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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Literature > British > Russian > Uncle Vanya (1957/VCI DVD)

Uncle Vanya (1957/VCI DVD)

 

Picture: C†††† Sound: C†††† Extras: B-†††† Film: B-

 

 

Anton Chekhovís Uncle Vanya is a family drama whose title character is in his twilight years and because of visiting family, has to deal with repressed feelings of lost time, possible regrets and where he is at the moment.A role taken on by many great actors, Franchot Tone (the 1935 Mutiny On The Bounty) decided to co-direct and star in a 1957 feature film, version and VCI Entertainment has issued it in a decent new DVD edition.

 

A good adaptation, censors forced the makers to change the ending, yet this is surprisingly well acted and has a consistent energy top it so it just does not become another boring run-through by people who think they know what ďartĒ is, yet are obviously bored by it.Peggy McCay and George Voskovec co-star in this well-cast version that deserves some degree of rediscovery.The sets, locations, costumes and other details are a plus as the film moves along for its engaging 98 minutes.If you are a fan of the book or not familiar with it, seeing this version is recommended.

 

The 1.33 X 1 image has good Video Black to VCIís credit, but it softer more often than I would have liked, though the print looks so good, VCI ought to consider a Blu-ray on the level of their acclaimed A Christmas Carol release.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono shows its age despite some cleaning that was done, but the low volume and some distortion has us urge caution on playback levels and volume switching.

 

Extras include trailers, a 1959 Robert Culp radio drama version of Vanya from the Theater Guild and Nicolai Gogolís 1938 film The Rebel Son, the second of two Taras Bulba films made by and starring Harry Baur (this is the English-language British version) also known under the title The Barbarian & The Lady.It is odd, dated and all over the place, but amusing and worth including.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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