Search - Great Performances: King Lear on DVD

Great Performances: King Lear
Great Performances King Lear
Actor: Ian McKellan
Directors: Sir Trevor Nunn, Chris Hunt
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2009     2hr 30min

Studio: Public Media Distribution Release Date: 04/21/2009 Run time: 150 minutes


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Movie Details

Actor: Ian McKellan
Directors: Sir Trevor Nunn, Chris Hunt
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/21/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 2hr 30min
Screens: Color
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

Question on Aspect Ratio
Cody L. Stanford | 06/12/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Why is it that the British BBC version of this DVD (Region 2) is 1.78:1 while this American PBS version is 1.33:1? In this era of wide-screen TV, this is outrageous that we cannot get a widesccreen DVD of this in the US."
Not Olivier or Kosintsev, but passable
David Cope | Grandville, Mi. USA | 09/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The role of Lear is famously difficult for the many contrary demands it places on the actor, and it must be said at the outset that Ian McKellan acquits himself admirably in this production. Romola Garal's Cordelia and Sylvester McCoy's Fool are also carefully interpreted, as is Jonathan Hyde's Kent. Ben Meyjes' Edgar begins as a nerdy older brother and completes the metamorphosis through Poor Tom the madman to avenging hero in a way that stretches the role: I was left wondering if that initial Edgar would even know how to handle a sword, so in the end there may be some unanswered questions about the character. Beyond this, pacing and filmic quality are good, despite the inevitable risks in trying to shoot a stage production on film. McKellan's interview, the only special feature here, is also a "don't miss"--the great actor meditates on his profession. The problem is the rest of the cast--an Edmund (Philip Winchester) who couldn't hold a candle to Robert Lindsey's dynamic performance in Olivier's production, a Goneril and Regan (Frances Barber and Monica Dolan) who rarely capture the intricacies of their roles. Despite the flaws, this film makes a worthy addition to my collection, though it does not rise to the intense pathos of Olivier's tenderly heartbreaking agony or the mythic, heroically tragic Lear of Kosintsev."
Surprisingly Good
MythMaker | PA | 03/15/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lear is my favorite story, favorite play & favorite work of literature ever.

I feared the worst when this production came up (not a Trevor Nunn fan) but was thrilled to see that almost everything in it works perfectly. A few rough spots but hey, it's a massive & supremely complex play! After the 1984 Granada TV version & Peter Brook's icy epic, this is my favorite King Lear available on video.

McKellen & McCoy are both superb."
Simply the Best Lear on film!
D. Koch | 02/14/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ian McKellan's Lear is simply THE BEST on film. He's taken a lifetime to prepare for the role and WE are the beneficiaries of his talent and craft!"