Oscar ® winners Marlon Brando (On the Waterfront), Anna Magnani (The Rose Tattoo), Joanne Woodward (The Three Faces of Eve) and Maureen Stapleton (Reds) lead the stellar cast of this Southern Gothic "sizzler" (Los Angeles ... more »Times) based on the Tennessee Williams play Orpheus Descending. Thanks to "brilliant" (The Film Daily) performances, The Fugitive Kind "sets one's senses to throbbing" (The New York Times). Valentine "Snakeskin" Xavier (Brando) is a handsome drifter with a guitar?and a past. Taking a job as a store clerk in Two Rivers, Mississippi, his strong and silent demeanor attracts not only the local party girl (Woodward), but also the shopkeeper's exotic wife (Magnani). Soon, this explosive love triangle will ignite a powder keg of fury that could rock this small town to its very core.« less
"The aspect ratio is fake. The top and bottom of the regular full screen version has been cropped out of the picture to give the illusion your getting a widescreen - what your getting is less picture! The studios should label the DVD's as they did when they cropped VHS video picture " this film has been modified to fit you tv screen" as in modified to fit a 16x9 tv in this case. You have already lost one third of the picture when it was modified to full screen, now you loose an additional one third to one fourth of the movies image! The reason leterbox and widescreen has a demand, is that the audience or consumer wants to view the Movie as it was filmed and framed by the filmaker, and not loose out on portions of the movie that the director intended. In other words the idea to release in widescreen was for the intention of showing MORE not LESS of the movies image. The studios believe they can get away with this, since the average buyer does not have a full screen video version to compare with, or the consumer is just unaware. I compared this DVD to a full screen VHS version, and in many cases where some DVD's come with both Full & Wide Screen on a flip disc, compare them before watching, many of the widesreen sides are just chopped versions of the full screen. The picture quality is great on this and most DVD's, it is unfortunate though that it has to be a conciliation for cropped picture. "
Extremely poignant and captivating!
Roberto Frangie | Leon, Gto. Mexico | 12/31/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tennessee Williams was a stunning writer for the theater... The impact of his plays can overwhelm an audience with its superior force...
Written in 1957, "Orpheus Descending" is a reconstruction of Williams' 1940 "Battle of Angels," filmed under Sidney Lumet's direction as "The Fugitive Kind."
Williams subtracted elements of the ancient myth of Orpheus and Euridice to examine the sadistically patriarchal Southern Gothic town and to create a violent plot, involving ruined love, weakness, sex, betrayal, vengeance and lingering hatreds... "Orpheus Descending" shows how social prejudice threatens the lives of identified outsiders...
This classic play is not quite his masterpiece... "A Streetcar Named Desire" is... It lacks some of the regretful charm of "The Glass Menagerie" and the entire impact of "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof." Nevertheless it is a deeply moving work of art...
Williams was known for his compelling dialog and themes that - for their time - often seemed strange or shocking... He vividly suggested the sexual tensions and prevented violence of his tormented character, usually with compassion as well as irony...
The film focuses on a handsome drifter from New Orleans, named Val Xavier, wearing a snake skin jacket - Williams' trademark of a rebel, non-conformist - Val is a "fugitive kind" who comes in off the highway... He is a rural Orpheus who descends to rescue his love, not in Hades precisely, but among the intrigue, chatter, and violence of the hot-tempered town of Two Rivers, Mississippi... He is a wandering guitar player who embarks on an affair with a lonely frustrated unhappy storekeeper's wife Lady Torrance...
Anna Magnani is intelligently sensual and charming as Lady... Joanne Woodward is the hungry grotesque drunken Carol who tries to seduce Val in a cemetery... Both women are so intense, that they force you to become involved with them...
The genuine community provides also interesting watching: Victor Jory, positively magnetic as the brutal oppressive husband Jabe Torrence; the vindictive sheriff R. G. Armstrong; and the soft-hearted Vee (Maureen Stapleton).
Lady Torrence is a study of the immigrant woman who has acquired a patina of resilient toughness but who slowly admits her sensuality... She catches perfectly contradictory emotions of one who is wary of the stranger but who longs for his healing touch...
With handsome magnetism, Brando is no less compelling... He is quite convincing avoiding all the clichés of the drifting Don Juan... With some kind of lucid intensity, he mixes his character's predatory and uncivil arrogance with flashes of sweet tenderness...
The film (definitely worth seeing) is extremely poignant and captivating... The direction is excellent and the action moves very smoothly, never allowing you to relax...
For the fugitive kind of person..
ed600 | 10/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently saw this film in a class of mine, and afterwards I was compelled to buy it. This film embodies the idea that silence is more powerful than words. Some people may find this film boring and slow, but those who do have not felt the intense connection you get by watching someone--the way they move, observe, think--and by understanding their human emotion. Though the story in general is simple--two strange and peculiar characters fall in love--the thoughtful lighting, the ambient music, the disorienting camera angles, the sharp acting..they all unite to create a complicated layer of emotions that provoke you. On the silver screen, these characters will go down as silent heroes to those who ever felt they were misunderstood by most. This film is a peculiar classic with peculiar characters, but nonetheless brilliant."
Narizdura La Carretera | El Lay, USA | 08/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My favorite Brando films are On The Waterfront, One-Eyed Jacks, and The Fugitive Kind. Of these three, the one I can re-watch the easiest is The Fugitive Kind, as it wastes less film/script in story exposition and devotes more to the art of film-making and film acting.
I saw this film a half dozen times or so on TV when I was a teenager, when it seemed to be a staple of late-night network TV, before the advent of cable. I was probably one of thousands of young men who wanted to be the guy thumbing into a small town wearing a snakeskin jacket and carrying a beat-up guitar that received as a gift from Leadbelly in New Orleans.
Incidentally David Lynch resurrects the snakeskin jacket for Nick Cage's character in Wild At Heart ...
Superb screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams' credo
RareRare | 10/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Fugitive Kind" is one of the truest cinematic interpretations of Tennessee Williams' works. Several screen translations of his plays soften his views and/or give them watered down endings. Take "Streetcar" for example: in the play Stella stays with Stanley, but in the film she takes her baby and leaves swearing she'll never set foot in their house again. In the stage version of "Sweet Bird of Youth" Chance Wayne is castrated like a dog for his wrong doings and for growing old. Only "The Fugitive Kind" "Night of the Iguana" and "The Last of the Memphis HOT-SHOTS" really stay true to Williams' vision of human existence.
However, the latter two plays cannot match the cast of "The Fugitive Kind." Nowhere else in cinematic history can you find such powerful and engrossing performances from everyone: in-depth close-ups of Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward, Maureen Stapleton (the original Broadway "Lady Torrance") and Victor Jory in a harrowing performance.
I used to go to the Carnegie Hall Cinema every time "The Fugitive Kind" was shown and bask in the black and white beauty of Tennessee Williams' cry from the the heart. I own the video and have waited forever it seems for "Fugitive" to appear on DVD. However, I cannot tell if this version in widescreen or not. If not, I'll just keep my VHS version."