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King Lear / Jones, New York Shakespeare Festival (Broadway Theatre Archive)
King Lear / Jones New York Shakespeare Festival
Broadway Theatre Archive
Actors: Douglass Watson, Paul Sorvino, Raul Julia, James Earl Jones, Rosalind Cash
Director: Edwin Sherin
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2001     2hr 55min

The formidable James Earl Jones reprises his critically-acclaimed King Lear in this television adaptation of Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival production. Of Jones's performance, The Washington Post wrote, "Jones...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Douglass Watson, Paul Sorvino, Raul Julia, James Earl Jones, Rosalind Cash
Director: Edwin Sherin
Creators: Gene Searchinger, Bernard Gersten, Jac Venza, Joseph Papp, Victoria Hochberg, Virginia Kassel, William Shakespeare
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Family Life, Television, Musicals, Broadway Theatre Archive
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 09/18/2001
Original Release Date: 02/20/1974
Theatrical Release Date: 02/20/1974
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 2hr 55min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Bravo for James Earl Jones and for Joe Papp
M. S. Driver | Woodside, NY United States | 02/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I agree completely with all of the reviewers that this is indeed the best recording of "King Lear", not only because James Earl Jones is to my mind the definitive Lear (and because this cast and production magnify and clarify everything there is to be seen and heard in this play), but also because it is a recording of a live performance in a theater, rather than a movie or TV-studio taping. What a difference this makes! Movie versions are always rescripted, truncated and sometimes oddly cast to make a play more saleable. (Orson Welles' "Othello" and "Macbeth" are gorgeous pieces of cinema, but they are much more Welles than Will.) The productions of the 1980s BBC series stick pretty close to the text and happily have made the entire Shakespeare canon available for home viewing. But their visual and aural effect is claustrophobic, and the colors are fading. It was a wonderful change for me to experience the sweep and power of Papp's "King Lear" DVD, proving that, in the end, the best venue for a Shakespeare play is the one it was written for: the stage. Fortunately for those of us who could not be at Central Park's Delacorte Theater in the summer of 1974, Joseph Papp had the historical sense to take on the hassle and expense of preserving this marvelous production on videotape. Would that there were enough of a market out there to encourage more theater angels to do the same!"
"As Good As It Gets"
Stanley H. Nemeth | Garden Grove, CA United States | 04/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The earlier reviewers here are certainly on target in calling this the finest "King Lear" on DVD. While the supporting cast is never less than adequate, James Earl Jones is by himself one titanic show. He's able to do something rarely seen, excel in all aspects of this most demanding of roles. Pride, bluster, anger, genuine rage, madness, growing self knowledge, and then, at last, tenderness, even delicacy - all of these are convincingly and movingly played by this large, majestic actor. He's giving what add up, in fact, to acting lessons as he plays this part so skillfully."
The Best King Lear Performance I have Ever Seen
M. H. Shulman | New York, NY | 11/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"James Earl Jones does an OUTSTANDING job as King Lear at one point even foaming at the mouth in his raving madness! Raul Julia, Rahay Shamay Rabah Amayn, is almost as good while he is being very very bad as Edmund. The play itself is utter Genius, second in plays only to Hamlet, and this performance with its live character in Central Park, captures an air of excitement that can only be captured on very very special occassions. DO NOT miss this one."
The best Lear available!
Brad Keimach | Los Angeles, CA USA | 04/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a stunning performance of a difficult play! The cast is stellar, committed, gifted, and electrifying. It was a live performance and the energy is high. James Earl Jones plumbed the depths of this role; Rene Auberjonois was masterful. Raul Julia was just so evil and insidious. The sisters and other roles were fine. Only Paul Sorvino was miscast. This is THE Lear to have, to watch and to learn."