Vanessa-Redgrave Movie Reviews


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VHS movie reviews for "Vanessa-Redgrave" sorted by average review score:

The Ballad of the Sad Cafe
Released in VHS Tape by Columbia/Tristar Studios (18 April, 2000)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: Simon Callow
Starring: Vanessa Redgrave and Keith Carradine
Average review score:

Zane Rules
I've seen this movie, and Zane Rockenbaugh can sure act. The scene where he takes a slap, boy I could just feel it. If you haven't seen this movie, see it just to get Zane slapped.

Vanessa Redgrave is great, but the story is grotesque
This 1991 Merchant-Ivory production is based on the novel by Carson McCullers and the play by Edward Albee. It's set in the South during the depression and there's a deep melancholy mood throughout. Vanessa Redgrave is cast as Miss Amelia, a strong and mannish middle aged woman who doctors to the population, makes corn whisky, and even though she runs a small cotton plantation, seems as impoverished as the everyone else. One day, a hunchbacked dwarf, claiming to be a distant cousin, played by Cork Hubbert, comes to town and to everyone's surprise Miss Amelia takes him in. He brings some joy to her life, even has her open a café in her home and she seems to be falling in love with him. But her ex-husband, played by Keith Carradine, who has just been released from prison comes back to town. She was only married to him for a few days, refused to sleep with him and humiliated him so much that he left in shame, but now he's back with hatred in his heart. To complicate matters, her dwarf cousin adores the ex-husband. Eventually there's a showdown in the bloodiest fistfight between Miss Amelia and the ex-husband that I've ever seen on a screen. The ending is sad.

I cannot say enough good things about Vanessa Redgrave's performance. I usually think of her as a sophisticated and attractive British actress. But for this role she takes off her makeup, crops her hair close to her head and lets her clear blue eyes shine from a weather-beaten face, her usual graceful body taking on an awkward gait, and her voice taking on a deep southern drawl. It is an absolutely magnificent performance with equally talented supporting actors. The story is weird but it kept my interest and my eyes were glued to the screen waiting for what would happen next. Too bad that I never really understood why the characters did what they did. I looked for resolution or some sort of explanation. Instead, the story became more and more grotesque, and I didn't like the ending. Just too many unanswered questions. For those interested in the Southern Gothic venue and who want to see wonderful performances, you might find watching this video an interesting and rewarding experience. For the rest of you, stay away.

"Sad"s the right word
Sad but good. Vanessa Redgrave is effective as a Southern loner living in a backwoods town. When a local man (Carradine) courts her and marries her, she refuses to let him sleep in the same house with her, let alone the same bed. Anyway, after brooding and complaining, You can imagine how embarrassed he'd be, it's a small town and everyone knows....events ensue and he ends up in prison.
Miss Amelia (Redgrave) opens a small cafe at the insistance of her cousin "Lyman" a hunchback . When, Marvin Macy (Carradine) comes back, completely changed after his stint in prison. Very bitter.. ..
And even though her cousin Lymon seems entranced by Marvin, as this now dark and alluring character he's become (And Keith Carradine is excellent at it ;-). Miss Amelia still sees him as an "evil man"


Prick up Your Ears
Released in VHS Tape by Mgm/Ua Studios (02 May, 2000)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: Stephen Frears
Starring: Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina, and Vanessa Redgrave
Joe Orton was briefly the embodiment of a certain kind of '60s rebel, and Stephen Frears's film adaptation of the British playwright's biography successfully conjures up that outrageous spirit. The hostile, fussy codependency between Orton (Gary Oldman) and his brooding lover Kenneth Halliwell (Alfred Molina) forms the centerpiece of a story that features not only Orton's success and his brutal demise at Halliwell's hand, but also a vivid depiction of what gay sexuality meant in a repressive era. What really propels it are the performances--Oldman's naughty, overgrown boy could believably have written Orton's romps, and the powder-keg priss rendered by Molina helps establish motivations that the script lacks. It's always good to see Vanessa Redgrave (ideal as Orton's agent), and Julie Walters has a hysterically unrecognizable bit as Orton's exasperated mum. If the film is a bit aloof, it's also crisp and often acidly funny (Orton and Halliwell do jail time for writing luridly phony synopses in library books). Frears has done a memorable bit in bringing both a man and his time to life. --Steve Wiecking
Average review score:

Hide the sausage??
If you're into sausage movies, then this ones for you. Gary Oldman likes to turn tricks on other men in the bathroom. As you can tell from Oldmans conviceable performance, he didn't have to take any acting lessons for this role. Hint Hint.

A Commentary on a Modern Tragedy
Oscar Wilde put it best: "In this world, there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, the other is getting it." Kenneth Halliwell, the lover and eventual murderer of Joe Orton (the British playwright of several popular comedies in the 60's) was a blueprint for success. However, never a believer in his own talents, he lived from one failure to another while experiencing success through the boy he mentored, educated, financially supported, and trained for world-renowned success. Why this movie is not on DVD, and as it even approaches VHS obscurity staggers the mind. The movie is a thriller, biography, and psychological study of two homosexuals, romantically bankrupt, yet entirely dependant on one another. A classic irony. As Orton's star rises after 16 years of struggling with a man eight years his senior, Halliwell's world and mind crack up all around him. Orton's ignorance of his lover's need to have the relationship as it was before Orton's success, drives Halliwell to destroy the mind that he himself helped create. After the brutal murder of his friend, Halliwell committed suicide with a note affixed to Orton's diary, which recorded the last six months of his life. The movie is based on this diary, as well as memoirs of friends, family, and colleagues. This adult movie spends more time than is requisite about Orton's gay fantasies and promiscuous lifestyle, even involving young boys. This might be an instant turn-off to some viewers, but if you can divorce the lifestyle from the man, you will be captivated by the spell that genius played in the two lives of these interesting people. Both Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina are at their best in this film, bringing a sometimes drifting script to abundant life.

looking for success
A beautiful film, a cult movie, finally on video.
The love-hate relationship between Joe Orton, the famous playwright of the 60s and his friend Kenneth Halliwell, a love story which is also a strife between two men who seem to try to overcome each other, what they both want is success, until one of them(Joe Orton) wins the "match" and becomes famous.
His sex life is extraordinarily "lively"; he finds sex in all the men's toilets and dark alleys of london, seeking those fleeting exciting moments that only the "hunt" can give. Eventually he writes all these episodes down in his diaries asking Halliwell to read them,"so you would like me a little less" says Orton.
He is now a famous playwright, Halliwell is his "personal assistant" as he defines himself trying to find a purpose in his life that he considers useless: Joe doesn't love him, he doesn't have sex with him any more, he cannot share success with Joe. Halliwell gets terribly depressed..........Then the tragedy.
Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina are two superb actors, director Stephen Frears is at his best.
A film that everybody should see.


Oscar's Greatest Moments - 1971 to 1991
Released in VHS Tape by Columbia/Tristar Studios (14 February, 1995)
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Director: Jeff Margolis
To answer the first and most important question: no, this compilation of Oscar broadcasts from the 1970s through the '90s does not feature the infamous duet of "Proud Mary" between Rob Lowe and Snow White. This being an officially sanctioned documentary look from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, anything extremely embarrassing has been conveniently excised. Minor and cute gaffes, sure; political statements, no problem (thanks, Vanessa Redgrave); famous no-shows, upfront and center (George C. Scott and Marlon Brando); fashion statements, let's take a long look (Cher, step right up!). But, if you're a fan of the Oscar show, you might wonder: where's the camp? The cheesiness? The fun? Granted, a look at production numbers goes from the sublime (Isaac Hayes doing the "Theme from Shaft," Aretha Franklin belting "Nobody Does It Better") to the ridiculous (Debby Boone and a host of deaf children performing "You Light Up My Life," Sheena Easton in an excruciating production of "For Your Eyes Only"), but this is a pretty serious look at Hollywood's most famous awards ceremony. Highlights include Bette Midler's trashing of the Best Song nominees of 1980, Billy Crystal's early (and funny) opening monologues, a fashion montage featuring Oscar poster girls Anjelica Huston and Jane Fonda (check out Fonda's innumerable hair transformations), and Louise Fletcher's touching acceptance speech for Best Actress in 1975. However, like the awards show itself, this documentary runs a little long on self-congratulation and a little short on humor. Someday someone will put together Oscar's Campiest Moments, but for now you'll have to make do with this official, straight-faced look at the awards. --Mark Englehart
Average review score:

Oscar's Greatest Moments-1971 to 1991
This video is a well put together montage of memorable moments from twenty years of Oscar telecasts. The video was produced by the Academy and hosted by then Academy president Karl Malden, who introduces each section of the video. The compilation of outtakes include musical productions, Best actor and actress presentations, embarrasing moments (recepients political statements, snubbing of the Oscar's, etc.), segments of acceptance speeches and outtakes by presenters and hosts.
Included on this video are outtakes of John Wayne's emotional appearance in 1978, just before his death, as well as Charlie Chaplin's early 70's appearance. Also are outtakes from hosts Johnny Carson, Chevy Chase and Billy Crystal. One of the best outtakes is a speech by "Crocodile Dundee's" Paul Hogan near the beginning of the tape. Another good outtake is the streaker incident from the 1973 show and David Niven's response.
The only downside to this video is the fact that it is limited to the shows from 1971-1991 (the year the video was produced). The Oscars' began televised broadcasts in 1953. It would be great to see outtakes from these earlier programs, as well as outtakes from shows since 1991. Hopefully the Academy will see fit to make a compilation encompassing all of Oscar's televised history and release it on video, or even better, on DVD.

Interesting, but too long: just like the Oscars every year
The best thing about this video, in my opinion, is that it contains almost the entire performance by Madonna of the song "Sooner or Later" from the movie DICK TRACY. This is Madonna's best live vocal performance; I have no idea how she pulled it off, but it really is a great performance. The other thing notable about this video is the controversy: Marlon Brando rejecting his award via an Indian woman in traditional costume, and the infamous streaker, not to mention the "political interjections" other stars made in their acceptance speaches. Over all, this video is interesting but a bit too long, which is ironic because that is exactly what the Oscars are notorious for: being too long.

LONG OVERDUE!!!
WOW. This compilation is great, you might miss the cheesiness indeed, but overall you get most of the great stuff from that period. Including the whole performance of Madonna's "Sooner or Later", I just wish they'd do the first years of the show!!!!
I got a headache after watching this becaus it was way too much for one evening!. GET IT NOW!!!


Young Catherine
Released in VHS Tape by Warner Home Video (29 May, 1991)
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Starring: Vanessa Redgrave
Average review score:

One of the finest Catherine films
When I viewed this film, I was impressed. The director softened the harsh scenes, which the real Catherine had the face. The dialogue was perfect and easy to follow. I just loved it when Catherine and the Empress would go about in their magnificent hoop dresses. I hated the character Peter, though. He was obnoxious as the devil, and the scenes where he slapped Catherine wanted to make me go into the scenes and tear his bones apart. But I'll leave it up to Gregory. He played the part with such sensuality and boldness. I believe he wanted to get rid of Peter from the start. The reason why I gave this three stars is that the conspiracy scenes against Peter should have had a battle scene with Peter and Catherine and just did not have real heartfelt depthness. But of course, action movie lovers might agree with that. But the scenes of Peter's worries and Peter's army joining Catherine was a battle in itself. The rest of it is wonderful and Catherine herself would be pleased with it.

A Great Romantic
This is one of my all time favorite movies. "Young Catherine" simply sweeps you away for its duration. You will greatly enjoy the trip! Mark Frankel is simply a dream that was taken away too soon. Savor his fine work.

Young Catherine
Saw this movie 6 years ago. Loved it. Tried to purchase it, but never could find it in video stores. Thank you Amazon.com.


Shades of Fear
Released in VHS Tape by Miramax Home Entertainment (03 July, 2001)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: Beeban Kidron
When Gabriel (Rakie Ayola) sets out from her native Granada for a new life in England aboard a cruise ship, she has no idea of the intrigues (and love) in store for her. It begins when she must share her cabin with a mysterious man named Duncan Stewart (Jonathan Pryce), who is recognized by Rex Goodyear (John Hurt) as the man who murdered his wife and stole from him a priceless painting, the only two things he's ever loved. What follows is a cloak-and-dagger style conceit that fails to engage the viewer to the extent that it seems to try. The problem is that one can't figure out whether one's watching a romantic comedy or an uplifting drama. Of course a film can be both, but the shortcoming here is that it's neither: it's not funny enough to be a comedy, and its attempts at being cute absolutely undermine its attempts at being uplifting drama. One place the film does succeed is with the island scenes that bookend the story--they are moving and impressive, even if they do seem part of a different film. Perhaps this film does have an audience, however: if you're a fan of television whodunits, there is a very good chance you'll love it. --James McGrath
Average review score:

Look for the forest beyond the trees.
I found this movie to be very uplifting. It isn't just about a girl learning to fly or about her romance on ship board, although those things are elements of the film. It is a message to everyone that in order to live and move forward in life one must let go of the past. One needs to let go of one's fears, and one needs to love regardless of social convention, race, orientation, etc. While the plot did have a lot of angles, it was tied up nicely by the end, and I felt overall it was a film worth watching.


They Watch
Released in VHS Tape by Columbia Tristar Hom (22 June, 1994)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: John Korty
Average review score:

They Watch
For an independent film, the movie was pretty good. Some scenes are suspenseful and creepy, but the movie is more of a drama. The film is about a father who is haunted by his dead daughter, and goes looking for her spirit. And a lost soul tries to keep him from finding her. Most of the movie was good, but did drag at points. I was a little disappointed that the movie did not have a lot of frightening scenes, which would have made the movie a little better. But, over all, there is good acting, an interesting plot, and a movie that could have released in theaters (limitedly though).


The Trojan Women
Released in VHS Tape by Umvd (11 January, 1991)
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Director: Michael Cacoyannis
Average review score:

An emotionally distant version of Euripides's "Trojan Women"
"The Trojan War" was written by the Greek tragic dramatist Euripides as a plea for peace after the Athenians had slaughtered the populace of the island of Melos for refusing to aid Athens in the war against Sparta, and as preparations were being made for the ruinous expedition against Syracuse. Consequently there is a strong rhetorical dimension to the play, which prophesies that a Greek force would sail across the sea after violating victims and meet with disaster. However, there the play also has a strong literary consideration in that the four Trojan Women all appear in the final chapter of the "Iliad," mourning over the corpse of Hector, retrieved by his father Priam from the camp of the Acheans. Following the episodic structure of Greek tragedy, we begin with the lamentations of Hecuba (Katharine Hepburn), queen of the fallen city, then have the wild prophecies of her crazed daughter Cassandra (Geneviève Bujold), and then have to watch Astyanax, the son of Hector and Andromache (Vanessa Redgrave), be ripped away from her mother's arms so he can be thrown from the walls of Troy. When the beautiful Helen (Irene Papas) is brought out, Hecuba tries to convince Menelaus (Patrick Magee) to kill his unfaithful wife. The tragedy ends with the women of Troy being taken to the ships of their captives.

This 1971 film was directed by Michael Cacoyannis, who is best known for directing "Zorba the Greek," but who also did an excellent version of another Euripides play "Electra" in 1962 with Irene Papas in the title role. Cacoyannis tries for something a bit more naturalistic than that previous effort, but the end result this time around creates an unfortunate distance between the characters and the audience that puts these performances in a weird sort of limbo. This is rather surprising because we are talking some formidable talent with these four actresses (who represent four different countries of origin). I first saw this film in high school, when I had absolutely no understanding of the forms and conventions of classical Greek tragedy, and I found I have less appreciation for the film today. Understand that I am a Katharine Hepburn fan of the first order and teach Greek tragedies at any and all opportunities, but I am just not inspired by this film. Hepburn's performance is overly animated, Bujold's is mannered affectation, Redgrave's is understated at the expense of the situation, and only Papas manages to bring some fire to her role that rings true.

"The Trojan Women" reflects the cynicism of Euripides at its most strident. In this play the Greeks do more than enslave the women of fallen Troy: they have already slain a young girl as a sacrifice to the ghost of Achilles and they take a little boy and kill him. Even the herald of the Greeks, Talthybius (Brian Blessed), cannot stomach the policies of his people. The play also reminds us that Helen was a most unpopular figure amongst the ancient Greeks, and there is no satisfaction in her saving her life. Your ability to enjoy this play, whether we are talking about watching the film or simply reading the text, is going to be based on how much you know about Homer's epic poem "The Iliad" and the entire story of the Trojan War. Final Note: Edith Hamilton, author of a classic book on mythology that I use in my Classical Greek and Roman Mythology course, did the English translation for the film.


A Month by the Lake
Released in VHS Tape by Miramax Home Entertainment (10 June, 1997)
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: John Irvin
Starring: Vanessa Redgrave, Edward Fox, and Uma Thurman
Average review score:

Nice Scenery
The acting and screen-play are poor (i could be wrong), but the scenery, and cinematography that captures it, are beautiful.

I would suggest Enchanted April.

Lake Como
A wonderul romantic comedy set in summer prior to WWII. Starring Vanessa Redgrave & Uma Thurman. The scenery and cinematography are simply beautiful, an Older Girlie Flick.

Perfect Entertainment
Vanessa Redgrave is brilliant and absolutely gorgeous in this
fine film about spending a month in Italy. Uma Thurman comes
into the picture as a nanny for a couple of kids and she and
Vanessa vie for the attention of Edward Fox. I am basing this
review on the laserdisc which enchanced the movie considerably
and I imagine the dvd will be even better. One of those movies
that gets more enjoyable every time you watch it. And of course
I want to go back to Italy every time I see it. A perfect
companion piece to ENCHANTED APRIL (when will that be on DVD?)


Down Came a Blackbird
Released in VHS Tape by Republic Studios (21 January, 1997)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: Jonathan Sanger
Starring: Raul Julia, Laura Dern, and Vanessa Redgrave
Average review score:

Excellent but difficult to watch
The feelings and attitudes of the characters toward their experience as victims of torture are thoughtful and compelling. Torture scenes are difficult to watch (the worst moments are left to the audience's imagination) but are tempered by the flashback context. Best performance Laura Dern has ever given.

Understand issues of torture and healing
A story which really gets under your skin! I work with refugees who have been tortured and abused and I recognized many of the reactions the different characters had in the movie.
It was a very believable cast, and although the story skips back and forth between past experiences and present it is not disturbing as it moves the story forward. Also, this is what it is like for many survivors of torture... They can't tell their whole story in one sitting as it is too painful. Maybe it would be for the audience too!

Not to take anything for granted is a valuable story to learn. As well as to realize that there are as many reactions to torture as there are people.

An interesting twist at the end emphasizes the problematical trust-issues many torture survivors grapple with. That's important because it seems through my professional experience that this is the one thing people really struggle with when they are survivors. How do you know who to trust and who not to trust? To a survivor of torture this can be extremely hard to handle as the feeling of "Nothing and no one can really be trusted" seems common. And what may happen to survivors if they start trusting the wrong people? Remember, once everything the survivor believed about other people, proved to be not only wrong, but extremely dangerous.

Watch the movie if you want to understand more about the issues of torture, abuse and healing!

Excellence from Laura Dern
Such a touching story. And Laura Dern's presentation is right on. Not a film for people without sentimentality. And the twist at the end is fab. But again emotionally believable. Everyone is this film seems to be from an acting achool of excellence.


Deep Impact (Spanish Subtitled)
Released in VHS Tape by Paramount Studio (21 August, 2001)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: Mimi Leder
Starring: Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood, and Morgan Freeman
A great big rock hits the earth, and lots of people die. That's pretty much all there is to it, and most of that was in the trailer. Can a major Hollywood movie really squeak by with such a slender excuse for a premise? The old disaster-movie king, cheese-meister Irwin Allen (The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake), would have made a kitsch classic out of this, with Charlton Heston, rather than a resigned and mumbly Robert Duvall, as the veteran astronaut who risks several lives trying to blow up the comet that's headed right this way! As stiffly directed by Mimi Leder, this thick slice of ham errs on the side of solemnity. It may the be most earnest end- of-the-world picture since Stanley Kramer's atomic-doom drama On the Beach. There are a couple of classic melodramatic flourishes: an estranged father and daughter who share a tearful reconciliation as a Godzilla-sized tidal wave looms on the horizon; and an astronaut, communicating on video with his loved ones back on Earth, who follows whispered instructions from a buddy lurking just off camera---so that his little boy won't realize that he's been struck blind. With Morgan Freeman as the president of the United States. --David Chute
Average review score:

'Deep Impact' makes its impact deeply felt
What would you do if all life on Earth would inevitably be destroyed in a few weeks?

By chance on a star-lit night in Arizona, a young astronomer, Leo Beidermann (Elijah Wood), makes the gut-wrenching discovery of an enormous comet on a path that would lead to a direct contact with the earth. Morgan Freeman is the President of the United States, whose responsibility is to address the nation with the heart-stopping E.L.E incident, an Extinction Level Event. Jenny Lerner (Tea Leoni) is a reporter who adds to the large scale storyline of the countdown to doomsday as humanity fights for their chance to survive.

Directed by Mimi Leder ('The Peacemaker') and accompanied by a highly talented cast also featuring Robert Duvall, Vanessa Redgrave and Maximilian Schell with music by James Horner, 'Deep Impact' explodes with an "eye-opening blast of a movie experience" (Jeff Craig, Sixty Second Preview). It is ultimately compelling, bursting with suspense, heartwarming, and unforgettable.

Recommended for any audience over 14 years, it is a tale where although oceans rise and cities fall, hope will always survive, making 'Deep Impact' a must-see movie.

Storyline, acting, and presentation make this movie great.
Deep Impact is a compelling story of 4 people, Jenny Lerner, a low-rate reporter for MSNBC (Tea Leoni), Leo Biederman, an average teenager who discovers the comet (Elijah Wood), President Tom Beck of the United States (Morgan Freeman), and Spurgen Tanner, the last Astronaut who walked on the moon, who, with a team of young astronauts, has been sent to stop the comet (Robert Duvall). The story of these four develop quite nicely, as it starts out with Leo in astronomy club, and when his teacher asks what an object is in the sky, he does not know. This of course, is the comet. It is sent to a lab, where it is found. From then the story shifts gears to Jenny, and remains with her until the president tells the world of the event. From then it is to Spurgen Tanner, and in some brief glimpses throughout the movie, President Tom Beck. The ideas and progression of the story is amazing. The directing is superb. The action is wonderfully done. It is a must see movie.

Just the right touch
This is a film that could easily have gone sour. We could have had inordinate focus on the young folks or a lot of political hokum about we are all one happy family or - more likely - the majority of the movie could be spent on the impact and awful aftermath.

Great opening, good build up. Tea Leoni seems made for the part of striving newswoman and her very drive opens up a secret that is as somber as it is news-worthy. Slowly the tension rises as we wonder who will be saved (the random drawing is great) and who is condemned to perish. Several things separate this from the usual run (say ARMAGEDDON).

First, our heroine does not survive but goes out in a tender scene with dad. Second, the asteroid does hit and does destroy a large part of the Earth. Third, we are left with a feeling of hope instead of despair and even a sense of pride. This one deserves an "A".


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