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The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons
Actors: Alan Alda, Carol Burnett, Len Cariou, Sandy Dennis, Rita Moreno
Director: Alan Alda
Genres: Comedy, Drama
PG     2005     1hr 47min

Three married couples are all best friends until divorce strikes one couple, putting a strain on the close-knit group. Genre: Feature Film-Comedy Rating: PG Release Date: 31-MAY-2005 Media Type: DVD


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Movie Details

Actors: Alan Alda, Carol Burnett, Len Cariou, Sandy Dennis, Rita Moreno
Director: Alan Alda
Creators: Alan Alda, Victor J. Kemper, Michael Economou, Louis A. Stroller, Martin Bregman
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Drama
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/31/2005
Original Release Date: 05/22/1981
Theatrical Release Date: 05/22/1981
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Real Life, Love and Vivaldi, too!!!!
E. Hornaday | Lawrenceville, NJ United States | 04/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Alan Alda (best known as the wisecracking Hawkeye from the long-running TV series M*A*S*H*) wrote and directed this brilliant film which, for me, is the perfect homage to the successful marriage.

The story centers around the close friendships of three middle-aged couples who always take their vacations together. A huge problem arises when one of the husbands (played with gusto by Len Cariou) abruptly sheds his longtime, devoted and quirky wife (played by the brilliantly gifted late actress Sandy Dennis) for a much younger and pretty woman (portrayed by Bess Armstrong.) Dennis suddenly becomes the odd-woman out of the group while Armstrong takes her place in the traditional group vacation.

Everyone feels the effects of the switch, and their reactions and adjustments (or lack thereof) to the situation create the movie's tension and raise universal questions about love, commitment, marriage, honesty and aging.

Alda's wife in the film, played by the legendary Carol Burnett, struggles to make sense out of what happened, and worries that all aging women (including her) may be cast aside without remorse by their husbands stuggling with the mid-life blues who want younger, sexier partners. In one revealing portion of the story, Alda joins in a soccer game "with the boys" and plays to the point of exhaustion and even injury to impress Armstrong. Burnett withholds her sympathy for her wounded mate and is furious instead, forcing him to realize what he was doing through witty, poignant and hysterical dialog.

Multi-talented Rita Moreno and Jack Weston are the third couple also caught in the tortured but humorous and telling web of self analysis and doubt.

Armstrong feels the tension from a completely different perspective, having fallen in love with a man who refuses to vacation alone and whose closest female friends refuse to accept her as part of the group but resent and mistrust her instead.

The humor, and it is a very funny film, comes from the honesty the situation forces on the participants for them to be able to survive the vacation with their relationships and/or marriages intact.

Ultimately, the younger woman is accepted on her own terms and the other couples understand more fully their love and dedication to their mates, while embracing true friendships with everyone in the group.

Vivaldi's classic Four Seasons is the perfect soundtrack for the film and the inspiration for its title.

I strongly urge anyone in a relationship, whether new or of long-duration, to see this film. It is very rare, indeed, when any studio produces a coming of age film FOR ADULTS that has humor, heart, respect for the middled-aged and absolutely NO teen angst! Bravo!!"
"Is this the fun part? Are we having fun yet?"
M. Hart | USA | 10/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In 1981, Alan Alda wrote and directed a film inspired by and named after a famous piece of classical music written by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): "The Four Seasons". The film's plot centers around three middle-aged couples who enjoy sharing vacations together: Jack Burroughs (Alan Alda), Kate Burroughs (Carol Burnette), Nick Callan (Len Cariou), Anne Callan (Sandy Dennis, 1937-1992), Claudia Zimmer (Rita Moreno) and Danny Zimmer (Jack Weston, 1924-1996). Each vacation occurs about every three months, beginning in the spring, then to the other three seasons; with each accompanied with Vivaldi's seasonal movement of music. With each vacation, something new is learned about the various couples. In the spring at a secluded lake, Nick reveals to Jack his desire to divorce Anne. In the summer while vacationing on a sailboat in the Caribbean, Nick is no longer with Anne; instead he brings a young girlfriend named Ginny Newley (Bess Armstrong). With Nick constantly giving Ginny presents and keeping the other two couples up at night with their noisy activities, Jack & Danny find it difficult to keep their eyes off of Ginny to the consternation of Kate and Claudia. With autumn, the three couples visit some of their college-aged children, Lisa (Elizabeth Alda) and Beth (Beatrice Alda), at a Connecticut university and get the unexpected visit from Anne. When Jack expresses his jealousy towards Nick while playing soccer, Kate expresses her unhappiness with his obessesion over Ginny as well as her tiring of being responsible for setting up the couples' vacations. Lastly, in the winter, the three couples go on a ski trip. There, the ongoing rivalry between Nick and Jack results in the two them being injured while trying to show off with inappropriate tricks on cross-country skis: Nick with a broken ankle and Jack with a torn tendon. Following Danny expressing his fears of death, Ginny expresses her discontent with being the outsider and goes for a walk alone in the snow. With Nick & Jack impaired, Danny decides to go and look for her; but he ends up falling through some thin ice. It's then up to the other five to rescue the hypochondriac Danny, but it may cost him his most prized possession: his new Mercedes.

With an interesting story, engaging characters, good acting, wonderful cinematography and appropriate music, "The Four Seasons" is well worth watching and I rate it with 5 out of 5 stars. Though it was filmed nearly 25 years ago, the film is by no means dated as the issues that it raised then are just as relevant today with many middle-aged couples that have been together for a long time."
Great Movie - Fake widescreen DVD
ed600 | New York, N.Y. | 06/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The aspect ratio is fake.
The top and bottom of the regular full screen version has been cropped out of the picture to give the illusion your getting a widescreen - what your getting is less picture!
The studios should label the DVD's as they did when they cropped VHS video picture " this film has been modified to fit you tv screen" as in modified to fit a 16x9 tv in this case.
You have already lost one third of the picture when it was modified to full screen, now you loose an additional one third to one fourth of the movies image!
The reason leterbox and widescreen has a demand, is that the audience or consumer wants to view the Movie as it was filmed and framed by the filmaker, and not loose out on portions of the movie that the director intended.
In other words the idea to release in widescreen was for the intention of showing MORE not LESS of the movies image.
The studios believe they can get away with this, since the average buyer does not have a full screen video version to compare with, or the consumer is just unaware.
I compared this DVD to a full screen VHS version, and in many cases where some DVD's come with both Full & Wide Screen on a flip disc, compare them before watching, many of the widesreen sides are just chopped versions of the full screen.
The picture quality is great on this and most DVD's, it is unfortunate though that it has to be a conciliation for cropped picture."
"What do old married couples do?"
R. Byrd | Seattle, WA United States | 12/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My boyfriend of five years asked me this question last year, uncertain of where to take our relationship and desperately afraid of boring me to tears. I was determined to show him this film, which I last saw in the theater at the time of its release. Three middle-aged couples with children meet once a season every year to do a group activity. Although they get together in smaller groups at other points, the ritual of celebrating each season is pretty much an unquestioned tradition ... until one of the couples split up.Can the group survive? How about the individual friendships? The introduction of a new spouce, the question of what to do with the previous one, and simply the planning to come up with ideas of how to keep the group activities from getting stale are as valuable as the effort the stars put into their performances. This movie values effort without drudgery, the complexities of communication within a chosen family, and how daunting it is to try to play catch-up with a group that's been around nearly forever. These characters drive each other crazy occasionally but always love each other, and try to stay together even when their world is falling apart.And my boyfriend really, really liked it. :)"