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I Am Sam [DVD] [2001]

Release Date:06/18/2002
Sean Penn won an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a mentally challenged father in the emotional I Am Sam. New Line's work on this 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is exceptional, sporting solid colors and dark black levels. This is a nearly reference quality image without any imperfections or blemishes to be found. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, DTS Surround, and Dolby 2.0 Surround, all in English. Both the DTS and Dolby 5.1 soundtracks are very full and bombastic. Each mix utilizes a multitude of directional effects, mainly when the music score or songs kick in. Much like the video portions of this disc, the audio tracks are free of any imperfections or defects. Also included on this disc are English captions and Spanish subtitles. I Am Sam is part of New Line's "Platinum Edition" DVD series and as such features a nice array of supplemental features. Starting off the disc is a commentary track by director Jessie Nelson. Nelson is very frank and observant while discussing multiple aspects of the story, characters, and production. "Becoming Sam" is a nearly one-hour-long documentary on the making of the film featuring insightful interviews with actors Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer, plus various cast and crew members. This is a well-produced documentary that should please fans of the film. Seven deleted scenes with optional commentary by the director will give viewers an insight into why the sequences were cut from the final film. Finally, there is a theatrical press kit featuring some production notes, cast filmographies, and an anamorphic theatrical trailer for the film.

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (7 out of 7)

    Special Features

    • Widescreen version of the film
    • 5.1 Dolby Digital
    • DTS Surround Sound
    • Stereo Surround Sound
    • English subtitles and closed captions
    • Filmmaker commentary featuring director/co-screenwriter Jessie Nelson
    • Original documentary: "Becoming Sam"
    • Deleted/alternate scenes with optional director commentary
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Theatrical press kit
    • DVD-ROM content:
    • Script-to-screen
    • Link to original website
    • Hot Spot
    • Closed Captioned


    I Am Sam
    Sean Penn stars in this drama as Sam Dawson, a developmentally disabled adult who has been working at a coffee shop and raising his daughter Lucy (Dakota Fanning) for seven years. Sam receives help in his parenting duties from a circle of trusted confidantes, including his ADD-afflicted best friend Ifty (Doug Hutchison), the paranoid Robert (Stanley DeSantis), an agoraphobic neighbor (Dianne Wiest), and his other disabled pals, Brad and Joe (played by real-life developmentally challenged actors Brad Silverman and Joseph Rosenberg). Although he provides a structured and loving environment for Lucy that includes regular visits to IHOP, video nights, and karaoke, Sam's daughter is beginning to surpass him in mental acuity. When Lucy begins intentionally stunting her own growth so as not to hurt her beloved father, social worker Margaret (Loretta Devine) takes action, removing the girl from her home and placing her in the temporary care of a foster mother, Randy (Laura Dern). As the day of his hearing looms, Sam seeks out the aid of driven, obsessive lawyer Rita Harrison (Michelle Pfeiffer), who takes the case only to prove to her colleagues that she is willing to accept pro bono work. Opposed by county lawyer Turner (Richard Schiff) in court, Rita gradually comes to care for her client and his daughter, even as they force her to consider the limitations of her own abilities as a parent. The soundtrack for I Am Sam (2001) gained considerable critical attention, consisting entirely of Beatles cover songs by such contemporary artists as The Black Crowes, Eddie Vedder, the Wallflowers, and Aimee Mann, among others. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Sean Penn
      Sean Penn - Sam Dawson
    • Michelle Pfeiffer
      Michelle Pfeiffer - Rita Harrison
    • Dakota Fanning
      Dakota Fanning - Lucy
    • Dianne Wiest
      Dianne Wiest - Annie
    • Loretta Devine
      Loretta Devine - Margaret Calgrove

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.