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Madame Butterfly (Widescreen) [Import]

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 209.43
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ying Huang, Richard Troxell, Ning Liang, Richard Cowan, Jing Ma Fan
  • Directors: Frédéric Mitterrand
  • Writers: Frédéric Mitterrand, Giuseppe Giacosa, Luigi Illica
  • Producers: Ahmed Baha Attia, Daniel Toscan du Plantier, Karima Ladjimi, Pierre-Olivier Bardet
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • Release Date: Feb. 26 2002
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005UVDM
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Product Description

Product Description

Madame Butterfly is the heartwrenching story of a beautiful young geisha who sacrifices her family, her religion and, ultimately, her life for her American husband. Butterfly is the young bride of Lieutenant Pinkerton, who buys Butterfly's love while stationed in Japan and with no intention of ever taking her home to America. Martin Scorsese presents this award-winning film based on the popular opera. 133 minutes. Cast:

Ying Huang: Cio-Cio-San
Richard Troxell: Pinkerton
Ning Liang: Suzuki
Richard Cowan: Sharpless
Jing Ma Fan: Goro
Christopheren Nòmura: Prince Yamadori
Constance Hauman: Kate Pinkerton

Like the finest of film scores with its fluid beauty and succession of intensely romantic tunes, Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly has a surprisingly cinematic feel. In 1995 director Frederic Mitterand exploited this quality of the story, exposing a young woman's disillusionment against a backdrop of cultural chasms. Shot on location, with Tunisia doubling convincingly as a turn-of-the-century Nagasaki, this Butterfly shines with fragile beauty. The house becomes a brilliantly used set, at once airy and full of the scent of flowers and at the same time a cage for the trapped woman. Archive footage of bygone Nagasaki is used skillfully to underline the distance between the 15-year-old bride and Pinkerton.

Purists may prefer a more traditionally robust, stage-bound Butterfly, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more visually heartbreaking interpretation. Chinese soprano Ying Huang doesn't rock the rafters with her vocal power; hers is a tender, delicately observed performance. Tenor Richard Troxell's self-seeking Pinkerton is well sung. Overall, this is a haunting cinematic treatment of an enduringly popular opera. --Piers Ford

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Fabulous filmed rendition of the opera! Beautiful visuals! But, most of all, I'm thrilled to have discovered Ying Huang who's performance is beautiful, sensitive, and her voice gorgeous (delicate, sweet yet masterful without that "Southerland screech" that so many sopranos have. The first time I watched it, I did so for days! :-)
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Format: VHS Tape
"I am like the goddess of the moon,
the little goddess of the moon
who comes down by night on the bridge of the sky." ~Butterfly
I love this romantic escape into a fantasy world of dreamy opera and sometimes the singing can literally make you heady. I fell completely in love with this story after listening to a 1987 London recording from the library.
The story begins near Nagasaki, although this movie was filmed in Tunisia. A Japanese house, terrace and garden is situated on a hill overlooking the harbor. There is a sense of serenity and peace, but this does not fully represent the future.
Lieutenant Pinkerton (Richard Troxell) is selecting a home and Goro brings him into the house to show him all the benefits of the house. He in turn thinks the house is "as delicate as a puff of wind." Which could rather be used to describe his commitment to his new bride, Butterfly (Ying Huang). We can't quite figure out why this naval officer wants to buy a bride when he is just going to leave her trapped in a beautiful cage for three years.
Is this not the entire fantasy of the knight who rescues a woman and then puts her in a tower? Yet, here the knight and the maiden don't seem to share the same commitment to one another and when the knight leaves, he seems to forget to even send a note back to the maiden.
The love duets are magnificent and beyond compare. The world literally dissolves when you watch this movie. The letter scene gives you hope and yet the sheer tragedy of the situation reaches new levels when Butterfly tosses Sharpless out of the house due to his heartless comments about her accepting a proposal from Yamadori.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is THE production of Madame Butterfly! Pinkerton does a great job of making you hate him! Ying Huang is SO beautiful! Sometimes she even looks even YOUNGER than 15! And her bell-like voice, although it can lose its operatic quality, is still breathtakingly beautiful! She has the girlish beauty and voice for Butterfly, and gives a heartbreakingly sad performance. Ning Liang is EXCELLENT as Suzuki! Shes also really pretty and has an AMAZING mezzo-soprano! Goro, so often portrayed as this bumbling idiot, is portrayed for what he is, a cruel, cynical villain. Even Kate Pinkerton has a touch of cruelty when she first appears. The Bonzes portrayal of flying in is the only weak point. It looks SO cheesy! It is supposed to be one of the saddest moments and yet it just ruins it. Oh well. The end is especially heart- wrenching! She hears Pinkerton calling to her after she has stabbed herself and she tries to get back up(that part just really makes you tear up!)and then she dies in his arms. Can you sit through that and not cry? Buy this beautiful movie!
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Format: DVD
There are something very refreshing and appealing about this Madame Butterfly. First of all is the fresh-voiced cast, in which everybody is at the right age, in the right race, and with the right looks. Chinese soprano Ying Huang delivers a most delicate Butterfly. Her transcendent interpretation did benefit from, but not solely depend on, her oriental root. She has shown us that she has much more to offer: her elegant and pellucid soprano, her exquisite technique, as well as her subtleties in rendering the character. She conveys the demureness and femininities of Butterfly naturally, and with such ease that I believe part of the character is simply part of her. Well matched with Ying Huang's pure and light soprano, Richard Troxell's soaring and not-so-dark tenor portrays a very impressive Pinkerton. This Pinkerton would make you believe that if there were no Lieutenant Pinkerton, there would be no Madame Butterfly. Troxell's undeniable charms and handsome looks has very well justified Pinkerton's attractiveness which had captured Cio-Cio San's heart. Although at the end this is a character that ought to be condemned for his cowardliness of deserting Butterfly, you'd never question his infatuation with Butterfly, and you'd truly believe his pain and sorrow when he finally understood Butterfly's loyalty and realized that it's already too late. Both Troxell and Huang demonstrate superb acting, not at all inferior to their singing. In the wedding night duet their soulful performance and passion-pervaded singing bring out the uttermost beauty of romantic feeling. Other cast members are great too, especially Ning Liang, who sings Suzuki. She has an amazingly rich mezzo-soprano. You'd be impressed instantly as soon as she starts to sing, and then you'd hope she could sing more.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
As a musical-theater enthusiast unfamiliar with the opera world, I stumbled across this production almost by accident when a visit to a ballet performance of Butterfly sent me scuttling thru the local libraries in search of Puccini's original opera. Used to thinking of opera as somewhat "stuffy", I was unprepared for what I found- I was completely caught off guard by the quality of the acting, and the power of the music. Within 5 minutes I had nearly forgotten I was watching classical opera in a foreign language with subtitles, and thought I was seeing yet another of my favorite musicals (believe me, from someone as enamored of Les Mis as myself, that is VERY high praise!) And the more I watch it, the more I notice of the care and detailing the actors and director put into this performance (try watching the consul Sharpless- carefully- right before he has to answer Butterfly's question about when robins build their nest).
I think it would be nearly impossible to find another version so accessible to non-opera people like myself. More seasoned opera lovers may, perhaps, criticize the singing; I personally cannot hear why. Huang may be light, but she holds her own against the best "Butterflies" out there; and no other Sharpless I've heard even comes close to Cowan's. Having since compared this with a number of other versions (including Scotto and Freni), I have found no other version yet that more closely captures, for me, the essence of these characters; the carefree, irresponsible charm and rogueishness of Pinkerton, the compassionate gallantry of Sharpless, the innocent naivete and heartbreaking vulnerability of Butterfly. "B-List singers", indeed!
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