The Passenger View large image


Film Details

Directed by: Michelangelo Antonioni

Produced: 1975

Countries & Regions: France, Italy, Spain, United States

DVD Details

Certificate: PG

Length: 113 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 3 July 2006

Cat No: CDR70303

Anamorphic (16:9)
Languages(s): English, French, German
Hard of Hearing Subtitles: English
Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
Interactive Menu
Screen ratio 1:1.85
Dolby Mono

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The Passenger

Cast: Jack Nicholson , Maria Schneider , Ian Hendry , Steven Berkoff , Jenny Runacre , Ambrose Bia

Availability: Not available.

Suspenseful and haunting adventure starring Jack Nicholson. David Locke (Nicholson) is a television reporter on location in Africa.... Read More

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Suspenseful and haunting adventure starring Jack Nicholson. David Locke (Nicholson) is a television reporter on location in Africa. Returning to his hotel after getting lost and bogged in the desert, he discovers that the man in the room next to his is dead. After deciding that his own life wasn’t worth living anymore, he switches identities with the dead man, taking the man’s passport, his luggage, and his appointment schedule. Leaving Africa, he heads off to keep the dead man’s appointments, hoping that his new life will be more interesting than his old one was.

The arrival of The Passenger (aka Professione: Reporter) on DVD means a welcome crossing-out of one of the titles at the top of many people's most-wanted lists. It's worth the wait too. For those who think of Antonioni as the detached chronicler of human alienation, The Passenger is a bit of a surprise - there's humour (much of it courtesy of the wryly amused fatalism of Jack Nicholson's central performance), there's warmth in human interactions, and Antonioni uses colour, sublimely, as if it was about to be outlawed.

Questions of identity and escape are still central of course. Nicholson plays reporter David Locke, lost in the middle of his own life, and who at the beginning of the film is quite literally going nowhere. His Landrover beached in dunes in North Africa, he heads back to his hotel, where the death of a fellow guest enables him to trade his life for another's. He soon finds though that he has unwittingly assumed the identity of an arms dealer. He nevertheless continues on the man's itinerary, accompanied by a free-spirited architectural student, played by Maria Schneider.

The camerawork in The Passenger is justifiably acclaimed. Antonioni talked of using the camera as an objective presence and one not constrained by characters' subjective needs. This makes for a fascinating watch. However, nothing tops the seven minute shot that records the famed final scene at the Hotel de la Gloria, in which the camera leaves Locke's room, passing through the bars of the window, slowly wheeling round in a perfect arc of equanimity, then taking in the interior scene once more from outside the bars.

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