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Look Back in Anger [VHS] (1989)

Kenneth Branagh , Emma Thompson , Judi Dench  |  NR |  VHS Tape
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Gerard Horan, Siobhan Redmond, Edward Jewesbury
  • Directors: Judi Dench
  • Writers: John Osborne
  • Producers: David Parfitt, Humphrey Barclay, Moira Williams
  • Format: Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: February 14, 1995
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302041406
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,321 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Filmed stage production of John Osborne's play centered upon an educated lower class British man who is burdened by his own ego and unfulfilled potential.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
(10)
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exhausting, cathartic emotional experience. January 14, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This is minimalist filmed version of a play originally directed for the stage by Judi Dench. In my opinion, it's also Kenneth Branagh's finest screen performance. For a full two hours, he is Jimmy Porter, the man you want to hate but can't help but love. He's one of the educated lower class, burdened by ego and unfulfilled potential. He's an urban lion with a huge heart and claws that constantly torture those around him, namely his wife (Emma Thompson).
These characters are so real, you'll dream about them afterward, and if you give it a chance, this film will work its way into your heart and teach you something about life.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not What You Would Expect July 27, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Don't get me wrong, it is an excellent play. Well-acted and well-directed, but for Kenneth Branagh's USA fans, the character of Jimmy is a little tough to take at first. However, once you get some background on the characters, you find yourself very involved in the story. Fair warning, this is a play for adults and is very emotionally (usually negatively) charged. Don't be put off by that fact, though. The excellent performances alone make it well-worth watching.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Just In . . . April 21, 2006
Format:DVD
This movie is for anyone who didn't handle their past relationships perfectly and who wants to understand they are not alone in the mistakes they made.

I agree with another reviewer - this is my favorite Kenneth Brannagh performance. I've enjoyed him in other things, but I usually find myself looking at the screen and thinking, "Hey, there's charismatic Kenneth Branagh doing a charismatic acting performance." But his charisma is well placed in this part, playing Jimmy Porter, a man whose ideas are larger than his station, who is overwrought with the limitations of his era.

Jimmy: "They all want to escape from the pain of being alive, and most of all from love . . . It's no good trying to fool yourself about love, you can't fall into it like a soft job without dirtying up your hands. It takes muscle and guts. And if you can't bare the thought of messing up your nice, clean soul . . . then you'd better . . . become a saint, because you'll never make it as a human being. It's either this world or the next."

I don't know if the title of the play is ironic, sarcastic, tragic or literal - probably all four and more.

Jimmy: "You made a good enemy, didn't you? What they call a worthy opponent."
Alison: "I love you."

Alison: "You know, I keep looking back as far as I can remember, and I can't remember what it was to feel young . . . really young."

I titled this review "This Just In" because I feel kind of silly reviewing a movie that came out 17 years ago. But I recommend it because Judy Dench's choice to film the movie like a stage play was exceptional. A point of this play is to look at human relations in the confines of a small living space, small social circle, and British social constructs.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this film! May 8, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I'm usually not too keen on plays done on film, but this one was really well done. Judi Dench did a very good job directing, and Branagh and Thompson worked really well together, as always. Everyone ought to see this film at least once.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Primative yet spellbinding! April 4, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I am Kenneth Branagh's biggest fan so I set out to see and own every one of his movies. This one threw me a little bit when I realized it was taped in a play format but it also captivated me and I enjoyed every second of it! It was almost like it was completely adlibbed and it was amazing to watch all the characters play off each other perfectly.
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