If it sounds too good to be true...
M. Lucas | Oregon | 02/22/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Avoid this collection at all costs.
This is yet another among the plethora of public domain releases haphazardly thrown together without any regard for the quality of presentation. The source materials for these films, as you might imagine, are remarkably awful. But Passport International couldn't stop at being just any other over-night public domain distribution scam. What makes this collection cross over from "horrible" to "hilarious travesty" is that a red logo is at the bottom of every frame. I kid you not. The bottom of every hazy, warped, mutilated, vinegar-soaked frame."
GOOD FOR THE KING LEAR ALONE, OKAY FOR THE TRIAL
C. Scanlon | among us humans | 08/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This collection deserves to join your collection is only for being the best recorded King Lear. Welles is magnificent as Lear losing his powers and reason. It is the best work of Welles, directed by the great Peter Brooks, who incredibly presents an impossible ninety minute Lear.
THe second best King LEar ever is of course the James EArle Jones Joe Papp Shakespeare in the PArk presentation, which is a must-see. YOu may also find other favorite actors strutting about such as a very young and dashing Raul Julia, the subdued Paul Sorvino (except when his eyes get poked out- then we hear his operatic voice), and Rene D'auborjonois or whatever that you may remember from TV's BEnsen, Star TRek New GEneration (without his ears) and now Boston LEgal. But I go on about a very praiseworthy production on another DVD.
Here we see Welles in the fullness of his powers doing the best darn King LEar ever recorded, including Olivier's late kinder gentler production, or any other BBC production. It is worthy of multiple viewings.
Welles's serious ADAPTATION of Kafka's The TRial is probnably the best we shall ever see on film of that great novel, despite the alteration of the ending. The only other decent adaptation is by R. Crumb in his "introducing Kafka". But here Welles especially captures the young girls lurking about the artist's closet studio very well. Other elements of the play are well represented and worth studying along with the original novel kept ever at hand. Welles's aiming to push buttons of fear of nuclear war and other contemporary worries altered the novel, but it is worth seeing here.
As for the Stranger, as said here it is something Welles did for commercial success aimed at the concerns of the day. I feel this one is dated now, but it is nice to see the distinguished Mr. RObinson playing a good guy.
As for the rest, you are on your own. But having The Trial and King LEar are worth the price of admission, and will find replay on your system.
An Interesting Assortment of Wellesiana
Steves | Southern California, USA | 05/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Obviously this isn't Citizen Kane or Ambersons or even Touch of Evil, but it's an interesting cross-section of Welles' work, some of which I'd never seen. Particularly scarce (I believe) is his guest appearance on the Herb Shriner TV Show in the Fifties. I hadn't seen that one. Also, I think they recalled the first batch and got rid of that red logo!"