Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $6.19 shipping
A Little Night Music
|Price:||Get Fast, Free Shipping with Amazon Prime & FREE Returns|
|You Save:||$4.96 (20%)|
Frequently bought together
An actress, her married ex-lover, her current lover's wife and other guests gather at a circa-1900 estate.
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
- 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
- Best Sellers Rank: #69,143 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
On the plus side there are great performances, especially by Dame Diana Rigg, Len Cariou and Hermione Gingold. Even young Chloe Franks makes an amusing daughter to Miss Taylor's Desiree. And, as it's been restructured, the burden of the plot does not fall heavily on Miss Taylor. She gives a capable performance if not brilliant but then her character does not call for brilliance but really an understanding of the role, given that, she performs very well. But it is Diana Rigg who's command of the screen holds your attention. Unfortunately, Dame Diana has been too little noticed over the years but when she has appeared, she commands the screen. (Only Maggie Smith in "Evil Under The Sun" could hold her own against her.)
Len Cariou and Laurence Guittard repeat performances they the gave in the Broadway Stage version and it's easy to understand why they were not replaced with more bankable if less skilled perfomers. Hermione Gingold who would eventually play Madam Armfeldt on the stage gives the perfect reading of a modest if integral role.
But the triumphant "performance" isn't given by any actor but rather by designer Florence Klotz who's costumes capture the grandeur and exxagerations of the time to perfections. The opening and the closing with all the performers in white could have looked washed out, bland but in her stylings are important and meaningful.
While not for the taste of everyone, this is a "must own" for anyone who enjoys the musical theatre as, time has shown, very few of that genre are now given further life on the screen.
Enjoyable, if you are a lover of Sondheim, and prepared to stop listening when Taylor sings.
All in all, a film worth seeing.
Top reviews from other countries
That said, I knew this was going to be the case and I am reviewing what we have got rather than what we would like to have had. The biggest downside is that we are not looking at a digitally remastered print and there are some scratches visible from time to time. The second is that the third smile of the summer night is somewhat abruptly and confusingly handled.
What there is to enjoy are the fact the extremely witty dialogue is virtually intact, the performances and what is left of the score. Elizabeth Taylor's take on Desiree is less glamorous than usual but it works very well and, as usual, no one can accuse her of not giving everything to the project. Diana Rigg is superb as the Countess and makes the most of the very witty lines whilst making us very aware that this is a very disturbed lady. Hermione Gingold, shorn of her wonderful "Liaisons" number still sparkles with malicious wit and the rest of the cast, several of whom were in the original Broadway production are very good indeed.
Would I recommend this? Yes, I would as a film of the show adapted for the screen. The piece has suffered amputations and changes but the important thing is that it is very enjoyable while you are watching it. If you want a record of the original stage show, however, you will be disappointed