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Barbra Streisand , Richard Dreyfuss , Martin Ritt    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 26.87
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Product Description

Product Description

A strong-willed woman launches a fierce battle to prove her mental competence to stand trial for manslaughter.


Barbra Streisand is a mad high-priced "escort" accused of murder, but whether she's mad as hell or mad as a hatter is the question in this courtroom drama, adapted from the play by Tom Topor. While her doting, willfully uncomprehending mother (Maureen Stapleton) and stepdad with a secret (Karl Malden) try to have her judged incompetent and sent to an asylum, she fights for her day in court with the help of a hapless legal aid attorney (a refreshingly understated Richard Dreyfuss). James Whitmore presides over the hearing with a compassion and sense of justice that gives one faith in a system and la Streisand (who developed and produced the project) sinks her teeth into the tempestuous role like a starving actress. The plot holds few surprised, but the drama lies in the characters and veteran director Martin Ritt (Hud) brings out the best in a top-flight cast. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I won't be nuts for you!" April 5 2004
I would give this film four-and-a-half stars. Badly neglected by both audiences and critics at the time of it's original release, NUTS is a film that is ripe for reevaluation. Based on Tom Toplor's 1981 courtroom play, NUTS is definitely a dialogue-based film with little Hollywood flashiness. Though generally well-written (by Toplor, adapting his own work with Darryl Ponicsan and Alvin Sargent) and sharply staged and directed by veteran Martin Ritt, it is the cast whom is really responsible bringing NUTS to life. Barbra Streisand gives an absolutely bravura performance that should have earned her an Oscar nomination. Alternately hilarious and frightening, Streisand is always mesmerizing as she delves so far into character.
Richard Dreyfess is nothing less than Streisand's equal as her public defender. He too was robbed of an Oscar nomination. The supporting cast is a top-notch ensemble of professional character actors (Maureen Stapleton, Eli Wallach, Robert Webber, James Whitmore, and Karl Malden), all of whom work their craft flawlessly. Nuts' screenplay does indulge in the predictability of some of the typical courtroom-plot conventions a little too often, and it hardly gives us any surprises. However, I still praise Toplor's script for it's fascinating exploration of what constitutes as normality and whether or not the insane should be required to receive treatment. NUTS isn't going to win over any fans of 3-cuts-per-second action films, but it leave lovers of thought-provoking, expertly-acted dramas fascinated.
About the DVD: The picture quality is dark and grainy, however, I believe that this reflects the film's intended look. The sound is fine, and it's nice to have the film's trailer included. Streisand's intelligent and entertaining full-length commentary is the main extra here, and it more than makes up for the disappointing tracks she contributed to the WHAT'S UP, DOC? and MAIN EVENT DVDs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The movie is almost solely carried by Barbara Streisand's scorching performance as a high class hooker wrongly accused of first degree manslaughter. The courtroom scenes are fascinating, and if you love fast witty banter, this is a delight. The subject is weighty (a couple of rants toward the end are also a bit predictably feminist) but thought-provoking, and its rendition into the dramatic screenplay is very, very satisfying. Highly recommended for the discerning viewer.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but only fair Feb. 4 2004
By A Customer
A great cast, but sort of a hokey and predictable plot. It totally has the feel of an adapted play. It's entertaining once, but that's about it. I think the thing was way overdone on Streisand's character making her own decisions and the whole "crazy" thing was just too much and the audience was beaten over the head too often with these themes. It wasn't adapted too well from the stage, that is what plays often do.
Also, the whole premise of a 40-ish Streisand playing a successful high class call girl made this an unintentional comedy. The scene where she lists what she charges for doing what, I almost starting laughing outloud as the hilarity of anyone paying someone with her looks and age that much money. And the scenes where she tries to act like a sexy vamp, in both flashbacks, in court, and with her attorney, are equally hilarious. Streisand was miscast here, big time. She needs to stick with Fanny Bryce-type roles, or play women where looks are not dependent on the character. Streisand is not nearly as bad looking as people make her out, and has aged well, but a successful 40-ish high class call girl is just too much of a stretch. It's a meaty role I imagine she really wanted, but you have to be at least fairly attractive/hot to pull it off. She's not.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nuts for NUTS July 2 2003
Barbra Streisand's 1987 film, NUTS, deals with appearances - a theme she explores in other films as well. NUTS is Barbra's second time out playing a prostitute. Claudia Draper, Barbra's character in NUTS, is very different from the comedic prostitute she plays in OWL & THE PUSSYCAT. In NUTS, Claudia faces a trial. The movie's drama lies in the outcome. Is Claudia really insane? Is she competent to stand trial for manslaughter? Or will her abrasive personality and challenging questions convince those in authority that she needs to be sent away to a hospital instead? Director Martin Ritt reveals what really happened to Claudia and her "client" (played by Leslie Nielson) pretty early in the story -- leaving the audience rooting for Claudia for the rest of the film.
Barbra's performance as Claudia is very good. Barbra admits in the audio commentary that the role enabled her to vent some of her anger and play "the bad girl." She does so with relish, spouting four-letter words and sexually explicit dialogue. Barbra is very bold here. It's refreshing to see her go for it.
It's hard to get past some of the obvious parallels in the movie with Barbra's real life. The entire theme of the film certainly pertains to Barbra's experiences in Hollywood - don't ask questions; stay in your place; play the part of the actress and don't rock the boat. In the commentary, Barbra admits that she gets into trouble when she tells the truth. Usually, people don't want to hear it and punish the truth-teller. Also, the stepfather role that Karl Malden plays brings to mind Barbra's difficult relationship with her own stepfather -- although the nature of the relationship in the film is quite different than Barbra's real-life experiences. Related to that is the mother-daughter dynamic.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
Excellent movie! Streisand give a great performance and normally I am not a fan. The plot is a bit old though and you can easily guess what happened before the end of the movie.
Published 7 months ago by Guillaume Lesage
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent subject matter
This film has its flaws, and the other reviewers, especially some, are right on track with that, but it's flaws do not overshadow the strength of the subject matter of the film,... Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2004 by Dean Rivers
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies I have ever seen
This movie is absolutely breathtaking. I cried like, five times in it. People who have only rated this as one star are entitled to their opinion, but I mean, this is a movie that... Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2003 by Amir Haidar
5.0 out of 5 stars Striesand's best performance
"Nuts" is a must see for Striesand fans and anyone who enjoys a well written script and an exceptionally strong cast. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2003 by S. Gould
5.0 out of 5 stars Striesand's best performance
"Nuts" is a must see for Striesand fans and anyone who enjoys a well written script and an exceptionally strong cast. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2003 by S. Gould
4.0 out of 5 stars Mentyl
Ah Babs has picked a good one here. No one wants to give her any credit for this role but she deserves it. Read more
Published on July 20 2003 by JUSTSAYJOE
4.0 out of 5 stars Nuts for NUTS
Barbra Streisand's 1987 film, NUTS, deals with appearances - a theme she explores in other films as well. NUTS is Barbra's second time out playing a prostitute. Read more
Published on July 2 2003 by Matt Howe
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Barbara Streisand plays a high priced hooker accused of manslaughter who must prove to the court she is mentally competent enough to prove her guilt and innocence. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2003 by Michael Watkins
3.0 out of 5 stars No Underestimating That Streisand (i.e. N.U.T.S.)
... It's themes echo those in Streisand's own life: speaking out for what you believe; sexism; challenging the system; and child sexual and emotional abuse. Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2002 by Matt Howe
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