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Carrie (1952)

Laurence Olivier , Jennifer Jones , William Wyler  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Laurence Olivier, Jennifer Jones, Miriam Hopkins, Eddie Albert, Basil Ruysdael
  • Directors: William Wyler
  • Writers: Augustus Goetz, Ruth Goetz, Theodore Dreiser
  • Producers: William Wyler, Lester Koenig
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, DTS Surround Sound, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: January 18, 2005
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006FO8NY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,607 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Carrie" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Carrie's dreams of adventure in the big city are quickly squashed as she discovers all that awaits her there is a bleak life of grueling and poorly-paid factory work. That is, until a traveling salesman named Drouet steps into her life and changes her outlook. Breaking all the rules of morality at the time, Carrie moves in with him and at first she's content, but when Drouet introduces her to the wealthy and married Hurstwood, who manages a restaurant, Carrie instantly sizes up the difference between the two men and discovers she's falling for him.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation of the Dreiser classic January 25, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
First of all, be warned - this is a downer and not a film to be recommended to anyone who is suffering from depression or low self esteem.

Theodore Dreiser's novel, "Sister Carrie," first published in 1900, had its share of controversy and initial sales were poor. Today it is viewed as a major American classic. Dreiser's characters are victims of chance and circumstance and their motivations are fueled by their desires without serious thought to the consequences of their actions. Readers were especially shocked that the heroine's "sinful" ways would be rewarded in the end.

"Carrie" was filmed in 1950 but it sat on the shelf for two years before being released in 1952. The studio felt that the political climate at the time wasn't right for the film. In fact, this dvd version contains a scene that wasn't included in the American release but was in prints for the foreign markets. A note at the beginning of the film alludes to the politics of the time but really it just raises more questions than answers. This is a film begging for a commentary but unfortunately there isn't one.

With no extras provided, we only have the film to enjoy but what an excellent film this is. The technical aspects are top notch with William Wyler's skillful direction making this one of his best films, Victor Milner's sharp and unsentimental black and white photography and David Raskin's lovely score. But what really shines are the actors. Jennifer Jones, certainly one of the most beautiful actresses to ever work in Hollywood, is perfect as Carrie - naive and innocent in the beginning but learning the ways of the world too late, Eddie Albert as the charming but oily Drouet and Miriam Hopkins as the icy and shrewd Julia Hurstwood.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting adaptation July 15, 2003
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I notice many of the other reviewers lamenting that this film adaptation of Dreiser's novel is not as good as the book itself. Of course it isn't, but that doesn't mean there isn't considerable merit in this film. Naturally there are considerable differences between the book and the movie, but that is inevitable in any screen translation.
The performances are uniformly good. Jennifer Jones was hardly considered an outstanding actress, but she's well cast here in the role of a passive, timid and one-dimensional Carrie. The ambitious side of Carrie in the novel is muted a bit for the screen. Olivier is exceptional in the lead character and his disintegration from rich restaurant manager to skid row bum is masterful. Perhaps the most overlooked performance is that of Eddie Albert, cast as Carrie's first lover. Albert is exceptional and most resembles the original character in Dreiser's book.
The ending will have you reaching for your handkerchief's, so be forewarned. For anyone who has not read Dreiser's novel, you will be prompted to lay hands on the book as soon as this film is concluded. Recommended viewing.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb performances; lacklustre DVD transfer January 30, 2005
Format:DVD
Movie: ***** DVD Quality: *** DVD Extras: N/A

A tour de force performance by Laurence Olivier distinguishes this screen adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's novel "Sister Carrie". Under William Wyler's sure-handed direction, Olivier portrays a middle aged man whose comfortable, but unhappy, life tragically unravels when he persues the love of a young woman in a desperate last attempt at personal happiness. Sabotaged by fate, circumstance, and his own compromised morality, Olivier's descent into poverty, isolation, and despair is harrowing to witness. As the object of his passion, Jennifer Jones is very good indeed in the title role. Certainly, she has never appeared more lovely than she does in this film; it is critical that the audience believe that Olivier's character would risk everything for her, and sure enough, one can easily understand why Olivier is captivated by her charm and grace. Equally effective in key supporting roles are Miriam Hopkins in the role of Olivier's controlling shrew of a wife and Eddie Albert as a smooth-talking salesman who also loves Jones in his own opportunistic way.

The Paramount DVD edition of this neglected jewel is a mixed bag quality-wise. On the one hand, it includes a long-censored and important sequence showing Olivier's character at his lowest, sick and disheveled and destitute, spending the night in a filthy flophouse. On the other hand, the transfer quality is uniformly substandard, featuring gainy video that is sometimes plagued by vertical lines running through the picture, and often muddy audio. Regrettably, the DVD does not include any extras whatsoever, not even a package insert with liner notes. Despite these annoying flaws and omissions, this DVD is still very much worth a look just to see one of the greatest actors of the 20th century in what arguably may be his finest screen performance.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Olivier & Jones at their best January 24, 2007
Format:DVD
*** A bit of a spoiler, the package makes this look like a glossy romance, and it is much deeper and darker.***

This movie really should have been called "George,"as it is the story of a man (Laurence Oliver) who ruins his life for love. Olivier is essentially different here, a humble man who suffers silently, simply wonderful, and shows here in his youth moments of the great acting of his last years (important, because he was aged up for this role). It is a simply brilliant film for him.

Jennifer Jones, playing Carrie, also gives one of her best performances, and their chemistry is fantastic. She was in her 30s and still looks 18, which helps a film where she ages from about 18 to 36.

I did not know anything of this "girl comes to the big city, gets compromised, and rises above" story. It is far more than this trite outline. This wonderful script dips and turns with the complexities of life relationships, legal relationships, and the things we don't tell each other.

Miriam Hopkins, even in her perky youth, was always rather arch and tart. This is used to fantastic advantage here in a very dislikable role. Eddie Albert is also used to best advantage as a flirty traveling salesman and lady killer.

In black and white, the story is about the divisions of poverty and wealth, and how life can take us through levels. Edith Head's magnificent costuming takes the leads from highs to lows, tenements to townhouses to the glamour of the stage in the early 1900s.

The score is by David Raksin, who did such memorable scores as WHIRLPOOL, THE BIG COMBO, FALLEN ANGEL, and PAT AND MIKE. While heavy handed by today's standards, it is musically complex and eloquent, and truly augments the emotional journey of the action.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
LOved this one!
Published 1 day ago by Alyce Silva
5.0 out of 5 stars A Passionate Reserve on the Top Shelf - Classic and Satisfying
What a remarkable story. This movie couldn't have been what it was without the magnificence of Lawrence Olivier as "George". Read more
Published 7 days ago by Joanie Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars It's an excellent movie but for our modern standards
It's an excellent movie but for our modern standards, it's a bit slow. Laurence Olivier is very good in his part and so is Jennifer Jones. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Margaret ross
4.0 out of 5 stars Really touching
Although it's not a happy ending movie, I found myself drawn in by the characters and the actors. Especially Laurence Olivier presents a character study that goes straight to the... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Angie
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I didn't like it
Published 12 days ago by jc
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it!
Published 17 days ago by Conrad
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this film and now I intend to read the ...
Although I haven't read Dreiser's classic novel 'Sister Carrie', which the movie was based upon, I enjoyed this film and now I intend to read the book. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great acting, but the story seemed to leave too ...
Great acting, but the story seemed to leave too much out. Liked it enough that I want to read the book to see what the censors would not let us know.
Published 27 days ago by Karen
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
OK OLD FILM BUT NOT GREAT
Published 2 months ago by Larry Snider
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies I've seen in a long time
Outstanding! One of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I'm not familiar with Laurence Olivier's full body of work but, if his performance in this film is a barometer, it... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kimberly J
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