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Sweet Bird Of Youth


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Product Details

  • Actors: Elizabeth Taylor, Mark Harmon, Valerie Perrine, Rip Torn
  • Directors: Nicholas Roeg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, 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: Tango Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2006
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ERVKJY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,866 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Once a beautiful screen idol, Alexandra Del Lago (Taylor) has fled Hollywood for fear that her beauty and fame has faded. Alexandra falls into the arms of Chance (Harmon), a shiftless would-be actor, who sees her wealth and position as his last shot at making it in Hollywood.

Incorporating intense drama and steamy lust, this powerful production of the Tennesse Williams play reveals the dark forces of human ambition and desire, as passion and desperation collide.

Customer Reviews

While the story line was unusual, the acting was superb!
D. C. Holbrook
Elizabeth Taylor and Mark Harmon were wonderful, and much more attractive.
Stevedoesit
So much for boldness and openness in the late 20th century.
Movie Man

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Charles S. Houser VINE VOICE on March 8, 2003
Format: DVD
Though I'm only giving it two stars, this is not as bad a film as you'd think. And considering the price, I really shouldn't be complaining at all. After shining in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Suddenly Last Summer," Elizabeth Taylor should be justified in claiming the crown as the quintessential Tennessee Williams actress. In one sense, she was a perfect choice to play the aging actress hiding behind the identity of the "Princess Kosmonopolis" in SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH. But Taylor is an actor who needs strong direction (think of what she an Mike Nichols accomplished in WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF). What could have been every bit as good as the performance Geraldine Page turned in for Richard Brooks in the 1962 film is, in fact, something of a campfest--more of an Elizabeth Taylor impersonation than a true dramatic performance. (But then, is there a non-campy way to deliver the line, "Stupid, beautiful young man, that's my hash"?) As best as I could tell, this made-for-tv version of the play is closer to what Williams wrote than Brooks' theatrical release. (Back then, theater took more risks than movies ever did.) Although the Taylor movie is set in the 1950s the same as the play, it doesn't capture the mood of that period very well. In fact, when the Princess's traveling companion Chance Wayne (played by Mark Harmon) tries to blackmail her into giving him a movie contract (by tape recording her confessions about her drug use), the act seems downright implausible. When Paul Newman did the same in Brooks's film, it struck me more as a pathetic and ineffectual act, one that revealed Chance's boyish naivite and charm. In general, the remake is a conglomeration of unexplored nuances andd missed opportunities.Read more ›
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By bergman@xekmail.pt on January 3, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Paul Newman and Geraldine Page are memories impossible to erase, so I came to this movie with all the prejudice you can imagine. But I was pleasantly surprised. It's by far Elizabeth Taylor's greatest performance in over 20 years, and Mark Harmon is much better in this than you'd imagine possible. All in all, it's a much more explicit version of Tennessee William's work, and perhaps more accurate into the bargain. Some chemistry is lacking, the supporting cast only go through the motions, but still - kudos to Taylor & Harmon!
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Vitollo on June 22, 2003
Format: DVD
You have to really get the mood set to be an adapt actor for a Tennessee Williams production. I have seen Elizabeth Taylor do a couple of his works. In Sweet Bird of Youth she is just not Elizabeth Taylor but the ageing actress the way Williams would have wanted it. I believe Mark Harmon gave a good performan much different from Paul Newman. As I was watching it kept me interested. Individuals could learn much from this film if they just listen. Tennesse Williams had a message and it sure comes accross.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Shawn La on March 17, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Elizabeth Taylor had some of her best roles playing Tennessee Williams heroines in films such as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1958), "Suddenly, Last Summer" (1959), and the bizarre, campy, yet underrated "Boom!" (1968). In this 1989 TV film version of Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth," Taylor had another great role, giving an excellent, incisive performance as fading, sad, fabulous, ultimately triumphant actress Alexandra Del Lago, aka, The Princess Kosmonopolis. Directed by Nicholas Roeg, Taylor made this film at a point in her career when she had pretty much forgone both acting and Hollywood, yet ironically gives the somewhat desperate, youth and career obsessed Alexandra an air of strength and dignity. Mark Harmon, portraying the young stud Chance Wayne with whom Alexandra hooks up when she temporarily flees Hollywood, also gives a very good performance, although Aiden Quinn would have been a more inspired, sexier choice for this role, a part originally played by Paul Newman in the original 1959 Broadway production as well as Richard Brooks' 1962 film version.
Watching Taylor's performance as Alexandra, one realizes how gifted and talented an actress she is, and wishes she would return to acting, finding another great role like Alexandra. Bravo, Elizabeth! We miss you.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael C. Smith VINE VOICE on September 15, 2009
Format: DVD
In the original film version of "Sweet Bird of Youth" Geraldine Page made the role famous opposite the stunningly cast Paul Newman. It was a great film of a great Broadway hit. Why make it again many may wonder? How could you top that gem in the MGM lexicon of late 50's Tennessee Williams filmed versions of his master works.

Cut to the 1980's and Elizabeth Taylor who in many ways at the time was not so big a movie star as she had been but was much in demand on television. Slimmed down and revitalized after the 1970's age of fat she was in her final bloom of beauty and at the top of her talent. A woman playing a star who really understood more than anyone alive what being a star of mega wattage meant. She had lived it, survived it and was triumphing over it. She was the anti Alexandra Delago who nearly had become Alexandra Delago but somehow managed to swerve and avoid that porcupine in the road of fame and live to tell about it. She was perfect casting for this T.V. movie of the play. And she had an understanding of Williams' poetry having done, "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", "Suddenly Last Summer" and "Boom".

The supporting cast turns in some fine performances. In particular, Rip Torn, and Valerie Perrine shine in their roles. Mark Harman is just the right age to play Chance Wayne a gigolo on the edge of losing his looks and too obsessed with the past to take the one last opportunity Alexandra offers him to become what he thinks he wants to be, a star.

But it is Taylor's movie all the way. From her incredible early close-ups at the beach cabana to her final scene she commands the role as no other actress of her generation could.
Read more ›
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