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Country Girl [VHS]


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Country Girl [VHS] + High Society [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, William Holden, Anthony Ross, Gene Reynolds
  • Directors: George Seaton
  • Writers: George Seaton, Clifford Odets
  • Producers: George Seaton, William Perlberg
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, HiFi Sound, Original recording remastered, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Paramount
  • VHS Release Date: August 11, 1998
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300215660
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,079 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In THE COUNTRY GIRL, Frank Elgin (Crosby) is a washed up actor given the chance of a lifetime to stage a comeback when director Bernie Dobb, played by William Holden, offers him the lead in a new musical. Suffering from extreme insecurity, Frank turns to his wife Georgie (Kelly) to make decisions for him, and she teams up with Bernie to boost Frank’s self-esteem despite the fact that she has grown sick of dealing with her husband’s problems.

Amazon.com

In retrospect, George Seaton's adaptation of The Country Girl seems like the movie that was made to prove that both Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly could act. The tale of an alcoholic actor and singer (Crosby) and his long-suffering wife (Kelly) whose marriage is put to the test when he gets a second chance at stardom, Clifford Odets' drama is chock full of twists and turns designed to give actors a grueling workout, with its hidden secrets, tortured love story, and frank depiction of the horrors of alcohol abuse. Crosby and Kelly sank their teeth into the meaty roles with gusto (it helped that a rock-solid William Holden was there for each to spark off of), and both were showered with accolades that remained high points of their careers. Crosby was lauded with kudos for turning his charming persona inside-out, but it was Kelly who stole the show, possibly because at the time she was one of the hardest working women in show business. In 1954, the actress appeared in four films, including the Alfred Hitchcock classics Dial M for Murder and Rear Window, and finally ascended to leading-lady status after her stellar supporting turns in High Noon and Mogambo. In typical Hollywood fashion, though, it was only when Kelly shrouded her breathtaking beauty in plain clothes and a dowdy hairdo that she was taken seriously and awarded a Best Actress Oscar--one of the most highly contested ever, as she beat out comeback star Judy Garland's ferocious performance in A Star Is Born. --Mark Englehart

Customer Reviews

This movie had good acting.
Matthew Robison
If you're expecting the happy go lucky Bing musical this is not it but shows Bing can really act.
MTS
This film with Bing Crosby, William Holden, and Grace Kelly is wonderful.
Rosella Ann Myles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sean Orlosky on December 20, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
"The Country Girl" is certainly a superior drama, one that has everything necessary to make a classic film: excellent performances, directing, script, etc. The film tells the story of an alcoholic has-been actor (Bing Crosby) who is given a chance to star in a new show by a no-nonsense director (William Holden). The actor's dowdy wife (Grace Kelly) is bitter and hard towards her husband, but has suffered and continues to suffer with his drinking after years of marriage. Soon it appears that the wife is dragging the husband down, and the director must force her to leave... when only she can stand her husband up again.
The film makes for a taut, intense drama, with a superb Oscar-winning screenplay. Crosby was nominated for an Oscar (one which I honestly feel he deserved, for his unsettling, sobering portrayal of the has-been actor). Crosby is brilliant in his role, battling the demons of his past, having a drunken fit of violence, or even lying cunningly- Crosby runs the gamut. Kelly won the Oscar for Best Actress. Well... Kelly does have some genuinely great scenes, and she adds wonderful, subtle nuances to her intense performance, and she can do everything that an actress is supposed to do with such a role (and when she yells at Holden in one scene, it is pretty scary)... but sometimes it just seems like watching Grace Kelly without makeup. Kelly was indeed a very talented actress, and the performance was certainly worthy of a nomination, but that year... I really feel that Judy Garland's performance in "A Star Is Born" is the better performance, for Garland's dramatic abilities and human honesty literally stun and tear the viewer's heart to pieces. I hate to sound so cynical, but in that performance, Kelly deglamorized herself and really acted for the first time.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By William Hare on July 13, 2005
Format: DVD
The year 1955 proved a memorable one for Grace Kelly in a number of respects, two of which involved winning an Oscar and meeting a prince who would ask her to marry him and share a kingdom with him. It sounds like the grist for a romance novel, but it all actually happened in the kingdom of Hollywood cinema.

It was the glamorous Grace Kelly that Prince Rainier of Monaco would meet on the French Riviera when she was playing a rich heiress in Alfred Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief". The irony is that in her other film that was released that same year, "The Country Girl", she won a Best Actress Academy Award by playing the only role of her short but illustrious career that was decidedly against type.

Whereas Kelly, the Philadelphia girl who became a glamorous fashion model in New York, played her natural image in every respect in two Hitchcock classics, "Rear Window" and "To Catch a Thief", she was challenged in the film in between by director George Seaton, who adapted the play of hard-boiled Depression playwright Clifford Odets to the screen in "The Country Girl".

Kelly's character is the opposite of what she appears to be in the early stages of the film. She plays the wife of hard luck Broadway actor-singer Bing Crosby, who has never been able to assuage the guilt he felt over not being able to save their son and only child from death in a New York traffic accident.

Crosby takes to alcohol and becomes extremely depressed, using Kelly as a crutch. He implores her to make decisions, including some unpopular ones that make people angry with her, all the while seeking to portray himself as an all-purpose nice guy who is relaxed and at peace with himself.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Baldwin on August 2, 2006
Format: DVD
It took a while for me to shine to "The Country Girl". It moves at a deliberate pace and there is a certain staginess to the proceedings. There is a virtue to the pacing for any discriminating viewer. Our assumptions about the characters and their relationships are dropped on their head and our initial reactions are not the correct ones. Some reviewers called the film drab but I would say it has a gritty realism. The three principals here are superb. Bing Crosby gives probably his best performance ever as the dependent alcoholic. Forget the Oscar. Forget the drab clothing and lack of makeup. Grace Kelly here delivers a performance of great complexity as the enabling spouse who has finally gotten to the end of her rope. The glue to the film is William Holden, the theatre director who acts as a surrogate for the audience in trying to sort out Crosby and Kelly's less than ideal relationship. An interesting and provocative film all around.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nix Pix on March 5, 2005
Format: DVD
"The Country Girl" is one of the finest films in Paramount's illustrious catalogue of library titles; a poignantly tragic love story with a show biz background, it stars Bing Crosby in a decided departure from his usual light-hearted form. Crosby is Frank Elgin, a one time musical comedy legend now barely holding it together between drinks and his guilt-ridden angst over a dark secret. Georgie (Grace Kelly) is Frank's emotionally prostrated wife and the only ray of hope in his life. Bernie Dodd (William Holden, is the parasitic director of a new Broadway play that affords Frank his last chance at the big time. Believing that Georgie is the cause of Frank's loneliness Bernie deliberately keeps her at bay, the net result; a burgeoning and not so unlikely romance brewing between the two.
Though outstanding in the pivotal role of Georgie, Grace Kelly's lacks what Judy Garland gave Esther Bloggett in 1954's A Star is Born or Gloria Swanson's maniacal rampages in Sunset Blvd. - these latter two nominated opposite Kelly for Best Actress at the Oscars. Ultimately Kelly walked off with the little gold bald guy which, in retrospect, was an error in judgment.
Based on the play by immanent playwright, Clifford Odet and with a brilliant underscoring from Harold Arlen and Victor Young, this classic, directed by George Seaton is a profoundly stirring cinematic drama.
Lots to be happy about with the video quality on this disc. Presented in full-screen, much of the film exhibits a sharp B&W image with a nicely balanced gray scale and deep, solid blacks. Contrast levels are bang on and film grain is minimal for a generally smooth image. This discs single failing is in the amount of dust and scratches visible. While some scenes are relatively clean others are riddle in blemishes that generally distract. The audio is Mono but very nicely preserved. There are no extra features on this disc.
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