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Surviving Picasso (1996)

Anthony Hopkins , Natascha McElhone , James Ivory  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Natascha McElhone, Julianne Moore, Joss Ackland, Peter Eyre
  • Directors: James Ivory
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: WB
  • DVD Release Date: May 28, 2010
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003ODIV10
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,390 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Surviving Picasso" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Canvas, color, metal, ceramics. The century's leading artist commanded them all. But what about the legendary Pablo Picasso's other great passion? Was romance also dominated by his genius?
Academy Award(r) winner* Anthony Hopkins gives a full-throttle performance as the acclaimed artist in this masterful movie told from the viewpoint of Picasso's longtime mistress (Natascha McElhone in a luminous film debut) and mother of his children Claude and Paloma. Director James Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant and writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala reteam with Hopkins for the first time since The Remains of the Day in this lusty, sweeping saga. Joined by producer David L. Wolper (Roots), they draw from a vivid filmmaking palette to create an intimate, insightful tale of genius, beauty and obsession.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

This product is expected to play back in DVD Video "play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling work of art... August 11, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Surviving Picasso" (1996) is directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant, the same two who gave us "Howard's End". This story tells of Picasso's (Anthony Hopkins) relationship with his mistress Francoise Gilot (Natasha McElhone), who was the mother to two of Picasso's children. The movie also introduces us to a number of the other women who encircled Picasso's life during the time of their relationship, including Olga Picasso (Jane Lapotaire), Dora Maar (Julianne Moore), Marie-theses Walter(Susannah Harker), and Jacquueline Rogue (Diane Verona), and some of his artist friends, such as Henri Matisse. The movie is an intimate and believable account of Picasso's life right down to details of the artist's paintings and the moments where he is creating his works of art. The producers may have had a great deal of trouble getting any rights to show Picasso's paintings but it doesn't show except for the fact that his more famous works are not illustrated. Great care was taken to show believable works of art as well as the artist's studio and life.

This 2010 dvd disc is coded NTSC and so is playable on North American dvd players and looks very good. There are however no special features, not even a commentary for the film. The movie is loosely based on the biography "Picasso: Creator and Destroyer" by Arianna Huington.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why no DVD after all these years? March 14, 2006
Format:VHS Tape
When week after week you see some of the slop flipped to DVD quickly, it's surprising to me this interesting film is still VHS only. I disagree with some of the other reviewers- I think Hopkins did a great job at inhabiting Picasso's spirit. Did the film "explain" him? No- but Picasso was such an elusive complicated man, it's not entirely surprising. As when Hopkins did Nixon- sure, you don't totally forget it's Anthony Hopkins- but as with his Nixon, Hopkins is mezmorizing here. Hopkins said after playing men like in Remains of the Day who were basically dead from the waist down, he relished the opportunity to play a man who was completely alive- and his joy here is apparent. Beside Hopkins, Natascha McElhone is very intriguing, as are the rest of the supporting cast and the Parisian and Spanish locations. It's a Merchant Ivory piece fer cryin out loud- you KNOW the production values are always going to be rock solid. We'd like a DVD please!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are a Picasso fan, this video is a must-see. December 24, 1998
Format:VHS Tape
This video gives insight into the life and persona of Picasso. While it touches on his climb to fame, recognition and success in the art world, it focuses primarily on his personal relationships. I love his work, but I sure wouldn't have wanted to live with him! The video had therapuetic effects for me; I would assume it would for any viewer as it certainly calls into question your own view of relationships, how they are and how they should and shouldn't be. A winner all the way around.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars thrilled and then deflated September 7, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous film...long had I awaited the DVD version of this film, and when it finally appeared, I jumped and bought the DVD.

Alas, I was SO disappointed because the color and sound quality of the DVD format is POOR! There is NO EXCUSE for crappy color and sound quality in this day and age!!!!

And there are NO SUBTITLES/CLOSE-CAPTIONS!!!!!! Again, in this day and age, not having subtitles, or close-captioning at the very least is RIDICULOUS!!!!!! It is insensitive to the deaf and hard of hearing community (many of the latter of which are us aging baby-boomers, so it is age-insensitive as well).

Fortunately, I still have the VHS and will keep that so I can view this wonderful movie on a BETTER QUALITY, though out-dated, least until the tape pops... your money and stick with the VHS if it still available.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enduring Picasso January 7, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I find Anthony Hopkins to be a master at becoming whatever he intends to create. He was just as believable as President Nixon in "Nixon", as he was a madman in "Silence Of The Lambs". Here again, he does not dissapoint me. The movie is dark, and I would tend not to agree with the accuracy of the historical aspects of the film, but I did find Hopkins to be a compelling Picasso. And, yes once again, I found myself watching Pablo Picasso. I enjoy biographies of painters and creative souls, and I would be hard pressed to find a biography that is uplifting and has a happy ending. I found the same in "Surviving Picasso". It is a little long in the tooth, but I found the cinematography to be beautiful and again, Sir Anthony Hopkins' performance is beautiful. I would reccomend this for any Hopkins lover.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there anybody better than Anthony? September 7, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
If you love Anthony Hopkins and you love stories based on real (and very interesting) people, you will love this movie. Its a movie with a story of a man that has it all and wants more, he loves hard and paints beautifully, and Anthony Hopkins pulls it off beautifully playing Picasso. I was amazed at his ability to be romantic and seductive one moment, playful the next, and suddenly turn to a madman. It was beautiful.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing March 26, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I've watched this movie many times because I'm fascinated by the man, especially hoping to get a better understanding of what his life was like. The more I learn about him though, the more this movie is so one dimensional and inaccurate. It was based on the harshest biography of Picasso which is unfortunate because it gives a false impression of what he was really like. I would still buy it because the scenes are filled with his studios and artwork, however it would have been one of my all-time faves if it focused more on his work and his passion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this movies so much and Anthony Hopkins was great ...
I enjoyed this movies so much and Anthony Hopkins was great in playing the role of Picasso. Another great collection.
Published 23 days ago by Gloria Rigsbee
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
can't play it on an American DVD player :(
Published 1 month ago by Angela Moonan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great movie.
Published 2 months ago by jeff basinkewitz
1.0 out of 5 stars I was hoping it was corrected , did not happen!!!!!!
I asked the question, before I purchased, does this have CC?

Do not buy this, unless you do not mind turning the volume of the movie up and down. Read more
Published 3 months ago by pettyjean
5.0 out of 5 stars An appropriate title
I found "Surviving Picasso" To be a quality movie. The acting was excellant. In particular, Anthony Hopkins is a great actor who does justice to the role of Picasso. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Cheryl Kloda
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't fall for the notion Ariana Huffington wrote the book on which...
SURVIVING PICASSO (Dir. James Ivory, a Merchant-Ivory Production, 1996, 125 minutes)~

This fantastic though slightly frenzied and more-than-a-little sanitized adaptation... Read more
Published 6 months ago by E. Hernandez
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Interesting movie about Picasso. Grew tired of the Picasso bad behavior bit and the movie seemed to drag in parts. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Hilgeebaby!
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful story
The dynamic of how a charismatic personality can capture and -- sometimes -- enslave others is portrayed well in this film. The actresses each were awesome in their varied roles. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Atlanta bookaholic
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I wanted to learn more about the artists life and found this movie to be quite useful. As usual Anthony Hopkins is superb.
Published 8 months ago by Faizan
4.0 out of 5 stars DVDR version has unneccessary tricks
This is review of media format only. Amazpn's own DVDR maker should put notice by sticker on box, & on screen at bootup, that extra copy protection prevents some players from... Read more
Published 9 months ago by john mauldin
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