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La Boheme


List Price: $17.99
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$14.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Mimi and Rodolphe's tragic love has been immortalized as a novel, a play, a Puccini opera, the inspiration for Broadway's Rent and in film - including this superb version. King Vidor (The Big Parade) directs two of the greatest stars of the silent-film era: Lillian Gish, frail and lovely as Mimi, and John Gilbert, all artistic fire as the aspiring playwright Rodolphe. Living in the Bohemian district of 1830 Paris, the two suffer through poverty, jealousy and heartbreaking separation. The peerless Gish brought conviction to Mimi's death scene by refusing water for three days, displaying the dedication that helped the actress create "one of her most affecting portrayals of tremulous pathos" (John Douglas Eames. The MGM Story).

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lillian Gish, John Gilbert, Renee Adoree, George Hassell, Roy D'Arcy
  • Directors: King Vidor
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: April 21, 2010
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003IKNCXQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,350 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "La Boheme" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
67%
4 star
33%
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Steve Perlowski on January 23, 2010
Format: DVD
Puccini, along with his librettists (Illica and Giacosa), brought a bourgeois sentimentality to Henri Murger's 1851 earthy novel ("Scenes de la Vie Boheme"), but oh what a whitewash. La Boheme premiered in 1896 (under the baton of Toscanini), and it has remained among the most popular of operas for well over a hundred years now.

King Vidor's silent movie classic owes most (not all) of its cinematic focus to Puccini's opera rather than the harder-edged novel by Murger. Sadly, however, the composer was already dead two years, when the MGM film made it to the silver screen in 1926.

Had Puccini been alive to see it, he would have been moved to blissful tears by the incredibly astonishing (dramatic) portrayal of his frail, consumptive heroine, Mimi, by the "First Lady of the Silent Screen," Lillian Gish. As an actress, Gish was without peer. She had the most expressive eyes, the most delicate face, and she can't have weighed more than a small canary. [I've read that Irving Thalberg actually referred to her, as Mimi.]

That being said, this is a fine film. John Gilbert is persuasive, as Rodolphe, (if a bit over the top, in a couple of scenes), and the movie, quite effectively, uses Puccini's melodies to complement the film's poignant pathos.

Given its age, the film has been, surprisingly, well preserved. Technically, the only complaint I have is a very minor one: in about three spots the film needed to be paused because the cue cards were flashed on the screen too quickly to be read (Warner should have had the diligence to fix this easily remedied glitch). Lastly, I would mention that it can be purchased relatively cheaply at Warner Archive (the listed price of which also includes shipping).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David L. Gill on February 11, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
MGM let Gilbert and Gish loose on this film. It's the old story, immortalized by Puccini's opera and adapted in such films today as "Rent," influencing still others such as "Moulin Rouge" (Gilbert gets WAY more jealous than MacGregor does...but Roy D'Arcy's Count set a high bar for Richard Roxburgh's Duke to clear. One even wonders if Roxburgh has seen this or other D'Arcy films).

The music, at times, seems cobbled together and not terribly well-selected. But this is moderately forgivable and is not why this product got 4/5 stars from me.

On more than one occasion, the title cards were on the screen for such a short time that I could not read them and had to go back, frame by frame to find them. (I'm a really fast reader, too...I read Gone with the Wind in 3 days' time in the 8th grade.) It would've killed no one in the video department at Warner to stretch-print the title cards (or just stopped the digital transfer long enough to make them readable) so that they could be read.

The obvious thing about the Warner Archive DVDs is that they are taken from the prints as-is...no restoration. That's all well and good. But if one can't figure out what's being said...come on. Let's use some judgment and make the titles appear long enough to read them.

Great movie even so. A must-have for any Gish or Gilbert fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ARMAND DUVAL on February 1, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The ultimate Boheme - Lillian Gish is so incredibly moving you don't miss the sound or Puccini music at all.Gilbert is great to but not in her league.
It is a very beautiful film and captures the period and story perfectly.
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