S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Directed by Peter Glenville
Based on a play by Tennessee Williams (expanded from his one-act piece Eccentricities of the Nightingale). From childhood, Alma (Geraldine Page) has loved John Buchanan (Laurence Harvey). Repressed by the pressure of a minister father and a mother who has never recovered for a nervous breakdown, she keeps these feelings bottled up. Her life becomes unbearable when John returns from medical school and takes up with the sultry Rosa (Rita Moreno), the daughter of the casino owner who is as open and willing, as Alma is shy and repressed. Geraldine Page delivers a smoldering, stellar performance, which won her the Golden Globe® and the National Board of Review® Best Actress Awards. The film received 4 Academy Award® nominations*, including Best Actress (Page), Best Supporting Actress (Una Merkel) and Best Music (Elmer Bernstein). Directed by DGA nominee, Peter Glenville (Becket).
AThis film version of Summer and Smoke (1961), one of Tennessee
Williams's earliest plays, compares favorably with more famous screen
adaptations of his work, such as
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951),
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959),
and has the advantage over them of starring the actress who played the lead on
stage to great acclaim.
Theatrical Release: November 16th, 1961
DVD Review: Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 7.46 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 2.0)|
Olive Films is handling another older Paramount release as they have done recently with My Favorite Spy , Where Love Has Gone, Knock on Wood and Harlow. I was impressed with the three Noir films they released - Appointment With Danger, William Dieterle's Dark City and Rudolph Mate's Union Station as well as the enjoyable Hammer-esque sci-fi Crack in the World from the mid 60`s. Even Hannie Caulder had some minor merit. Summer and Smoke has some classic moments - credit the performances and, of course, Tennessee Williams blistering play.
Geraldine Page is the standout with, quite possibly, the best work of her career. It runs quite dry at times but the Southern accents, an un-commitable rogue male, disappointments, and unrequited love abound with fiery passion seething beneath the playwright's surfaces. It's far from the best adaptation of his work but it, nonetheless, has the usual charm.
Like previous Olive Film DVDs this is both dual-layered, progressive and bare-bones. Summer and Smoke is a good looking film in the impressive 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio. There aren't a lot of close-ups but medium shots work well for the narrative. There is no damage - possibly a few light speckles - but nothing dramatic.
The unremarkable 2.0 channel audio is, predictably, flat but everything is consistent and dialogue clear. As stated there are no extras - not even a trailer - nor subtitles offered.
I was co-incidentally in the mood for Tennessee Williams - and luckily this is a film adaptation I had not seen (I thought I had seen them all!). There is weaknesses here - enough to shake your head - but there is also some real class. The 7.9/10 score on IMDb seems bloated but it's a film I think I will remember for a long while. That has to be worth something.