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Fugitive Kind (The Criterion Collection)

51 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Apr 27, 2010)
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The Criterion Collection
$23.25 $14.61
(Nov 08, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Four Academy Award­–winning actors—Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward, and Maureen Stapleton—sink their teeth into this enthralling drama, which brings together the legendary talents of director Sidney Lumet and writer Tennessee Williams. A smoldering, snakeskin-jacketed Brando is Val Xavier, a guitar-strumming drifter trying to go straight. He finds work and solace in a southern small-town variety store run by Lady Torrance (Magnani), who’s lonely, sexually frustrated, and abused by her vile, deathly ill husband, and who proves as much a temptation for Val as local wild child Carol (Woodward). Lumet captures the intense, fearless performances and Williams’s hot-blooded storytelling and social critique with his customary restraint, resulting in a drama of uncommon sophistication and craft.

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • New video interview with Lumet
  • New documentary featuring Robert Bray and R. Barton Palmer
  • A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Thomson
  • Plus ! Three Plays by Tennessee Williams, an hour-long TV presentation

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Marlon Brando, Joanne Woodward, Anna Magnani, Maureen Stapleton, Victor Jory
    • Directors: Sidney Lumet
    • Writers: Meade Roberts, Tennessee Williams
    • Producers: George Justin, Martin Jurow, Richard Shepherd
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
    • Language: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Number of discs: 2
    • Rated: Unrated
    • Studio: Criterion
    • DVD Release Date: April 27, 2010
    • Run Time: 121 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0035ECI12
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,602 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Fugitive Kind (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Roberto Frangie on December 30, 2006
    Format: DVD
    Tennessee Williams was a stunning writer for the theater... The impact of his plays can overwhelm an audience with its superior force...

    Written in 1957, "Orpheus Descending" is a reconstruction of Williams' 1940 "Battle of Angels," filmed under Sidney Lumet's direction as "The Fugitive Kind."

    Williams subtracted elements of the ancient myth of Orpheus and Euridice to examine the sadistically patriarchal Southern Gothic town and to create a violent plot, involving ruined love, weakness, sex, betrayal, vengeance and lingering hatreds... "Orpheus Descending" shows how social prejudice threatens the lives of identified outsiders...

    This classic play is not quite his masterpiece... "A Streetcar Named Desire" is... It lacks some of the regretful charm of "The Glass Menagerie" and the entire impact of "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof." Nevertheless it is a deeply moving work of art...

    Williams was known for his compelling dialog and themes that - for their time - often seemed strange or shocking... He vividly suggested the sexual tensions and prevented violence of his tormented character, usually with compassion as well as irony...

    The film focuses on a handsome drifter from New Orleans, named Val Xavier, wearing a snake skin jacket - Williams' trademark of a rebel, non-conformist - Val is a "fugitive kind" who comes in off the highway... He is a rural Orpheus who descends to rescue his love, not in Hades precisely, but among the intrigue, chatter, and violence of the hot-tempered town of Two Rivers, Mississippi... He is a wandering guitar player who embarks on an affair with a lonely frustrated unhappy storekeeper's wife Lady Torrance...

    Anna Magnani is intelligently sensual and charming as Lady...
    Read more ›
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    38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2000
    Format: VHS Tape
    I recently saw this film in a class of mine, and afterwards I was compelled to buy it. This film embodies the idea that silence is more powerful than words. Some people may find this film boring and slow, but those who do have not felt the intense connection you get by watching someone--the way they move, observe, think--and by understanding their human emotion. Though the story in general is simple--two strange and peculiar characters fall in love--the thoughtful lighting, the ambient music, the disorienting camera angles, the sharp acting..they all unite to create a complicated layer of emotions that provoke you. On the silver screen, these characters will go down as silent heroes to those who ever felt they were misunderstood by most. This film is a peculiar classic with peculiar characters, but nonetheless brilliant.
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    58 of 68 people found the following review helpful By matt on June 20, 2006
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    The aspect ratio is fake.

    The top and bottom of the regular full screen version has been cropped out of the picture to give the illusion your getting a widescreen - what your getting is less picture!

    The studios should label the DVD's as they did when they cropped VHS video picture " this film has been modified to fit you tv screen" as in modified to fit a 16x9 tv in this case.

    You have already lost one third of the picture when it was modified to full screen, now you loose an additional one third to one fourth of the movies image!

    The reason leterbox and widescreen has a demand, is that the audience or consumer wants to view the Movie as it was filmed and framed by the filmaker, and not loose out on portions of the movie that the director intended.

    In other words the idea to release in widescreen was for the intention of showing MORE not LESS of the movies image.

    The studios believe they can get away with this, since the average buyer does not have a full screen video version to compare with, or the consumer is just unaware.

    I compared this DVD to a full screen VHS version, and in many cases where some DVD's come with both Full & Wide Screen on a flip disc, compare them before watching, many of the widesreen sides are just chopped versions of the full screen.

    The picture quality is great on this and most DVD's, it is unfortunate though that it has to be a conciliation for cropped picture.
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    15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By RareRare on October 11, 2005
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    "The Fugitive Kind" is one of the truest cinematic interpretations of Tennessee Williams' works. Several screen translations of his plays soften his views and/or give them watered down endings. Take "Streetcar" for example: in the play Stella stays with Stanley, but in the film she takes her baby and leaves swearing she'll never set foot in their house again. In the stage version of "Sweet Bird of Youth" Chance Wayne is castrated like a dog for his wrong doings and for growing old. Only "The Fugitive Kind" "Night of the Iguana" and "The Last of the Memphis HOT-SHOTS" really stay true to Williams' vision of human existence.

    However, the latter two plays cannot match the cast of "The Fugitive Kind." Nowhere else in cinematic history can you find such powerful and engrossing performances from everyone: in-depth close-ups of Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward, Maureen Stapleton (the original Broadway "Lady Torrance") and Victor Jory in a harrowing performance.

    I used to go to the Carnegie Hall Cinema every time "The Fugitive Kind" was shown and bask in the black and white beauty of Tennessee Williams' cry from the the heart. I own the video and have waited forever it seems for "Fugitive" to appear on DVD. However, I cannot tell if this version in widescreen or not. If not, I'll just keep my VHS version.
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