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Summer and Smoke

Laurence Harvey , Geraldine Page , Peter Glenville    Unrated   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 29.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Description

Geraldine Page, Laurence Harvey, Rita Moreno, Una Merkel. Tennessee Williams' absorbing story of a young woman whose childhood obsession with her next door neighbor intensifies when he returns home as a doctor and has eyes for the sultry daughter of a casino owner. 1962/color/118 min/NR/widescreen.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars GERALDINE PAGE, most unappreciated... Feb. 14 2002
Format:VHS Tape
There are a lot of things you can say about this film, but foremost must be the performance of Geraldine Page, perhaps the finest female performance ever captured on film. Her use of her hands, a glance...every nuance imaginable has not been matched (a close second: Giulietta Massina). Alma is a lot more complicated than most realize, a repressed rage, hopeless love, culminating in a dependance on drugs (not brought out so much in the film); "those little white tablets...ever so merciful..." After an Oscar nomination in 1953 for "Hondo", Page was subjected to ugliness by the McCarthy nonsense, and "S&S" was only her second film. English director Peter Glenville, famous for attention to detail ("Becket"), worked with fellow Brit, Laurence Harvey (a southerner by association since he played Travis in "The Alamo"), and it was actually a fine group of talent. Tennessee Williams always thought this was his best play; he re-wrote it as "Eccenticities of a Nightingale", but the new idea, though admired, never survived. It made more reference to Alma's addiction, and also referred to all 4 women as caged birds, escaping in different directions. I applaud anyone who takes the time to soak in all the nuance that Williams has to offer, the mood and delivery of Glenville, and the unflinching perfection of Page's performance. Taking this all at once is quite overwhelming. I can't wait for a DVD with a wide Panavision version. It's long overdue.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GERALDINE PAGE, most unappreciated... Feb. 14 2002
Format:VHS Tape
There are a lot of things you can say about this film, but foremost must be the performance of Geraldine Page, perhaps the finest female performance ever captured on film. Her use of her hands, a glance...every nuance imaginable has not been matched (a close second: Giulietta Massina). Alma is a lot more complicated than most realize, a repressed rage, hopeless love, culminating in a dependance on drugs (not brought out so much in the film); "those little white tablets...ever so merciful..." After an Oscar nomination in 1953 for "Hondo", Page was subjected to ugliness by the McCarthy nonsense, and "S&S" was only her second film. English director Peter Glenville, famous for attention to detail ("Becket"), worked with fellow Brit, Laurence Harvey (a southerner by association since he played Travis in "The Alamo"), and it was actually a fine group of talent. Tennessee Williams always thought this was his best play; he re-wrote it as "Eccenticities of a Nightingale", but the new idea, though admired, never survived. It made more reference to Alma's addiction, and also referred to all 4 women as caged birds, escaping in different directions. I applaud anyone who takes the time to soak in all the nuance that Williams has to offer, the mood and delivery of Glenville, and the unflinching perfection of Page's performance. Taking this all at once is quite overwhelming.
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5.0 out of 5 stars IN THE PARK . alone ... waiting..... at night. Aug. 9 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
It's THAT final scene that always grabs ya, poor Alma, little desolate sitting there, next to that grotesque stone angel, a bit like Blanche, waiting for that Gentleman Caller, getting by with a little help from her friends, and that ODD, bittersweet conclusion.....
Underrated performances, underrated movie, pre-David Lynch territory, almost Ray Bradbury country, weird, Wonderful Tennessee Williams! Geraldine Page assaults your senses as the repressed, tightly-encorseted spinster masking a volcano of passion - just under the veil! A product of affuent early 20th century domestic repression she pines for the affection of neighborhood hunk Harvey M.D., but to no avail. He has been "taken" by a much younger rival [another devastating scene with Page and Pamela Tiffin as the "bride to be"].
There's plenty a-foot, spot-on performances by Una Merkel as the ever-eccentric mother, and Rita Moreno as the passionate, doomed Rosa BUT its those last moments with Alma [Page] and the salesman [Mr. Goodbar, Ragtime style? - Earl Holliman] in the park, alone, late at night ....that sobers!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Summer, Smoke and Blood Oct. 24 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Tennessee Williams is once again settling his accounts with parents and the South. One daughter is encaged by her preaching father into absolutele spinstery. One son escapes the cage of duty and dedication his father tries to impose onto him. Another daughter manages to escape the cage her mother opens up one day in a well-advised moment of inspiration. And a final daughter is nothing but the tool of her father's ambition to conquer the rich world even if it takes a gunshot to do so. The first daughter is also haunted by her mother's getting crazy at seeing the locked cage in which her husband has locked her daughter up. And this is supposed to represent that noble and genteel South that is so lovable and yet so cruel. But Tennessee Williams goes a little farther in this film by showing how people can change, but they change in exactly opposite directions. They cannot meet at first because the young man is not a gentleman and the young woman is a lady. But they can't meet later on because the young man has discovered his soul and asks the young woman to remain a lady, whereas she has finally understood that the soul is not all that counts and she would like the young man not to be the gentleman he has become and still to be the animal he used to. No way out, except an elopement. The younger generation always finds their ways out of all those cages even if at times it is hard, painful and even fatal or lethal. This delicate mental and corporal torture is the trademark of this Tennessee Williams that reaches universality, if not eternity. And the South becomes a showcase of mankind and is redeemed in such a process. Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, Paris Universities II and IX.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Summer and Smoke
This movie had a lot of potential, but it was a little too long and it fizzled out in the last quarter or so of the movie. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2011 by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant film ... still not on DVD ? (The wait is over!! See my...
I've been a huge fan of Geraldine Page for years as well as of Tennessee Williams' plays. Why does the DVD boxed set of Tennessee Williams' plays-on-film not contain "Summer and... Read more
Published on April 16 2006 by brucie boy
5.0 out of 5 stars Page: Shatteringly brilliant
Thank God for the wonders of Ms. Geraldine Page. If it weren't for her, I doubt that the film would have the same effect. A tragedy unfolds and Ms. Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A Summer Viewing Tradition
I cannot get through a summer without seeing this fine film. For me,it captures the sad brevity of summer and the classic melancholy of Tennessee Williams. Read more
Published on June 13 2003 by Charles E. Jeffries
5.0 out of 5 stars More brilliance from my darling Geraldine
OK...OK...here I go again on the peerless Miss Page...this one will be quite succinct...
SHE IS MAGNIFICENT! RENT IT! BUY IT! DON'T MISS IT!
...where is the DVD?
Published on March 29 2003 by "nataliesnumber1fan"
5.0 out of 5 stars Geraldine Page gives the best performance of her career!!!
The finest actress ever to live, Geraldine Page recreates her broadway role as the spinster Alma, who lives with her parents to care for her ill mother{Una Merkel, in a brilliant... Read more
Published on July 26 2002 by ryan cole
5.0 out of 5 stars Summer and Smoke
The first time i watched this movie was at S.F.'s Castro Theatre's tribute to the Great Tennessee, and not to mention that I was flying extremely high on psychedelics, and the sets... Read more
Published on Oct. 10 2001 by Merle Taffer
5.0 out of 5 stars Geraldine Page - a Miracle in this Fabulous Movie!
Tennessee Williams did another great job with "Summer and Smoke" and the memorable phrases that he came up with will stick with you forever. Read more
Published on Aug. 16 2000 by DANIEL E MILLER
5.0 out of 5 stars Life on iceberg
Living in Vicksburg for 17 years gives me a special pleasure to appreciate this film. Tom Williams who grew up at parsonage in Columbus at his uncle lived also shortly in Vicksburg... Read more
Published on April 24 2000 by john andersen
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