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Spalding Gray: Terrors of Pleasure [VHS] (1988)

Spalding Gray  |  NR |  VHS Tape
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Spalding Gray
  • Format: NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: September 7, 1988
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301929292
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,052 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Spalding Gray Terrors of Pleasure

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for prospective homeowners September 9, 2003
I loved this piece despite the fact that I don't own, but have, in my rentals, encountered plenty of broken down structures. I suppose I didn't come into watching this expecting it to be of the same calibre as 'Monster' or "Swimming to Cambodia", (this being a mere HBO production), so a comparison to those didn't even occur to me. In reply to the above review though, I thoroughly enjoyed the "flat" film footage, especially of the huffing and puffing landowner making his way through waist high snow drifts to show the cabin. I also enjoyed Gray's portrayal of the Jehovah's witnesses--could this have been lost on our British friend, I wonder? Anyone who has had to deal with them(Witnesses, I mean) will find it quite amusing. The story is, as I recall, rendered mostly from footage, and has only snippets of the ever-famous Spaulding sitting at his desk. The film plays effectively as his narrative takes us through the process of finding a dream-cabin getaway in Catskills and buying a real house that has actual rooms (as opposed to the loft he's been living in for many years.) I was rooting for him from the time he first surveyed the "early American" interior of his cabin, to when he went out to see the stars and was thwarted by his neighbor's high-intensity spotlight. And of course there is Gray's commentary, which redeems many a mundane depiction of daily life.
I have shown this very-difficult-to-find video to friends who don't know Gray's work, and they've all loved it. So if you're looking for a house or a rental and want to commiserate--or just want a good laugh, I think this short is worth it. I've seen it 3 times already, and I still think it's funny.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Definitely the least of all the filmed versions of Spalding Gray's monologues. The large TV studio audiences don't quite know what to make of Spuddy initially (laughing nervously and uncertainly at first) - and he seems wary of them and a little detached. I've heard a audio version of the same monologue which is much better as that audience was smaller and more familiar with Gray's work.
It's very flatly shot and has filmed inserts (without sound) displaying scenes the monologue is describing - as if watching Gray perform isn't enough!
However as the audience get used to the pace - a slow build to hysterically funny hysteria - Gray becomes more confident and you start to ignore the visual deficencies and become capitvated by this tale of buying a monstrously awful house - it has a boiler in the attic! - perhaps a metaphor for Gray's state of mind - and as he admits - he suspects (and fears) he may have bought it and put himself through the Terror's of Pleasure (of owning property) simply to have material to write a monologue about it.
Worth it for the performance and material - but Monster in a Box and Swimming to Cambodia are the best screen adaptations of his work - perhaps this is only for completists like me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great video monologue September 8, 2013
Verified Purchase
I live in woodland valley, Phoenicia, the site of the film

The film captures in a nuanced, subtle, and humorous manner, the trials and tribulations of a man seeking the refuge of a country retreat

It reminds me of a john Galbraith story about owning a country house

The choice of a house, inevitably becomes a sinkhole of unanticipated expenditures

Sometimes it appears that it never ends

The prospect of living the country life, enjoying the fresh air, greenery, hearing the rippling waters of a nearby stream, fishing, hiking, are dimmed by the ever present unanticipated problems

Bugs, snow plowing in winter, heating, and a myriad of other problems are not thought out, even when you are lucky and find a relatively good and solid house

Spalding gray captures it all, with humor and grace

Despite the problems, I love my house, the surrounding 4 season area, the wonderful people, the close community feeling, the escape from the frantic big city rush, with attendant police and fire sirens, the ability to drive to town and easily park my car, to go to the local post office and be greeted by a friendly clerk in a personal way, all small things, perhaps, but it engenders good feelings, and makes me happy to be here

Spalding gray is no longer with, losing his life at an all too young age

The film is a memorial and testament to one of the greatest monologists and humorists of our time

Bravo spalding gray

We miss you

Mickey winograd
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars sucks!! September 5, 2013
Verified Purchase
it is not REALLY the WHOLE show that was on HBO,it really sucks because it was for my father and he grow up next door, he new the family that built and live in the house that Spalding Gray bought and talks about throw out the show BUT I DIDN'T GET THE WHOLE SHOW VERY DISAPPOINTED NEVER AGAIN . So if you are looking for this show you want get it here
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