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Top Customer Reviews
Does the studio actually think that diluting the film to "reposition" it (ergo, move it from an R to a PG rating) is going to dramatically grow its appeal? The core market for this DVD is the universe of film fans old enough to fondly remember seeing the original theatrical release in the early 1980s -- but what the studio is offering them (as many reviews here clearly state) is unacceptable.
I want to see Elizabeth McGovern's entire performance, Paramount - so I went to the secondary wholesale market and purchased a new old stock VHS copy, which contains the FULL original release.
Or put another way, one less DVD sale for you.
Because yes, while it's your right as the copyright holder, I won't purchase censored goods.
Anyone who objects to this sort of foolishness in principal should boycott this DVD. This isn't the first time that I have encountered this. It seems to me that the studios should feel some sort of sense of obligation to not do this, whether artistic or ethical.
I think one thing that may have been lost to some viewers, however, are the true historical characters and news events portrayed in Ragtime. Evelyn Nesbit (Elizabeth McGovern) for example, was a real person and most events in the film concerning her really happened in 1906, including the incident on the roof top cafe of the Madison Square Garden. Even the song played when the 'incident' occurred, I Could Love a Million Girls from the operetta Mamzelle Champange, is historically accurate. This, of course, is only an example of the host of real characters presented in the film, including Teddy Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington.
I'd have to say that my favorite aspect of the film would have to be the soundtrack. As a fan of orchestrated ragtime and palm court music I was relieved to hear music true to the era, rather than music true to OUR era. It should be pointed out, however, that while not imposing, music is heard during most of the film (A plus for some, a minus for others).
Historical accuracy, beautiful costumes, hundreds of old cars, historical buildings, exciting music, drama, as well as clever comedy supplied by a delightfully dim Evelyn Nesbit, combine to form a film that can only be classified as; An exciting, historically accurate, prestine, and superb film about everything turn-of-the-century.< ...I recently discovered that there IS a DVD version of Ragtime. Sadly, at least for now, it is only available in Europe, in the European DVD format...
I have admittedly not read the book, nor have I seen the Broadway musical. I don't know what EL Doctorow thinks about the movie of his book (I gather he is not crazy about it). But the film has a wonderful pace and the soundtrack is stunning as well.
I think it is a crime that the soundtrack is not available on cd and the movie not available on DVD!
This film is also full of top-notch performances. Howard E. Rollins Jr. received the bulk of the praise at the time of the film's release for his ostentatious role as Coalhouse Walker Jr. and he makes the most of his plum part. He lost the Oscar he so richly deserved to sentimental favorite John Gielgud ("Arthur") but that doesn't diminish his accomplishment. Still, there are so many other performances of equal merit. Scene stealer Elizabeth McGovern lacks the expertise of her costars, yet her comedic turn is delightful through and through. Brad Dourif effectively provides creepy emptiness and Mary Steenburgen (especially) a quiet resolve that instills a firm feminism into this Victorian tale. For once, Mandy Patinkin's over-the-top delivery is shown to good advantage and Kenneth McMillan is thuggish villiany incarnate. There are two other performances deserving special mention. James Cagney (82 years-old) came out of retirement to do this film. He may have been infirm and feeble at the time, but his subtle authority and steely resolve resonate powerfully.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorite all time movies (mostly because I like olde-tyme New York movies... Much of it is historically very accurate.. Beautifully filmed, and wonderful cast!Published 11 days ago by Capo2
It's very different from the musical Ragtime that was made a few years later. I didn't read Doctorow's novel, so I can't judge how close either version is to the original. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nelson T. Henderson
Like E.L. Doctorow's brilliant novel it was based on (a novel that won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1975 and the American Academy and Institute of Arts... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Marian Carcache
A must see film. This an excellent adaptation of the novel. History and fiction are combined, yet the realities of America's past still effect us today.Published 4 months ago by Mark
Just one of my all-time favorites. I wish the movie had been able to show more of
the father's exploits outside of his homeland, but... Read more
Based on the Doctorow novel, this film is faithful to the plot with excellent performances from the whole cast like James Cagney in his last role, Howard Rollins, Mandy Patinkin,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Julie Shearer
Have seen the theater production and often listened to the Broadway cast cd. It was interesting to watch the movie. Seller delivered as advertised.Published 5 months ago by Dot Morgan
Follows the book pretty closely. Very good acting. If you like this get the cast recording of the Broadway musical.Published 5 months ago by Sherri Stommel