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Summer & Smoke [VHS]
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  • Detached
    A good film, but with too little emotional depth. Page is too old and too low-key for the role of Alma. Harvey is good, except for his overdone accent. It's a shame that Glenville couldn't direct them to be more emotionally affecting....more info
  • Evocative a Timeless !!
    Tennessee Williams was a genius. Hal Wallis has assembeled some fine artist for this film. This is Geraldine Page,s great performance and it has been noted so. The film allows closeups and the viewer can drink all the emotions of the characters..something that cannot be done on the stage. Looking even closer one must not leave out the performance of Laurence Harvey as doctor John Buchanan. His detachments hold a stark contrast for the rest of the characters in the film.. A vital element for Alma in this tragic riddle. Elmer Bernsteins score frames the film with a meloncholy air...it,s superb !!...more info
  • IN THE PARK . alone ... waiting..... at night.
    It's THAT final scene that always grabs ya, poor Alma, little desolate sitting there, next to that grotesque stone angel, a bit like Blanche, waiting for that Gentleman Caller, getting by with a little help from her friends, and that ODD, bittersweet conclusion.....

    Underrated performances, underrated movie, pre-David Lynch territory, almost Ray Bradbury country, weird, Wonderful Tennessee Williams! Geraldine Page assaults your senses as the repressed, tightly-encorseted spinster masking a volcano of passion - just under the veil! A product of affuent early 20th century domestic repression she pines for the affection of neighborhood hunk Harvey M.D., but to no avail. He has been "taken" by a much younger rival [another devastating scene with Page and Pamela Tiffin as the "bride to be"].

    There's plenty a-foot, spot-on performances by Una Merkel as the ever-eccentric mother, and Rita Moreno as the passionate, doomed Rosa BUT its those last moments with Alma [Page] and the salesman [Mr. Goodbar, Ragtime style? - Earl Holliman] in the park, alone, late at night ....that sobers!...more info

  • One of the greatest performances by an actress on film!
    Summer and Smoke has Geraldine Page as a woman in love with a young man next door. She lives in a parsonage with her dictatorial, repressed father, and a mentally ill mother. The film unflods and we see the tragedy approaching, and Ms Page becoming more and more aware of it, culminating in her final scene.

    The lyricism of her acting, her gestures, her inner pleading, and her silences are wrenching and strangely evocative of how things are for many people..no hope left, but the edge that rejection and despair give to us in odd ways, making it possible to go on, in an aloien world, dersiring death as the next step that must be taken.

    See this film with her, and witness greatness of the highest order. The rest of cast is excellent, especially Una Merkel as her mother, and Laurence Harvey as the man Ms Page loves.

    The score by Elmer Bernstein is so beautiful,very plaintive, and elegiac at last, as the final notes of the harp underpin the conclusion of the film.

    Peter Glenville directed this and he is to be complimented for it. The James Poe script, along with Meade Roberts, is far more faithful than Richard Brooks' Cat On A Hot Tin Roof or Sweet Bird of Youth, the latter , however, has Ms Page, so do not miss it.

    I wish it were on DVD or even on TCM, but, at least there is the laser version in widescreen and the VHS version, but it needs to be seen in Panavision.

    Buy this gem, and revel in the art of Geraldine Page, the glory of cinema....more info
  • Summer and Smoke
    The first time i watched this movie was at S.F.'s Castro Theatre's tribute to the Great Tennessee, and not to mention that I was flying extremely high on psychedelics, and the sets and dialogue took me for whirlwinds like a hurricane thunderstorm, because this movie represents each and every second of our universal life playing itself out on the world stage. Funny that, but it also left a mark upon within me, and even in the 30th viewing of this film, I love it as much as I did 10 years ago when I was 24. You are remembered Geraldine and Tennessee....more info
  • GERALDINE PAGE, most unappreciated...
    There are a lot of things you can say about this film, but foremost must be the performance of Geraldine Page, perhaps the finest female performance ever captured on film. Her use of her hands, a glance...every nuance imaginable has not been matched (a close second: Giulietta Massina). Alma is a lot more complicated than most realize, a repressed rage, hopeless love, culminating in a dependance on drugs (not brought out so much in the film); "those little white tablets...ever so merciful..." After an Oscar nomination in 1953 for "Hondo", Page was subjected to ugliness by the McCarthy nonsense, and "S&S" was only her second film. English director Peter Glenville, famous for attention to detail ("Becket"), worked with fellow Brit, Laurence Harvey (a southerner by association since he played Travis in "The Alamo"), and it was actually a fine group of talent. Tennessee Williams always thought this was his best play; he re-wrote it as "Eccenticities of a Nightingale", but the new idea, though admired, never survived. It made more reference to Alma's addiction, and also referred to all 4 women as caged birds, escaping in different directions. I applaud anyone who takes the time to soak in all the nuance that Williams has to offer, the mood and delivery of Glenville, and the unflinching perfection of Page's performance. Taking this all at once is quite overwhelming. AFTERTHOUGHT: I failed to mention the power of Jerry Goldsmith's magnificent music. Along with his score to "To Kill a Mockingbird", these films were both transcended to a place complete understanding. Oops, I meant composer Elmer Bernstein; one of his best scores....more info
  • Geraldine Page - a Miracle in this Fabulous Movie!
    Tennessee Williams did another great job with "Summer and Smoke" and the memorable phrases that he came up with will stick with you forever. Just listen for Miss Alma (Geraldine Page) when she says "I could spread out my life like a rug for you to step on, and you'd still step on it, and never say thank you, Alma."

    If you delight in great dialogue and superb acting, this is a movie you just HAVE to get!

    Geraldine Page makes you rewind that VCR SO MANY TIMES that it is just the limit! I am a huge fan of hers and this was a new movie to me. I couldn't believe it at all - hers was a talent that will never be matched again.

    See this movie and you won't be disappointed - it will be one of those shows that you watch over and over again to catch all the nuances that you couldn't catch in prior viewings. LOVED IT AND YOU WILL TOO!...more info

  • Summer, Smoke and Blood
    Tennessee Williams is once again settling his accounts with parents and the South. One daughter is encaged by her preaching father into absolutele spinstery. One son escapes the cage of duty and dedication his father tries to impose onto him. Another daughter manages to escape the cage her mother opens up one day in a well-advised moment of inspiration. And a final daughter is nothing but the tool of her father's ambition to conquer the rich world even if it takes a gunshot to do so. The first daughter is also haunted by her mother's getting crazy at seeing the locked cage in which her husband has locked her daughter up. And this is supposed to represent that noble and genteel South that is so lovable and yet so cruel. But Tennessee Williams goes a little farther in this film by showing how people can change, but they change in exactly opposite directions. They cannot meet at first because the young man is not a gentleman and the young woman is a lady. But they can't meet later on because the young man has discovered his soul and asks the young woman to remain a lady, whereas she has finally understood that the soul is not all that counts and she would like the young man not to be the gentleman he has become and still to be the animal he used to. No way out, except an elopement. The younger generation always finds their ways out of all those cages even if at times it is hard, painful and even fatal or lethal. This delicate mental and corporal torture is the trademark of this Tennessee Williams that reaches universality, if not eternity. And the South becomes a showcase of mankind and is redeemed in such a process. Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, Paris Universities II and IX....more info
  • Geraldine Page gives the best performance of her career!!!
    The finest actress ever to live, Geraldine Page recreates her broadway role as the spinster Alma, who lives with her parents to care for her ill mother{Una Merkel, in a brilliant performance]. She has fallen in love with the boy next door, John Buchanan [Laurence Harvey]. When John returns after being away she tries to win his love, but he falls in love with the town vamp [Rita Moreno]. Alma tries to be everything that John wants and in the end they both get swallowed up in each others desires. Geraldine Page was nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars for her performance and should have won. If for nothing else one should see this film to see a real actress at work.
    4 1961 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS:
    BEST ACTRESS-GERALDINE PAGE
    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS-UNA MERKEL
    BEST ART DIRECTION[COLOR]
    BEST SCORE...more info
  • Haunting adaptation of Williams' most poetic work
    This Panavision and color adaptation of Tennessee Williams' most poetic play is a showcase for both his words and Geraldine Page's Oscar-nominated performance. Spirituality vs. carnality is the theme of a spinster romantically attracted to her childhood neighbor, a wild libertine. Elmer Bernstein's score is magnificant - one of his finest and one of the finest in film history. Listen during Alma's soul-searing final monologue using images of ice and fire and listen to Bernstein's use of harp glissandos that reflect the words. This is Page's finest screen performance and along with the score and the writing are the main reasons for viewing. The prologue and main title are letterboxed - showing the fine use of wide screen. Nominations were also received for Una Merkel's supporting performance as the dotty mother, Bernstein's score and the period Art Direction. Well worth a visit....more info
  • Life on iceberg
    Living in Vicksburg for 17 years gives me a special pleasure to appreciate this film. Tom Williams who grew up at parsonage in Columbus at his uncle lived also shortly in Vicksburg and captivated well stuffines, pride and naive arrogance in human relations which surprisingly survive till this day. It is very difficult to transfer a stage piece into movie, it loses either the interactive message or remains too stagey, or even becomes a totally new story. It actually did well in this rendering, because spectator should realize it was written for a theater, like Rainmaker of Eugene O'Neill's, made into movie. I loved the movie....more info
  • More brilliance from my darling Geraldine
    OK...OK...here I go again on the peerless Miss Page...this one will be quite succinct...
    SHE IS MAGNIFICENT! RENT IT! BUY IT! DON'T MISS IT!
    ...where is the DVD?...more info