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Mrs. Dalloway

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Product Details

  • Actors: Vanessa Redgrave, Natascha McElhone, Michael Kitchen, Rupert Graves, Lena Headey
  • Directors: Marleen Gorris
  • Writers: Eileen Atkins, Virginia Woolf
  • Producers: Simon Curtis, Christopher Ball, Hans De Weers, Bill Shepherd, Paul Frift
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2004
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001US7Q8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,718 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mrs. Dalloway" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Vanessa Redgrave, Natascha McElhone. While preparing for a lavish party in her home, an aging Englishwoman reflects on the choices she's made in life in this stirring drama. 1997/color/97 min/PG-13.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 15, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This 1997 film stars Vanessa Redgrave as Mrs. Dalloway, the Englishwoman introduced in Virginia Woolf's 1925 novel. The book used stream of consciousness to create an interior monologue for her heroine and the film is true to that, a voice-over narration letting the viewer know her interior thoughts as she goes about preparing for a party in 1923.
Mrs. Dalloway is now in her sixties, but there are flashbacks to an earlier time, when she was a young woman being pursued by beaus. She has made her choices now and has married a cabinet member and leads a comfortable life as his charming wife. In her youth she rejected the suitor who looked for adventure in India as well as the tentative hint of a friendship with a woman, which might have gone further. When both of them show up at her party, her memories surface. There's also a sub-story of a young man who has been shell-shocked from combat in The Great War and the theme of suicide runs strong throughout the plot. Even though he and Mrs. Dalloway never meet, it is clear why this character was introduced. And it is also interesting to note that Virginia Woolf herself committed suicide in 1941 at the age of 59.
Casting is excellent, acting superb. Everything is understated but yet very very clear. I also loved the cinematography and the setting of a very proper London in 1923, especially the costumes. The theme is universal as we all do look back on our lives and wonder what might have been. Also, at only 97 minutes long, the video was exactly the right length. Definitely recommended.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Collin Kelley on January 12, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of either the novel or film The Hours, then reading and watching Mrs. Dalloway is a must. The Hours was Virginia Woolf's original title for Mrs. Dalloway. Michael Cunningham cleverly took that title and turned into a novel that matches Mrs. Dalloway for its shear beauty. But this is a movie review and I can tell you that Vanessa Redgrave is brilliant in the title role. She should have been nominated for an Oscar at the very least. A day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, planning a party, remembering her life and loves. It's a lovely adaptation from Woolf's novel. And of course begins with "Mrs. Dalloway decided she would buy the flowers herself." Buy this yourself. You won't regret it.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By P. Kurkowski on October 20, 1999
I never imagined a book such as Mrs. Dalloway could be effectively adapted into film...until now. What a lark! What a plunge! Indeed... I found almost all of the characters casted for this film nearly perfect -- and of course, in my opinion, no one could play Mrs. Dalloway so subtly and touchingly as Vanessa Redgrave. What touched me most about the movie were the tantalizing returns to the youthful past, where young Clarissa plays about, laughs, and trades amusing remarks with her friends Sally and Peter Walsh, the man who who loves her helplessly, passionately. It's a moving book, and the movie does justice to the complicated and intertwined ironies of life. As an immense fan of Virginia's work, I must say the telling moment of Sally's kiss is incredibly well done. A new favorite on my video shelf, something I will return to over and over.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 25, 2004
Format: DVD
Virginia Woolf's novel "Mrs. Dalloway" examines one day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, in which the title character prepares for a party and looks back on the point in her life when she choose Richard Dalloway over Peter Walsh. Meanwhile, the mentally ill war veteran Septimus Warren Smith spends his last day on earth. The action of the novel exists primarily in the consciousness of the characters, for the story itself is essentially plotless and written in the stream-of-consciousness style of James Joyce. Although written in the omniscient third-person voice, Woolf manages to enter the consciousness of her various characters, who are not as unconnected as they might seem to be, and reveal their feelings.

Translating this novel to the screen requires that it be done by those who have a strong understanding and affection for the authors and her characters. Vanessa Redgrave is clearly one of those people and she commissioned Eileen Atkins to write the script so that she could play the title character. Atkins is a Woolf scholar who not only played the author in a one-woman stage piece but also wrote "Vita and Virginia," in which she and Redgrave played Woolf and her lover Vita Sackville-West. Atkins chooses to allow us only into the inner thoughts of Mrs. Dalloway, using voice-over narration to reveal the thoughts that she would never speak out loud. Those who have read the novel might not enjoy the film more than those who have not, since there are always limitations with bringing any literary masterpiece to the screen, but they will certainly understand it more, especially the first part of the film.

A strength of this 1997 film is how easily we accept that Natascha McElhone as the young Clarissa grows up to be Vanessa Redgrave's Mrs. Dalloway.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 16, 2003
Format: DVD
MRS. DALLOWAY, the film, has a jolting beginning: the battlefield of WWI with a scene revealing Septimus Warren-Smith in abject terror that his friend Evans is about to walk into a mine explosion, a recurring memory for this character throughout the film. One wonders how MRS DALLOWAY could start there - until the story gradually unfolds. Then this seeming idiosyncrasy is shown to be just one more bit of evidence that the screenwriter is very in tune with the meadering writing style of Virginia Woolf. What a joy to see a novel of such sophisticated complexity be adapted into a movie that is fluid, rich in characterization, thoroughly grounded in the technique of how Woolf mixed memory with present reality in her telling such an indepth history of a woman a bit out of synch with her world, all in one day in June, 1923, as she prepares one of her beloved parties. Indeed, this film suggests that life is a 'party' where new acquaintances are made, old acquaintances are at times tolerated for social reasons, and the entirety of one's past can be summoned by the surprise appearance of signifcant people. This film is blessed with the presence of Vanessa Redgrave whose Mrs Dalloway is wholly credible. But the integration of Clarissa Dalloway's past with her present is so adroit that all of the characters in the present are greatly enhanced. Her love of Peter Walsh and of Sally say a lot about Virginia Woolf's ability to define the inner aspects of her character. Oh, and by the way, the beginning of the film introduces the thread that runs throughout - Septimus elects suicide as an answer to his life's questions, and we are left wondering if this might not be a viable thought running through the mind of Clarissa Dalloway as she reflects on her life choices at the end. A brilliant cast of characters, in every role, dressed to perfection and photographed in echt, period England further enhance this wonderful film. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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