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Heat and Dust

6.52 h 9 min198315
When Anne (Julie Christie) discovers a long-forgotten family scandal involving her deceased grandmother, Olivia (Greta Scacchi), she decides to investigate further by traveling to the scene of the crime: India. In the 1920s, Olivia had been married to an official in the colonial government, but had an affair with an Indian man that resulted in an abortion and disgrace.
James Ivory
Julie ChristieGreta ScacchiJulian Glover
None Available
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Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Supporting actors
Shashi KapoorMadhur Jaffrey
Ismail Merchant
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Stream instantly Details
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices


4.2 out of 5 stars

180 global ratings

  1. 51% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 28% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 15% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Azimuth500Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 May 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Empire Drama, the Final Chapter
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This Merchant Ivory production superbly evokes the India of the British Raj in the 1920s, the landscapes, the diverse people, the costumes, but above all, the issues and the defining narratives of the period. Present in the cast are the Burra ("proper") Sahibs and Memsahibs who are the pillars of the Empire, as well as the fashionable young free spirits, typified by the Julie Christie character, who puts it about quite a bit and unwittingly symbolises the decline and fall of British Rule in India and the demise of the Empire. Central are the young newly-weds played by Christopher Casenove and Greta Scacchi, of whom the latter, as "Olivia", is NOT a Burra Memsahib; but, on the contrary, she lets down both her husband and the "side" by becoming involved extramaritallywith a duplicitous, in a word, crooked, Nawab, played by Shashi Kupoor. The inevitable march of events unfolds, from her pregnancy by the Nawab, to its termination, to the Nawab being deposed and his princely state being subsumed into British India, his death and Olivia's internal exile This film brings the whole intrigueing panoply of a bygone era to life in a way that Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's novel in my view does not.
3 people found this helpful
Øώΐn ∏øìß™ÿn-ŒwńReviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 September 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Beautiful Raj tale
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Along with Paul Scott's 'Staying On', my favourite film/book on the english in india. The Merchant Ivory movie version of H&D with Greta Scacchi and Julie Christie very special, but the book, as ever, has much more detail and observation of peripheral characters. Audiobook version, narrated by the divine Christie, is heaven. Set in parallel, partially epistolary narratives in the '20s and 50 years later, wonderfully observed and beautifully written by the fascinating, late, great Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. The film version focuses very much on the beautiful Olivia and her inevitable, doomed, desire for the Nawab - heat and lust.
One person found this helpful
stephen mossReviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 August 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
high drama, low intensity look at class and empire
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Very atmospheric and liked the parallel story structure. But it lacked intensity which the type of scenario warranted. The acting was a bit melodramatic and the ending was a fizzle rather than climactic. I saw this when it first came out and remember enjoying it, and it is good to show the basic attitudes of empire (mainly embodied in the overdramatised Dr character and indifference of the other senior Brits), although this was quite stagey and sanitised looking at it again today.
CresswellReviewed in the United Kingdom on 06 October 2014
2.0 out of 5 stars
A great movie, but poor quality DVD recording may spoil your enjoyment.
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The movie is great.
However, for those expecting a reasonable quality DVD you will be disappointed. The sound quality is poor and the movie looks as if it was shot through a net curtain - more like a camcorder ‘rip’ from the back row of the local flea pit.

This seems to be a recurring problem as other DVD’s I’ve bought from the BBC, (Gormenghast was of remarkably awful quality), and from “4”, have repeatedly failed to be of an acceptable standard.If you can grin and bear the woeful recording quality, and still enjoy the wonderful story and acting in this movie, it’s worth a couple of quid – but I’d rather have seen it on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Having such a poor quality DVD in my collection is like having a cuckoo in the nest.
2 people found this helpful
JessicaReviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 May 2012
3.0 out of 5 stars
Rather predictable and superficial
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I was disappointed with this film, but I have also just finished watching The Jewel in the Crown, so I may be comparing it unfairly to that stunning production. I found the first hour extremely boring - after that it did improve, but only in the storyline concerning the 1920s. The story of Anne I thought was very superficial and frustrating. The characters in the 1980s storyline were underdeveloped and the American character was irritating. The relationship between Anne and her Indian lover lacked chemistry, as another reviewer has said, and seemed pointless. Perhaps I just don't want to think back to that awful period in the 1980s when people became hippies! Greta Scacchi is beautiful and is a great actor (I also agree with another reviewer that misspelling her name on the DVD cover was poor), and Shashi Kapoor was also good. The ending was too abrupt, but very sad. I think more could have been done to develop the characters fully and stop this production from being superficially beautiful but lacking in real meaning.
One person found this helpful
celesteReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 December 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Thought provoking.
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A most enjoyable film. Slow starting, which sets the mood and tone and builds to the climax. Very watchable, particularly if like me you love India and it’s culture. Cringe worthy are the moments when realising just how the Brits were at times in treating Indian
One person found this helpful
tina yorstonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 December 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
Smells and Sounds of India.....
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Having lived a short time in India....I do so love Indian based stories......this movie captures reality of surroundings very well.....the actual story is, like many stories from that part of the world.....where two cultures collide......leaning on past interpretation of cultural differences.....although India is a now a twenty first century modern country, the echoes of the past remain......
SUSAN M CAMPReviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 July 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Beautifully written and crafted film
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Loved the film. Had just read the book and it went beyond my expectations.
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