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Our Town (1940)

William Holden , Martha Scott , Sam Wood  |  NR |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: William Holden, Martha Scott, Fay Bainter, Beulah Bondi, Thomas Mitchell
  • Directors: Sam Wood
  • Writers: Frank Craven, Harry Chandlee, Thornton Wilder
  • Producers: Sol Lesser
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Focus Film
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2001
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305838208
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,094 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Our Town" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Change comes slowly to a small New Hampshire town in the early 20th century. People grow up, get married, live, and die. Milk and the newspaper get delivered every morning, and nobody locks their front doors.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
100 of 108 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Run Away!!! October 3, 2001
Our Town is an underrated classic, and I would recomend it to anyone. However, this is without a doubt the worst DVD transfer I've ever seen. To be honest, I'm not sure I've ever seen a truly clean copy of this movie, but I've seen better than this. The audio is the main problem here, as much of the dialogue is indecipherable. I can't believe anyone would have the nerve to release a film in this's an outrage.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars no sound - need i say more? June 1, 2008
I have ordered this DVD twice now, as the first one was defective and a replacement copy soon arrived to take its place. However, both copies had the same basic problem - NO SOUND WHATSOEVER! These appear to be the worst bootleg copies imaginable - scratchy picture (fine, it's an old film, without the benefit of restoration), . . . BUT NO SOUND???
Not negotiable, in my view - steer clear of this one, and please, Amazon, take it off your market and replace it with a quality version, if one exists!
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very appealing story you'll watch over and over again December 29, 1998
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I've seen this movie countless times, yet each time, I discover something new. As history, it is an excellent look back at life in the early 1900's. The sets and scenes teach great lessons about what day-to-day life what like 100 years ago. The houses, stores and dress are all remarkable. The movie has a great cast and a great message. Every moment of life is precious far beyond what we may see from our current perspective. We all tend to sail through life without taking a moment to savor all the little blessings of each day. Watching this movie, I sometimes wish I could crawl into the video and live in Grover's Corners for just a day or two. It looks so lovely and simple and peaceful and inspiring.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Our Town - Reel Classic Films May 14, 2008
Extremely poor video reproduction. If I had known I never would have purchased this. You have been warned!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Ending is Wrong October 3, 2005
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This version of the play is quite faithful to the original play by Thornton Wilder until the third act. Well, there is that little bit just before the wedding when George and Emily each have their separate moments of cold feet and their parents remind them of how much they are in love with their intended spouses and how the family is depending on them to go through with the wedding---the movie did skip that little bit in Act Two. But Act Three is very different from the original play. We get voice-over as the camera scans the graveyard and only after the camera pans the sky of sparkling stars do we see the dead sitting on chairs and talking---clearly the audience is supposed to think these people are in heaven. I really think Thorton Wilder clearly states that the people in the cemetery are in the process of forgetting their old lives and preparing for what comes after, so I don't think Wilder wanted us to think they were in heaven yet. And then to top it all off, Emily lives--the whole funeral procession, the coming back to see herself celebrate her 16th birthday (in the play it is her 12th birthday, but Martha Scott looked way too old for 12)and the being frustrated that life went by too fast and she did not take time to really reach out to the people she loved----it all turns out to be a dream! I have not been so disappointed since Patrick Duffy stepped out of the shower and an entire season of "Dallas" turned out to be a dream. When I showed this part to my students, they started yelling at the screen that it was just wrong, that the third act in this version missed the whole point that Wilder was trying to make in his play. The sound and lighting were good, a little fuzzy, as it represented a blurred look at life a century ago. Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its not nearly as bad as they say... February 17, 2003
Don't be afraid of the reviews, while sure its not a "Lucas film" quality DVD, its still a beautiful production. It leads are wonderful its story beautiful, it ending heartbreaking and touching. How could anyone not love this film! Oh of course the stage version is better, and its maybe not something that was meant to be transferred to film but I would say they did a a pretty great job considering the feat of turning some so theatrical and stagey into an epic romance. You will come out of this film the way you should... perhaps a little more appreciative of your life.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood-ized Our Town October 7, 2003
Our Town is a play that brings a simple message in a very compelling way; one of my favorite stories of all time. I can say that the people behind this motion picture version trivialized the ending of the story, and took back some of what the story gives. But this moive is from the forties, and that was the Hollywood style back then.

Despite the ending, this still manages to be a wonderful sensitive rendition of Our Town.

Technically, the print is poor quality, but the depth of the story made me forget about the print quality while I was watching it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 star movie, questionable transfer April 14, 2003
This movie is terrific. William Holden especially gives a sincere and touching performance as the young George Gibbs. The story is beautifully told despite the tacked on Hollywood ending; I think we all still get the message! My mission now is to find a DVD worthy of the content. I notice that there are at least two editions on the market. Before I shell out any more hard earned cash (I am a poor Film History student) I wondered if anybody out there could let me know of a better quality copy? Also anybody who enjoyed this movie should check out Sam Wood's fantastic KIngs Row.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Weird Flick
This movie presents a slice of life from small town America. It stars a young William Holden along with such great character actors as Guy Kibbee, Thomas Mitchell, Fay Bainter,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Anthony J. Cavaliere
2.0 out of 5 stars POOR PRODUCTION
Our Town is one of my favorite plays. This production, however, lacked the poignancy of so many other versions I've seen. It was certainly not as ethereal as any of them.
Published 3 months ago by carol zyla
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a very sweet movie
So true to what was the "good old days". Love Bill Holden and the narrator was great. You felt like you were looking in their windows for the joy you could find.
Published 3 months ago by Jeanette Jenkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful play, acceptable black and white, excellent actors
This is a great classic play that initially requirers patience, but gives a revelatory payoff at the end. One of the few plays I want to revisit periodically.
Published 4 months ago by emil R Waldmann
3.0 out of 5 stars Famous Old Movie
I thought that I'd like this, but the sound quality was so poor that I couldn't understand a thing they were saying so didn't finish watching it.
Published 4 months ago by Kitty
3.0 out of 5 stars LIving in the Past
Our Town was a show I remembered from hight school but I couldn't
remember all about it. It's good but slow compared to todays shows.
Published 6 months ago by Sylvia Gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed going retro...the good movies
I really liked this movie because it is not like the new movies. Just a good story with a dialogue that anyone can watch. It makes you want to live simply like they did back then.
Published 8 months ago by NanaPaula
3.0 out of 5 stars Restoration Needed! IF POSSIBLE
I always find it sad that films left to the public domain are of the most horrific picture/sound quality. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Prof. Cleaver
3.0 out of 5 stars Our Town
I rented this movie for my 7th grade classes to watch after reading the play. It held their attention, even though it is such an old, black and white movie. Read more
Published 11 months ago by hatterasmom3
3.0 out of 5 stars Some questionable directorial choices, but otherwise fine.
Our Town (Sam Wood, 1940)

Sam Wood's 1940 film adaptation of Our Town was a missed opportunity from the very start. "Ill-conceived" is a great way to describe it. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Robert Beveridge
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Topic From this Discussion
Is there ANY quality DVD copy of "Our Town"?
Not at the moment, unfortunately. If you're ever able to find a used copy of the OOP Unicorn edition, I think you'll find it the best of currently available prints. Far from good, but probably the best you'll find for the foreseeable future. Though the DVD cover says 'digitally remastered,... Read more
Jul 19, 2012 by C. G. Mercer |  See all 3 posts
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