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The life of William Walker, a 19th century adventurer who abandoned his career in law and politics to become a soldier of fortune and dictator of Nicaragua.
Edition: Director-approved special edition widescreen.
Copyright Date: ©1987
ISBN: 9781604650150
Branch Call Number: DVD FICTION WAL
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (94 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (44 pages : illustrated ; 18 cm).
digital,optical,mono,Dolby Digital mono,rda
video file,DVD video,Region 1,rda


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Oct 08, 2019

A challenging, at times excessively violent (for this viewer) yet magnificent anti-war satire. It's a woefully underrated film. At the time of its release in late 1987, the then-head of Universal Pictures publicly condemned the movie (did Reagan's Iran Contra flunkies bribe him to?), and timid film critics followed suit. Even Siskel & Ebert panned Walker. Having hated Repo Man, I initially believed the hype. Until I saw Walker for myself decades later, and it's like -- WOW! Really?? THIS got panned?!

Ed Harris is terrific in the lead, and the rest of the cast consists of character actors acting up a storm. If you think Peter Boyle was over the top in his 1970s roles, then see him in this. Rene Auberjonois, who was also in Altman's M*A*S*H*, the only other major studio anti-war comedy made in America up to this time, comes through with a wildly insane performance and a finish so gory it rivals Monty Python. Marlee Matlin, so wooden in Children of a Lesser God, gets to show some chutzpah here, and I was deeply moved by Keith Szarabaika as an earnest young soldier.

Jul 03, 2018

A strange film that is not historically accurate. Walker, the man, was an opportunist who had nothing to do with the American doctrine of Manifest Destiny. He wanted to establish a plantation lifestyle in Nicaragua by introducing black slavery. It is surprising that Walker could take over Nicaragua with a mercenary army of only 60 men plus 110 local recruits in 1855.

May 08, 2018

The name of the game with this film is "anachronistic".

Walker is a film which uses surreal, oneiric imagery meshed with heavy political satire to invoke an impassioned perspective on America's historical intervention in the politics & life of South American nations.

This is not a "by the book" historical drama or a character drama biography.

"Walker" is a vessel for commentary while also shedding light on a man who has been mostly forgotten outside of South America.

This film lives somewhere in a purgatory between "The Last Movie", "El Topo", and "Fitzcarraldo".

Shot on location in Nicaragua with the cooperation of the Sandinista government, WALKER is director Alex Cox's attempt to make sense of American imperialism. The film tells the story of William Walker, an acolyte of the doctrine of American Manifest Destiny, who invaded Nicaragua in the 1850s at the behest of steamship mogul Cornelius Vanderbilt, and who governed the country for a chaotic couple of years before he was driven from power. You would think that this film would have been a smashing success -- Ed Harris is appropriately messianic in the lead role; Rudy Wurlitzer pens the screenplay; Joe Strummer provides the score -- but it was savaged by the critics, registered next to nothing at the box office and destroyed Cox's Hollywood career. It is not a successful picture. It is meant to be viewed as a lampoon, with antebellum filibusterers drinking Coca-Cola and reading Newsweek. It should have been presented as a straight-up historical drama. It's got chutzpah though, and it somehow manages to capture the brief cultural opening at the end of Reagantime when it looked like the neoconservative/neoliberal consensus was kaput. It didn't turn out that way.

Jan 10, 2015

I was disappointed in this movie. It wasn't what I expected which was a historical drama. It was very violent and silly in places.

NightGoat72 Feb 23, 2014

We open on a savage, chaotic battle in the 1800s. Soldiers are dying horribly all around. A man pleads with and attempts to patriotically rouse his leader. This leader – Ed Harris playing William Walker – then nonchalantly responds: “Don’t be so silly, man.”

From that moment, you know you’re in for something special.

Subversive, anarchic, incredibly bold and daring, bloody, hilarious, and littered with sequences of transcendent, unexpected beauty, Walker is a masterpiece. Alex Cox’s anachronistic playfulness and utter disregard for cinematic conventions allow him to cut right to the heart of the film’s themes, satirizing Western imperialism and the corruption of power in remarkably concise and direct ways. Every scene in this movie is a mini-masterwork in and of itself.

The climactic town-burning set to Joe Strummer’s haunting, ethereal score is celluloid magic, pure cinema in its most passionate and emotional form.

kevfarley Jun 17, 2013

In spite of artsy jokey pretentions,.. this history lesson lampoon about U.S. intervention politics probably deserves a contemporary revisit. It was BURRIED DEEP WHEN FIRST RELEASED ! There are good production values and cinematography, ... and Ed Harris is wonderfully effective as the hero of Manifest Destiny !

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