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A Little Night Music

4.3 out of 5 stars 136 ratings

List Price: $24.95
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Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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DVD
June 5, 2007
1
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An actress, her married ex-lover, her current lover's wife and other guests gather at a circa-1900 estate.

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There are many enjoyable elements in the 1978 film version of Stephen Sondheim's exquisite chamber musical A Little Night Music, based on Ingmar Bergman's film Smiles of a Summer Night. First, Sondheim's score (all based on meters of 3) is full of riches such as "Now/Later/Soon," "Every Day a Little Death," "It Would Have Been Wonderful," and the famous "Send in the Clowns." There's even one reworking, of "The Glamorous Life," that became something of a collector's item for fans. Second, much of the cast is good, with original Broadway lead Len Cariou reprising his role as Frederik, the lawyer torn between his young wife, Anne (Lesley Anne-Down), and his former beau Desiree (Elizabeth Taylor). Others from the original Broadway company are Laurence Guittard (as pompous soldier Carl-Magnus) and Hermione Gingold (Mme. Armfeldt), and Diana Rigg adds a wonderful spice. Unfortunately Hal Prince couldn't translate his successful stage direction to this clunky film, Taylor's marquee value couldn't help her sing her big number, "Send in the Clowns," and a number of decisions--cutting songs, moving the setting from Sweden to Austria, eliminating the Greek chorus--just didn't work. It's worth seeing for the cast and for Sondheim's music, but all in all, A Little Night Music is one of the most dismal Broadway-to-movie adaptations ever made. --David Horiuchi

On the DVD
The 2007 DVD is in a barely perceptible 1.66 widescreen, not enhanced for anamorphic televisions. Years earlier, the film was scheduled to be released by Image Entertainment but the print was judged too poor to release. Hen's Tooth's DVD has visible print damage throughout; you won't use it to show off your home theater, but it is watchable, and the film's reputation makes an expensive restoration unlikely. If you want A Little Night Music, you're unlikely to get anything better than this any time soon, if ever. (Smalller quibble: only 12 chapter stops makes it hard to find the songs.) --David Horiuchi


Product details

  • Aspect Ratio : 1.66:1
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
  • MPAA rating : s_medPG PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Product Dimensions : 7.75 x 5.75 x 0.53 inches; 3.2 Ounces
  • Item model number : HEN4108DVD
  • Director : Harold Prince
  • Media Format : Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Run time : 2 hours and 4 minutes
  • Release date : June 5, 2007
  • Actors : Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Rigg, Len Cariou, Lesley-Anne Down, Hermione Gingold
  • Producers : Denis Holt, Elliott Kastner, Otto Plaschkes
  • Language : English (Dolby Digital 1.0), Unqualified (DTS ES 6.1)
  • Studio : Henstooth Video
  • ASIN : B00003CWT3
  • Writers : Hugh Wheeler, Ingmar Bergman
  • Number of discs : 1
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 136 ratings
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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
136 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on July 26, 2012
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Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2007
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22 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on January 30, 2010
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Top reviews from other countries

Roger Rebec
4.0 out of 5 stars Much Better Than Expected
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 12, 2013
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2 people found this helpful
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Holbrook Tech
3.0 out of 5 stars Rare DVD Release
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 7, 2021
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D. Macdonald
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Day Music ..... perhaps ....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 13, 2007
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16 people found this helpful
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joel
4.0 out of 5 stars Great cast, shame about film quality
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2017
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Richard Thornton
5.0 out of 5 stars A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 7, 2018
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