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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Comedy > Literature > Greece > The Tempest (1982/Paul Mazursky)

The Tempest (1982/Paul Mazursky)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Film: B-



Paul Mazursky is the most forgotten of the American New Wave of distinctive directors from the 1960s and 1970s.  With triumphs like Harry & Tonto and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, he was as relevant as Kubrick, Scorsese and Coppola.  By the 1980s, he started to become more commercial and less edgy.  His 1982 adaptation and updated-placing of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest is the end of that great roll of filmmaking.  It is no surprise that two of his co-stars are John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands, the real life couple who helped build independent filmmaking through John’s innovative directorial efforts like Faces.


John plays Phillip, a man unhappy with his marriage, seeing another woman (Susan Sarandon), driving his daughter (Molly Ringwald in her screen debut) nuts, juggling a crazy neighbor (Raul Julia) and battling with his new employer (the legendary Vittorio Gassman) over his future business in Greece.  The screenplay Mazursky and Leon Capetanos wrote is very good and the cast is terrific.  It includes a few touches you might see in a Cassavetes film and has a great attitude and feel throughout.


Sadly, this film was not a hit and was sadly forgotten in the early years of a Mall-Movie/blockbuster obsessed Hollywood no longer interested in making smart films for adults.  Here in its full length 142 minutes, it is never boring and a real pleasure to watch, with one of Cassavetes’ last great performances before his untimely passing from health complications.  This is one of his last great moments and the ending is more ironic than ever, even if you know the play.


The film was shot in 35mm film and is presented here anamorphically enhanced in its 1.85 X 1 and is on the grainy side, but has some nice shots throughout as lensed by Donald McAlpine, A.S.C. for the biggest screens possible.  So much so in fact that Columbia made 70mm blow-ups to show off the Greek locations.  Those prints came with Dolby magnetic 4.1 sound mixes, upgraded here to Dolby Digital 5.1 including songs by Dinah Washington and DEVO!


They were in the original film too, but this is one of those early Dolby blow-up dramas like Days Of Heaven that use the surrounds subtly at best.  Stomu Yamashta’s original score is a plus.  Sadly, there are no extras, except previews for three more recent Sony releases that don’t make sense to include here.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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