Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Hearst Castle - Building the Dream |
Actors: Ralph Chelli, Ricky Mabe, Patricia Rodriguez, Karen Teliha, Vanesa Tomasino
Director: Bruce Neibaur
Genres: Special Interests, Documentary
The advantage of using IMAX technology in a film of this nature is that the viewer can more easily appreciate the awe-inspiring architectural treasures that influenced the making of San Simeon, William Randolph Hearst's "c... more »
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I've Been Conned
Carl Tait | New York, NY USA | 05/06/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The misleading title of this DVD borders on outright fraud. The majority of this whopping 38-minute film is a re-enactment of Hearst's childhood told in a style appropriate for kindergartners. After 20 minutes, we adults awaken from our slumber to see actors playing Hearst and Julia Morgan pantomiming discussion about the castle while the insipid voice-over drones on. The final few minutes of this turkey re-enact a weekend at San Simeon in the most irritating way possible. Cameras sweep briskly through a few rooms of the monumental castle without pause or significant comment, as if this brief part of the movie were just a trivial afterthought.A disaster, an embarrassment, and a major disappointment. Avoid, avoid, avoid."
Did not show much of Hearst Castle
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The film talks mostly about Hearst than Hearst Castle. It is a very short film (only 38 minutes) and less than 8 minutes were used to show the Castle. If you expect to tour the castle, you will be greatly disapponted."
A Tour of the Castle is not the Focus
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 12/05/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you are looking for a detailed tour of the Hearst Castle, this DVD will be slightly disappointed. What you might enjoy is the story leading up to the building of the castle, although far too much time is spent on the details and far too little time is spent on the glorious castle.
While there are quite a few black and white photos, the only areas this DVD really focuses on is the swimming pool, dining hall, one or two main rooms and one bathroom. Yes, this is very sad for anyone who was dreaming of a tour of San Simeon, as I was.
The "aerial footage" is similar to seeing a beautiful woman 5 miles down a beach. Look, they just don't get close enough for you to fully appreciate the castle.
Now, I must say, the trailers for the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Hawaii and "Whales" looked absolutely stunning. I will definitely take a look at all those movies.
The one to three star votes are unfortunately very accurate. I'll give them a three stars for effort, but I'd like to give them one star for the disappointment I felt at not really seeing much of the castle.
Look, if you are just interested in the events leading up to the building of the castle, this might be a good choice. If you are looking for a movie to watch while you drink a cup of tea, this movie will at least keep you company.
Personally, I'd rather be swimming in that amazing pool. Now there is something to write home about and someone does. The swimming pool is perhaps the most interesting part of this movie. Don't blink. You might miss it.
~The Rebecca Review"
Gary Peterson | San Diego, California USA | 07/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
Recently, my wife and I took a short vacation break and visited the central California coast staying in San Simeon. Unfortunately, the road to the north was closed due to a wildfire near Big Sur. Cambria was open and raking in the tourist dollars. The highlight of the trip was our visit to the Hearst Castle where we took tour #1 (deemed best for first-time visitors).
I had heard of the Hearst Castle, of course, but I was still overwhelmed by the scale and magnitude of the place. The architecture, art and landscaping all overpowered my senses. No matter what you might have read or heard or seen, you just have to visit this place to experience the awesome magnitude. Our basic tour was only the beginning. Four other tours were available for those who can't get enough or those who want to come back for repeat visits. The State Park management, by the way, was absolutely first rate, so a return visit is a pleasant thought.
As a part of the tour, visitors could view a movie (this DVD) in a
large-screen theater and the DVD was for sale as a remembrance. The movie was quite interesting and very well done, as I would expect of things associated with the National Geographic Society. It outlined something of the history of the Hearst family and especially of William Randolf Hearst's boyhood experiences of visiting Europe with his mother. The movie also chronicled Hearst's collaboration with architect/artist/civil engineer Julia Morgan as they attempted to construct something to rival the magnificent architectural wonders of Europe placed in a central California setting. Old photographic and movie clippings, including shots of celebrity visitors, were added to the presentation, as were some magnificent aerial shots of the Castle and the surrounding California countryside.
The film was short (about 45 minutes), but was exceptionally well done and very informative. If you're interested in the Hearst Castle it would be an excellent place to start whether you visit the castle of not. We were introduced to the wonder of the castle first, and then viewed the film. It added greatly to the tour experience. However, We could have viewed the film first and then gone on the tour. It would work equally well either way. The DVD is an excellent documentary and would be of interest in itself.