David (Keir Dullea), a young man suffering from an overwhelming fear of being
touched, is admitted to a home for disturbed teenagers run by Dr. Alan Swinford
(Howard Da Silva). Though at first resistant to interacting with the other
patients, David finds himself drawn to Lisa, a schizophrenic girl who speaks
only in rhymes. Their relationship, which grows from antagonism to one of trust,
gives them both the strength to confront their inner demons and hope for the
The debut film for the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Eleanor Perry, David and Lisa (1962) was a surprise commercial success when it was first released. Made on a remarkably low budget of $200,000, the film worked on several levels - as a technically accomplished first feature, as a love story, and most importantly, as a more realistic look at the treatment of mental illness minus the usual psychobabble and sensationalism associated with Hollywood produced films in the same genre. What particularly impressed critics were the naturalistic performances and the seamless mixture of documentary-like realism with nightmarish dream sequences, all strikingly photographed in black and white by Leonard Hirschfield in and around Philadelphia. In a year that saw the release of such landmark films as Lawrence of Arabia, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Manchurian Candidate and Lolita, it was no small achievement that David and Lisa won Oscar® nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay (adapted by Eleanor Perry from the case study, Lisa and David by Dr. Theodore Isaac Rubin). The film was remade for television by co-producer Oprah Winfrey in 1998 with Sidney Poitier as the psychiatrist, Lukas Haas as David and Brittany Murphy as Lisa.
Probably not everything it was cracked up to be in 1963, this independent, low-budget first feature by Frank Perry, about two emotionally disturbed teenagers (Keir Dullea and Janet Margolin) who fall in love, was sufficiently sensitive to elicit the admiration of Jean Renoir at the time. I suspect he dream sequences haven't stood up very well, but Howard da Silva does a good job as a sympathetic doctor.
Theatrical Release: December 26th, 1962
DVD Review: Homevision - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Homevision - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 5.8 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 1.0)|
So after Image Entertainment swallowed up Homevision, consequently putting many out of work, they continue to infrequently release under this label. And this is their product. A single-layered disc (3.75 Gig) with a marginal image transfer - no extras and at an exorbitant price. Actually the only other DVD of this film is a Fox/Lorber release from 5 years ago - and it is even weaker. This at least has optional subtitles and contrast is acceptable.
I think the film has some merit and I was very interested to watch it as one of the first efforts to openly deal with the emotional problems of teenagers - but I am sickened by how Image Entertainment attempts to rape their customers. I suspect that as the market for this film is so small - to make it cost effective the price had to be excessive. This is not a healthy situation for consumers. So, unless you are very keen, we certainly don't recommend based on the DVD production quality proportional to the price. This independent film is a bit dated but very much worth seeing if you ever get the chance, however we don't encourage purchasing this DVD at full price.