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Madame X [VHS]

4.3 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Actors: Lana Turner, John Forsythe, Ricardo Montalban, Burgess Meredith, John Van Dreelen
  • Directors: David Lowell Rich
  • Writers: Alexandre Bisson, Jean Holloway
  • Producers: Ross Hunter
  • Format: Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • VHS Release Date: January 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300183920
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,473 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Madame X on VHS featuring Lana Turner and John Forsythe

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
"Madame X" was already an old story before Lana Turner and producer Ross Hunter decided to adapt it to the big screen. It was written in 1909 by Alexandre Bisson and had already had several movie adaptations, including one in 1929 which had made its star, Ruth Chatterton, the first major new dramatic actress of the talkies. In the early 1960's, Lana Turner was looking for a great vehicle which would reactivate her independent production company. After screening the 1937 version of "Madame X" (starring Gladys George), Lana eagerly discussed the idea of another remake with Ross Hunter. Hunter was the last of the producers who specialized in "women's pictures," and he easily sold the idea to the executives at Universal.

In 1962, Turner and Hunter bought the story rights from MGM and entered into a co-production deal involving Hunter's "crew" and Turner's own Eltee Productions. However, filming was delayed until April 1965, mainly due to disagreements over the script. Lana Turner hadn't had a really great role since 1959`s "Imitation of Life" (which was also produced by Ross Hunter), but her extraordinary performance in "Madame X" turned out to be the greatest of her entire career. It's simply a crime that she wasn't even nominated for an Oscar. Nearly all her fans both then and now agree that if ever Lana deserved an Oscar it was for "Madame X".

Lana Turner plays Holly Anderson, the wife of a wealthy diplomat. Neglected by her husband Clay (John Forsythe), she is slowly led astray and seduced by Phil Benton (Ricardo Montalban), a wolf with the ladies. When Holly tries to end their affair, Phil loses control of his temper, and during their struggle, he falls down a flight of stairs and is killed.
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Format: VHS Tape
A film reviewer who has little respect for Lana Turner's abilities as an actress once wrote that in this film she gave the best portrayal of a hangover of any actress he'd ever seen. Turner's directors all have said that she was a vastly underrated actress who was capable of memorable performances, that she was at her best portraying characters that she could identify with, and that she had little self-confidence and required sensitive direction. When you watch Madame X, be aware that Turner's personal life, if anything, was even more tragic than the events in this film. Three miscarriages, two abortions, a suicide attempt, multiple marriages--some of which were to abusive men, the murder of her father when she was only nine years old, the sexual abuse of her daughter by one of her husbands, the ghastly Stompanato murder, her daughter's confinement in a mental hospital and subsequent suicide attempt, Turner's struggle with depression and alcoholism, and more horrors haunted this actress's life. A writer once commented that Turner's early life was characterized by desperate poverty, abandonment, and sadistic cruelty. That Lana Turner managed to overcome all of this and sustain a movie career for more than thirty years is remarkable. Although the plot devices in this film are hokey and manipulative, Turner plays the character with absolute conviction and honesty. Her tear-drenched scenes with her little son, her desperate pleading to keep him seem to come from some place deep in her soul--not from mere acting. She is also totally convincing as she portrays Holly's addiction to absinthe. The courtroom scene in which she appears to crack under the pressure is harrowing. What other actress of her generation managed this kind of acting? Bette Davis comes close, perhaps.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
This is, perhaps, the mother of all tear-jerkers. And this is, without a doubt, Lana Turner's finest performance. She plays a beautiful woman who becomes involved in a horrible accident and to avoid having her son be haunted by the scandal must go away and seek a new identity. There is, of course, much more to this dramatic soaper, but I don't dare give anything more away. It is truly an emotional experience, but the best part of the film is Turner. She is magnificent and proved once and for all that she had the skills to match her beauty and glamour. Constance Bennett, as Lana's bitter mother-in-law, also turns in a fine performance in what would be her final role.
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Format: VHS Tape
To know how this movie will effect you is to know something about me. I've worked on the stage a good portion of my life in all kinds of emotional settings. I'm tatooed, a biker, into the leather scene, really nice guy but hardcore in all my endeavers.......But seeing this movie turns me to MUSH!!!I can not get thru this film without a serious cry. This is the ultimate cry film. Your heart, as long as you have one, will break by the end of this film. It's the most wonderful Lana Turner film out. Of course "Imatation of Life" is a close second.If you want to sit and sob and sob get this film. It will make you a better man.
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Format: VHS Tape
Lana Turner is terrific as the pawn of destiny in this elaborate soap opera; it's a plot that could fill five seasons of daytime drama, all wrapped up in one improbable but incredibly entertaining film. It isn't Shakespeare, but for suds, it's tops.
Turner plays Holly Parker, the "little shop girl from San Francisco" who marries a man of immense wealth and ambition, and as a package deal, along with the mansion in Connecticut comes his implacable mother, who has plans for sonny boy, and tells Holly she should have "stayed on the other side of the counter".
John Forsythe plays Holly's husband Clay Anderson with charm and elegance, and Keir Dullea is their grown son. Ricardo Montalban (who starred with Turner 13 years earlier in the charming comedy "Latin Lovers") is the man who tries to seduce her, and Estelle, the scheming mother, is played to the hilt by Constance Bennett, in what was to be her last film.
Burgess Meredith does a marvelous turn as a slimy character Holly meets in a Mexican motel, and the way the rooms are decorated in these scenes is priceless; kudos also go to the make-up department in this section of the film, and Ms. Turner's ability to transform herself. This film proves that she was exceedingly underrated as an actress.
Well paced direction by David Lowell Rich, a lovely score by Frank Skinner, and lavish gowns by Jean Louis make this a memorable melodrama, and save your biggest hanky for the end, which though contrived, is still good for many heartfelt sobs. Total running time is 100 minutes.
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