The Killing Fields (1984)
Movie InfoCovering the U.S. pull-out from Vietnam in 1975, New York Times reporter Sidney Schanberg relies upon his Cambodian friend Dith Pran for inside information. Schanberg has an opportunity to rescue Dith Pran; instead, the reporter coerces his friend to remain behind to continue sending him news flashes.
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Critic Reviews for The Killing Fields
It must be nerve-racking for the producers to offer a tale so lacking in standard melodramatic satisfactions. But the result is worth it, for this is the clearest film statement yet on how the nature of heroism has changed in this totalitarian century.
The intent and outward trappings are all impressively in place, but at its heart there's something missing.
The film's overall thrust - angry, intelligent, compassionate -- makes this producer Puttnam's finest movie to date.
The best moments are the human ones, the conversations, the exchanges of trust, the waiting around, the sudden fear, the quick bursts of violence, the desperation.
The movie is diffuse and wandering. It's someone telling a long, interesting story who can't get to the point.
One of the great films from what proved to be a great year for cinema, The Killing Fields hasn't lost any of its power over the ensuing 30 years.
Every scene of The Killing Fields (and every participant in its making) is in service of showing how abruptly a seemingly safe and vital individual can have everything essential stripped away.
A gripping romanticized and somewhat fictionalized adaptation of an eyewitness magazine piece by New York Times journalist Sidney Schanberg.
The movie is too conventional and fictionalized to qualify as a genuine political epic, but it's emotionally touching in describing the friendship between the NY Times reporter and his Cambodian translator.
Se a primeira metade impressiona pelo virtuosismo técnico, a segunda fascina pela coragem em observar sem sensacionalismo a magnífica força de vontade de um sobrevivente, beneficiando-se ainda da maravilhosa performance semi-auto-biográfica de Ngor.
First time feature director Roland Joffe shoots the drama with an unforced realism lent a terrible grace by the handsome images and smooth, unobtrusive long takes...
A mighty accomplishment, and possibly the bravest Britflick yet made.
One of the most potent politically-charged dramas ever made, managing to honor both the epic and the intimate aspects of its drama. One of the top films of the '80s.
Powerful, unsettling, factual; Oscar caliber acting all around.
"unforgettable and unshakable"
Audience Reviews for The Killing Fields
With the gut-wrenching first half of the film dedicated to portraying with gritty realism and a beautiful cinematography the takeover of Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge, the second half relies on Ngor's magnificent performance to show a man in an amazing struggle to escape from hell.More
The Killing Fields in the incredible true story of the atrocities committed by Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Brilliantly acted and directed The Killing Fields is a powerful film that touches on what is probably one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century along with the Holocaust. The Killing Fields is a stunning drama film that brings to light a terrible crime. This is a brilliant film that exposes the horrors of the Khmer Rouge, and one mans survival through the ordeal. The Killing Fields is an accomplished film that though is a solid drama, also plays out like an important history lesson. The film will most likely want to make you read on the subject. The film is an important one, and like Schindler's List, also evokes the humane side to a terrible ordeal. A film that evokes emotions as you watch the events unfold before you. The cast that grace this film are terrific, and the thing that's pretty interesting is that actor Dr. Haing S. Ngor who plays Dirth Pran is an actual survivor of the Cambodian Killing Fields. This is a superbly crafted drama film that has a strong story, and boasts some terrific performances. This is a must see film for anyone who is interested in the subject, and to those who enjoy a solid, drama film; The Killing Fields is a strong, near flawless picture, and one you can't easily forget.More
The horrors of the Cambodian genocide became buried in the first hour and twenty minutes of background information on the conflict between a small group of journalists, eventually huddling in an American embassy, versus an emperging Khmer Rouge government hellbent on capturing photographer Dith Pran. Thought to be benign, rebels overtake the government with the help of Americans, ignorant to their full power after the end of the Vietnam War. Not to say that these events were not important, but the film came across as more of a biography of Dith Pran, a captured Cambodian, then on the actual killing fields full of rotting corpses. For the next hour the tumultuous record of exposure to the dictatorship based on genocide is captured by Dith Pran, working the fields, trying to escape without being killed by small children, the hierarchy of the system. The ugly betrayal of humanity is alarming, not always documented by groups of people being slaughtered. It's etched across actor Haing S. Ngor's face as his mortality flashes before his eyes. My main qualm is the choice of music, which is either a reject 80's synth piece, or a racially insensitive set of bing bongs. Plus, the last song played is "Imagine", which stinks of a tearjerker cliche.More
An exceptionally well made film. The Killing Fields is an important, compelling and emotive story brilliantly brought to the screen by director Roland Joffé. Great performances from Sam Waterson, John Malkovich, Julian Sands and a heart-wrenching portrayal from Dr. Haing S. Ngor as Dith Pran. I came across this film by accident really, but it drew me in and horrified me about an era of history I wasn't well informed of. The Killing Fields is an incredibly honest tale of war, tragedy and friendship, with the perfect placement of John Lennon's 'Imagine' at its beautifully poignant ending.More
The Killing Fields Quotes
- Sydney Schanberg:
- Anyone who knows my work will know that half of this belongs to Dith Pran. Without Pran, I wouldn't have been able to file half the stories I did. It's nice to congratulate ourselves on occasions like this. But I can't stand here tonight... without thinking of those innocent people. Pran dedicated himself to helping me bring to the notice of the public.
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