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Lily Tomlin: The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (1992)

Lily Tomlin , Clay Walker , John Bailey  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lily Tomlin, Clay Walker
  • Directors: John Bailey
  • Writers: Jane Wagner
  • Producers: Ginny Nugent, Paula Mazur
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Laugh.Com
  • DVD Release Date: November 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BNI9CC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,642 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lily Tomlin: The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Lily Tomlin, one of America's foremost comediennes, continues to venture across an ever-widening range of media, starring in television, theater, motion pictures, animation, video, and personal appearances throughout the United States. During her extraordinary entertainment career, Tomlin has received numerous awards, including: six Emmys; a Tony for her one woman Broadway show, Appearing Nitely; a second Tony as Best Actress, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics' Circle Award for her one woman performance in Jane Wagner's The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe; a CableAce Award for Executive Producing the film adaptation of The Search; a Grammy for her comedy album, This is a Recording as well as nominations for her subsequent albums Modern Scream, And That's the Truth, and On Stage; a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for Nashville, and two Peabody Awards--the first for the ABC television special, Edith Ann's Christmas: Just Say No‰l and the second for narrating and executive producing the HBO film, The Celluloid Closet. The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe is a kind of Gulliver's Travelogue on the latter half of the 20th Century.1 Serving as narrator is Trudy, a mad bag lady who has befriended aliens from outer space to take a look at ''a planet in puberty.'' Trudy treads her way through the rich tapestry of the dozen characters that populate the play. This is a compendium of pop history, a living anthropological exhibit. But it is also a chronicle of the human heart, trying to mend its bruises and ease its isappointments. Never before seen bonus features include hilarious outtakes, conversations with Lily and Jane, writer's and actor's notes, archival footage and more!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lily Tomlin's amazing show February 10, 2005
By tv fan
Format:VHS Tape
This is the masterpiece of the Tomlin and Wagner team. Jane Wagner the writer and Lily Tomlin the amazingly versatile performer. I'm a mega Lily fan ten times over and this movie is why. For those unfamiliar with "Search" you should know that this is a filmed version of a one-woman show originally produced on Broadway in 1985. On stage Lily used NO costumes or props WHATSOEVER. She appeared as you see her in just a simple blouse and slacks. For this film they incorporated Lily in costume for some parts so the viewer gets the best of both worlds; to see it as it was performed live on stage and also to take advantage of seeing what the characters look like were Lily performing for a film. It is really neat to watch.

But the main reason for watching this film is for the performance and the material itself which is thought provoking, funny, touching, intelligent, interwoven, philisophical and brilliant. Lily won a Tony award as Best Actress In A Play in 1986 for her performance. She deserved it.

Watch this film and be knocked out.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This is a profound, hilarious, frank, compassionate and loving look at human beings and our strange relationship with normalcy and the absurd. Lily Tomlin's performance has to be seen to be believed--and you will believe! And Jane Wagner's words are a privilege to hear. Wonderful insights, and some witty quips you'll be eager to repeat.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This video is a must-see! November 17, 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Tomlin's act, in which she portrays 12 separate characters, is pulled off without technical wizardry or extensive props. She is able, quite remarkably, to convince the viewer that she IS all of these women and that she inhabits their worlds. This is easily one of the funniest and most sophisticated skits I've ever seen. Watch it and you'll never view life (or Post-It notes, for that matter) in quite the same way.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lily Tomlin's brilliant film April 27, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I had the great opportunity and fortune to see Lily Tomlin perform live, where she brought some of the wonderfully spicy characters from this film (which was originally a very successful, long-running play) to the stage. This film is really hard to describe. It is truly like no movie I have ever seen, and definitely not at all Hollywood. (i.e. no burning buildings, car crashes, obligatory sex scenes, pimps, or drug dealers....though, there are a couple of hookers as featured characters) This film is all Lily--literally. She is every character from the Midwestern farmwife, to the fifteen year old punk rocker, to the aerobics instructor, to three very diverse feminists taking a look back at the last twenty years as times change, and so do political views. A friend of mine in theatre who had a colleague who worked with Lily when she toured with this show told me she would spend hours literally staring at the black staircase and bare set, planning the choreography of every movement, expression and retort. Also, she required that the staircase be repainted every night....though, this may sound a little obsessive, after you see the film you will see how much she must have worn out the stage! Just the floor alone gets a real workout with all of her dancing, prancing, jumping, and pacing. It also really makes you think. Are there signs of intelligent life in the universe, or are we all just kidding ourselves?
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Work Of Genius February 24, 2006
Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin are geniuses . my partner and I got the movie version of their place, "The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe" , and we were simply struck by it. We had read the play before, but Lily Tomlin's masterful performance truly brings everything together. The play is beautiful and intelligent, and it should definitely be considered one of the most significative plays of the last half of the 20th century. When Trudy delivers her final monologue, it is a hard man who does not feel anything at those last words.

If you buy a movie in the next few months, make this one your movie.

If you walk away with anything from this play, it should be the knowledge to distinguish between Soup and Art.

And what do I mean by that? Well, you'll just have to see the play now, won't you?
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tomlin: American Treasure.... May 18, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
...Before this Tomlin and Wagner did a series of Off-broadway productions and TV sketch like scenarios that led to this great number. Poigant, intelligent and verrry funny, you wish for Tomlin's "In Search..." showcase to never end and you find yourself quoting lines..about fearing that drugs have made us more creative than we really are, that certain businesses ae so big they really don't care about Joe or Joanne Customer...or recalling some offbeat, but true wisdom spewed by Trudy the Bag Lady. One of the greatest one-woman shows ever done. See it and be amazed and entertained.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lily Tomlin - In Seach for Signs July 25, 2005
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This is a really interesting film version of the Broadway show.. although to be honest the live aspect of the show makes it a little more impressive..... most of the tape is live but there are occassionally cut aways to her as the costumed version of the characters she is playing.... overall it is a pretty good version of a live theatre experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She is always fabulous! May 26, 2001
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Recently I saw her performing the piece in New York again and she is fabulous! The video does capture her energy and incredible talent. This video was long shot, but time is not a matter for Lily, she is always fabulous: the way she looks, the way she acts, dance, speaks,...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT Theatre
You cannot go wrong with Lily Tomlin. Seriously, you can't. Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner are amazing artists, and "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rebecca
1.0 out of 5 stars not the movie i wanted.
I was looking for a different movie and haven't even opened it. disappointed. I mistake though not the sellers. sorry.
Published 4 months ago by luann carrington
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect.
Just as promised.

I love strawberry jam. I wish I had more strawberry jam. I would bathe in it.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
Received quickly! Just as described. Great quality and a wonderful movie! It had the cats attention the entire movie. I would recommend purchasing from this company.
Published 6 months ago by Christina
1.0 out of 5 stars What a juvenile farce.not worth buying !!!
Totally juvenile...not worth purchasing. Let alone viewing.a real waste of plastic that is used to make the dvd it's printed on...
Published 7 months ago by nervous 51
4.0 out of 5 stars Second time around
I like this but it wasn't as great as I remembered. Sometimes the second time around it just isn't the same.
Published 9 months ago by Sharon Dewees
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic performance by one of my favorite actresses
A tour de force, where Tomlin plays so many characters, it's almost dizzying. What a talent!

Great script by Jane Wagner -- she really captures the rhythm and worldview... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Kate Grace
5.0 out of 5 stars are you SERIOUS?
you haven't SEEN this?
WOW! are YOU in for a treat!!! this shows the lennon/mccartneyism of tomlin/wagner... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Isaac Mizrahi
5.0 out of 5 stars The best from Lily and Jane
Saw the live show a different times and loved it. Had to have the movie for when we couldn't see Lily live. Pretty much condenses certain periods in time.
Published 11 months ago by jay r. leininger
5.0 out of 5 stars Lily Tomlin's talent shines
This movie is funny, insightful and thought-provoking. It is a fascinating production, a fine reflection of Lily Tomlin's outstanding talent.
Published 12 months ago by Dana O Quittner
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