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Five Finger Exercise


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Editorial Reviews

The hit Broadway drama by Peter Shaffer (Amadeus) is vividly brought to the screen by director Daniel Mann (The Rose Tattoo) and screenwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett (It's A Wonderful Life). The inimitable Rosalind Russell tears into the role of a wealthy Bay Area matriarch whose already shaky relations with her family - including her henpecked husband (Jack Hawkins, Lawrence of Arabia) and "sensitive" son (Richard Beymer, West Side Story) - are further strained when they take in a handsome music tutor (Academy Award(r)-winner Maximilian Schell; 1961, Best Actor, Judgment at Nuremberg), who has one or two secrets of his own. Russell's real-life husband, Frederick Brisson, produced both the stage and film versions of this gripping tale, considered extremely daring for its time. Newly remastered.

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Hawkins, Annette Gorman, Richard Beymer, Rosalind Russell, Maximillian Schell
  • Directors: Daniel Mann
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: SPHE
  • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2011
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004CZRDZ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,123 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Five Finger Exercise" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Edward on March 23, 2012
Format: DVD
Shown recently on TCM and seen for the first time by me, Daniel Mann's film version of Peter Shaffer's two-act family drama "Five Finger Excercise" is a clinical example of how a screen transition can do almost everything wrong. The setting has been changed from an English country home to a California getaway, and the characters have consequently been altered to seem more American. For instance, the son's name has been changed from Clive to Phillip and there are no references to Monte Carlo. Opening scenes are much too light, the sparkly music score and the kid sister's bouncy personality preparing the viewer for all the solemnity of a sitcom. The acting doesn't help what should be a sobering mood. Rosalind Russell is the overbearing mother, but whereas on the stage Jessica Tandy made Louise an intimidating matriarch, Russell makes her simply irritating, the type of hostess who could kill a cocktail party in ten minutes. Granted, she's a poseuse who gets "Electra" mixed up with "Oedipus Rex", but Russell handles all this with fluttery gestures and a nonchalant voice, very much like an ignorant version of Auntie Mame. The result is we can't take her drive very seriously. The urbane Jack Hawkins (who, oddly enough, was once married to Jessica Tandy) is woefully miscast and overacts as a coarse businessman, sarcastic to his wife and unsympathetic to his son. And poor Richard Beymer: he has all the stilted screen presence of a Ken doll, not at all involved in the scenes with other characters. As a gentle live-in tutor dealing with this impossible family, Maximilian Schell tries hard to be convincingly charming, though one gets a little weary of his Old World grinning and bowing.Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am somewhat surprised at the plethora of poor reviews on this gem of a movie. Sure, it has its moments, but it is most definitely better than the crap one may find on television or the movie theater in today's world. Ms. Russell is wonderful in this movie, as well as Maximilian. I find myself able to hang to the story line, even though at times it seems to be over acted and filled with sugary fluff. I recommend this movie to any Russell or early sixties movie fan.
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By Kenjiro on May 18, 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
excellent acting by Richard Beymer, the rest, mediocre
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