5.4/10
3,438
40 user 12 critic

Being Human (1994)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 6 May 1994 (USA)
One man must learn the meaning of courage across four lifetimes centuries apart.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Videos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Fathers' Day (1997)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A woman cons two old boyfriends into searching for her runaway son by convincing both that they are the boy's father.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
The Survivors (1983)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Having both lost their jobs, two strangers become unlikely friends after a run in with a would be robber, who is actually a hitman with a grudge against the two.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Walter Matthau, Robin Williams, Jerry Reed
Seize the Day (1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Tommy Wilhelm is a good honest man who's fallen on hard times after losing his job, but what really gets to Tommy is seeing both his friends and family turning their backs on him one after the other. He tries to seize the day - in vain.

Director: Fielder Cook
Stars: Robin Williams, Richard B. Shull, David Bickford
Cadillac Man (1990)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Joe's a car salesman with a problem. He has two days to sell 12 cars or he loses his job. This would be a difficult task at the best of times but Joe has to contend with his girlfriends (... See full summary »

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Robin Williams, Tim Robbins, Pamela Reed
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1944 Poland, a Jewish shop keeper named Jakob is summoned to ghetto headquarters after being caught out near curfew. While waiting for the German Kommondant, Jakob overhears a German ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Kassovitz
Stars: Robin Williams, Hannah Taylor Gordon, Éva Igó
House of D (2004)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

By working through problems stemming from his past, Tom Warshaw, an American artist living in Paris, begins to discover who he really is, and returns to his home to reconcile with his family and friends.

Director: David Duchovny
Stars: David Duchovny, Téa Leoni, Robin Williams
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In the midst of his crumbling relationship, a radio show host begins speaking to his biggest fan, a young boy, via the telephone. But when questions about the boy's identity come up, the host's life is thrown into chaos.

Director: Patrick Stettner
Stars: Robin Williams, Toni Collette, Rory Culkin
The Final Cut (2004)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Set in a world with memory recording implants, Alan Hakman is a cutter, someone with the power of final edit over people's recorded histories. His latest assignment is one that puts him in danger.

Director: Omar Naim
Stars: Robin Williams, Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino
Club Paradise (1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Injured while risking his life to save an angry German shepard, Chicago Firefighter Jack Moniker retires and moves to a small carribean island named St. Nicholas. There, he is befriended by... See full summary »

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Robin Williams, Peter O'Toole, Rick Moranis
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When a Russian musician defects in Bloomingdale's department store in New York, he finds adjusting to American life more difficult than he imagined.

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Robin Williams, Maria Conchita Alonso, Cleavant Derricks
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A comedian who hosts a news satire program decides to run for president, and a computerized voting machine malfunction gets him elected.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Robin Williams, Laura Linney, Lewis Black
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Shakes plods about his duties as party clown, and uses all of his free time getting seriously drunk. Binky, another clown, wins the spot on a local kiddie show, which depresses Shakes even ... See full summary »

Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Stars: Bobcat Goldthwait, Julie Brown, Bruce Baum
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Deirdre
Maudie Johnson ...
Girl Child
Max Johnson ...
Boy Child
...
Priest
Eoin McCarthy ...
Leader
Irvine Allen ...
Raider
Iain Andrew ...
Raider
...
Raider
...
Raider
Andrew Flanagan ...
Raider (as Andy Flanagan)
Seamus Gubbins ...
Raider
Iain McAleese ...
Raider
...
Raider
Gavin Mitchell ...
Raider
Edit

Storyline

Five bittersweet vignettes that span the entire human history about five different men, all called Hector and played by the same actor (Robin Williams), who find themselves at a critical juncture in their lives. In prehistoric times, Hector lives in peace with his wife and their little son and daughter in a cave on a quite uninhabited island somewhere in the north. His world is shattered when a group of foreign pagan raiders led by a young chieftain and a somewhat pacifistic priest arrive there. In Ancient Rome, Hector is a loyal well-treated slave of Lucinnius, a somewhat naive big trader with political connections. When his latest shipment fails to arrive and the local corrupt governor Cyprion refuses to lend him money for his further endeavors due to bad omen that a professional soothsayer saw while reading the future from a chicken liver, he is ruined. To make things worse, just as Hector plans to ask his master for freedom and elope with his master's female African slave Thalia, ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For Hector, history has a way of repeating itself. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and elements of sensuality and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 May 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Byc czlowiekiem  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$764,011 (USA) (6 May 1994)

Gross:

$1,519,366 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first feature film of Tony Curran. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Storyteller: This is the story of a story. Once upon a time there was this story, and the story said to itself, how should I begin?
Hector: Try the usual way.
The Storyteller: What, in the dark with a man and a woman, in a story that is still to tell itself?
Hector: Well, you've got to start somewhere. Say, long long ago... Or, far far away... Or, another time in a different distant country... Or just, once...
The Storyteller: That's good. "Far away", so you know the place is close to your own heart. "Once" is nice, so we know that it always ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Three Ages (1923) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Deeply flawed but quite good
21 January 2012 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The life you live will be the same over and over again. You will repeat your lessons again and again in various forms until you have learned them. After learning it, there's evolution and wisdom. This is what can be said about this film except that it presents its stories without having this sort of spiritual value. It brings this idea of the eternal returning throughout this main character but it is developed almost like a fairy tale taken out of a children's book.

Travelling through different countries and periods of time, going from the Celts cavemen to the modern New York businessman, "Being Human" has Robin Williams playing a character named Hector and his appearances in distinct centuries trying to learn what means to be an human being. In the five short stories created here, Hector, living as an Celtic in the highlands, had his wife and children taken away by barbarians; was the slave of a dumb master (John Turturro) in a more civilized era; an married man who fell in love with an foreign woman, a few centuries later; a military during the Portugual's Maritime Expansion on Africa, conquering new lands and new treasures; and as troubled divorced man trying to reconciliate with his children of whom he hasn't seen since the end of his marriage. The movie fails in being real or accurate enough in all of the stories except in the last one which is very close to us.

Slow, of mannered delivery and hardly getting better as the stories unfold, "Being Human" is the kind of film that really follows its lessons, it'll only grow on you after countless views. In my case four attempts, of these in two I fell asleep (but always believing that there was something interesting there), one in which I watched the whole thing and didn't like and the last one in which my perception changed and end up being a good film, far from being a masterpiece that it could be. So, you'll have to watch this film over and over until you get something from it, then you can evolve into really saying if this is a good or a bad film.

This whole idea of a man trapped in strange and quite horrendous situations where every kind of decision ruin his life but always running to something else thinking it'll be better and lead him to a good life, was brilliantly presented in a book called "The Star Rover" by Jack London. In it, the main character is a prisoner that can recall his past lives as a way of escaping from his current pain of being tortured. But in those lives things don't get any better and he's always getting into more and more trouble. "Being Human" falls as an pretentious art film with symbolisms that never work and stories that are difficult to be involved with. Luckily, they have Williams as a main actor and we root for him whatever the Hector he's playing. We care for Hector in all of his situations because there's something there that is involving enough to make us imagining what kind of decisions we would make if we were him. In at least, one of the stories you'll put yourself into Hector's shoes.

Won't blame director/writer Bill Forsyth for the flaws presented here since this is not his original project, Warner Bros. forced him to cut the film and include an narration that is quite excessive and too much explanatory. The narration (provided by Theresa Russell) of a film destined to grown up's treats its audience as children, explaining many things we're seeing on the screen. It ruined some parts of the film. Result: poor criticism, an box-office failure and now who knows this film? I sincerely hope that one day Forsyth come out of the shadows and show to the world this film in its integrity in a director's cut DVD (even the known version is hard to find).

The things that attracted me into "Being Human" are the quality of the performances, not only Williams but also Turturro, Lorraine Bracco, Hector Elizondo, Jonathan Hyde, Anna Galiena, William H. Macy among others; the beautiful cinematography; Michael Gibbs fantastic musical score (specially the music presented when the movie enters into the 20th Century, an highly agitated theme). The story, at times, knows how to hold our interest but only for those who have an open mind to accept the concept of a man living over and over a similar life that bears only difference of costumes and periods of time. Hector's conditions and the way love acts in his life are quite the same, yet he fails to learn something from these experiences.

Very problematic but not enough to make you feel bad about it, "Being Human" comes as a good film about valuable and noble lessons that sometimes crosses our paths in this long journey of life. 7/10


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?