Never A Flower So Lovely
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 05/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From a rented apartment overlooking an enchanting botanical garden young Giovanni (Kristoffer Tabori) observes a beautiful girl (Kathleen Beller) walking alone talking to the flowers. There is a reason why she is alone but by the time he learns the dark secret for her isolation he has fallen in love.
This 57 minute PBS Presentation was quite a pleasant surprise. Some may find it a little slow, but I found it absolutely hypnotic. Like a prolonged dream sequence, you are drawn against your will towards the enigmatic Beatrice. I've been an admirer of Kathleen Beller for quite sometime and I must say they couldn't have found a more beautiful woman for this role. She has never looked lovelier than she does here."
J. Haase | Tacoma, WA United States | 03/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this on PBS and discovered that Hawthorne was much more than the guy who wrote 'The Scarlet Letter'. That book, my high school sensibilities found too heavy but this story had just the right touch of horror and pathos. Also a story about manipulating nature, before Shelley wrote Frankenstein, amazing."
Worked for my seventh grade class
B. BARTHOLOMEW | 10/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I used this to prepare seventh graders to tackle the short story in English class. While the movie feels a little dated, it isn't a big deal because it is supposed to be set in the past. The students were appropriately creeped out and engaged and were really able to understand the challenging writing because they have something to make connections. The accuracy of the movie was nice. Any changes were minor and something that we could discuss, but weren't overly distracting. At least they didn't give it a happy ending!!"
Hawthorne to a tee, but rather dull , low-budget,1970's prod
All Red | USA | 02/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
In the 1970's, Henry Fonda hosted a weekly to monthly series entitled "The American Short Story" where Thoreau,Hemingway and other American author's works were teleplayed for a one hour prime time viewing.I am on a Hawthorne kick right now, so I watched Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'Rappaccini's Daughter' after seeing 'The Scarlet Letter.' The story is Hawthorne to a tee,with virtually no deviation from the original short story.I am not a fan of Hawthorne's prose,especially his novels,but 'Rappaccini's Daughter' was always a more accessible story for me in that typical Hawthorne way of talking about the interference of man with one's soul.
"Rappaccini's Daughter" was penned by Hawthorne in 1843 and is quite a simple story of one student scholar,Giovanni,who travels to Padua to study at The University, and takes a room that overlooks a mysterious courtyard garden overseen by the even more mysterious Dr.Rappaccini,reported for his "unholy experiments" with possibly nature and man.This intrigues Giovanni and one day he is captivated by the stunning dark-haired Beatrice (Be-a-TREE-chay), the Doctor's daughter.Giovanni watches her daily as she tends the plants and talks to one in particular.Something is quite strange, though, about Beatrice Rappaccini.She touches things and they die.What is the awful secret of Rappaccini's daughter?
Where this 60 minute story fails is basically in it's extremely cheap production value, and not so much in Hawthorne.The colors are extremely faded and the music and sound is that of 1970 television production,meaning low-budget quality.This is a good rental, but definitely not worth the $13 for a DVD.PBS has re-released this, but no upgrade in quality has been made from the original 1972 video tape.If you need to see this for a reason, the tape will do at a much cheaper price.The acting is marginal to pretty awful.
Other Nathaniel Hawthorne works that have been adapted to the screen,big or small,are The Shirley Temple Storybook Collection: Terrible Clockman/The House of the Seven Gables and The Scarlet Letter and again The Scarlet Letter.