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Summer and Smoke


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Product Details

  • Actors: Laurence Harvey, Geraldine Page, Rita Moreno, Una Merkel, John McIntire
  • Directors: Peter Glenville
  • Writers: James Poe, Meade Roberts, Tennessee Williams
  • Producers: Hal B. Wallis, Paul Nathan
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • 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: UNRATED
  • Studio: Unidisc Music
  • Release Date: Nov. 7 2007
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003XMKMVE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,825 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Summer & Smoke

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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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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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