Tennessee Williams Film Collection comes to DVD
By Patrick Luce May 3, 2006, 13:20 GMT
Tennessee Williams Film Collection contains "Baby Doll," "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," "Night Of The Iguana," "The Roman Spring Of Mrs. Stone," "Streetcar Named Desire," "Sweet Bird Of Youth" ...more
Loaded with special features, the Tennessee Williams Film Collection contains some of greatest film adaptations of Williams’ writings – from plays to novellas.
The set includes Streetcar Named Desire Two Disc Special Edition, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Deluxe Edition), Sweet Bird of Youth, The Night of the Iguana, Baby Doll, and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. The titles are also available individually.
Streetcar Named Desire Two Disc Special Edition features brilliant performances from Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden, and Rudy Bond. It tells the story of Blanche - who is in real need of a protector at this stage in her life when circumstances lead her into paying a visit to her younger sister Stella in New Orleans. She doesn't understand how Stella, who is expecting her first child, could have picked a husband so lacking in refinement. Stanley Kowalski's buddies come over to the house to play cards and one of them, Mitch, finds Blanche attractive until Stanley tells him about what kind of a woman Blanche really is.
The two disc DVD comes with several special features including commentary by Karl Malden and film historians Rudy Behlmer and Jeff Young; a Elia Kazan movie trailer gallery; a feature-length documentary: Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey; movie and audio outtakes; Marlon Brando screen test; and five new documentaries: A Streetcar on Broadway, A Streetcar in Hollywood, Censorship and Desire, North and the Music of the South, and An Actor Named Brando.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof stars Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Jack Carson, and Judith Anderson. It is based on the play by Tennessee Williams. The plot centers on a party that is planned for the 65th birthday of family patriarch 'Big Daddy', but not everyone is in a festive mood. Big Daddy's son Brick, a one-time star athlete, has a drinking problem and has become cold towards his wife Maggie, though she still desperately loves him. Brick's older brother Gooper and his wife hope to gain control over Big Daddy's estate. Big Daddy himself is just coming home from a clinic where he has been tested for cancer. When his doctor tells the family the results of the tests, the family's accumulated lies, frustrations, and secrets quickly begin to come out.
The DVD special features include commentary by biographer Donald Spoto, author of "The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams;” the new featurette Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: Playing Cat and Mouse; and a theatrical trailer.
Sweet Bird of Youth stars Paul Newman, Geraldine Page, Shirley Knight, Ed Begley, and Rip Torn. It follows drifter Chance Wayne as he returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. With him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. While trying to get her help to make a screen test, he also finds the time to meet his former girlfriend Heavenly, the daughter of the local politician Tom 'Boss' Finley, who more or less forced him to leave the town many years ago.
Special features for the DVD include a new featurette Sweet Bird of Youth: Chasing Time; vintage Geraldine Page and Rip Torn screen test; and a theatrical trailer.
The Night of the Iguana stars Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr, Sue Lyon, and Skip Ward. Based on the Williams’ play, the movie is set in the sleepy village of Puerto Vallarta, where the defrocked Reverend T. Laurence Shannon works as a tour guide. While leading a group of school teachers, he attracts the attention of their junior member Charlotte Goodall. To save money, he takes the group to a rundown hotel owned by his friend, Maxine Faulk. Once there, his interest shifts to Hannah Jelkes, a poor artist. But in the end it may be Maxine whom he stays on with.
DVD special features include the new featurette The Night of the Iguana: Houston's Gamble; the vintage featurette On the Trail of the Iguana; and theatrical trailers.
Baby Doll stars Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach, Mildred Dunnock, and Lonny Chapman. Scandalous in its time and still somewhat steamy today, the movie follows Tennessee Williams' ribald tale of Mississippi child bride (Carroll Baker) and the men (Karl Malden, Eli Wallach) who lust after her. It follows Archie Lee Meighan, middle-aged cotton gin owner, who can hardly wait for the 20th birthday of his childish bride Baby Doll, when he'll be allowed to consummate the marriage or so he thinks. But rival owner Silva Vaccaro suspects Archie of burning his gin down, and takes an erotic form of Sicilian vengeance.
Baby Doll is light on special features, but includes the new featurette Baby Doll: See No Evil and a Baby Doll trailer gallery.
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone stars Vivien Leigh, Warren Beatty, Lotte Lenya, Coral Browne, and Jill St. John. Critics and the public say Karen Stone is too old -- as she approaches 50 -- for her role in a play she is about to take to Broadway. Her businessman husband, 20 years her senior, has been the angel for the play and gives her a way out: They are off to a holiday in Rome for his health. He suffers a fatal heart attack on the plane. Mrs. Stone stays in Rome. She leases a magnificent apartment with a view of the seven hills from the terrace. Then the contessa comes calling to introduce a young man named Paola to her. The contessa knows many presentable young men and lonely American widows.
The DVD is also light on special features including just the new featurette The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone: Looking for Love in All the Dark Corners and the theatrical trailer.
Tennessee Williams Film Collection is now available at Amazon. As of yet, there is not a release date for the set in the UK. Visit the DVD’s database for more information. Over the next few weeks, M&C will also be posting reviews by Frankie Dees for each title that is available in the set.