Lost, Forgotten, But Finally Rediscovered Filmed Treasures
DaddyGuy | Redwood City, Ca USA | 02/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a teenager when these movies were first released. I remember them being different, with limited releases in very few theaters. The first film I remember seeing was "The Iceman Cometh" - I was a big Lee Marvin fan. A great film, with a powerhouse cast. But if I had to choose one of newly restored DVD sets recently released of all 14 original films by THE AMERICAN FILM THEATRE, I would start with this one first. These movies had given me a new respect for filmaking at the time.....incredible actors in great roles, great directors reinventing ways to film stage plays, somehow making them not feel I was just watching a filmed play, and thereby reaching a much broader audience.
This set, with five films, has some of my favorites. "A Delicate Balance" has been a film I can never forget, with the great Paul Scofield and Katherine Hepburn, and "The Man in the Glass Booth", "In Celebration", and "The Homecoming" all have performances by some of the greatest actors ever....it is truly a rare treat to see these films again. Seemingly lost for 30 years, I am so glad they have been "rediscovered"! I would recommend these films highly.....they are the real deal! Set number one also has an incredible group of films. I believe all 14 films have also released as single DVD's, but these sets are the way to go.
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 06/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The general theme of this second set of five plays-on-film is the misery of family life.
KINO'S AMERICAN FILM THEATRE series is a pricey, space-consuming three volume collection of 14 movies. That's the down side. The rest is all good! These stage plays (adapted to film between 1970-'75) are nothing short of superb. You get the finest works of the greatest playwrights, as rendered by top-notch actors and directors. Audio and video transfers of the restored movies is also first rate. It's a collection ideal for lovers of theater or for any fan of classy cinema. Highest recommendation!
AMERICAN FILM THEATRE: COLLECTION 3 contains Galileo (Brecht), Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Blau), Lost in the Stars (Weill) and Philadelphia, Here I Come (Friel).
A DELICATE BALANCE-- Edward Albee drama about a dysfunctional Connecticut family is powerfully enacted by an all-star cast.
THE HOMECOMING-- Another bleak story of a less-than-ideal family whose members are locked in an endless power struggle.
IN CELEBRATION-- At a British family reunion (parents' wedding anniversary), three sons argue while their mum and da try to ride out the storm.
THE MAN IN THE GLASS BOOTH-- A Jewish death camp survivor who is now wealthy and living in Manhattan is arrested and put on trial for Nazi war crimes. Based on the Adolf Eichmann case.
THREE SISTERS-- Three sibliings lead empty lives after the death of their Army officer father. Chekhov play adaptation is directed by Laurence Olivier, who also has a minor role (Dr. Chebutikin).
Parenthetical numbers preceding titles are viewer poll ratings found at a film resource website.
(6.9) A Delicate Balance (USA/Canada/UK-1973) - Katherine Hepburn/Paul Scofield/Lee Remick/Kate Reed/Joseph Cotten/Betsy Blair
(7.8) The Homecoming (UK/USA-1973) - Cyril Cusack/Ian Holm/Michael Jayson/Vivien Merchant/Terence Rigby/Paul Rogers
(7.0) In Celebration (UK-1975) - Brian Cox/Gabrielle Daye/Bill Owen/Alan Bates/James Bolan/Constance Chapman
(7.6) The Man in the Glass Booth (1975) - Maximilian Schell/Lois Nettleton/Lawrence Pressman/Luther Adler/Lloyd Bochner
(6.5) Three Sisters (UK-1970) - Jeanne Watts/Joan Plowright/Louise Purnell/Derek Jacobi/Laurence Olivier/Alan Bates"