A detective in post-Katrina New Orleans has a series of surreal encounters with a troop of friendly Confederate soldiers while investigating serial killings of local prostitutes, a 1965 lynching, and corrupt local businessmen.
Three women who have been driven mad by pioneer life are to be transported across the country by covered wagon by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy, who in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs to assist her.
Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones,
Lt. Dave Robicheaux, a detective in New Iberia, Louisiana, is trying to link the murder of a local hooker to New Orleans mobster Julie (Baby Feet) Balboni, who is co-producer of a Civil War film. At the same time, after Elrod Sykes, the star of the film, reports finding another corpse in the Atchafalaya Swamp near the movie set, Robicheaux starts another investigation, believing the corpse to be the remains of a black man who he saw being murdered 35 years before.Written by
The film was taken away from its director, Bertrand Tavernier, in post-production, the producers preparing the edit of the film that was released in North America and the UK (running at 104 minutes). However, after the completion of the producers' cut of the film, Tavernier went back to the picture and created his own 'director's cut' of the film, running 117 minutes. This version of the film has been released widely in Europe, and is available on DVD (in an English-friendly version) in France and the Benelux countries. See more »
Most of you have probably never heard of Tavernier, which is a shame as he has at least two masterpieces under his belt. The American DVD release is not only cut by 15 minutes, it is also drastically different in structure and tone. Think Leone's American cut of Once Upon a time In America. You didn't like that, did you? Well, to be honest neither of the films are perfect, but the American DVD is UNWATCHABLE. At least the director's cut is the way Tavernier preferred; and actually a middling thriller that is worthy of giving a spin. Gone is the made for TV pacing and ludicrous ending, and while it's not his best work, it will probably entertain you enough.
The acting is serviceable in both versions, but the lack of a back story (and thus motivation) makes some of the character actions seem out of place and silly.
I happen to like Heaven's Prisoners a lot more than anyone has any right to, and I think Tommy Lee Jones is a very good replacement for Baldwin. Gone is the optimistic charm of old Dave, hello new Dave that is bitter by what life has shown him. But a lot of that is lost in the American DVD.
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