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Up the Sandbox

Barbra Streisand , David Selby , Irvin Kershner    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Up the Sandbox + The Owl and the Pussycat (Bilingual)
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Product Description

Product Description

A woman contemplates trying to tell her husband she is pregnant yet again, her attempts puncuated by her own fears and fantasies.


Though not as successful as What's Up, Doc? or The Way We Were, Up the Sandbox springs from the early 1970s, when Barbra Streisand's career was in full stride. Streisand stars as Margaret, a stay-at-home mom in the middle of New York who's feeling the strain of her narrow life. Frustrated by her self-involved husband and the emotionally rewarding but mentally unstimulating tasks of motherhood, she escapes into fantasies--such as being hit on by a cross-gendered Fidel Castro, bombing the Statue of Liberty with black militants, and having a furious catfight with her overbearing mother. The movie's strength lies in these fantasies' slippery nature; some are over the top, but others are so subtle you're not always sure where they start and stop, making the portrait of Margaret's psyche intriguingly complex. Streisand fans should check out this sleeper. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars "Mothers have no special privileges here!" April 5 2004
After the uproarious zaniness of WHAT'S UP, DOC?, Streisand's follow-up picture, the decidedly bizarre UP THE SANDBOX, confused much of the film-going public and the film became the star's first flop at the box office. However, this poor reputation has only added luster to the film's appeal today, and UP THE SANDBOX has become a film that is very special to Streisand's many fans. The film's new-found appreciation is largely due to Streisand's beautifully restrained performance, which is full of warmth and nuanced believability. When she's taking on the routine banalities that were typical of the seventies' housewife, Streisand never fails to make the mundane appear so radiant and lovely.
Director Irvin Kershner (best known for directing THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK) gives the film an eerily abstract, European-like feel that lends UP THE SANDBOX an usual art house-style vibe. This is not a perfect film, however. The pace is almost rigidly slow and, even for a film with a 98 minute runtime, there are scenes that feel endless. Also, several of the fantasy sequences do not parallel the central storyline as well as they were intended to, which throws the film a bit off-balance and making it feel more uneven than it should. Finally, many of the issues the film raises, which were somewhat quaint even in '72, have dated badly when viewed today. But I still praise the film for it's uniqueness, and it's terrific lead performance. In the end, UP THE SANDBOX works as a vehicle for Streisand, and it allows the actress to showcase the quieter side of her brilliance.
About the DVD: The picture quality is very good (light years ahead of the hazy VHS copies), and the mono sound is also fine.
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4.0 out of 5 stars What Women Dream About... July 8 2003
"Up the Sandbox" is a little known but interesting movie among Barbara Streisand's cannon of film's. At a time, when she was commonly known for making either extravegant musicals or slapstick comedies she released this comedy/drama, which seriously delt with women's issues. This fact along with the film's somewhat confusing storyline might have been the reason fot it's box office failure and obscurity. But I like to view this unusual but interesting film as a 'diamond in the rough'. Look at it closely enough and it can be a richly rewarding viewing experience.In the film we meet, Margaret Reynolds (Barbra Streisand) a middle class, New York City housewife. Margaret is married to a university professor named Paul (David Selby) and is raising two young children in a cramped, inner city apartment. She finds being a mother is emotionally rewarding, but does not find much intellectual stimulation tending to diapers and strained peas. To deal with her frustrations, she engages in daydreams (making love to a Latin dictator, joining a radical group in terrorist acts, meeting a primitive Amazon African tribe, etc.)which reveal her inner feelings, that she cannot communicate to the people in her life. On top of all this, she learns from her doctor, that she is now pregnant again.What will she do? Will she have the child or get an abortion? Will she change the things in her life, that make her so unhappy? The film is dated with its portrayl of radical politics and 1970's hair and clothing styles, but the issues, that are at the core of the movie are just as relevent today as they were thirty years ago.The film asks questions such as "How many children should a women have? Where should children be raised? How do we treat children? What kind of relationship should we have with our parents? Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty Sandbox July 6 2003
Margaret Reynolds has an overactive imagination. She imagines confronting her husband's female coworker; her mother. Margaret imagines blowing up the Statue of Liberty with a dream radical-black-boyfriend. She imagines discovering an African Tribe's secret for painless childbirth. And she imagines speaking out for all women at a press conference, and then discovering Fidel Castro's feminine secret!
Margaret Reynolds is not crazy. She's just pregnant again - her third child. And she's very uncertain about this moment in her life and who she has become and what society values from her. So her brain tends to take some flights of fancy.
That is the setup for UP THE SANDBOX, a 1972 film that is directed by Irvin Kershner (LOVING and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK) and written by the late Paul Zindel. The film is obviously meant to address the women's movement that was burgeoning at that time. Although some of its themes don't translate well 31 years later, most of the film is still relative and challenging today.
Barbra Streisand's performance as Margaret is incredible. It's one of her best film roles. Barbra strips down, and plays it very natural here. There are only traces of fast-talking-Brooklyn-Barbra; only one or two FUNNY GIRL line readings. The rest is a different Barbra than we've seen. It makes one wonder what other sort of small film roles she could have done -- she's that remarkable in SANDBOX.
SANDBOX won't be for everyone's tastes. When I first saw it in the 1980's I didn't like it. I was confused. The fantasy sequences are not obvious. There are no clichéd Hollywood transitions - no WAYNE'S WORLD "dream sequence" dissolves! The dreams can be confusing.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow
This movie came as a total surprise to me. I've seen every Streisand movie and this one is the one that stands out the most. Not because it's the best but it's the most...strange? Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2003 by Patrick
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the viewing time!
If you missed "Up The Sandbox" at the movies, now is the time to make up for it. The wit in this complex movie exploring a mother's daydreams about the more exciting... Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2003 by S. Gould
5.0 out of 5 stars Barbra's talent is way"UP"there
I won't bore anyone with a long review BUT this is a Barbra you don't often get to see. Take my advise and see it. You won't be sorry. Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2002 by John T. Borek
3.0 out of 5 stars a Compelling performance
I give this film 3 stars but I give Barbra Streisand 5 stars. Her performance is so incredibly touching and honest. Read more
Published on April 18 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Barbra's Barwood first steps
This is the first film Barbra Streisand's production company produced for herself, aother change of pace role after she did 3 musical Broadway translations, The Owl and the... Read more
Published on July 23 2001 by Peter Shelley
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Gem
Although this is one of Ms. Streisand's poorest selling films, it is truly ingenious. She co-produced it too! Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2000 by Austin Carroll
5.0 out of 5 stars Barbra's Best Acting
It's a film about choices. Choose jealousy, choose controvery, choose adventure, choose abortion? A lonely NYC housewife in the early 70's with 2 children, an ambitious husband... Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag as a film, but one of Barbra's finest perfomances
One can only speculate what would have happened to Streisand the actress had the response to this film would have been different. Read more
Published on Aug. 30 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars Didnt get it
Could sombody explain me what this movie is all about.Their is no point,no moral,no comedy.I only recommend you to watch this movie to see the hidden secret of Fidel Castro.
Published on Aug. 8 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars What if Streisand Made More Movies Like This?
You know, this is a 70's feminist movie, but very enjoyable. The most remarkable thing is that Streisand is so very good in it. It is a Streiand we don't see enough of. Read more
Published on May 9 1999 by Matt Howe
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