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Our Town
Our Town
Actors: Jayne Atkinson, Wendy Barrie-Wilson, Reathel Bean, John Braden, Tom Brennan
Director: James Naughton
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Special Interests, Television
PG     2004     2hr 0min

Thornton Wilder's venerable and shiver-inducing Our Town may be one of the most frequently produced plays in the American repertory, but rarely has it been graced by the likes of Paul Newman's sure hand and stellar clarity...  more »

     

Movie Details

Actors: Jayne Atkinson, Wendy Barrie-Wilson, Reathel Bean, John Braden, Tom Brennan
Director: James Naughton
Creators: Phil Abraham, Camilla Toniolo, Frank Garritano, Joanne Woodward, Marc Bauman, Rebecca Eaton, Thornton Wilder
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Special Interests, Television
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance, Family Films, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Pre & Post-Natal, Television
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 01/06/2004
Original Release Date: 05/24/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 05/24/2003
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 0min
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

"there is something eternal about every human being"
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 07/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize winning 1938 play is one of my favorites, and this in an exquisite production of it. Paul Newman as the Stage Manager, in one of his most memorable performances, leads a superb ensemble cast. So much of this play is mime...cooking on the invisible stove, eating the imaginary breakfast...and the actors flow through the movements so easily, one almost sees the missing objects.
Wilder's play, which was inspired by Gertrude Stein's 1925 "The Making of Americans", draws one into it, with the actors sometimes talking directly to the viewer; it has a simplicity and charm that make it stay fresh even when one knows the words by heart. The time is the early 20th century, in Grovers Corners, New Hampshire, and centers on the Webb and Gibbs families, who live next door to each other, and especially Emily Webb (Maggie Lacey) and George Gibbs (Ben Fox), who fall in love with gentle glances and sweet words. Lacey and Fox are luminous, and capture the heart of this lovely play.
As their parents, Jayne Atkinson and Frank Connors are marvelous as Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs, as are Jane Curtin and Jeffrey DeMunn as Charles and Myrtle Webb.Originally produced for Connecticut's Westport County Playhouse, the show later moved to Broadway, where it garnered Paul Newman, 78 at the time, a Tony nomination.
Directed by James Naughton, this is a splendid performance of a perfect, and quite profound play; it is a keeper, and one that will make you smile, and sometimes weep, over and over again. Total running time is 120 minutes."
Wonderful "Town"
P. Kolar | Denver, CO United States | 03/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This PBS production of "Our Town" catches much of the flavor of the play as Thornton Wilder intended it to be staged. Paul Newman is fine as the Stage Manager, bringing his long lifetime of experience to a subtle interpretation of the role. The rest of the cast bring the town of Grovers Corners to life. Fans of the original "Saturday Night Live" may be surprised to see Jane Curtin as Mrs. Webb; although I would have advised her to lose the weird accent she uses, her performance is realistic and adds to the play.
For those who don't know the play, it shows life in a small town in New Hampshire circa 1901 - 1913. The main characters are two young people who grow up, fall in love, get married, and are separated by death. On the surface, it's just another piece of nostalgia, but there are dark currents in Grovers Corners, little ironies and inconsistencies that are often commented on by the Stage Manager, and are embodied in the town drunk Simon Stimson.
Be advised if you don't like sentiment: you'll have a lump in throat throughout the entire third act as the play explores the beauty of everyday life. And afterward, you'll look at your family and friends in a different way.
Bravo to PBS for having the vision to bring this classic to a new audience, staged in the bare-bones way of the original play. Buy this DVD - you'll watch it over and over and force it on your friends."
Our Town is powerful!
Joe Towey | birmingham, alabama United States | 11/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"We bought this DVD because our daughter got the lead (Emily) in her college's presentation of it and we wanted to get an introduction to the play before we went to see it live. When we watched the movie, we were thoroughly impressed with the acting of the entire ensemble and with the quality of the production."
Great stage production
Peter Jerome Cox | australia | 08/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you can't see the real thing this production is the next best thing. Wonderful staging and acting from all the cast.. Paul Newman's performance is worth the price of the DVD on it's own."