Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jason Robards, Jane Seymour, Patricia Neal, Siān Phillips, Lexi Randall
Director: Michael Ray Rhodes
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Television
Heidi, the dispossessed orphan who wants only to love and be loved, ends up charming her embittered grandfather and falling in love with the beautiful mountain he calls home. Heidi is soon uprooted and sent to Frankfurt wh... more »
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The definitive movie of Heidi
Eric Pregosin | New Carrollton, Maryland United States | 06/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you stacked all the DVD copies of all the box office versions of Heidi (including the late 60s version whose rep got tarnished by NBC and a football game which by the way I have bought since this review was originally writtem), and then play this, virtually everyone in my generation would start giving the other discs away as Christmas Stocking Stuffers. Despite being a made for tv (the OLD Disney Channel before they went commercial) film, it surpasses all the classics. Noley Thornton's performance is of equal caliber to Megan Follows in the Anne of Green Gables Trilogy. And what a supporting cast she has with her, Jason Robards as her Grandfather, Patricia Neal as Peter's Grandmother, Sian Phillips (yup Livia from I, Claudius herself) as Clara's Grandmother, and Jane Seymour as Fraulein Rottenmeir, Clara's governess (her first bad girl role I can think of since East of Eden 81). I was extremely grateful to see this on DVD last month, not only because it tells more of the story then any other film, but as a fellow reviewer below herself stated, the dvd copy is complete. The VHS tape had been released at 165 minutes (that's 2 hours and 45 minutes for those who can't convert fast). This disc is the full 191 minutes (3 hours and 11 minutes) as Disney made it in 93 all on 1 single sided disc. Get yourself a copy, you'll be glad you did."
Once in a while a special film comes along ...
Tom | Mississippi | 01/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"that becomes a treasured family favorite. For our family, this is one of those films. This version of Heidi can still bring tears to our eyes after a half dozen viewings. Even my little four year old daughter, who didn't understand why, could hardly keep from tearing up as she watched the excellent rendition of this classic. Originally over 3 hours long it has been edited to a little less than 3 hours for video without significantly affecting the story. I prefer the original uncut version, however. All the casting and acting is superb, especially Jason Robards and Noley Thornton as the grandfather and Heidi. Lexi Randall, Jane Seymour, Patricia Neal and other characters were excellent also. Jason Robards believably captured the complex emotions of the grandfather torn between his personal guilt and torment related to the death of his son and the attempts of Heidi to get him to open his heart and life to her. Dete, the greedy and selfish distant cousin, at first casts off Heidi on the grandfather to get rid of her. Later, when she sees a way to make some money off Heidi, Dete shames the grandfather into letting Heidi go by playing up the grandfathers own fears that he will eventually turn against Heidi like he did his own son. Robards was so good expressing the anger and fear that the grandfather feels before finally realizing how much he loves and needs Heidi with him. Heidi is capably portrayed by Noley Thornton who easily captures Heidi's exuberance for life and her love for her grandfather and the mountains and her ability to change the lives of all those around her. "Heidi" is an emotional roller coaster ride and provides ample opportunity for tears of sadness and joy. Punctuating the splendid scenery shot on location in Austria is the majestic musical score by Lee Holdridge which is worth the price of admission itself. This is a movie you and your family will treasure and watch over and over."
Christopher Jayne | Scituate, RI, USA | 05/21/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"We have read the book to our children, and have all listened to it on audio cassette, and love the original story. We also understand that stories have to be changed somewhat to fit time formats, etc. However, the extent to which this movie has been adapted is beyond reason. The somewhat horrifying first scene is a complete Hollywood fabrication, which does nothing but detract from the overall story. Heidi's Grandfather is no longer the grumpy-on-the-outside, but loving-on-the-inside man of the book. Here he is just a mean old man, with no redeeming qualities at all. Heidi's initial life on the mountains, and her subsequent removal to the city are fairly close to the original story - again, except where the Grandfather is involved. However things really start to fall apart about half way through the second act. Pretty much all of the heart-warming third act of the book, where Heidi returns to the mountains she loves, has been lost to idiotic plot twists and ridiculous melodrama. Time after time, as this movie played, we looked at each other in astonishment, wondering what had happened to the story we know and love."
Well-made, good performances, suitable for young kids
Christopher Jayne | 01/29/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This production of Heidi features excellent performances by both adults (Jason Robards as grumpy grandfather, Jane Seymour as snooty housekeeper, Patricia Neal as warm grandmother) and children--who are good but not cutesy. This Heidi is pretty faithful to the books, and does a good job with period sets and costumes. The opening sequence, with a loud argument and people running through a heavy thunderstorm, is a little scary--my 5 year old who's a little extra-sensitive to violence and upsetting situations in movies, won't watch it--but other than that, it's appropriate for even the youngest viewers (which I would not say of most famous animated classics, for example.)"