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Kinsey (Bilingual) [Import]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Chris O'Donnell, Peter Sarsgaard, Timothy Hutton
  • Directors: Bill Condon
  • Writers: Bill Condon
  • Producers: Adam Shulman, Bobby Rock, Francis Ford Coppola, Gail Mutrux, Joel Hatch
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date: May 17 2005
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007PALGG

Product Description

Product Description

Liam Neeson stars as Alfred Kinsey, a man driven by scientific passion and personal demons to investigate the elusive mystery of human sexuality. Laura Linney garnered a Best Actress Oscar® nomination for her compelling performance as Kinsey’s free-thinking wife. This provocative drama dares to lift the veil of shame from a society in which sex was hidden, knowledge was dangerous and talking about it was the ultimate taboo.

Amazon.ca

One of the best films of 2004, Kinsey pays tribute to the flawed but honorable man who revolutionized our understanding of human sexuality. As played by Liam Neeson in writer-director Bill Condon's excellent film biography, Indiana University researcher Alfred Kinsey was so consumed by statistical measurements of human sexual activity that he almost completely overlooked the substantial role of emotions and their effect on human behavior. This made him an ideal researcher and science celebrity who revealed that sexual behaviors previously considered deviant and even harmful (homosexuality, oral sex, etc.) are in fact common and essentially normal in the realm of human experience, but whose obsession with scientific method frequently placed him at odds with his understanding wife (superbly played by Laura Linney) and research assistants. In presenting Kinsey as a driven social misfit, Condon's film gives Neeson one of his finest roles while revealing the depth of Kinsey's own humanity, and the incalculable benefit his research had on our collective sexual enlightenment. With humor, charm, and intelligence, Kinsey shines a light where darkness once prevailed. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 31 2006
Format: DVD
The name of Alfred Kinsey conjures up many different kinds of images and preconceived notions, many of which don't fit the reality of his research and situation. The Kinsey Institute, located on the campus of my undergraduate university in Indiana, is known the world over as a research centre devoted to looking at sex in humans. This can still be a controversial topic, but certainly for middle America during the middle of the twentieth century - this was the protestant 'Bible Belt', and sex was not a topic of proper conversation among educated people.
Written and directed by Bill Condon, this film recounts the tale of Kinsey's professional career, from his early days as a Harvard researcher looking at gall wasps through his career at Indiana University, first as a biologist, and then as director of the research project and institute that today bears his name.
Kinsey is a complex character - perhaps the only way he could get away with his study in the environment of mid-century America was that he was the quintessential academic, in dress, demeanor, and attitude. His process of research, be it on gall wasps or on human subjects, was exactingly clinical. The essence of this devotion and adherence to objective procedure is captured in the film (both in terms of wasps and in terms of people).
One exchange between Kinsey and his fellow researcher Clyde Martin illustrates the point:
Alfred Kinsey: 'The doctors say my heart sounds like a cement mixer.'
Clyde Martin: 'At least they found one.'
Kinsey was aided by his wife, the free-thinking graduate student Clara McMillan. While a biology professor, Kinsey's openness made him a magnet for students to seek him out; sometimes their questions were regarding personal problems.
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Format: DVD
I have used clips from this dvd in teaching a methods class because there are some fantastic scenes where Prof. Kinsey is trying to convey lessons in research methods (interviewing, surveys, neutrality, power, bias) to his research assistants. Although the topic can be a bit racy for some, I think senior students will find it engaging and useful. One scene that is poignant is when they are interviewing a man who is a sexual deviant and one of the two interviewers cracks and can no longer maintain his front of neutrality - it can lead to a good discussion with students about the kind of research you want to do considering the direction things can go. It is also fascinating in that K starts off as a scientific researcher of insects and then tries to apply this same objective, rigourous approach the question of human sexuality and you get to follow the ways in which it is successful in opening up facts-based discussion on a morally-charged topic, but also the ways in which it fails miserably as people in his coterie of researchers (and his wife) struggle with jealousy, longing, loss and infidelity.
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By Manny07 on Aug. 14 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great film. Gives a good overview of what sexual life and knowledge must have been like before the 1960's when sexual enlightenment was de rigour!

Liam Neeson, Laura Linney are both excellent in their roles. The supporting actors add to the "energy' of the subject. Peter Sarsgaard makes another great impression in his role.

Thankfully, Kinsey gave the world a clear and mostly accurate picture of human sexuality. The courage of committment alone, during those years, is monumental.
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I teach Sexuality courses at the college level, and I show my students a Kinsey documentary from PBS every year. This won't replace it. It's kind of a Disney-fied view of Kinsey's life, and really emphasizes some areas at the expense of others. Good performances, but they could have done a better job with this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 246 reviews
122 of 145 people found the following review helpful
A preoccupation with sex Nov. 3 2004
By Mr. Joe - Published on Amazon.com
KINSEY is the story of Alfred Kinsey, here played by Liam Neeson, the author of "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" (1948) and "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" (1953), both of which raised, um, eyebrows.

As the film succinctly shows, Alfred, the son of a puritanical minister that went so far as to rail against zippers for giving idle hands easy access to occasions for sin, grew up to be a zoologist whose obsession with collecting and studying the gall wasp gained him a measure of obscurity. However, after marrying Clara McMillen (Laura Linney), with whom he achieved sexual liberation after sorting out a few physical impediments with the help of a knowledgeable physician, Kinsey achieved local notoriety at Indiana University by teaching an enlightened and graphic sex education course for students and staff. It was there that he first utilized questionnaires to elicit personal sexual histories, the methodology, administered by trained interviewers, that he later used in the thousands across the nation to build the database for his two books. In KINSEY, we also see depicted the Kinsey couple's unconventional sexual relationship, as well as those of Alfred's cadre of interviewers and their wives. Hugh Hefner would've been proud to have the investigative team over to his mansion for a frolic.

Insofar as it goes, KINSEY appears to give a reasonably accurate summary of the sex researcher's bio. I base this conclusion on my own sketchy knowledge of the subject, hastily gleaned from a website. The film does skip over a couple of minor points. It doesn't share that Alfred was an atheist who thought Judeo-Christian sexual ethics repressive. It also seamlessly transitions from Kinsey's sex-ed class at IU into his larger national study without revealing that he was replaced as the class instructor because his lecture content was too racy for the times. In any case, Neeson's performance is certainly worth an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and perhaps Linney for Best Actress also.

Perhaps hoping to be on the cutting edge of sexual expression, as were Kinsey's two books, KINSEY has two brief shots of full-frontal male nudity (involving supporting actor Peter Sarsgaard), something not often seen in American theatres in mainstream releases. Kinsey would be pleased.

KINSEY is a finely crafted, entertaining, and instructive look at a simpler time and place before AIDS and HIV became parts of the sexual equation.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A Surprising Love Story March 15 2009
By R. Schultz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I was prepared to have my negative feelings about Kinsey confirmed in this movie. I'd heard that he took a cold accounting approach to his sex studies, that he had basically been a taxonomist/entomologist who had transferred his skills at categorizing and dissecting insects (specifically gall wasps) to tallying human behavior. But this movie introduced me to someone a lot more sympathetic, innocent, and complicated than that. It introduced me to someone never quite in on the joke.

The film does inform viewers about Kinsey's working methods and the dynamics of his relationship with the graduate students he recruited to help with the burgeoning workload as he sought to interview a huge cross-section of the American population about their sexual habits and preferences. It shows how he attempted to train his associates in impassive objectivity, so as not to frighten any of their interview subjects into falsifications.

I would like to have learned more about how Kinsey translated the sometimes almost stream-of-consciousness reflections he elicited from study subjects (including one particularly repulsive, absolutely unrepentant pedophile) - into the crisp numeric tallies on his sheets of paper. But perhaps such details of his study are best left to documentaries about his life.

This movie wasn't meant to be a documentary. It was meant to provide some emotional insight into the man himself. The heart of the movie is his relationship with his wife, and the heart of that relationship is Laura Linney's portrayal of Clara. They had an unconventional romance from the start. One of the most touching scenes shows Kinsey celebrating Clara by giving her a clumpy pair of walking shoes. She greets these with sincere pleasure. She shines in anticipation of all the places they can tramp together, with her in such a "sensible" pair of shoes.

The movie proceeds to take us through some of the ups and downs of their open marriage. Kinsey is a pioneer in equality, wondering why his wife isn't getting as much pleasure out of their sexual relationship as he is - a question few husbands in that era would even think to ask. He sets out to investigate the process of pleasure scientifically and to set things right. As their marriage matures, Kinsey has his affairs - with both men and women. Then when Clara decides she might like to try an outside adventure on her own - the play of subtle emotions on the actors' faces tells a story in itself.

Those shoes come to represent their relationship throughout their lives - through their accommodations with each other, through their estrangements, through their essential affection for each other. In the end, as in the beginning, they enjoy their explorations together, in sensible shoes.

This movie will take you in unexpected directions.
24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Good bio-pic that ignores the most interesting questions June 23 2005
By Lesley Freitas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
When "Kinsey" was released, I entered the theater eagerly, expecting a detailed and thorough look at the man and his work; I left the theater disappointed, and that disappointment grew the more I thought back on the film. "Kinsey" does indeed provide a detailed and thorough look at Alfred Kinsey, but the movie's treatment of his work and its impact is very narrow. The filmmakers never quite get to the really interesting questions.

"Kinsey" tells the story of Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson), author of "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male." The film follows Kinsey's life from his early years as a zoologist and his marriage to his wife Clara (Laura Linney), through his groundbreaking work in the study of human sexuality and the effects of and reactions to that work.

As a straight bio-pic, "Kinsey" does a good job. However, it is hard to miss the fact that the implications of his work are largely ignored, and when the subject is raised, the movie quickly glosses it over. For instance, Kinsey appears to argue that sex and emotion can and should be thought of as unrelated (or at least not necessarily related), and he follows this principle in his own life. In the larger scale, this sentiment figured largely in the American sexual revolution, and continues to a vital part of current attitudes towards sex. Yet this aspect of Kinsey's work is addressed for only the briefest of moments. At one point, Clara--initially upset by the notion that sex and love can be divorced from one another--asks Kinsey, "But what about love?" This is by far the most compelling question the movie asks, yet the plot quickly moves past it, leaving it as merely a device to further the development of Kinsey and Clara's relationship.

The implications of Kinsey's work are not entirely ignored by the movie, and the filmmakers do a good job of addressing the impact on homosexuality and its perception. But ultimately, "Kinsey" deeply disappointed me. Although Kinsey's studies furthered our understanding of human sexuality, the subject still remains quite mysterious, and the filmmakers squandered a wonderful chance to probe its depths.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
According to the Kinsey Report... Jan. 30 2006
By FrKurt Messick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The name of Alfred Kinsey conjures up many different kinds of images and preconceived notions, many of which don't fit the reality of his research and situation. The Kinsey Institute, located on the campus of my undergraduate university in Indiana, is known the world over as a research centre devoted to looking at sex in humans. This can still be a controversial topic, but certainly for middle America during the middle of the twentieth century - this was the protestant 'Bible Belt', and sex was not a topic of proper conversation among educated people.

Written and directed by Bill Condon, this film recounts the tale of Kinsey's professional career, from his early days as a Harvard researcher looking at gall wasps through his career at Indiana University, first as a biologist, and then as director of the research project and institute that today bears his name.

Kinsey is a complex character - perhaps the only way he could get away with his study in the environment of mid-century America was that he was the quintessential academic, in dress, demeanor, and attitude. His process of research, be it on gall wasps or on human subjects, was exactingly clinical. The essence of this devotion and adherence to objective procedure is captured in the film (both in terms of wasps and in terms of people).

One exchange between Kinsey and his fellow researcher Clyde Martin illustrates the point:

Alfred Kinsey: 'The doctors say my heart sounds like a cement mixer.'

Clyde Martin: 'At least they found one.'

Kinsey was aided by his wife, the free-thinking graduate student Clara McMillan. While a biology professor, Kinsey's openness made him a magnet for students to seek him out; sometimes their questions were regarding personal problems. When Kinsey sought out guidance in clinical research, he was frustrated to find there was none, even in medical literature, to help guide him in his counseling for the students. This inspired Kinsey to research, and even to offer classes dealing with the subject (these human sexuality classes are still offered at Indiana University, as well as other universities across the country).

Kinsey's work derived from interviews with literally thousands of subjects, data from whom was collected and compiled, and finally distilled into a major report, 'Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male', published in 1948. While Kinsey had assured the university and those funding his research that his report would be objective and descriptive rather than prescriptive, it was perhaps inevitable that Kinsey would climb down from this pedestal and make the statement that, based on the observable evidence, there is a much wider range to what constitutes 'being normal' than was previously held (particularly in polite, post-Victorian-morality society). This set off a firestorm of controversy the engulfed his research at the same time as the 'red scare' was becoming a prominent issue in the United States.

Kinsey's follow-up volume on human sexuality in females was seen as an attack on family values and 'the American way', and Kinsey's faith in his own processes and work was tested as his health began to falter at the same time. However, the groundwork had been laid, and the field continued to grow and flourish through the rest of the century, both through Kinsey's own institute as well as others founded later.

Condon's direction and writing is very clever, edging between documentary form at times and dramatic play at others. It includes a bit of irony in one exchange:

Reporter: 'Any plans on a Hollywood picture based on the book?'

Alfred Kinsey: 'I can't think of anything more pointless.'

Condon interviewed many of Kinsey's colleagues prior to writing, in essence using Kinsey's own technique. Liam Neeson plays the title role well, with clinical detachment and academic concern held in balance with his obvious passion for his subject. Laura Linney turns in a great performance as Clara; the three other roles of note include Tim Curry as the jealous faculty colleague, Peter Sarsgaard as close research colleague Clyde Martin (who lets his own personal involvement with both Kinsey and his wife create a bit of trouble for the group), and Oliver Platt, who plays the late, great Herman Wells, the visionary leader of Indiana University who hid his own sexual secrets fairly well through his career (for a gay man to be successful in Indiana during that time was a remarkable feat; that one should embrace controversies such as Kinsey, which was courting disaster, was astonishing).

The style of the film is very true to the mid-century; sets, costumes, vehicles, manners - all of these things combine to give a very good depiction of the time and place. This in many ways blunts the subject, but in other ways reinforces it - sexuality is not the domain just of the young, or just of the modern, or just of anything, but can be found in every time and place, including the more antiseptic and conservative of locations. Perhaps this is also part of Condon's point with the film, being produced at a time of resurgent conservatism in North America.

-------------------------------------

DVD Extras

-------------------------------------

There is a single-disc and double disc version available. The single disc has a commentary track by Bill Condon, subtitles available, and options for wide-screen or full-screen viewing.

The double-disc version includes all of the above, plus Spanish and French audio tracks, featurettes including a brief documentary on the Kinsey Report, twenty deleted scenes, an interactive sex questionnaire, and an overview of sex education at the Kinsey Institute.

Also, be sure and listen in the film for Ella Fitzgerald's rendition of 'Too Darn Hot', a Cole Porter song that has the lyric, 'According to the Kinsey Report...'
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
fascinating research by a very strange guy Jan. 24 2007
By Daniel B. Clendenin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
In 1938 Alfred Kinsey, a young Harvard-trained zoologist whose speciality was the gall wasp, took over a course on "marriage" at Indiana University and, based upon his relentless curiosity and unapologetically scientific treatment of the subject, turned the class into something akin to sexology. He subsequently published Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953), based upon 18,000 sexual histories he and his staff collected. For the first time ever, sex was scientifically-situated. This biographical dramatization reminded me of Ray, in the sense of an overwhelming human force who grappled with a perennial subject and in the process shaped American culture. The main message of the film, if it has one, seems to be that repression and taboo melt in the light of frankness and tolerance of difference, no matter how quirky: "We are the recorders and reporters of facts--not the judges of the behaviors we describe," insisted Kinsey. But the film is careful to show in some deeply painful moments like pedophilia, sex encouraged among staff members, Kinsey's bi-sexual experimentation, and broken marriages that human sexuality is far more, and more complex, than the mere scientific documentation of its parts. Fidelity, intimacy, integrity and love define sexuality as much as our habits. Kinsey died in 1956 at the age of 62, although the Kinsey Institute continues today.


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