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The Belle of Amherst
The Belle of Amherst
Actor: Julie Harris
Director: Charles S. Dubin
Genres: Drama, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2004     1hr 30min

Julie harris gives a luminous portrayal as emily dickinson in this reprise of the tony award-winning production. Studio: Kino International Release Date: 07/06/2004 Starring: Julie Harris Run time: 118 minutes Directo...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Julie Harris
Director: Charles S. Dubin
Creators: Terry M. Pickford, Don Gregory, Mike Merrick, William Luce
Genres: Drama, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Drama, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Kino Video
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 07/06/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1976
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Julie Harris shines as Emily Dickinson - Literature lives!
Richard O. Follett (richfoll@yahoo. | Virginia, USA | 11/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This astonishing video performance of Julie Harris' one-woman show about poetess Emily Dickinson's life and work is a true tour-de-force. Ms. Harris' range of expression both physically and vocally evokes Emily Dickinson so precisely that one can hardly imagine that she ever looked or sounded any other way. The poems which are featured in this script are so deftly and subtly interwoven that the entire presentation feels seamless and eminently REAL. I am a Theatre Arts/Speech teacher at a small High School in Virginia, and my students are perpetually astonished at the humor and relevance of a video made more than twenty years ago - usually, they want to tune out anything "old". This is a rich and sumptuous piece of living literature with a tremendously broad appeal - not just Dickinson's poetry, but her unique life is showcased in this privileged interview. This is EXACTLY the kind of "living literature" that we need most in our homes and in our schools - by bringing authors and works of note to life, we can perpetuate the essential reverence for the power of the written word which has perenially distinguished our culture. Please don't let the relatively high price of this product deter you - it is an investment which will repay itself many times over!"
"words are my life"
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 09/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Of all the highlights of Julie Harris' illustrious career, "The Belle of Amherst " is her masterpiece. This extraordinary one-woman, two act play by William Luce is exquisitely written and laced with Emily Dickinson's poetry, and is by turns hilarious, as she tells us the small town gossip, to profound and moving, when she speaks of her poetry, her parents, and Dr. Charles Wadsworth, a preacher that captured her heart and soul.
It takes place when Emily, who was born in 1830, is 53 years old, and she invites the viewer into her home, and describes in wonderfully staged vignettes, the many phases of her life. Dickinson was unknown during her lifetime, and was a recluse, but said "I never had to go anywhere to find my paradise".

You will get the recipe for her famous Black Bread, which has as ingredients: 2 lbs. each flour, butter, and sugar, 19 eggs, 5 lbs. raisins, 1 ½ lbs. each currants and citron, ½ pt. each brandy and molasses, 2 nutmegs, 5 tsp. cloves, mace and cinnamon, 2 tsp. soda, and 2 pinches of salt. I have tasted this Black Bread (which is more like a fruit cake), and it's delicious !

Julie Harris is "The First Lady of the American Theater", with a record five Tony Awards with her name on them, as well as an Oscar nomination and 10 Emmy nominations. Ms. Harris has captivated many an audience with her impassioned performances, and her portrayal of Emily Dickinson is as if they shared the same heart; this is a unique theatrical experience, directed by Charles Durbin, and filmed live in a small theater in 1976.

This was a gift from a generous soul, to whom I am very grateful, and this film would be equally treasured by anyone who appreciates poetry and Ms. Harris' magical talent. "The Belle of Amherst" would also be an excellent study tool for literature and women's study groups, as well as drama students.
Total running time is 90 minutes.
Not in Vain
"If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain".
At last!!
Michael J. Doyle | Portland, ME United States | 09/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am thrilled to see that this production is finally out on a decently priced DVD. I haven't seen this production, which I think was on PBS many years ago, since it was on TV back then. However, I was fortunate enough to see Miss Harris perform the play in Boston about five years ago. In all my 55 years, of all the plays, concerts, films, etc. that I have ever seen, this was absolutely the finest piece of art I have ever witnessed. Julie Harris is easily the greatest actress of the 20th Century, and this is her greatest role. Absolutely spell-binding, moving beyond words.

Moreover, I agree with the reviewer who says that "The Belle of Amherst" is an outstanding way to present Emily Dickenson to students. This goes for the general public as well. A remarkable play.

Well, what more can I say? I can't wait to see the DVD. Hope it is of good quality."
Julie's marvelous!
Sylviastel | 05/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have to say that England has Dame Judi Dench and America has Julie Harris. Two actresses that should work together. Only in this DVD, Julie brings to life of Emily Dickinson, American Poet and Literary Genius to life. You can tell that Julie has transformed herself into bring Emily's legacy, vision, and works to life as only a master actress can do without the praise. Julie Harris is one of America's finest living actresses of the stage, film, and television. This performance does justice to the actual legacy of Emily Dickinson. We know that she researched the role thoroughly connecting with her memory. The stage version is kind of rough because of the audience but the quality holds up."