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Tennessee Williams Classic Film Collection

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« on: June 10, 2010, 01:23:00 pm »

Tennessee Williams Classic Film Collection, 7 DVDs, 685 Minutes
Classic Films Based on the Works of Tennessee Williams's Review (excerpt)

"One of America's greatest playwrights, Tennessee Williams transformed his personal sorrows into artistic triumphs, writing many of the 20th century's most memorable stage dramas. Williams's homosexuality, his difficult childhood, and his wrenching relationship with his mentally ill sister informed his work throughout his career. Little wonder that he displayed an affinity for bringing emotionally fragile characters and expressive women to life. Hollywood was quickly drawn to Williams's high drama, but some film adaptations, including Suddenly Last Summer, watered down the dicier aspects of his morally skewed fables.

"This deluxe box set collects six of the films based more faithfully on Williams's works. Baby Doll (1956) stars Carroll Baker as a manipulative child bride caught in a bizarre power struggle between Karl Malden and Eli Wallach. Another southern domestic epic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof(1958), the riveting tale of a family's greed and mendacity, features powerful performances from Burl Ives, Paul Newman, and Elizabeth Taylor. Director John Huston draws impressive work from Richard Burton as a defrocked clergyman befriended by sultry Ava Gardner in Night of the Iguana(1964). Two films here deal with a favorite Williams theme: the push-pull relationship between a self-deceiving older woman and a callow younger man. The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961) features Vivien Leigh as a faded actress entangled with narcissistic lothario Warren Beatty, while Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) stars Paul Newman as a dirt-poor drifter who attaches himself to former film star Geraldine Page. And then there's A Streetcar Named Desire: Flawlessly directed by Elia Kazan, this landmark 1951 film stars a young Marlon Brando as the feral Stanley Kowalski and Vivien Leigh as the delicate, neurotic Blanche Dubois."

"Still as powerful in its depiction of seething sexuality as it was upon its initial release, Streetcar remains the definitive Williams adaptation to date, as well as one of the monumental Hollywood classics of the era. For superb entertainment and mature storytelling, it's hard to beat this sensational collection -- even the less successful films are more powerful than most of what passes for serious drama today."

Lots of Extras!

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Other Reviews
"Closed Caption; Making-of documentaries; Expert commentaries; Extensive stage-to-screen Streetcar chronicles with film/audio outtakes, spotlights on Marlon Brando, vintage radio show and the feature-length Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey; Rare screen tests and more"
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