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Six Characters in Search of an Author (Broadway Theatre Archive) (1976)

Julie Adams , Wil Albert , Stacy Keach  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Price: $24.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Six Characters in Search of an Author (Broadway Theatre Archive) + Luigi Pirandello's The Rules of the Game (Broadway Theatre Archive) + The Skin of Our Teeth (Broadway Theatre Archive)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Julie Adams, Wil Albert, Pat Ast, H.B. Barnum III, Timothy Blake
  • Directors: Stacy Keach
  • Writers: Luigi Pirandello, Paul Avila Mayer
  • Producers: George Turpin, Norman Lloyd
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: 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: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 25, 2002
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006CXGW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,747 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Six Characters in Search of an Author (Broadway Theatre Archive)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

As a group of actors prepare for a rehearsal of the play, The Rules of the Game, the television monitors create an electrical interference which replaces the images of the actors with six mysterious characters. Starring Andy Griffith and John Houseman.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was a famous (and somewhat erudite) stage play meant for 1920's audiences that was a landmark work from the "Theatre of The Absurd". This DVD presents a very unusual but great version of this play, changing the situation from a stage to a Hollywood Television studio where actors are gathered to perform a rehersal. Suddenly the professionals are interrupted by six characters who claim that they are part of a work of an author who never completed their story and are seeking to have their much more interesting drama performed. (We never know whether they really exist at all) The director, (John Houseman) listens to a very convincing arguement from "The Father" (Andy Griffith)who presents his case as to why their "play" must be done and incredibly they dominate the action from this point. There are some real surprises here! Good direction by Stacey Keach. An appearance by his son James Keach as "The Son". A unique turn in making part of the drama involve interracial romance (a major step in 1976) and perhaps the biggest stunner of all, Andy Griffith as "The Father" proves that he is more than just a simple country bumpkin sheriff in a departure from his usual nice guy roles. Of course everyone gives away the era in which this was made in dress and hairstyles (1976) but it is still an unusual and intelligent adaptation of the classic absurdist play that is worth your time and investment.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exploring the various levels of illusion and reality September 10, 2004
Luigi Pirandello's 1921 play "Six Characters in Search of an Author" ("Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore") has the deserved reputation of being the first existentialist drama and having a profound effect on later playwrights, especially those practitioners of the Theater of the Absurd such as Samuel Beckett ("Waiting for Godot"), Eugene Ionesco ("Rhinoceros"), and Jean Genet ("The Maids"). This 1976 production preserved as part of the Broadway Theater Archive series is directed by Stacy Keach and adapted by Paul Avila Mayer, who updates the work to be set in a television studio instead of a theater.

A show is being videotaped when it is interrupted by the sudden appearance of six people. The man whom we come to call simply the father (Andy Griffith) informs the television director (John Houseman) that he has an unfinished drama that needs to be performed and they only need an author to complete it. The father insists that they are not real people but characters, and the director and his cast can only laugh at the idea. But then they become intrigued by the bits and pieces of the story the six characters have to tell.

The father was once married to a peasant woman and had a son by her, but forced her to leave and live with another man. From afar he has watched her new family grow up. The widowed mother (Julie Adams) is a very emotional woman who has just lost her lover and is the only one of the six who appears to be unaware that she is only a character. The outspoken step-daughter (Beverly Todd), who was almost seduced by the father while working as a prostitute, is anxious to play out the scenes so that she can humiliate the father.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great acting July 26, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is an incredible psychological study as well as watching a play inside of a play. The acting is incredible and watching the difference between the actual characters and the actors that will play them, makes the difference between "life" and "theater" so interesting. I intend to use it in drama class to talk about characterization and having to "change the action" to fit the format. You should recognize many great actors and they do a phenomenal job.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Adaptation May 25, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I really enjoy watching this production. Fine adaptation, first-rate cast, & a good video transfer. This is a wonderful introduction to the Broadway Theatre Archive series for folks who get pained looks when you suggest "seeing a Play".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars in Search of Six Characters June 26, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had heard about this play all my life but never seen it until I went to Greensburg, Pennsylvania where it was performed by the theater group associated with Seton Hill University. It was a thrilling production to which I would give five stars. This television production from the 1970s was almost as gripping. I bought it to watch the play again so I could appreciate all its nuances. Some of the other reviewers could not get over the fact that it starred Andy Griffith, classic TV's Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, as the Father. It was certainly a rare casting choice but he pulled it off as well as anybody could have done. He brought an unexpected accent to the play. But it was by no means an insurmountable barrier to understanding and enjoying the pl\roduction. Another interesting casting choice was that the three youngest children were played by Black actors. One of the aspects of the play is the tension between the Father's oldest son and the three other children of his estranged wife by another man. The inter-racial casting in 1970s America added the tension of the times to the tension in Pirandello's plot. The setting of this production is that it all takes place in a TV studio whereas the play as written by Pirandello takes place during the rehearsal of a play in a theater. TV studios have changed a lot since the 1970s; the cameras of those times were gigantic by modern standards. I don't want to give away too much of the plot. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed this production and recommend it to you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Andy Griffith Goes Broadway
I had doubts that this would capture the spirit of the play. But it did not take long. It is a refreshing look keeping the essence of the play. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Freeman Gilbert
5.0 out of 5 stars THought provoking
As with all good movies, the ending has everything to do with the beginning, only this story could begin anywhere. Very good production.
Published 6 months ago by DavisM
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting and clever adaptation
Very entertaining and clever adaptation of Pirandello's play about Illusion and Reality
The acting is spot on and the transformation of the "theatre" setting to a TV... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Alexander Kanter
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
Great item I would recommend it! Totally met my expectations! The movie was very different which made it fun to watch.
Published 10 months ago by Maggie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great play
I love absurdist theater and this is one of my favorite. I first saw it on PBS oh those many years ago and wanted to see it again. I was not disappointed!
Published 21 months ago by Anthony S. Novosel
Published on June 3, 2012 by PEN NAME
3.0 out of 5 stars Six Characters In search of an Author
The play has much more potentials than this performance. Although it has been written about a century ago, the play's style is more advance than it time. Read more
Published on October 6, 2011 by Farid Bozorgmehr
2.0 out of 5 stars Good intentions do not a masterpiece make...
Admittedly, there is some degree of interest in this production, which is supplied most obviously by Beverly Todd, the standout performer here, as the Stepdaughter. Read more
Published on September 17, 2005 by LGwriter
2.0 out of 5 stars Six Characters
If the internet speaketh truth, Luigi Pirandello, the Nobel Prize winning (`for his bold and ingenious revival of dramatic and scenic art') was either the father, the godfather, or... Read more
Published on July 7, 2005 by Steven Hellerstedt
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