Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Gift of the Magi|
Director: Scott Mansfield
Genres: Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
"One dollar and eightyseven cents. And the next day would be Christmas." And so we begin O. Henry's best known and timeless story, which stands as a shining example of O. Henry's writing at its best. For in it we have t... more »
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(2 out of 5 stars)
"The O'Henry story is wonderful, but this depiction doesn't do it justice. Perhaps, this is one of those stories that does not translate well to film. It seemed as though this was a production put on by a theater company in a small town. Also, be aware that running time for this video is just twenty minutes, which makes it a pretty expensive videotape."
Had high hopes
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This video production does not do justice to O. Henry's great story. I hope someday to find one that does."
Very poorly adapted for video.
K. Mead | 01/08/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Several things are terrribly wrong with this video:
1) It seems that they were trying to create a faithful rendition of the story in video format by scripting it word-for-word from the original story. While reading O. Henry's exact words may be enjoyable, phrases like "imputation of parsimony," "mendicancy squad," "meretricious ornamentation," etc. do not transfer well at all to film. A more professional screenplay adaptation is necessary for the story to translate into something that makes sense for a video audience.
2) While the cast was attractive and fit the parts visually, the acting style seemed very amateur and much more reminiscent of a small town theater company as another reviwer noted. It was too over the top for the subtlety that video can capture. It simply didn't seem genuine. This can partly be blamed on the use of O. Henry's exact words, rather than properly adapting it for film.
3) The camera angles, lighting, and audio recordings are all poor in comparison with today's production standards. Although Amazon's editorial review lists several awards dated 2002 for this film, it looks like it was shot in the late 80's or early 90's...very low budget. The cost of the DVD should be reflected in the quality of the video. It's definitely not a collector's item that would cause one to overlook dated production values. This DVD is far too expensive for the product delivered.
When I purchased this, I was remembering a made-for-tv version (more of an "inspired-by" rendition) that I viewed when I was very young. I thought I was purchasing the one I remembered. Unfortunately, I was incorrect. After a bit of research, I discovered that the version I remembered is called "The Gift of Love" starring Marie Osmond and Timothy Bottoms, also available through Amazon on DVD. I realize that Marie Osmond is not an academy award winning actress. But I found a clip of her version on YouTube, and it has much more character and appeal than this version by Scott Mansfield. The story is still set in the appropriate time period, but the screen adaptation is far more engaging, and the production is far more professional than the version I purchased.
My recommendation? If you want an exact rendition of the book, and you're not concerned with a quality video production, buy this version. If you can settle for an "inspired by" version of O. Henry's story and want a DVD that is far more engaging to watch, buy "The Gift Of Love" instead."