richard Gere, as - perhaps - strangers, or -- husband and wife -- circa Civil War era has the gloss and emotion of a four-hankie 40s melodrama. The performances of all of the players are superb, and the tense, romantic, suspensful build-up to the truthful revelations, which include salvation and love, is handled with taste and beauty. The musical score provides one of those old-fashioned, almost bombastic themes that signals heartbreak, and there are many of them in this movie. If you love to cry at the movies, you will love this film."