Seagull 1974 NR

Amazon Instant Video

(11) IMDb 8/10

This quintessential Chekhov drama--his first success--is both comic and tragic. A group of friends and relations gather at a country estate to see the first performance of an experimental play written and staged by the young man of the house, Konstantin (Frank Langella), an aspiring writer who dreams of bringing new forms to the theatre.

Starring:
David Clennon, Blythe Danner
Runtime:
1 hour 57 minutes

Seagull

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Music, Musical
Director John J. Desmond
Starring David Clennon, Blythe Danner
Supporting actors Olympia Dukakis, George Ede, Lee Grant, Frank Langella, Kevin McCarthy, Marian Mercer, William Swetland, Louis Zorich, Sheila Hickey, Tom Kaufman, Steve R. Lawson, Daniel Morris, Eileen Opatut, Barbara Tirrell, Hal Holbrook
Studio Egami
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

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It's beautifully done, and the acting was genuine.
Shellyn Y.C
It's easy to understand why, as he consistently wrote scripts that allow for character reinterpretation.
Bruce Kendall
A great performance by a sadly neglected great actress.
R. W. Rasband

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Rasband VINE VOICE on February 23, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The actress Blythe Danner is Gwyneth Paltrow's mother, and some of us think she could have been just as big a star. Here is one of her very best performances in this PBS version from the 1970's of Anton Chekhov's classic play, "The Seagull." She plays Nina, a country girl who falls in love with the dissolute novelist Trigorin (Kevin McCarthy). She is the very incarnation of innocence and happiness in the first three acts. She uses that throaty voice, enormous eyes and piercing sweetness to make us care deeply about the character. Then in act four she transforms herself into Trigorin's destroyed victim and the result is heartwrenching. A great performance by a sadly neglected great actress. This video is part of the "Broadway Theatre Archive", a collection of plays taped for PBS as part of their "Theatre in America" series. Every drams buff should seek them out.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Kendall VINE VOICE on February 27, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
There really isn't a lot to compare this production to, as I don't know of any other filmed versions of "The Seagull" available. This is Checkov's third-most-often produced play, after "Uncle Vanya" and "The Cherry Orchard," though it is equally powerful, dramatically.
Actors and actresses run, rather than walk, to be cast in Checkov plays. It's easy to understand why, as he consistently wrote scripts that allow for character reinterpretation. His are also wonderfully cadenced lines, even in translation. His plays have depth and weight to them, even though the surface themes may appear ephemeral. "The Sea Gull" is no exception.
The reason I can't quite give this production four stars (but I would give it 4 1/2) boils down to personal tastes. I prefer my Checkov, as I prefer my Shakespeare, performed by British casts. Something about the training, and the innate ability to get at the essence of a character more convincingly. As American casts go, however, this one is nothing to sneeze at. A look at the roster will show you that these are all actors that have had a marked impact on the Broadway stage. This is a well staged, thoughtfully directed production, and is the best representation available to the home audience.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13, 2002
Format: DVD
A dream cast doing one of the world's finest plays. A wonderful portrayal of the Russian aristocracy, in all their pomp and silliness, before the revolution. Each character is so self-centered that they aren't quite able to understand or have compassion for those around them, and, ultimately, that shortcoming brings tragedy. Does it sound grim? Not so. This production is rich with warmth and humor, and while each character is gravely flawed, the viewer can't help to love them all. The vivid acting of the film's amazing ensemble makes this production nearly jump off the screen. Treat yourself to this film. Its one you'll treasure.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Janet Riehl on September 4, 2006
Format: DVD
"The Seagull", heavy on symbolism and thwarted love in Bohemian rural Russia...why should we care? Because the play shows so clearly so many ways that human beings fail themselves and others. . . so many ways love is leaned on, and then expires...from abuse, misuse, overuse. . . and not understanding the true nature of loving.

We should care because human beings still need lessons on love. Seeing "The Seagull" for me is a clarion call to loving just a little bit better.

--Janet Grace Riehl, author Sightlines: A Poet's Diary
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bernie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 8, 2007
Format: DVD
I thought this was going to be some sort of artsy animal that you had to study and have a background in literature to extrapolate anything from the play. Well I was wrong. The only extraction is getting used to the characters at first because they are played by famous actors for example Frank Langella plays Konstantin Treplev, an idealistic young playwright and Blythe Danner plays Nina a young girl who's head will be turned by the novelist Trigorin played by Kevin McCarthy.

Soon you settle down and realize that this film has something to say about people and life and getting along with each other. It does not need to be interpreted and you find that even though the location is in a different place and time (Russia 1896), the people are the same people that you already know. The play moves a tad fast so you will need to re-watch it for all the nuances.

Hamlet / Kline, New York Shakespeare Festival (Broadway Theatre Archive)
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By David P. Barash on April 19, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
An excellent rendition of a surprisingly complex and moving play. Chekhov in a nutshell, with its longing, frustration and gentle family tragedy.
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