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    $12.95 list($14.95)
    1. The Shoes of the Fisherman
    $17.99 $13.97 list($19.95)
    2. Enchanted April
    $7.98 list($21.96)
    3. The Tango Lesson
    $8.93 $7.94
    4. The Wizard of Oz
    $9.99 $6.45
    5. Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken
    $13.99 $12.45 list($14.95)
    6. The Red Balloon
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    7. Aristocrats
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    8. A Man Called Peter
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    9. Hotel Rwanda
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    10. Twelfth Night
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    11. The Jungle Book
    $6.98 $6.48
    12. The Sound of Music
    $59.00 list($14.95)
    13. Nadia
    $12.98 $9.25
    14. Valley of the Dolls
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    15. Ray
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    16. The Jungle Book
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    17. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
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    18. My Name Is Bill W.
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    19. Becket
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    20. The Passion of the Christ

    1. The Shoes of the Fisherman
    Director: Michael Anderson
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00003OSTW
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 4240
    Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    All eyes are focused on the Vatican, hoping to see the traditional puffs of white smoke that signal the selection of the next Pope. But this time, much more is at stake. The new pontiff may be the only person who can bring peace to a world hovering on the edge of nuclear nightmare. Year: 1968 Director: Michael Anderson Starring: Anthony Quinn, Oskar Werner, David Janssen, Vittorio De Sica, Leo McKern, Sir John Gielgud ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great movie
    Really interesting movie about the papacy, inner Vatican turmoil, philosophical aspects of Christianity, and maintaining your principles in a morally complex, often violent world. That might sound off-putting, but it's anchored by exceptionally strong, moving performances by the late Anthony Quinn, Leo Mckern, Oskar Werner, and others. Kind of old-school Hollywood, with bittersweet rewards--it's pleasing in the manner of 'Inn of the Sixth Happiness' or 'Ben Hur.' It looks and acts like a movie made in the late 60's, but that's a definite plus in my view. Leonard Maltin's review is unnecessarily harsh--he must have been having a bad day. Or sore at the pope or something. Don't let it deter you from enjoying a very colorful, well-acted, thoughtful and old-fashioned movie.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Authenic Christian Revolution of a Russian Pope
    This 1968 film, based on Morris West's novel, has Anthony Quinn as Kiril Lakota, released after twenty years in a Siberian work camp to become a Cardinal and then Pope at a time when the Soviet Union and a starving People's Republic of China are about to go to war. The idea that the first non-Italian pope in centuries would be from a Communist country certainly seems prophetic today. Lakota is released by the Soviet Premier (Laurence Olivier), who is taking a chance that a sympathetic Vatican might tip the balance towards peace. Lakota emerges from imprisonment as something of a saint, admired by the Elder Pope (John Gielgud) for having refused to deny the faith even when seven priests were brought before him and shot.

    Although the obvious comparison is to John Paul II, Quinn's pontiff is actually more like John Paul I, who was considered a "pastoral" Pope, capable of relating to the people more on the level of a parish priest. When he is elected and has to change into his papal robes, he introduces himself to his new valet saying simply,"I am Kiril Lakota." The politically charged atmosphere is a bit melodramatic, but the strength of this film is in its portrait of the inner workings of the Vatican where both politics and personalities come into play. My favorite scene is when the college of Cardinals are deadlocked, repeated votes having been "insufficient for election," and one of the elder statesmen of the church stands up to declare his belief that God has sent them the man intended to be the next Pope. With growing horror, Lakota watches as the momentum builds for his stunning election (Now if somebody could just explain to me, when reporter David Janssen announces "They have elected a Russian Pope" is the word "Russia" an adjective or a noun in that sentence? This has been driving me crazy for other 30 years).

    Of the two subplots the romantic estrangement of Dan Janssen, the reporter covering the Vatican and his doctor wife, Barbara Jefford, is trivial soap opera nonsense, although it does lead to a nice scene where the Pope sneaks out of the Vatican disguised as an ordinary priest. The doctor sends him to the pharmacy for medicine and is stunned when he returns and is able to do prayers in Hebrew over the dying man. The other, with Oskar Werner as Father David Telemond, is much more provocative and provides an interesting counter-point to the main story line. Telemond has written several books, none of them published, dealing with what he calls the "Cosmic Christ." A Pontifical Commission is investigating his writings as being heretical. Certainly there is a sense in which this film, in the wake of the Vatican II Council, was trying to confront the Catholic Church with certain issues. Ultimately "The Shoes of the Fisherman" is a much more subversive film than "The Last Temptation of Christ."

    Quinn's dignified performance holds "The Shoes of the Fisherman" together, aided by Leo McKern and Vittorio De Sica as a pair of Cardinals seated high in the Church hierarchy. This is not a great film by any means, but it is certainly thoughtful even without the provocative final scene in which the new pope proposes to actually implement "the authentic Christian revolution: work for all, bread for all, dignity for all men." Certainly it treats it characters and its subject matter with great seriousness. Michael Anderson's direction is hampered by the film's 157 minute length, but it is still worth the viewing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Quinn and Werner make this a winner
    This epic film has a few bumpy moments, but overall, it's vastly entertaining, with its fascinating cast, interesting premise, excellent cinematography and art direction.
    Anthony Quinn is fabulous as the Russian Pope. It's a powerful portrayal, and not the type of role one would normally associate with him. Oskar Werner, in a part based on Teilhard de Chardin, is absolutely superb.

    Other notable performances come from Laurence Olivier (as the Soviet Premier), John Gielgud (former Pope), Leo McKern and Vittorio de Sica (Cardinals), and Arnoldo Foa (the Pope's valet).
    The part of a journalist (David Janssen), is used as a narrator, to move the plot along, and explain certain Vatican procedures, like how a new Pope is elected. I only wish less time had been spent on his petty romantic problems...the film feels more like an "Airport" movie while these scenes are taking place.

    This is a sprawling 60's Hollywood treatment of Morris West's best seller, and I think it succeeds. It's thought-provoking, good for several viewings, and Quinn and Werner are riveting.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Movie Every Religious Person Should See
    This movie was great and I am not a Catholic, I am a Protestant minister. Even though this was just a novel and pure fiction, I learned more about the inner workings of the Catholic Church than I had ever learned from my years of reading about all the "Bad Things" in the history of the Catholic Church. Protestant history, and no other religion's history is "pure white" either. I'm talking about such things and the Inquisition burnings at the stake, and other hedious torture methods that only a feind from hell could think of.

    See this movie, meditate on it, and realize the horrendous impack all religions have on Planet Earth for both good and bad. It has been said that if you know only one religion, you really don't know much about any religion--- I agree!

    See the struggle in the Church to know God, to understand God's will, to choose its leaders, to be loyal to its leaders, to reach conclusion about all moral, ethical, and social questions. All religions go thru this same process to one degree or another, even your local church. Compare your Minister and the problems in your Church to the the problems of the Pope and the Catholic Church. They are not really all that different. We all have a duty and a tremendous responsibility resting on our shoulders.. We must try to understand each other, love one another, forgive one another, pray for each other, and work together in every way possible......

    .....If we will do this then we can help Planet Earth and its people take a "Quantum Leap" up and forward in spiritual consciousness and awareness - where The Word(or Love) becomes Flesh in us - which will usher in a New Day, a New Level of the Kingdom Of God On Earth, that is beyond words to describe. Planet Earth People, are you with me, will you join me in this glorious effort? We all have a Divine Mission and Destiny to fulfill while on Planet Earth. Ken Pamplin, 4504 N.W. 11th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73127

    5-0 out of 5 stars Favorite Movie
    This film is inspirational. The scene where the new Pope is proclaimed, against his wishes, he only wants a humble servent life is excellant. To watch Anthony Quinn's expression change when he hears that the Cardinals are talking of him is a classic. lso, his roaming the streets of Rome in a black cassock shows is humanity, wanting to get to know his flock. I think is conseling David Jansen's wife is important. ... Read more


    2. Enchanted April
    Director: Mike Newell
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $17.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302728657
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 46
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    This lovely, 1991 adaptation of Elizabeth Von Arnim's novel has a superb cast and a tone so mellow you can feel your pulse get slower. Josie Lawrence and Miranda Richardson play a pair of unhappily married women who rent an Italian villa for a month, sharing the rent with a crusty Englishwoman (Joan Plowright) and a lonely aristocrat (Polly Walker). Sun, rest, sinking into the green grass for long naps--they all have a soulful effect on the quartet, and then on the men in their lives who make a surprise visit. Mike Newell (Into the West) directs with seeming effortlessness, and it is impossible not to be swayed by the promise of restoration for these burdened characters--or for anyone alive. Wonderful performances all around, including a particularly sensitive one by Alfred Molina and a very funny one by Jim Broadbent. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (77)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Rare Gem
    This is the kind of movie that American studios loathe to make. It has too much charm. It was made on a shoestring budget and the major American studios seem to salivate at only the big budget type films. It's a story about women. It's a love story with no sex. It's a remarkable movie, deftly directed by Mike Newell, with no major stars, yet it shines.

    Each of the actors, from Alfred Molina to Joan Plowright to the little known but charming Josie Lawrence, give fine performances. Based on the Elizabeth von Arnim novel, two repressed English women seek adventure and find it when they vacation in an Italian villa. The villa seems to change everyone's mood and outlook in life. It's similar in theme to "A Room With A View".

    Shot on what had to be a shoestring production, the story, the actors and the camerawork more than make up for any limitations of budget. The film tops off with a satisfying ending that will leave you in a mood quite the opposite of what most films do today. When was the last time that happened?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wisteria and Sunshine
    Enchanted April is simply a wonderful film, filled with quiet romance and the mystery of life, and love. Watching this film is like watching a beautiful flower bloom from the most miniscule bud, wet with the dew of love. There is a charm and warmth found here that is sadly missing in film today.

    When an ad is placed in the paper offering a vacation of wisteria and sunshine at a castle by the sea in Italy, two Englishwomen, Lottie (josie Lawrence) and Rose (Miranda Richardson), who are friends from church, leave their mates behind to join two other women for an April to remember. Hesitant at first, everything changes on their first morning there when Lottie opens her bedroom shutters upon the most beautiful vista she has ever seen. She is flooded with love and seems to have a deeper understanding of the human heart than ever before.

    Sharing the villa and its enchantment are an older woman with quite a past, and a stunning socialite tired of being pawed at by men. Joan Plowright is delightful as the elderly Mrs. Fisher, who begins to live again under the spell of wisteria and sunshine. But it is beautiful Polly Walker's portrayel of Caroline Hester, with her magic eyes and Louise Brooks look, that nearly steals the show.

    The internal musings of Lottie and Rose prompt both women to do the unthinkable and send for their husbands, bringing humorous and unexpected events to this April on the Riviera. Each will begin to find inner happiness and a rebirth of love. Even Caroline, who wanted to be alone, will discover love and beauty beyond her appearance.

    Few films have the depth to sooth the soul and leave you feeling good about life like this magical film. Take your own enchanted holiday by picking this up as soon as you can.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most unusual
    While some may say this is a "chick flick" I couldn't disagree more. The form, casting, story, and, well, everything is just so unusual. The cast is superb with Polly Walker and Joan Plowright coming out on top. And the photography and settings are the best. But what I liked most about it was the lack of a formulaic approach. The movie starts out with dissonances and then does nothing but resolve itself slowly so that by the time you're at the end, you feel like YOU'VE been on vacation. This isn't a movie; it's a work of art.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For Rent: Peace of Mind
    This is a great movie, it is more of a "Chick Flick" so to speak, but if you are in the mood for a chick flick that you don't really need kleenex for, this is the one. An unhappily married woman is running her errands on a blustery rainy day when on the back of someones news paper she sees an add for a castle in Italy for rent for the month of April. She tells her friend about it, they pool their money, find 2 other women to go in on the expenses with them, and life unfolds before their very eyes. They make realizations about themselves, their lives, and the men in their lives. At some point in everyones life, they need to find this kind of an add... It is heart warming, life affirming, and just a really great movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I was enchanted AND I laughed
    There's a lot of humor in this film, much of the humor is subtle, and some of it is obvious. For example, some intellectual humor where the simple-minded but endearing Lottie asks the stuffy old woman if she knew Keats, a poet who had been dead for over a hundred years! Or the scene where she's trying to get permission from her husband to go to Italy with her friend.. that whole scene is priceless, very funny. As far as obvious humor, one example would be her husband having a rather... explosive... accident while he's taking a bath!... and then he comes out half-naked and charred only to be met by the old woman!! You'll laugh :)

    AS you can imagine, this film is a satire or lampoon of the attitudes and mores of the 1930s which is when this story takes place. But don't worry, it's not a stuffy old boring period piece--far from it! This is an immensely enjoyable and accessible film that will really delight you. Very easy to follow and enjoy, very amusing and funny.

    David Rehak
    author of "Love and Madness" ... Read more


    3. The Tango Lesson
    Director: Sally Potter
    list price: $21.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767800958
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 137
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Sally Potter's self-reflective film stars Potter (an actress and the director of Orlando), more or less as herself, learning to tango from master dancer Pablo Veron and considering making a film called The Tango Lesson. The film that we happen to be watching, however, is concerned largely with the delicious conflict between the politics of tango--the need for one partner, typically the woman, to yield to the other--and the expectations of the filmmaker to do things on her own terms. Can Potter simultaneously surrender and control for the duration of this circular project? The question is made more complicated by Veron's desire to be in one of Potter's films--in other words, to follow her lead. Potter may not be Veron's equal on the dance floor, but that isn't the point of this interesting movie and its provocative, internal debate. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (56)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Striking movie that captures the spirit of the Tango
    Most dance movies obscure the actual dancing in a barrage of MTV-quick-cut shots of heads and feet. This one doesn't. Why not? Because it doesn't have to. The dancers are terrific, and shooting them full-length, with the camera on them for minutes at a time, shows them and the Tango to advantage.

    After a distracting yet stylish introduction, the movie settles down into its intelligent portrayal of two exceptional people learning to love each other and dance together. The director wisely keeps the dialogue to a minimum, and lets the dancing tell the story. And what dancing! The Tango is a captivating dance to begin with, and these folks dance it with grace and passion.

    Pablo Veron has more screen presence than any other actor alive, and he's a world-class dancer to boot. Sally Potter, the movie's director who plays his partner is also an excellent tanguera. Did I say it before? The dancing is amazing!

    From the parks of Paris to the Tango salons of Buenos Aires, the characters speak to each other in French, Spanish, and English. This ain't Hollywood fare. No car chases, no pulling of heart strings, no wacky characters. Just striking cinematography, a fine, spare script, and delightful dancing. If you like beautiful things, you'll like this movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars To set things straight...
    I saw the Tango Lesson and found it a genuine work of Art. I recommend those who love good movies to watch this one. The Tango Lesson perhaps has a weak plot, but a film director isn't necessarily a story teller. The meta-narration which takes place in the Tango Lesson certainly makes this movie an advanced art product, which has nothing to do with the telling of actual occurrences, but rather focuses on the developing of Art itself in the mind and life of an Artist. In my opinion, one of the strong-points of this film is that it allows us to peek into the director's head, and see Art through her eyes (I can assure it's quite a sight). Some may interpret this film as an "exercise in self-indulgence," but personally, I think this approach misleading, in the age of the "Self." We're talking Art here, and Sally Potter is the Artist. Herself: no one else should be the starting point and centre of her own movie. The Lady knows how to direct, act, dance and sing: why shouldn't she do all of the above? I think she deserves much admiration: she's a well rounded Artist, and there aren't many! (Besides, as I've said already, to me the film is about Art and Life before anything else: the director uses her own experience and many skills to make a point and to get things done exactly how she wants them, but the movie isn't "about" Sally Potter.) Now to the point. The editing has character, it's intelligent, original, definitely not a Hollywood product. The photography is breathtaking - and eloquent: it says "the Tango Lesson is about Aesthetics, Beauty itself." The acting is honest, fresh, and charming. In my opinion, the acting is superb: Sally Potter really knows what measure and elegance are. The soundtrack is exquisite. The tango pieces are great, and so is the leitmotiv of the movie: the seagull-like cry in the airport scene tears my heart out every time I listen to it (it's also the one track that made me decide to buy the CD). This film, someone said, has little to offer the general public. I'm afraid this is accurate. Or rather, "the general public" probably would have some difficulty in tacklig this art-movie, which I don't believe was meant to give easy answers to difficult questions (like so many other films) but to make people think. Nonetheless, seeing this movie made me realise all over again that it's definitely worth trying.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great dancing, great locales, not enough courage.
    Sally Potter is a great director and Pablo Veron, her sometime teacher/boyfriend is a great dancer. Having said that, there is a reason why this film , despite its apparent honesty, fails.

    It doesn't cut deep enough into the dark or shamefull flaws of the leads. It's too subtle for its own good, or rather it's subtle by default, it lacks courage. Sally plays herself and wistfully looks up at the apartment building where her teacher, Veron (who also plays himself) resides. It's a beutifull shot, with snowflakes falling. . .

    In another scene she tells him she has been in love with him as a woman for over a year but that he just wants her to get into the movies and be a star, whereupon his reaction is once again, er...subtle.

    The point I'm getting at is that she's much more than merely 'wistful' , she'a a middle aged woman who is making a complete ass of herself, acting like a 14 year old with a crush towards a man who is indeed ruthlessly exploiting her for the money of the lessons and for his chance at a movie role.

    But we don't get to the heart of that.

    These dark sides are whitewashed in wistfull snowflakes . . .

    Had these flaws been brought out the characters would have been infinitely more vulnerable and interesting. The love between them (yes , despite their flaws there is love) would still have been there, the magic of the dance and its art would also have been there in all its glorious obsession. Most of all, the contradictions that make these two human beings unique and interesting would have come forth.

    Still worth watching for some of the best Tango numbers choreographed. But it's a pity compared to what it could have been. . .

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of My Favorite Movies
    I absolutely loved it because it's an adult love story told from an adult point of view. The two main characters have strong personalities, and because of their occupations, are used to being in control. They learn that in life, sometimes you lead and sometimes you follow. The cinematography is perfect; you only see what needs to be on screen, nothing superfuous. The same can be said about the dialogue. Sally Potter was involved in every aspect of her film: directing, writing, acting, dancing, writing music/lyrics, and singing. There is great chemistry between the two main characters and the music and dancing are wonderful. You won't be sorry you purchased it. The music will make you raptuous and the dancing will inspire you to dance.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Choregraphy is great!
    The film as a film justly explores the politics of tango and is well directed. The film may lead the uninitiated to believe a student could reach such an advanced level of dance in such a short period of time. However . . . it is a film produced as entertainment.

    All in all - for tango lovers, the dance scenes are worth watching again and again. ... Read more


    4. The Wizard of Oz
    Director: Richard Thorpe, King Vidor, Victor Fleming
    list price: $8.93
    our price: $8.93
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000JS61
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 100
    Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (339)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A true masterpiece! A 5 star winner and a true classic!
    The Wizard of Oz has got to be one of the greatest movies in classical and musical cinema history. For sixty years this movie has been the perfect choice for childeren and adults to watch and enjoy. The story is about Dorthy Gale who lives in Kansas with her aunt and uncle. When Dorthy decides to run away from home because of her feelings being empty a tornado hits and she and her house are taken to another world, the Land of Oz. A place where she finds friends like she never imagined like Glinda the good witch of the north, the beautiful witch who gives her the rubey slippers which posses power like any unknown. The scarecrow, a friendly man of clothing and straw who wants a brian, the tin woodsman, a sweet man made of tin who wants a heart, the lion, a kind and cowardly forest animal who wants courage and the wicked witch of the west, a evil witch who wants the rubey slippers and revenge on Dorthy for accidently killing her sister, the wicked witch of the east. As Dorthy and her friends follow the yellow brick to the emerald city, the place where the great and powerful and mysterious Wizard of Oz lives the magic of this film can tell the rest.

    A true masterpiece! Excellent polt, characters, music and more. It holds an emotional presents that will touch everyone's heart and wish they were in the Land of Oz! See it and live through the magic of this timeless classical film of wonders.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An OZ-some DVD Experience
    Like most baby boomers, I've watched this film dozens of times in the past on broadcast TV, then VHS tape, then LaserDisc ... but I had never actually SEEN "The Wizard of Oz" until this newly restored DVD came out. It's an amazing transfer. The sepia-tone Kansas sequences are startlingly sharp and clear, and the Technicolored world "Over the Rainbow" is truly dazzling. I found myself fascinated by details I had never noticed before: the glittering corn stalks in the Scarecrow's field; the mirror-like floors of the Emerald City; the polished buttons on the guardsmen's uniforms. Incredibly, even the individual grains of red sand in the Witch's hourglass stood out and glistened! All these minor-but-sumptuous visual details served to heighten the magical spell that the film has always woven, enhancing the performances, the story, and the music.

    The DVD extras are a mind-boggling embarrassment of riches. The "Making Of" documentary hosted by the incomparable Angela Lansbury is worth the price of the DVD alone, but there's so much more: an international poster gallery, interviews with cast members, deleted scenes, production stills, radio clips, etc, etc. There's enough material to keep even the most casual viewer fascinated for hours, and a true Oz buff will be occupied for days!

    If you only bought a DVD player to watch this one disc, it would well be worth the expense. Treat yourself, and fall in love with this classic film again ... for the first time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Wonderful Movie of Oz
    I have been enchanted as I now watch the movie as an adult. It is not just a story about a girl from Kansas trying to get back home - actually, that was added into the movie: "There's no place like home" wasn't in the book even. I think it was a story of things that we want, and that we imagine these things may be granted by the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The scarecrow wants a brain, the tinman a heart, and the lion courage. On their journey off to see the wizard, they encounter the wicked witch of the west - who is determined to get the ruby slippers off of Dorothy's feet. Now, the thing I am puzzled by is at the beginning, Glinda is the one who reminds the wicked witch about the shoes. Then she is the one who places them on Dorothy's feet: "There they are and there they'll stay." Had she not had the shoes, her journey to the wizard would not have been so troublesome. Not to mention that the "good witch" sent Dorothy on a journey to a phony wizard. I wonder now if there was some kind of irony in that - since she was also the one who in the end tells Dorothy that all she has to do is click her heels together and say "there 's no place like home." While the movie is totally a classic I love and will watch over and over again, I am wondering about the book: Were the "ruby slippers" (which were silver in the novel) as magical - and - if there was no "no place like home" in the novel then I am wondering how Dorothy got back to Kansas. I think that because each time I watch this film I realize something new, it will always remain one of my favorite movies ever.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Wizard of Oz is wonderful
    The classic film! The Wizard of Oz is wonderful. Judy Garland's breakthrough performance. Beautiful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Growing Up, Growing On
    I knew every line of this as a kid. I loved the books. I even loved the sequel that everyone else hated because I love OZ. I tried to be "over" this movie for a long time as an adult. But every time I see it I re-remember why I couldn't get enough before. The quintessential fairy tale. All kids and all adults should watch it again to remind them that a movie can work without sex, violence or graphic anything really. It's scary -- touching -- and completely engrossing -- more so each year I grow older. ... Read more


    5. Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken
    Director: Steve Miner
    list price: $9.99
    our price: $9.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302274001
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 52
    Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    This charming Disney live-action picture is a genuine sleeper. It's a variation on the old boy-runs-away-to-join-the-circus story, except this time the boy is a girl. After she joins a traveling show in the 1930s, spunky teen Sonora Webster (Gabrielle Anwar) learns the ropes and eventually lands a plum role in the program: riding a horse off a 40-foot-high diving board into a tank of water. Well, Sonora thinks it's a plum, anyway. Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken has the usual love interest, a brush with tragedy, and some worldly wisdom (the latter doled out by old pro Cliff Robertson, in a nice role as a crusty barnstormer). What makes the movie memorable is the performance of the lovely Gabrielle Anwar, the doe-eyed actress who later danced the tango so memorably with Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. The movie may be sappy--no surprise with that title--but Anwar provides bright star wattage and a plucky role model. --Robert Horton ... Read more

    Reviews (60)

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken"
    An great video for horse-lovers of all ages. Gabrielle Anwar's
    character, Sonora endures a number of life changing events that to the average person may seem exceptionally dramatic and difficult to overcome. Her strong will to have her dream even when it seemed impossible shows a great example to us all! Vic tory only comes to those of us who are always willing to try one more time. Overall this video shows us good moral examples. There is no sex or violence to speak of. This is also a true story. It shows our children to have dreams and to go after them. Have integrity, faith, hope, love through the bad times as well as the good. Above all, if you want something out of life be willing to work hard for it. Don't let someone else steal your dreams. I firmly believe we can be or do exactly as we dream. God almighty gives us the freedom to create our own destiny by the building of our own character dispite others opinions. It's a darn good movie, even after 6 times! What more can I say? Buy it!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars An engrossing family tale, based on a true story!
    Every once in awhile a story comes along that is so heartfelt, so touching, that it reaches a chord deep inside us. Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken is one of those stories.

    Based on real life, it follows the tale of an orphan girl named Sonora Webster. After Sonora's parents die of "the fever" and her aunt leaves her at the mercy of the local orphanage, Sonora runs away with plans to become one of Dr. Carver's diving girls, a journey that takes her on an exciting adventure.

    Sonora is given the opportunity to prove she can be a diving girl; when she falls from her horse and gets a bloody nose, (while attempting to pull herself on) she answers in response to a gruff, "you gonna cry, you gonna cry?" "I never cry." she says, with a determined look in her eye.

    You'll laugh and you'll cry, right along with Sonora: I can watch this film over and over again, it continually inspires me to follow my dreams and never give up! From the first time that I saw this movie as a girl of 13, and even until today, I still tear up as Sonora defies impossible odds to fulfill her dreams. "If you want something bad enough, anything is possible."

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Definite Must See
    I first saw this movie with two of my girlfriends when we were young girls, it capured all of our hearts and we watched it over and over. Years later I'm flipping through the channels and see it on, I turn to it for old times sake and fell back in love with it all over again. It's one of those movies I can watch over and over and still one more time. The characters are great and the actors playing them do such a great job. It shows that determination does pay off no matter what. The moral of the movie is great, and I would recommend that any parent buy this movie for their children, they'll love it themselves as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Horse Movie
    One of my very favorite movies. A MUST SEE for any horse lover! Great message in the movie too. Wish it was on DVD though.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just a Great Movie
    Call me sentimental. Call me a pushover for kids and animals but this is a great movie I just happened to stumble on.

    Parents: Run don't walk and buy this for the family. Disney did it again. Heartwarming tale of an orphan girl makes good. She makes good in the public eye but also, and the important lesson from the story, makes good overcoming terrible odds.

    I am surprised there have not been hundreds of reviews of this movie. Absorbing for adults and children. Good lessons to be learned. An hour and a half well spent.

    Buy it! ... Read more


    6. The Red Balloon
    Director: Albert Lamorisse
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6303968651
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 46
    Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The late French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse made this classic, 1956 short work about a lonely little Parisian boy (Pascal Lamorisse) befriended by a large red balloon, which seems to have a will of its own. As with his preceding short, 1952's White Mane, Lamorisse took home a grand prize from the Cannes Film Festival for The Red Balloon, and the latter film also won an Academy Award. There have been some stimulating pieces of film criticism (some pro, some con) written about the aesthetics of this little movie over the years, but there's no question it makes for a touching, allegorical piece always certain to prompt conversations among viewers of any age. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (63)

    5-0 out of 5 stars My absolute favorite movie from my childhood.
    ... This movie was my absolute favorite from my childhood days. The first time I ever saw this was when I was in grade school back in the 1970's. They would show this movie at school on the old motion picture projectors on rainy days when you couldn't go out for recess. I remember falling in love with the movie instantly and always looking forward to the next time the school would show it. It was such a magical experience to watch it as a child and I can honestly say this is the only film that I can still hear and see in my memory. The music, and the sound of the little boy running through the cobble stone streets, and the stark contrast between the balloon's brilliant color and the boy's very grey world. I also remember the teachers at school telling us how they had to request this movie from the city library many months in advance because it was such a popular film with the school district. Who would have ever thought that American public schools could make such great decisions? Showing this film over and over year after year was one of the best ideas any of my teachers had. I really recommend you share this movie with your loved one's as it may just help create wonderful memories for them to look back on someday.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of My Favorite French Films!
    I have fond memories of Watching The Red Balloon when I was a little girl in the 70's. I remember it being shown in my Elementary school with an old movie projector and I also remember watching it on TV and this is still one of my favorite French movies. It is a short film about a little French boy who follows a red balloon throughout Paris and it is a very endearing movie. A Couple of years ago this movie was shown on TCM and I taped it and I see that Several reviewers have wrote about owning this movie on DVD and I would love to have it on DVD but Amazon only seems to have the video in their online catalog and no DVD so I guess that the DVD is out of print or Amazon just doesn't sell it but anyways I very highly recommend this delightful movie which is great for all ages! BTW: I liked the movie so much as a child that when I saw the book in our public library I borrowed it several times and I loved the book too!

    5-0 out of 5 stars question ???
    I am trying to find this wonderful movie in dvd format. Is it hopeless? If so why?

    5-0 out of 5 stars A classic that needs to be restored..
    This timeless little film is probably the best known French film in the United States. This is due to the fact that nearly every elementary school had a copy which they used to babysit the kids when a teacher was absent. This film is such an effective "babysitting" tool because it completely draws in and engages the viewer no matter their age. Lamorisse truly knew and practiced "camera as stilo". I find this film to be as fascinating and colorful now (at age 34) as I did when I was ten years old. This is truly a film masterpiece, just one of many to come out of France in the 50's and 60's.

    It is a shame that the DVD is so grainy and the sound so poor, the copy I have is actually a Korean DVD which is no problem as you can turn off the Korean subtitles. It would seem, as some reviewers have suggested, that this DVD was made from a copy of the film stock that was dragged through the streets. It is still watchable but it is a crime that this film masterpiece should be in such a poor state on DVD. Someone has to step up and remaster this film for DVD so that it can continue to reach children in future generations.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best childrens movie ever made
    I saw this when I was first in kindergarten. I cried when the evil gang of boys popped the poor red balloon at the end. Ever since then I had been wanting so badly to see it again, and finally I came across it on Amazon, and had to have it. I'm 13 now, but even though it may seem strange, the red balloon still makes me laugh as though I were still 5. No kid should grow up without watching the Red Balloon. It helps stimulate the imagination, as well as show you how bad things are in the world, when you have something, and others will stop at nothing to get it.
    When underpriveledged Pascal finds a large red balloon tied to a lamp post one early morning, he decides, why not take it with him to school. Things get complicated though. It seems as though the world around him is against balloons. He's not allowed to board the bus to school with it, the teacher won't allow it in the classroom, and his Mother bcomes mad at him for bringing it home. She soon throws it out the window, scolding him afterwords. But Pascal see's something out his bedroom window. It's the balloon! After bring it back in, he doesn't bother trying to figure out how it's alive, he's glad to have a friend finally, no matter who, or what it is. Maybe things won't be so bad after all. Or will they be?
    Producer, and writer Albert Lammorise should've gotten a nomination for best film of the year in 1956. It's an instant five stars. After watching the film, I felt a void like all kids might for the red balloon after he got popped. But it turns out, there is a sequel, which one a film festival award called the revenge of the red balloon. It gives you satisfaction for the balloon is back, and he goes around making sure that none of the boys (now men) that popped him so long ago, never see another day of their lives. It was just as hilarious as the first, maybe even funnier, but not so much for kids. The red balloon gets a whopping 5 stars for outstanding everything. Who needs wors in a movie like this. ... Read more


    7. Aristocrats
    list price: $4.97
    our price: $4.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004WGBT
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 327
    Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Unlikely Fan
    I am a college age (21) skater kid who loves to surf and knows nothing about european history. I am Hawaiian Chinese. Yet, when I sat down one night, flipping through channels, I stopped at this movie called Aristocrats, about halfway through the first part. I was caught up in everything, and tuned in every sunday for the next three weeks to finish the series. I totally loved it. I feel like I've so much about things I never even thought of before. Get the movie... it is well worth it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rich And Elegant
    Aristocrats is the epitome of the costume historical dramas the British do so well. It is the story of the five Lennox sisters: Caroline, Emily, Louisa, Sarah, and Cecilia who, as the daughters of the Duke of Richmond and great-granddaughters of King Charles II, stood at the apex of 18th century English society. They lived lives of splendor in magnificent homes with dozens of servants, but their love lives were tumultuous and tortured. Unusually for that period, they held significant political influence through their husbands, sons, and lovers and were witnesses to much climatic history from the mid 1700s through the early 1800s.

    If you have only seen the version of Aristocrats shown on Masterpiece Theater in 1999 you are in for an extra treat with this video set in that many deleted scenes have been included, adding to the richness of the drama and making the story much more complete. (We see Cecilia's sad fate, for example).

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE best!
    This is the best English costume drama I've ever seen. Beats the
    heck out of the buccaneers. Better yet it's the story of a real
    family. One reviewer mentioned the fact of there being no interaction between the servants and the upper class....well, I
    guess that was how it was then. servants were to be not seen, not heard just do the job. Ah, for the good old days.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Tantalizing piece of history
    A very enjoyable production with a story that unfolds well. It does span several years, so large jumps in time do occur but the continuity remains. All in all, a bittersweet tale of a real family with real struggles; living in a time in history of which few of us can fully understand the importance of social and political standing. It may actually make you want to read the book and do further research!!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Flat Aristocrats
    Like many sagas, this series suffers from too many characters and too little development of characterization. Even the main characters are so dull and broadly drawn that it is impossible to feel either sympathy or revulsion for them. Like a soap opera, the plot merely rambles along, never seeming to progress toward any culmination other than the family's aging. Characters are sometimes introduced and killed off without any intervening significance to the action. There is practically no interaction between the master and servant classes, an element that usually adds interest to British period pieces. Those in service are treated as truly unseen, and the few Irish peasants presented are wooden props. If one turned off the sound and simply viewed the lavish, intricate costumes and settings, the series would probably be just as enjoyable. ... Read more


    8. A Man Called Peter
    Director: Henry Koster
    list price: $12.98
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6301628624
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 558
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Peter Marshall - A Man for All Generations
    "A Man Called Peter" is an excellent depiction of the true life story of Peter Marshall, an immigrant Scotsman who rose to Chaplain of the U.S. Senate before his untimely death in 1949. Marshall was a real man who served our real God. The movie is very true, generally speakly, to Catherine Marshall's book by the same title.
    The part of the movie that shows Catherine Marshall's alma mater, Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, was filmed on location. As a native of Decatur, Georgia, this movie had a huge impact on me. Especially since my mother had actually heard Peter Marshall preach and was greatly affected by his sermons.
    Peter Marshall's message is ageless and inspiring. Young people who hear or read his sermons today feel as though Marshall is speaking to them just as he did to my mother's generation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Movie
    This is the true story of the Reverand Peter Marshall. It begins in Scotland where he is called by God for a special mission. It goes to Georgia, where Peter meets & marries Agnes Scott College student Catherine Wood (This part of the movie was filmed on the ASC campus). Finally, the movie takes us to Washington DC, where Peter is the minister at the Church of the Presidents and becomes Chaplain of the US Senate. The movie showcases some of him most memorable sermons - like his sermon on marriage. This is a great film for everyone in the family.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo!
    Bravo to Richard Todd and Jean Peters and the rest of the ensemble of this beatiful, inspiring and superbly made film based on the book by Catherine Marshall. Where was the Academy of Motion Pictures when this film came out? Both Peters and Todd deserved nominations. The film certainly did (it is far better fair than most others nominated in 1955 for Best Picture)
    See it and feel 100% better about life - and living

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Man of Character Committment and Conviction
    In our days of pluralism and completely relative morality embracing spirituality in any form, this movie sets a strong tone of inspiring faith and conficenc in God through Jesus Christ. Peter Marshall was an unusual minister of the gospel who made mistakes but loved his family and the Lord with no reservations. The movie is full of the traditional church persons who are more interested in maintaining their traditons than in establishing the traditions of the gospel. Peter's response to them is both loving and confrontive. I recommend this movie very much.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Man Called Peter
    An outstanding movie with uplifting characteristics. This is the story of a truly remarkable man and those who doubt the sencerity of this man ( and the movie ) do not know people who were exposed to Peter Marshall. This is a true classic with elevating overtones that should raise anyone's spirits. ... Read more


    9. Hotel Rwanda
    list price: $39.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007R4TRQ
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 87
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hotel Rwanda:A Movie or Documentary?

    I saw the movie and am ordering the VHS tape to show to aspects of genocide to my college class on homicide.

    I have discussed this with other viewers:The movie makes you feel as though you are in Rwanda in the midst of the genocide.Its gripping nature depicts the scene more as a documentary than a movie.

    It is a superb educational tool. There is no finer depiction of genocide inAfrica absent raw footage by news or human rights organizations.

    There is a good reason its performers were nominated in the Oscars. I recommend it highly.

    Howard Cooley
    HGC1235@aol.com























































    ... Read more


    10. Twelfth Night
    Director: Trevor Nunn
    list price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6304449313
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 567
    Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    This picture is an adaptation of Shakespeare's classic comedy. The setting has been updated to the victorian era but the focus is still on the universal question of gender. ... Read more

    Reviews (80)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Twelfth Night deserves one star per night!
    This is one of the most imaginative interpretations of Shakespeare (or perhaps anything) I've ever seen. Although I have read the play numerous times, I never would have thought of doing it this way. The story was fleshed out even more than Shakespeare did to begin with, and was made to seem modern and old-fashioned all at the same time. Director Trevor Nunn did a wonderful job with this film (but of course he also formed the Royal Shakespeare Company, so what else would one expect?) :-)

    Although each member of the cast does a great job, a few must be mentioned individually. Imogen Stubbs proves to have an amazing amount of talent and versatility in the complicated role of Viola/Cesario. Nigel Hawthorne is terrific as Malvolio, particularly in one hilarious moment where he tries to smile - something at which he is not too practised. Helena Bonham Carter makes a very appealing Olivia. Ben Kingsley is absolutely wonderful, and extremely expressive, as Feste the fool.

    TWELFTH NIGHT is a film that is definitely worth watching over and over.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Present mirth hath present laughter.......
    How wonderful that I should happen upon this movie one early summer evening not so very long ago - and that it should brighten the wettest, most overcast June immemorial!

    Director Trevor Nunn set this Shakespeare play in the Victorian era, and his adaptation is overflowing with talent - Imogen Stubbs (Viola) shows herself to be a versatile actress who can brilliantly play this complex lead with ease! Also notable were Nigel Hawthorne (Malvolio), Toby Stephens (Orsino), Helena Bonham Carter (wonderful as Olivia, although I'd expected it as I've never seen her performances as anything less), Richard E. Grant (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), and Imelda Staunten (Maria) -- and Ben Kingsley (the fool, Feste) did such a magnificent job - and, incidently, he sings superbly - he would easily have stolen the show if it weren't for the flawless performances of the entire cast!

    I had to give it four stars instead of five because it was very hard to follow what was being spoken much of the time. I actually had to pull out my "Riverside Shakespeare" to follow what was being said. Much of this movie is verbatim directly from the play itself - which I must say endears it further into my heart.

    In the midst of a summer where, at least here in my little realm of the earth, it "raineth every day," a movie such as this eases the doldrums. This movie is a delight!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
    My theater class and I saw this after I finished reading the play TWELFTH NIGHT, and I must say, it kept to the script really well. But the depth that it had was great- when I read the play, it was kind of like 'Hmmm... okay, this is cool, love triangles!' And then it skipped to the servant scenes and I started racing through those to get to the, I supposed, 'better' action taking place with the twins.

    But the servants have some of the best character representation out of the movie, especially Ben Kingsley as Feste and Malvolio- they rocked. And the main cast was perfect, as well.

    All in all, probably the best re-doing of a Shakespeare play that I have ever seen... I loved it!

    Oh- and how can anybody help but love the music to this movie? Kingsley's voice is magnificent, and makes you finish the thing wanting more. (My theater teacher is a performer at heart, and after our class finished it, he memorized the closing song- The Wind and the Rain- and that's practically all he sings nowadays... and what's worse, he has our English teacher doing it, too. :)

    But watch this, seriously. If you're skeptical about understanding a Shakespearean drama, have no fear. Everything's really easy to understand, and it follows the script almost word for word.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most exquisite film rendition of Shakespeare ever
    The wonderful review by "theviciouscircle" says almost all: this is a rare and beautiful filming of one of Shakespeare's most engaging comedies. Every role is played to perfection -- the entire production shows the cast's and crew's intelligence, deftness, sense of play and extraordinary craft. Every single actor has so embodied his or her part that I will never again see the play without seeing this cast in my mind's eye. Ben Kingsley and Imogen Stubbs stand out even in this exceptional group. The music fits every mood in the play; Shakespeare simply must have heard these tunes when he wrote the verses, and the themes and backgrounds further carry us into the spirit of the play.
    The Cornish settings in autumn are almost too beautiful; at times, one almost misses the acting, so spellbinding is the countryside in which it takes place. Trevor Nunn and his crew are much to be praised for finding locales that hold the story so gracefully -- we may know this is Cornwall, but we believe we are transported to Illyria. All in all, it is difficult to imagine a more exquisite realization of a robust yet delicate play. I have long waited to see this film on DVD, and in the widescreen format in which it was made -- how can the studio not release it?

    4-0 out of 5 stars A bit of everything and a bit too much of everything
    This film is basically great, because many of the scenes are merry and can make most people titter (which is not bad considering that Shakespeare's humour relies so much on word-play) and of course give you that "warm" feeling.

    As for the well-known plot against Malvolio, the pranksters seem to waver between enjoyment and a bad concience for engaging in such an idle or childish activity. Unlike some other reviewers, I can accept the sometimes blank face of Sir Toby, the indifference of Feste and the sternness of Maria, although their behaviour creates an odd feeling, as if they are not really enjoying the revels. Maybe the director is trying to say that Malvolio is not the only "malvolient" character.

    This is probably the play that has the best music of all, and Ben Kingsley's singing is good enough. It should not be more schooled than it is because Feste is obviously a street-wise singer.

    The director deserves credit for slowing the pace down in the middle of the film. My favorite part is when "O mistress mine" is simultaneously played at the duke's court and sung by Feste elsewhere. Here, the plot finds unity and the many characters become powerfully united.

    The best acting performance, if you ask me, is Imogen Stubbs as Viola. She comes across as a real person and somehow manages to show all her conflicting emotions at once. Many of the other characters come across as spirits, half human, which makes sense since they live in "Illyria."

    The weaknesses lie in a gaudiness and, perhaps, in a fragmentation into too many clips and scenes. I've actually watched part of the film in black and white and liked it better that way. All music except that which is part of the plot should clearly have been done away with, including the overblown, flowery starting tune which completely drowns (sic) the misery of Viola after the shipwreck. There is no need to tell us at this early stage that it will be a warm and happy movie! A strength in some of Shakespeare's comedies is that they are in danger of ending tragically.

    The ending has been criticised before and while I enjoy it and have shed tears over it I partly agree with the criticism. It also suffers a bit from the gaudiness.

    Still, I'm very thankful for this movie and I could easily have given it a 5. But since it is Shakespeare my demands go up a notch. The film is good craftmanship and some of its problems are indeed hard to solve: the abundance of characters, the overflow of beauty - what can you really add in that department when there's already so much beauty in Shakespeare's lines? ... Read more


    11. The Jungle Book
    Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
    list price: $26.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6304500831
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 152
    Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (64)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A good movie with even better music
    Mowgli was raised by wolves and now he's growing up in the jungle. He's been in the jungle all his life, so he doesn't know what it's like to even be around another person. But it's not as bad as it sounds, Mowgli has tons of great friends such as the hilarious Baloo the bear. But he also has a few enemies, mainly a gruesome tiger named Shere Khan, who doesn't like humans at all. It's up to Mowgli to survive in the wilderness, and with the aid of his friends, he'll have a good chance of not having to worry about Shere Khan. But will Mowgli ever find out what it's like to be around other people?

    "The Jungle Book" is a good movie. It has good animation, it's entertaining with the animated drama and the hilarious antics of Baloo, and it has some of the best songs out of any of the Disney movies, such as "Bear Necessities." I recommend anybody who likes animated movies to take a walk in the jungle and give "The Jungle Book" a chance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's just a bare necessity!
    The feature-length cartoons Disney continues to produce are fine films, but nowhere near as good as classics like The Jungle Book. Unburdened by the modern-day Disney habit of giving every film a heavy family-friendly moral message, the Jungle Book is just 100% pure fun, with a cool hero (Mowgli), entertaining friends (especially the bear Baloo) and some great villainous characters (most memorably Shere Khan the tiger). This movie was made years before Phil Collins or Elton John were drafted in as cartoon soundtrack composers, and the songs are just awesome - "The Bare Necessities", "I Wanna Be Like You" and Kaa the snake's hissed encouragement to "Trust in Me". Get this DVD while you can!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Contrasting review
    I know how many people gave five star reviews on here. Mine is not a five star review. I am giving you my straight opinion on this movie.

    One, I don't think this movie is fit for family viewing. Adults will not find it interesting or entertaining, and it hardly serves any purpose in teaching moral lessons to children. Two, this cartoon almost borders on animated pedophilia. It just looks sick and wrong, really, with this older, scary bear taking this young innocent away and teaching him his "bear ways."

    This is not charming entertainment. This is a pain. If you want a charming, older Disney movie you should check out their animated version of Robin Hood. The music in Robin Hood is far better as well. I have always disliked "The Jungle Book."

    5-0 out of 5 stars To Run with the Wolves: A Girlhood Dream
    I'm a little kid, don't remember exactly how old, elementary school age. My teenage cousin promises to take me to see *The Jungle Book*. She falls asleep. Minutes are ticking down to show time. I poke at her but she snoozes on. Elders tell me to leave her alone. I stand over her and glare, using my powers of mind control to will her awake. It works!

    I was just desperate to see this movie. I loved all the Disney animals stories and *The Jungle Book* turned out to be my favorite. The lively songs, lush animation, compelling characters, and strong storyline left quite an impression on me. Can never forget the loving and gentle Bagheera, that kooky monkey, and Baloo, Baloo the lovable bear. Ooh, and that sinister Shere Khan striking fear in the hearts of all and the slithering sneaky snake always up to no good. The voices used are wonderful and fit the characters to perfection. I was in heaven, and it has stood the test of time by remaining one of my favorite animated films.

    I just wanted so badly, just longed to be a girl version of Mowgli. Raised by wolves, living wild and free in the jungle, playing with the bears and apes. Climbing trees and swinging from vines. Yep, that was the life for me. I sobbed at the end, crying: No, Mowgli, don't leave your animal friends behind and live with people. You are making a big mistake! Would he return to his original home? I wondered, why of course he would!

    As an adult, I understand Mowgli's decision to join the village and live with his own kind. The girl in me, though, still doesn't get it and yearns to run free.

    4-0 out of 5 stars jungle book
    jungle book is an enjoyable and funny film it is wonderful for children and i thought it was good as well. ... Read more


    12. The Sound of Music
    Director: Robert Wise
    list price: $6.98
    our price: $6.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000067JG3
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 19
    Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (337)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The happiest sound in its best version yet!
    Reviled by some, beloved by many, consistently referred to as the most popular movie musical ever made, THE SOUND OF MUSIC more than fulfills the promise of its beautiful visuals and expert song numbers on home video via DVD. This edition tops the 1995 laserdisc by allowing the sparkling, exemplary design of its 70mm. Todd-AO frame to be exhibited with increased sharpness and resolution. The 4.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack is powerful and clean, but since this film was originally mixed for six-track magnetic stereo, it's curious why the effort wasn't made by Fox to split the surrounds! Nonethless, the film sounds terrific. The extra features make this package a bargain at the price. Full length commentary by director Bob Wise, with the musical numbers presented sans vocals, is a great touch. And the two documentaries are beautifully presented; full of facts and bits of arcane information that any fan will truly enjoy. A great movie, and a great DVD rendition. More like this, PLEASE!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!!! One of the Best Musicals Ever Made!!!
    First of all, I'd like to confess that I've probably watched this movie more than one hundred times in my lifetime.

    "The Sound of Music" is such a popular movie that people can't enough of making fun of it, which is understandable: I mean, a nun, seven children, songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Austrian landscape. In reality, most of these people probably haven't sat down and watched this movie, because it is an absolutely unforgettable experience.

    Julie Andrews is absolutely magical as Maria. When she runs on the mountaintop and starts singing the famous lyrics "The hills are alive...," it sends chills down my spine to this day. Christopher Plummer cuts a good figure as the captain but gave a rather stiff performance: he doesn't bring anything extra to the role. Eleanor Parker, as the Baroness, was wasted--a role like that was far beneath her talents. But the children were all wonderful, especially Charmian Carr who was charming as Liesl.

    This movie is ultrasentimental and proud of it. But I'll stick with this rather than some of those one-dimensional slasher flicks which are in fashion these days. It has a plausible story, some of the world's most remembered songs, and the glorious Austrian and Swiss Alps in the background. Overall, I can't say anything other than I loved it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Hills Are Alive...Now and Forever
    No matter how many times you've seen this 1965 musicalization of the 1959 stage classic, it's still a joy to behold. For me, there are many reasons. On location filming in Saltzburg heightens the story's magnitude. The casting of Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp was a coup for both 20th Century Fox and director Robert Wise. She's magnificent and ever so professional. Back then, this was only her third Hollywood movie. But she's a pro from start to finish. Everything she does it fraught with such emotion and conviction, you'd swear she was Maria Von Trapp. Opening up the stage play with several new scenes, sub plots, songs, characters and dialogue also benefits what could have been a very sticky situation. Finally, there's the DVD itself. This is the widescreen version that was shown back in theaters when the film first opened. It includes the intermission and the Act II opening music. With no formatting for television, you get to see everything in all it's technicolor glory. On video, half the Von Trapp children didn't fit on the televsion screen. Musical numbers lost there scope as did scenes where you had 13 characters in one room and only saw 7 on the screen. I highly recommend this DVD. But wait, there's more. The 87-minute documentary is awesome. So are segments showing scenes that were cut and up dates on how the kids look today.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Incredible movie, must see, but don't buy the one disc
    First off. Think you have seen the Sound of Music? Well you haven't. I thought I had, many times. Of course it was always around Xmas with the commerical breaks. But that is a much edited version. There are small but significant cuts everywhere in that version. So this is a great thing to have. My 3 stars relates directly to the lack of extras on the one disc. The movie is 5+ stars, but the lack of extras warrants the 3 stars.

    So this is a must buy. Also the commentary is very good here. But given the price for this on Amazon, just buy the 2 set version. I got the one disc version at a very good price so it is not a bad buy. But for $6 more, why not enjoy the double DVD? This is a must get for any movie fan, and if you are not into the extras, by all means buy this one. This movie, like all of Rogers and Hammerstein's work is emotional without ever being fake or sentimental. It is full of sentiment and completely honest sentiment at that, but never sentimentality. It totally puts to SHAME almost every director and producer and writer working in Hollywood today. Complete and total shame and disgrace. Nothing coming out of Hollywood today can hold a candle to this. Entire director's careers with academy awards can't even begin to even compare to just this one movie. So get some version, especially if you have young ones. Sit them down, and let them experience what a real movie can be.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This has been a great thing to share with my daughter.
    I grew up with this video and watched it on TV every year. The songs have always stuck in my head. I even did the Sound of Music Tour when I was in Austria. But now I've got my daughter introduced to this beautiful music. This and the Wizard of Oz are her favorites.

    I bought the easy piano scores for her to play the songs on the piano, and singing lessons on CD "Voice Lessons TO GO", by Vaccarino (They're great and a lot cheaper than private voice lessons!) for her, (even though I use them when she's at school). So she is confident to sing along while she plays her Edelweis and Do a Dear. We love it. ... Read more


    13. Nadia
    Director: Alan Cooke
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000IBMH
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 12706
    Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The first gymnast to ever score a perfect 10 at the Olympics was Nadia Comaneci. From a small town in Romania, Nadia (Leslie Weiner, in her only feature film role) rose to international stardom. Under the coaching guidance of Bela Karoli, she pushed herself with the will of a champion. This movie does a wonderful job of showing how hard gymnasts must work as well as showing how much they must give up in their personal lives in order to achieve success. After winning three gold medals at the 1976 Olympics, her life spins out of control when Bela is removed as her coach. For the first time in her life she is on her own, she is the object of jealousy from her teammates, and her weight is out of control. She seeks out her former coach and asks for his help. Together they put Nadia back on the winning track. A family film with a lot to offer, Nadia shows in a credible way the highs and lows of celebrity. The gymnastics portions are terrific. A must if there's a budding gymnast or gymnastic enthusiast in your home. Made in 1984 for television. (Ages 5 to adult) --Peggy Maltby-Etra ... Read more

    Reviews (43)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Where's the rest of the movie?
    I bought this VHS for my daughter, who is starting gymnastics lessons on the fall. While it was a good introduction to gymnastics for her, I can't help but feel really cheated. There is a LOT missing from this VHS version! There are scenes that abruptly cut off without explanation. There is a nice scene in the beginning where Nadia meets another little gymnast, they do an impromptu gymnastics routine together and lie on the mat and talk. That entire scene was cut out, so you're left not even knowing that they are friends. The was a lot more missing - more towards the end, that I realized after the film was over. I'm not sure why they didn't just release the film in its entirety, but it left the viewer with a feeling that character development was rather shallow, and it was more like a quick after-school special than a "bio", which is what the original version was. I would suggest waiting for this to eventually reappear on cable, rather than buying this version if you want something complete.

    4-0 out of 5 stars From what I've seen, it's pretty good
    I saw a small part of this movie on the Internet, and from what I saw, it was pretty good. I just wish I could see the whole movie!

    The gymnastic sequences were very well done, although some of the editing was pretty bad.

    If you can get your hands on this movie, than I think you should see it, because it deserves to be seen.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good!
    I remember watching this movie about Romanian Gymnast Nadia Comaneci when it first aired on TV and for a made for TV movie it was pretty good though some scenes were a bit rushed but I'm disappointed to hear that that when they put the movie on video they edited it and cut things out but maybe someday a restored version will be released on DVD. I see that there is some complaints that this movie didn't cover her comeback and her move to America but that is because this movie was made before her comeback and her move to America so that is why it's not mentioned in this but maybe someday an updated movie will be made about her.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Film
    I saw this movie when it was on TV and loved it! My sister and I taped it and must have watched it over 100 times! We knew every routine, every line, etc. Then I went to College with tape in hand and taped over it on accident. I was absolutely devastated until I found it on-line! I am so excited to get this movie back in my hands again. I read that this is an edited version, but I think that'll be ok.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Decent portrayal
    I felt the movie could've used a little more gymnastics action, and a little more of Nadia's come back from adversity. Also, little Teodora reminds me of another past Romanian star, Alexandra Marinescu. ... Read more


    14. Valley of the Dolls
    Director: Mark Robson
    list price: $12.98
    our price: $12.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0793910471
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 230
    Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    They don't make 'em like this anymore. Well, John Waters might, if he ever had a big enough budget. A steamy "inside look" at the alternately sleazy and glamorous world of catfighting, backbiting show-biz starlets, this Hollywood hit from the bestselling novel by Jacqueline Susann is a high-gloss camp artifact--a time capsule (or some kind of capsule, anyway)--from the screwy '60s, when a broad was a broad, a bitch was a bitch (whether "her" name was Neely O'Hara or Ted Casablanca), and a "doll" was a prescription drug. These dames of whine and poses obsessed over their bust lines, booze, and barbiturates. The once-shocking and scandalous language and behavior of these Broadway babes has been eclipsed by Dallas, Dynasty, and Melrose Place, but time has only enhanced the stature of Valley of the Dolls as a classic--and it still puts Showgirls to shame. With Patty Duke, Susan Hayward, Sharon Tate, Lee Grant, Barbara Parkins, and Martin Milner (and juicy, scene-chewing dialogue such as the infamous: "They drummed you out of Hollywood, so you come crawling back to Broadway. But Broadway doesn't go for booze and dope--now get out of my way, I've got a man waiting for me!"), Valley of the Dolls is the Mount Rushmore of backstage movie melodramas. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

    Reviews (106)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Patty Dukes it out in Dolls
    This is truly the ultimate Camp Classic film of all time. Patty Duke gives a mezmerizing performance as Singer Neely O'Hara and creates an unforgetable character in the process. It is HER film all the way, although Susan Hayward does an excellent job in a supportive Role. And, as Neely O'Hara Patty gets the opportunity to perform such songs as "It's Impossible", "Give a Little More" and of course the memorable "Come Live With Me". Just for these moments alone, the film is worth viewing. It will be interesting to see if the DVD will contain some out-take footage for the film's many many fans to see. Judy Garland, who originally was slated to portray Helen Lawson, was too ill at the time of filming to complete her scenes. Thus, Susan Hayward was called in to replace her and does a good job with the tough-as-nails Helen Lawson character. If you want to be totally entertained and mezmerized, buy or rent this video. And remember, you're not nutty, you're just hooked on Dolls.

    5-0 out of 5 stars RELIVE THE MOVIE IN YOUR CAR OR W/ YOUR WALKMAN!
    I would most definitely recommend this soundtrack for anyone is who is a big fan of the movie! The music is perfectly matched to each scene and when you listen to the soundtrack you can, as one of the previous reviewers said, picture each scene in your mind. I get a good chuckle listening to "Neely's Career Montage" and picturing Patty Duke's "workout" and rise to fame! And when I hear "Jennifer's French Movie", I see the beautiful Sharon Tate tossing around under the covers and speaking French! Barbara Parkins's distinguished and elegant narration make the first track a priceless, campy gem that sets the tone for the festivities. While it is disappointing that the title track ("Theme from 'Valley of the Dolls'" - apparently Dionne Warwick's record label had a dispute with the record label that released this soundtrack) and "I'll Plant My Own Tree" are not the versions heard in the film, they still sound similar enough that they manage to convey the same feelings of nostalgic joy! Interestingly enough, the songs Patty Duke's character sings are not really Patty's voice, but the singer they used was a great match for Patty's persona in the movie and both fabulous songs appear here! What more can I say?! If you aren't a big fan of the movie, then this soundtrack probably won't do a thing for you, but if you LOVE the movie like I do, then I a certain you will LOVE this delightfully cheesy soundtrack!

    5-0 out of 5 stars More Quoteable Quotes
    I can't resist....More Quotes:

    "Ted Casablanca is NOT a fag. And I'm the dame who can prove it."

    "You're not the breadwinnah either."

    "Tony! Tony! To-neeeeeeeee!"

    "Miriam.....I'm pregnant."

    "Sparkle Neely...Sparkle."

    "She's the one who wanted the kiddies and the vine covered cottage."

    "My beautiful little doll. Just one, and one more."

    "We're closing now Miss O'Hara."

    "Oh God you've got your costume on for the second act!"

    "Lyon? He's in the shower. I'll have him call you back."

    "I've done pills, booze and a funny farm. I don't need anybody or anything!"

    "The song goes, and the kid with it"

    "I know all about run-of-the-play contracts."

    "Neely, just a few short years ago you were an unknown little girl singing for her supper. Now because of the lush, warm notes that have emerged from your throat, you have become the idol of record buyers and movie goers all over America."

    5-0 out of 5 stars I need more than 5 stars
    Heck - the quotes alone will cover a page. See if you can add to this list:

    "I wanted a marriage like mom and dad's, but not yet. First I want new experiences, new faces, new surroundings. Lawrenceville will be there foreveah."

    "I remember the night I told them I was going to New York. They said it was a dreadful place for a vacation. I announced I was going to work there."

    "George Washington didn't sleep there but he did dip a bucket of water from our well."

    "I can still see them standing there waving. Aunt Amy, Mama and Willie. Poor Willie, he didn't know I was leaving his life forevah."

    "Queenie's pregnant again. My Siamese. Drat! I hope its not that beat up black Tom."

    "Black Siamese should be very pretty. I'm Anne Wells."

    "Oh yes, the agency phoned about you. A BA in Radcliffe. Mr. Bellamy will like that. He will thin it will gives the office tone."

    "Don't give her that I loved you when I was a little girl routine or she'll stab you in the back."

    "Neely never had that hard core like me. She never learned to roll with the punches."

    "Find yourself a wife. Have kids. Or one day you'll wind up alone like me. I wonder what the hell happened?"

    5-0 out of 5 stars "They drummed you right out of Hollywood.....
    ...so you come crawling back to Broadway"....

    Just one of a myriad of oh-so-quotable lines from the classic VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, based on Jacqueline Susann's steamy pulp-fiction bestseller of 1966. The acting is pure cheese, the script is a paler, watered-down imitation of Susann's text and the songs are God-awful. But there is something about this little gem that draws me in time after time. I could easily watch it once or twice a day and never get bored with it.

    The story recounts three girls in New York: Anne Welles (Barbara Parkins - BEAR ISLAND), Neely O'Hara (Patty Duke - THE MIRACLE WORKER) and Jennifer North (Sharon Tate).

    Anne has just arrived from small-town Lawrenceville, and landed a job as secretary in an entertainment law-firm. This leads Anne to the acquaintance of Neely, a young up-and-coming Broadway singer who's just been dumped from the new musical starring Helen Lawson (Susan Hayward - I WANT TO LIVE). The reason?...Neely would easily steal the show, and the only star of a Helen Lawson show is Helen Lawson...!

    Anne also meets Jennifer, a sweet but by her own admission, talentless showgirl/model. Anne's boss Lyon Burke (Paul Burke) arranges for Neely to sing on a charity telethon, and she quickly lands her own revue at a prominent nightclub. Jennifer marries handsome crooner Tony Polar (Tony Scotti) against the wishes of his sister/manager Miriam (Lee Grant - VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED). Anne then gets discovered by a cosmetics firm and becomes the glamorous 'Gillian Girl'.

    The story moves to Hollywood where both Neely and Tony are turned into movie stars. Success comes too fast and easily for Neely who disappears into a heady world of dolls and alcohol. Tony is tragically struck down with a mysterious disease which leaves him paralysed in a sanitarium. To make ends meet, Jennifer becomes an adult-film star.

    After going through two failed marriages, Neely hits bottom and is admitted into a rehab center, at Lyon and Anne's behest. With the offer of a new Broadway musical, Neely emerges and quickly finds her feet again, only to break Anne's heart when she claims Lyon for herself. Jennifer quits the porn business and discovers she has breast cancer.

    At a party for Helen Lawson's new musical, which bombed out-of-town, Neely and Helen duke it out in the ladies' room, resulting in the famous wig-ripping scene, which is probably the greatest piece in the whole film.

    Another great moment is Susan Hayward singing "I'll Plant My Own Tree" standing in the middle of a huge mobile, constructed of broken traffic-lights! Margaret Whiting provided Hayward's singing, though the role of Helen Lawson was originally earmarked for Judy Garland (and the song reeks of Garland influence).

    VALLEY OF THE DOLLS is a campy little gem, one that has a HUUUGE and dedicated following. Patty Duke has never eaten so much scenery in any of her subsequent films, Sharon Tate is luminous and Barbara Parkins (aka the Living Mannequin) is just what is called for the role of Anne.

    VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. A true classic. Accept no substitutes. ... Read more


    15. Ray
    Director: Taylor Hackford
    list price: $23.98
    our price: $20.38
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006OD44E
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 76
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Jamie Foxx's uncannily accurate performance isn't the only good thing about Ray. Riding high on a wave of Oscar buzz, Foxx proved himself worthy of all the hype by portraying blind R&B legend Ray Charles in a warts-and-all performance that Charles approved shortly before his death in June 2004. Despite a few dramatic embellishments of actual incidents (such as the suggestion that the accidental drowning of Charles's younger brother caused all the inner demons that Charles would battle into adulthood), the film does a remarkable job of summarizing Charles's strengths as a musical innovator and his weaknesses as a philandering heroin addict who recorded some of his best songs while flying high as a kite. Foxx seems to be channeling Charles himself, and as he did with the life of Ritchie Valens in La Bamba, director Taylor Hackford gets most of the period details absolutely right as he chronicles Ray's rise from "chitlin circuit" performer in the early '50s to his much-deserved elevation to legendary status as one of the all-time great musicians. Foxx expertly lip-syncs to Ray Charles' classic recordings, but you could swear he's the real deal in a film that honors Ray Charles without sanitizing his once-messy life. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (276)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Job by Jamie Foxx
    Jamie Foxx gives a five star, award-winning, performance of a lifetime in this movie filled with drama, romance, humor, drugs, triumph, and quality music. Showing the trials and tribulation of one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century it follows Ray Charles Robinson from the start of his career as he deals with such various obstacles as blindness, racism, his brother's death as a child, and heroin addiction. This film is well rounded with numerous familiar faces but one unknown face deserves just as much recognition as Foxx. This person is Sharon Warren who portrays Ray's strong willed mother who makes his learn to stand up for him self despite his handicap and not to let anyone keep him from what he wants in life. While not being the most glamorous portrayal of a legend it show how strong and utterly amazing the man really was. Laced with the actual music of and by Ray Charles you get the feeling you are really watching the man himself. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent film...one of the best of 2004
    Genre: Bio-Pic Drama/Musical

    Genre Grade: A+

    Final Grade: A

    This was an excellent movie. It was much more serious-toned than I thought it would be, giving a strong glimpse into adultery and drug addiction and also gives a horrific glimpse into Ray's childhood. The movie is also uplifting with the story of Ray finding his own sound, and just all the music in general. Definitely worth seeing (and worth sitting nearly three hours for), and although the conclusion of the movie feels very rushed and unexpected, it has such a strong body and introduction that make it worth it. Jaime Foxx was amazing in it, and I've got my bets on him for taking home the Oscar next year. There were seriously a couple of moments in the movie where it almost seemed like they inserted some old footage with the real Ray Charles in it because he stepped into the role so well. Great movie, see it!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Sheesh...big deal!
    Oh please!Enough with all these accolade about Jamie Foxx's performance.All I saw was an IMPERSONATION.He wasnt multidimensional and I didnt see CHARACTER.Acting like Ray Charles is not enough,he should have lived it through the movie.Im not pretending to be an acting expert here (because im not) but Jamie Foxx doesnt deserve all these compliments,seriously.
    About the movie,its actually more fitting for HBO but what's good about this movie is that they didnt force the audience to think that Ray Charles was this noble being,unlike other biopics,which portrays the famous characters as if theyre saints.There are lots of holes in the movie and it focused on his music and his womanizing and we can get a glimpse of his childhood with a subplot of him being banned to play in his hometown,other than that,theres nothing else.You should buy this if youre a big fan.But if you just like the music,just rent it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Superlative Performances Elevate Solid, Episodic Biopic
    At this point, it seems superfluous to say Jamie Foxx gives a brilliant, surprisingly nuanced performance as Ray Charles, as he not only mimics the singer's mannerisms flawlessly but also provides texture and depth to the pained man underneath. It's startling to see Foxx perform at the piano in that idiosyncratic spasmodic style that Charles had, as the actor very often becomes indistinguishable from the legend. In the private moments also depicted here, Foxx is amazingly perceptive about the troubled, hard-shelled, often nasty man Charles apparently was in real life. Hardly the image one remembers from the Pepsi commercials or his other frequent, sometimes ridiculous TV appearances...anyone remember he was in several episodes of "The Nanny"?

    But the movie is not about the deconstruction of Ray Charles. In fact, director/writer Taylor Hackford and co-writer James L. White have written a literate, often powerful screenplay that makes us understand the complexity behind Charles' genius and the reasons for his inner demons. The challenge is that in order to remain true to his life story, Hackford and White have overstuffed the movie with so many milestone moments that it becomes episodic and sometimes rather wearing, especially when it comes to the film's depiction of Charles' two-decade heroin addiction. The sight of Charles shooting up and denying his addiction becomes almost a repetitive plot device, as if to provide melodramatic filler between the triumphant moments when he conquers musical frontiers that initially meet with resistance. That's not to say there aren't strong, compelling moments, as there are many. Ironically, one of the most memorable has nothing to do with Foxx but depicts a moment in Charles' hardscrabble Georgia childhood when little Ray trips over a chair and screams for his mother. Wordlessly, he picks himself up and becomes attuned to the sounds around him, picking up a cricket and realizing his mother is right in front of him. It's a transcendent moment.

    Hackford is not the most subtle of filmmakers (he made the over-the-top "The Devil's Advocate" among others), and unfortunately his exaggerated sense of melodrama creeps in now and then, in particular, the last section when he decides to go for a 1960's movie-style approach to drug rehabilitation and inserts a fantasy scene back to Charles' childhood that provides pat closure to his long-standing issues.It's an oddly surreal Hollywood-style scene that I feel betrays the honesty of what was presented before. But sometimes Hackford's excessiveness works in his favor, as in the supposedly improvised way that classics like "What'd I Say?" and "Hit the Road, Jack" were composed. I also think he does an effective job in making racism an inherent part of the story, not just a pointed plot device, specifically in showing how much of the manipulation Charles experienced in his career was not at the hands of white promoters. The movie also highlights Charles' decision not to play an unsegregated venue in Georgia and revisits that decision in a coda that takes place years later.

    Beyond Foxx, there is a gallery of superlative performances, especially by a trio of fine actresses. Kerry Washington is superb as Charles' wife Della Bea providing strength and tolerance in the face of her husband's drug addiction and constant adultery.Regina King plays backup singer Margie Hendricks, Charles' on-the-road mistress, with her requisite sass but with a penetrating desperation. Best of all is Sharon Warren, who portrays Charles' proud mother Aretha in flashbacks that make you understand where Charles got his courage and unbridled fury. Also providing excellent support are C.J. Sanders as the young Ray, who witnesses his young brother's accidental drowning and faces his impending blindness, and Clifton Powell as Charles' right-hand man Jeff Brown. The more well-known figures are played gamely though less memorably by Larenz Tate as an ambitious, very young Quincy Jones; Curtis Armstrong as an overly measured Ahmet Ertegun; and Richard Schiff as an anxious Jerry Wexler. At 153 minutes, the movie is rather long, and because of its episodic nature, stops rather abruptly in 1966 when Charles' personal and private lives seem to gain equilibrium. Regardless, the wondrous Foxx elevates this film biopic into something quite extraordinary.

    The two-disc DVD package has several extras worth noting. On the first disc, the chief addition is fourteen scenes deleted in the theatrical version that have been spliced into the version here and notated accordingly. Some provide interesting context to the story, though they sometimes slow the pacing, a problem coupled by the addition of dead pauses that hurt the overall quality of the viewing experience. All told, the extended version clocks in at a staggering 178 minutes. Taylor Hackford's commentary on the alternate audio track is informative but on the perfunctory side (I only wish Foxx could have added his perspective and can only dream what Charles could have contributed had he lived long enough to "see" the film's release.) On the second disc, those fourteen deleted scenes show up individually, and there are also three featurettes. The first is the obligatory making-of short, "A Look Inside Ray", which includes comments by the filmmakers and actors on making the film.The next short, "Walking in His Shoes", is about the meeting between Foxx and Charles before his death and discusses how Foxx got under the skin of the character. The last, "Ray Remembered", is a quick tribute to the spirit of Charles by those who loved and admired him.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Road Leads Back To You
    Most of us under sixty think of Ray Charles as a perpetually smiling, swaying, grayed old man wearing sunglasses, glued to the piano bench who mumbles out "Georgia."What most do not realize is that Ray Charles had been performing since the 1940's until his death in 2004.This film shows Ray as a vibrant young man and opens our eyes to a whole new world that many have never known, a world that includes segregation and the civil rights movement.The movie spans from Ray's childhood up until around 1963.Considering that Ray's career went on for forty years AFTER that is astounding.

    Ray Charles was born in Albany, Georgia, in 1930.Growing up in poverty in Florida during the Great Depression, he lost his little brother in a tragic accident that would haunt him the rest of his life.Around age seven, he went blind from glaucoma.Ray honed his knack for music at the state school for the blind and deaf.

    Although a true genius and pioneer of jazz, R&B, and even country western, Ray (Jamie Foxx) was not a perfect human being by any means.Ray had learned to be fiercely independent from his fiery and dedicated mother Aretha (Sharon Warren), who died when he was fifteen.Yet he was dependent on a couple of demons - women and heroin.These addictions had tragic consequences.The fact that Bea, his long-suffering wife (Regina King), stood by him all those years is an example of the kind of chemistry and love this man inspired.

    The movie reminds me so much of The Temptations (1998) as far as how the plot unfolds, that I would have given "Ray" four stars if it were not for Foxx's and Warren's performances.Foxx won Best Male Leading Actor for his sublime performance of a legend and an icon.Sharon Warren was so intense as Ray's mother.With her visible biceps on a fragile frame, she embodied the plight of all African Americans during Jim Crow.I want to see Warren again in a film.She is absolutely amazing.

    The movie has sexuality and drug use, but nothing too graphic.There is no bad language.All of the songs in the film are Ray's original recordings, lip-synched very well by Foxx and the backup girls.When I heard that the songs would be lip-synched, I did not think I would enjoy it, but it works very well and was very entertaining.

    The DVD has commentary by the director, and short readable bios of just about all the main and supporting actors in the film.It is a little annoying to have to read the white font and keep scrolling endlessly through each bio.

    ... Read more


    16. The Jungle Book
    list price: $24.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000F7MS
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 1106
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of Disney's best
    This is still a classic film! Fun fun fun and great songs to boot! Baloo is the friend you wish you'd had as a kid! And Baghera is the protector we all needed. A wonderful escape, fun for all ages!!! Don't hesitate here.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great Disney classic
    The jungle book is about a human boy named Mowgli who is raised by a pack of wolves in the jungle, until it is decided that he can't stay in the jungle anymore. Bagheera has problems getting Mowgli back to the man village, because Mowgli dosen't want to leave the jungle. Then Mowgli meets baloo the bear. After an encounter with the mad King Louie of the apes, and pressed to return to the man village by Baloo and Bagheera, Mowgli runs away. Later on, Mowgli meets Shere Khan, the tiger. I can't tell you what happens at the end, you'll have to see for yourself. Unfortunately, halfway through the production of the jungle book, Walt Disney died. If you want more jungle fun, be sure to check out The Jungle book 2. ... Read more


    17. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    Director: Elia Kazan
    list price: $6.98
    our price: $6.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6301773586
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 76
    Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Elia Kazan made his directorial debut with this adaptation of Betty Smith's novel about a bright, young girl growing up in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, trying to rise above her tenement existence. Sensitively filmed by Kazan, and graced with wonderful performances by James Dunn as the wistful, alcoholic father and Dorothy McGuire as a strong-willed mother. Peggy Ann Garner won a special Oscar for her performance. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (35)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Heartbreakingly dissapointing
    I read the astonishingly true book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I loved it- and understood it. I expected so much from the movie- but when it was finished, I was just dissapointed. I understand that sometimes parts of books had to be changed to make a movie. And yet... it was probably the small cast of characters, and the MANY alterations. Wherer is the cruel, evil Granpa Rommely? Why do the characters talk so FAST. They need to slow down, and relax. Where's Little Tilly, or Gussie? The movie, as I can call it, is cute. I would give it 2.5 stars. But, it shows a glossed over version of Francie's life. Francie was a child who lived in a world of brutality. She went to a school (from 6-10 anyway) where the teachers were CRUEL, and DIRTY. She wore smudged clothes, ripped, and patched. She never had enough to eat. The most refreshing aspect of the book was that she was able to find magic IN SPITE or all of this. But the movie changes a mature book into a G-Rated film.I will never hear the names Francie, Neely,Sissy and Katie, and see Peggy Ann Garner, Ted Donaldson,Joan Blondell and Dorothy McGuire. I will always see Francie as a skinny, ragged looking child, with wondering eyes, and a timid smile. I will always see Neely as a scruffy, ragged kid, with a little-boy grin on his face. I will always see Sissy as a dark-haired, full-figured ''bad girl'' sensitive beauty, and I will always see Katie as a wide-eyed, unexplainable fighter.The only acotr who captured the essence of the character is James Dunn as Johnny. Now HE deserved his Oscar. They took too much out of the book to make the movie good. Where's Aunt Evy, and Uncle Wille Flitmann? More importantly WHERE'S THE EXPLAINATION OF HOW KATIE AND JOHNNY MET. They just skipped right past that part. I have always read reviews of movies I loved- and seen one person who gives a 5-star movie (atleast 5-star to me) and gives it 2-stars for not following the book, and I feel angry. But in this case- I urge anyone who loved the movie to thoroughly read the book, then watch it again. The movie COULD HAVE BEEN SO GREAT! They should have followed Francie's life until the end of the book. They should have shown Francie and Lee, her true love. A part in the book read, after Katie had heard Francie call her ''mother'' instead of ''mama'': '' Mother! Katie remembered when she had called her mother ''mother'' instead of ''mama''. She had said ''Mother'' when she had been ready to marry Johnny. When she had called her mother ''Mother'' she had finished growing up. She had never said ''mama'' again. Now Francie.... And this is just the problem. The movie never fully ''grows up''. I hope someday, someone takes the time (though it will take a long time) to make a movie TRUE TO THE BOOK.If people loved this movie, wait until they see a movie that follows the book. They will be astonished at the difference!

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a Great Film !
    From the opening scene, this movie hooks you in. It is the story of a little girl, Francie Nolan, and her family. The setting is turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. This film stands up to repeated viewings, something movies seldom accomplish. The basic story line centers around Francie, an intelligent girl filled with wonder. Her father, Johnny Nolan, loves his daughter and does everything he can to support her wishes. The mother is the serious, single-layered breadwinner of the house, and is often more concerned with public perception of her family than with the family itself. Starring Dorothy McGuire, James Dunn, Peggy Ann Garner, Lloyd Nolan and Joan Blondell, it doesn't get much better than this, folks...have some tissues readily available. Elia Kazan's direction makes tear-jerkers out of certain scenes, like when Francie throws her arms around her father and proclaims "I just love you so much, Papa". Another GREAT scene is when Papa is in Francie's room, just before going to look for a job. The piano scene. The tree catching scene....and on and on. A real classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Faithful to the book
    Even though this movie has been around for quite a while, one wonders (and worries) how faithful the movie-makers were to the book, especially since the novel made a come-back thanks to Oprah and her gang. What a relief it was to find out that "A Tree Grows" was mostly like the book. One can only hope that McCrae's "The Bark of the Dogwood" will receive similar treatment when it is made into a film--let's hope so. I highly recommend this heart-warming tale of life in Brooklyn, even if it does have its ups and downs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Francie's World
    A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is a beautiful and thoughtful book. The screen version is one of my favorite films of all time. It tells the story of Francie, a poor girl growing up in Brooklyn at the turn of the 20th century. The acting, with Peggy Ann Garner as Francie, James Dunn as her father and Joan Blondell as Francie's aunt, is superb and evocative of that bygone era. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a movie that can be enjoyed again and again. You never get tired of it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Tender Passage of Youth
    Betty Smith's heartfelt and timeless novel of a young girl's passage through her youth in the Brooklyn slums was transformed by director Elia Kazan into one of the most touching and deeply felt films ever made. It has that rare ability to break your heart one moment and make you smile the next. There is a tenderness here that has rarely been captured on film. Many point to Elia Kazan's flashier films, but it was this sentimental film that was his crowning achievement. There are moments in this film when even those who never cry at the movies will be moved to tears.

    Peggy Ann Garner was so wonderful as the young and sensitive Francie, the Academy gave her an Oscar for Most Promising Juvenile Performer. James Dunn garnered an Oscar also as Francie's loving father, Johnny Nolan, a singing waiter with a gift for dreaming he passes on to Francie, who wants to be a writer. Francie's papa makes their hard life worth living and Francie worships him. He understands and adores her.

    But when he isn't working, Johnny is usually drunk. Everyone in their poor neighborhood knows Johnny is a good man, however, and loves and respects him. He is the one who will find a way for Francie to attend the school she dreams of, even though it is far from their home. Francie's mother is the only one who doesn't seem to see how special Johnny is.

    Dorothy McGuire gives another terrific performance as Francie's hard working mother, Katie, who tries desparately not to love her boy Neely more than Francie, and fails; tries desparately not to become bitter with the charming lad she married in her youth, but can't; and tries desparately not to let her heart grow cold and hard, and fails once more.

    Francie and her family may live in poverty, but Kazan takes the time to show the joy that can be found in the small things in life. For Francie, her father represents happiness and living. Joan Blondell, as Katie's sister and Francie's aunt Sissy, with her free spirit and big heart, adds to Francie's joy in life. It is one of Blondell's finest roles.

    It is Peggy Ann Garner's emotional performance, however, you will always remember. She brings a sweetness and sincerity to Francie that makes her unforgettable. Purchasing this film is an opportunity to own one of the true masterpieces in American cinema. It will touch your heart and remind you what Hollywood was once capable of, and make you wonder where it all went wrong. ... Read more


    18. My Name Is Bill W.
    Director: Daniel Petrie
    list price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6303101410
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 488
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Here's another example of TV giving James Woods the chance to stretch out from the intense-psycho roles he seems restricted to in too many of his movies. In My Name Is Bill W. he plays Bill Wilson, the overreaching businessman from the Roaring '20s who went on to found Alcoholics Anonymous. Woods gets plenty of chances to stretch out here in Bill's headlong slide to the bottom, through the terrors of the Wall Street crash (which amplifies a two-fisted drinking problem) and into the loss of everything he holds dear. Yet Woods also is convincing as the man who understands just how insidious his disease is and learns to try to take everything one day at a time. He receives strong support from James Garner as the alcoholic physician who teams with Bill to make AA a viable proposition. --MarshallFine ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The "ROOTS" of "Alcoholics Anonymous"
    Are you an alocoholic? Is someone you love an alcoholic?

    It really doesn't matter. This movie, regrettably is available only on VHS, will give you insight, understanding, and hope. Hope, that most fragile of words, is the basis of this incredible made-for-TV motion picture.

    Bill Wilson comes home from World War I a hero. He then conquers Wall Street. He marries the love of his life, Lois. He then discovers both a new god, a new lover, a new idol; the bottle. This unflinching film looks at the descent of of alcoholic into hell, and his journey back, guided, not by the spirit of Virgil, but by another alcoholic, Doctor Bob. Together, they find a "cure" for an "incurable" disease. The disease of alcoholism.

    Neither could cure themselves, but together, they could find the way out of hell into if not paradise, at least life; life on life's terms.

    This film has been called the AA "Roots." I won't take up that guantlet. This film stands alone. The performances by James Woods, JoBeth Williams and James Garner stand on their own merits. It tells the story of one man's descent into the hell of addiction < and YES, alcoholism is an addiction >, and his return to the land of the living.

    Woods plays Bill W. with remarkable restraint, not denigrating into the hystrionics of Jack Lemmon in "The Lost Weekend"; as brilliant and well-meaning as that film is. Nor does this movie fall into high camp, as did "Reefer Madness" in the late Thirties.

    Instead, in "My Name Is Bill W.", we see a man driven to the depths of despair. A man beaten is beaten into the dust. To quote Cecil B. DeMille, "the dust from which prophets and holy men are formed. . ."

    Yet, this film is not preachy. It tells a story. A true story, all the more frightening, because it is true.

    Watch this movie. Listen to its message of hope, of truth, of honesty, openness, and willingness. Hear the story of the damned, who somehow, someway, found salvation.

    You will be moved. I promise you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Movie on The Birth of A. A.
    As a recovering alcoholic myself, I find this movie an accurate and moving portrayal on the life of Bill Wilson and the early history of Alcoholics Anonymous. James Woods is always a marvelous actor, but here he delivers a tour de force performance as Bill Wilson. Also in the cast is the ever-delightful JoBeth Williams of Big Chill fame. James Garner plays Dr. Bob Smith, who, along with Bill, founded A. A. in 1935. Garner also co-produced the project. This was originally aired on television as a Hallmark Hall Of Fame movie in 1989. Very inspiring!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST SEE FOR ANYONE IN THE 12 STEP PROGRAM
    If you are recovering from any type of substance abuse and want to know the history of how Alcoholics Anonymous was founded, you MUST see this video. It tells the story of Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith and their fight in overcoming their life threatening illness of alcoholism. This is the story on how AA got started and if you participate in AA you will gain a new perspective on how hopelessness can turn into peace and serenity in this incredible fellowship. If you've read Bill's Story in the Big Book, you will be amazed at how well this film was done!

    5-0 out of 5 stars NO HUMAN POWER
    I saw an interview with James Woods, where he stated that the directors wanted to cut out the seen where Bill is standing by the window explaining to Lois how cunning, baffling and self-destructive his disease is, but inspite of all that what he really wants most right now is another drink. James Woods told them that if they cut it out, he would not accept the role because it is what every alcoholic needs to hear and identify with. I highly respect him for that and would like to say THANKS!!! The scene at the end were Bill is 12-stepping a newcomer is priceless. The seen where he's in the motel trying to get in touch with Dr Bob, will make any recovering alcoholic grateful that we don't have to go to the same lengths as he did to share their experience, strength and hope with another alcoholic to stay sober one more day. Great performances by all!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Movie That Every Recovering Alcoholic Must OWN
    I have watched this movie at least 6 times and never tire of it. As a recovering alcoholic it could be me in that movie and it makes me remember what it was like. I am also a proud member of AA and Thank God for Bill W. !! ... Read more


    19. Becket
    Director: Peter Glenville
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $26.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6300198731
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 197
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (39)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Peter O'Toole: A god, a genius, a maniac
    I just finished reading a (german) biography about Peter O'Toole and came here to see which movies are available on DVD. Unfortunately this one isn't.
    Peter O'Toole was (pardon: still is) an outstanding actor and "Becket" is one of his best movies. He and Richard Burton team up to give the performance of their lives. O'Toole as King Henry II and Burton as his friend and boon-companion and later archbishop Thomas Becket.
    Both were nominated for an Academy Award in a leading role and luckily neither of them won it. They both would have deserved the award equally.
    Kate Hepburn once called Peter O'Toole a "lousy picker". To often did he choose to do the wrong (=bad) movies and not even his superb acting could save these movies. This time he was right, perfectly right.
    Becket is a great movie and I would love to have it in my DVD library.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Love Being King!
    Peter O'Toole says "I love being King," in the so called sequel to Becket. However he might as well mean it in this movie for his performance is so real as to make one think he actually is the king. Richard Burton does a fantastic job as the martyred Archbishop Thomas Becket. Burton's performance reminds one of his another great film (The Robe) where his character was also transformed from a self serving playboy to a pious saint. The scenery, script, dialogue, and direction are all academy award material. The film was so well done it gives one the illusion of being in 12th Century England, the history errors not withstanding. O'Toole is every inch King Henry II in "Becket" as Burton is every inch King Henry VIII in "Ann Of A Thousand Days." This movie is must see for any Anglofile and a must for any video library. It was truly one of Hollywood's greatest movies.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Will this EVER be on DVD??
    What a wonderful movie buta horrific version on VHS. Some of the scenes are so dark you have to really stretch to even make out basic facial features. It's sad indeed, with one of the best films by both Burton and O'Toole.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rendering unto Caesar...
    "Becket" explores the question put to Christ two millenia ago of whether man owes his primary loyalty to his monarch or to God. The search for the resolution of that question, and how it was answered, makes "Becket" one of the best historical dramas ever made. Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton are in top form as the young Henry II of England and his partner-in-mayhem Thomas Becket, whose primary interests are wine and women and not necessarily in that order. England in the 12th century was devoutly Roman Catholic, and the Catholic hierarchy enjoyed a level of power and prestige equal to, if not higher than, the king himself. But when the old archbishop dies and Henry needs to appoint a successor in his place, Henry outfoxes everyone by doing an end run around the bishops and naming Becket as the new archbishop. The bishops are upset; they believe Henry intends for Becket to be a puppet figure to be used to further the king's own ends. But to everyone's surprise, Becket takes his job more seriously than Henry ever intended. No one could be more stunned and shocked at this development than Henry himself.

    The confrontation between Henry and the clergy is set immediately following the old archbishop's death, when Henry informs the assembled bishops that there will only be one head honcho in England, and that is the king. The bishops are not used to having their power abrogated by anyone outside the church; they answer only to the pope and to God. The king and clergy are on collision course, and Henry, to his chagrin, finds that Becket is solidly on the side of the Church his king has appointed him to represent. There will be no compromise here. The stage is thus set for a fateful confrontation.

    One has to wonder: when Henry blurted out his petulant rhetorical question "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?", did he really not expect to be taken at his word? He's made it clear over and over again that he is the king, and the king is the law. So it's hard not to feel a sense of disgust at Henry's hypocrisy as he undergoes a ritual flogging in the cathedral crypt to expiate his guilt at having instigated Becket's murder, and immediately afterwards announces on the church steps that Becket will be venerated as a saint. Power-hungry to the last, Henry has abrogated to himself the privilege of an announcement that should have come from the new archbishop, or from the pope who alone has the power of canonization.

    The film has everything going for it: a great plot, two excellent performances by Burton and O'Toole, terrific direction and cinematography, and fine historical accuracy. The Gregorian chant running through the scenes in the cathedral transport the viewer 700 years back in time. For two unforgettable hours, we're part of 12th century England.

    And finally, let me add my request to those of the other reviewers of this excellent movie: Will someone please hurry up and release this film on DVD? I'll be first in line to buy it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dual Portraits: Monarch and Martyr
    Peter Glenville's direction of this film in no way diminishes the quality of acting among members of the cast, notably Burton and O'Toole, both of whom were nominated for an Academy Award for best actor in a leading role; however, Glenville allows a somewhat sluggish pace which reduces the dramatic impact of the plot, and especially of the multi-dimensional relationship between Thomas Becket (Burton) and his monarch, Henry II (O'Toole). In fact, Edward Anhalt received an Academy Award for his adaptation of Jean Anouilh's play. I wish Glenville had made better use of his cast as well as of Anhalt's screenplay. That said, Burton and O'Toole are magnificent. They portray youthful best friends who share a commitment to hedonism...and to little else. Later, Henry II selects an obviously reluctant Becket (by then a priest) to serve as Archbishop of Canterbury. Becket's acceptance marks a defining moment which he recognizes but his king does not: Henceforth his highest loyalty will be to Almighty God, not to the occupant of the English throne. Opinions vary as to whether or not the historical Henry specifically ordered Becket's assassination but all agree that he would never have authorized it to be done in Canterbury Cathedral. Nonetheless it was.

    This is a visually stunning film, perhaps even moreso than (for example) The Lion in Winter (1968) in which O'Toole also appears as Henry II. Granted, the relationship between Henry and Eleanor in that film is quite different from Henry's relationship with Becket. Also, The Lion in Winter covers only a few days during one Christmas season whereas the timeframe in Becket extends over several decades. However, both films focus on conflicting as well as congenial relationships. In Becket, Henry (in effect) finds himself competing with God for Becket's loyalty and devotion. He loses. The supporting cast is first-rate. Notably John Gielgud (Louis VII), Donald Wolfit (Bishop Folliot), Martita Hunt (Queen Matilda), and Gino Cervi (Cardinal Zambelli). The role of Queen Eleanor (Pamela Brown) is minor when contrasted with Eleanor (Katherine Hepburn) as she is presented in The Lion in Winter.

    Question: Why is there no DVD version of Becket?

    Those who share my high regard for this film are urged to check out the aforementioned The Lion in Winter as well as Cromwell  (1970), Elizabeth (1998), A Man for All Seasons  (1966), Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), and Mary, Queen of Scots  (1971). ... Read more


    20. The Passion of the Christ
    Director: Mel Gibson
    list price: $24.98
    our price: $21.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00028HBL6
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 13
    Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (970)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best movie ever by far
    This film breaks the ceiling of amazon.com's five star limit. Regardless of your religion, loyalties, or personal beliefs, to remain unmoved by this film means you're Satan himself.

    The film revolves around the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ's life on Earth. As a viewer who's actually read the New Testament before laying judgement on the film's accuracy, I'd say there was extremely little deviation from the original Gospels. The film is an overwhelmingly emotional roller coaster ride beginning at Jesus' mock trial under Pontius Pilate to His crucifixion and resurrection. The fact that the entire script was spoken in Aramaic and Latin lends credit to director Mel Gibson's seriousness in portraying the events as accurately as possible.

    The film was violent and bloody, but no more than the average reel spewing forth from Hollywood nowadays, none of which receive so much as a blink for their levels of gratuitous violence. But then again, none of those films promote Christianity. Hmm....

    The film was no more anti-Semetic than "Schindler's List" was anti-German or "Seven Years in Tibet" was anti-Chinese. This film simply portrayed events as we know them historically. The Jewish high priests happened to be one group of people who wanted Jesus dead. The Romans and Pharisees were the true villians of the movie, nor was Jesus spared betrayal by even his own Apostles. The movie does, on the other hand, show two Jewish high priests defending Jesus' innocence at his trial, and it shows Simon being mocked by a Roman guard for being Jewish. These two events I do not recall reading in the New Testament, lending creedence to Mel Gibson's effort to make the film NOT anti-Semetic. The high priests condemned Jesus to death, but it was the Roman guards who took true sadistic pleasure in His suffering.

    The violence and bloodshed served a purpose. It was to show what Jesus went through, the amount of pain He suffered, for mankind. Reading it in a few Biblical passages is one thing, viewing it on the big screen for two hours straight puts a different perspective on it. The entire movie intertwined scenes of Christ's suffering with scenes of Him earlier in time giving sermons on love and forgiveness. This served to cement the fact that Jesus did not just practice what He preached. The most emotional scene was probably when Jesus was being nailed to the cross, the whole time praying for God to forgive His persecutors.

    I've seen the film three times since it premiered five days ago, and I plan to see it many more times before it comes out on DVD. To warn you, the film makes you feel about an inch tall, but it is a much needed reminder of just what sacrifices were made by Him on our behalf. The closing scene was my favorite, and I hope you watch to see what it is. Amen and Hallelujah!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving cinema with epic feel
    Assuming you know the story (and one hopes most of us do) I felt you had to be neither religiously inclined, or interested in historical theology to take a lot away with you after seeing this picture. Heavily criticized for it's brutal depiction of the last 12 hours of the life of Christ, and maligned by some for encouraging anti semetism, I found it powerful and very moving, if disturbing. It is a testament to Mel Gibson's vision, and perseverance that NO major Hollywood studio picked up this picture, which was self funded by Mr Gibson at a cost of around $30 million. The fact that the dialogue is chiefly aramaic (the movie is subtitled throughout) could also be seen as enough to discourage a lot of viewers, but there is no doubt that this is powerful film making at it's best. Perhaps "enjoy" is the wrong word to use in how I felt after the movie which is violent and unforgiving in showing Christ's persecution and eventual execution on the cross, but it is compelling, absorbing and emotionally charged. The success of the picture (I feel) lies in the what has been the chief subject of critisicm, the blow by blow punishment and torture the viewer cannot help but share with the main character. However, perhaps this is the strength of the movie, and I believe Gibson's aim, in showing what has always been hinted at, or happened "off screen" in other films of the genre. Put simply, it is saying that knowing or saying that Christ suffered and died for our sins is not enough, this is how, and why, open, graphic and painful. Not a movie I would recommend for the squeamish or sensitive, and certainly NOT for children (of any age). James Caveziel is believable and strong in the lead role, and more than ably supported by a cast of almost unknowns. Top marks all round, a film that will live in the memory long after you have seen it. Go see it for yourself, you may found out a lot you didn't know

    5-0 out of 5 stars Praise God! For He is Risen!
    I have been a Christian since I was 7 yrs old, however I like many strayed from Gods chosen path. When I saw this movie I was not only moved to tears but found my life changing in the most wonderful of ways! I prayed for forgiveness of my sins again because all of what Jesus endured, he endured for us. He didn't have to, ya know? And I now have the blessed assurance that I will go to Heaven! Amen! This movie is very graphic but the graphics are uterly necessary if we are to grasp the truth of what Christ endured for all of us. I hope that you will see this film and that Christ's journey will have a profound impact in your life as well! God Bless!

    5-0 out of 5 stars As accurate as possible...
    Mel Gibson did a stellar job portraying the final days of Jesus Christ's last days. Some may protest that it was overly violent; however, Gibson did not put in as much as what really happened. I doubt the American (or European) market is ready to see how truly brutal Christ's death really was. Yes, it was violent, but did you want to see the candy coated version of his death? I think not. Props to Mel for his sensitivity to the matter. I believe it could have been more graphic, but Mr. Gibson wouldn't have wanted his entire audience vomiting in the aisles. A+

    5-0 out of 5 stars This movie is awesome!
    This movie was the best movie ever made, im a 16 year old catholic and i dont go much to church but i felt everything that jesus went through deep inside of me. Some people might not like the movie but thats their problem, God knows what evil spirit was toying with their mind. This movie was very well directed and left me speechless in the theatre. Mel Gibson is an awesome actor and he has now proven to be an awesome director also! Much love to all my peeps in the Bx baby~peace ... Read more


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