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Tales of the City (Collector's Edition)


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DVD Collector's Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Viewers adored this televised adaptation of Armistead Maupin's first Tales book; critics wrote reviews that read like love letters. Small wonder. It's an education-of-the-heroine drama with engaging characters, sophisticated dialogue, unexpected plot twists, wit, wisdom, and a drop-dead glamorous setting-San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood during the freewheeling 1970s. Laura Linney (You Can Count on Me) plays Mary Ann, a guileless young woman looking for love in peculiar places. Olympia Dukakis (Mr. Holland's Opus) and Donald Moffat (Cookie's Fortune) are among the offbeat inhabitants of her new world. 5-1/2 hours on 2 DVDs.

From the Back Cover

In the freewheeling San Francisco of the 1970s, fresh-faced midwesterner Mary Ann Singleton arrives for a visit and decides to stay. But only when she moves into the funky apartment house at 28 Barbary Lane does it become clear just how far from Cleveland she really is. Based on Armistead Maupin's groundbreaking stories about a cast of characters in search of love across the whole spectrum of sexual experience, Tales of the City evokes both a unique time and place and the universal yearning for connection. This Peabody Award-winning PBS miniseries stars Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck), Donald Moffat (Clear and Present Danger), Laura Linney (You Can Count on Me), Marcus D'Amico (Full Metal Jacket) and Chloe Webb (Sid & Nancy) as Mona Ramsey. Also featuring Thomas Gibson (Dharma & Greg), Billy Campbell (Once and Again) and Paul Gross (Due South). DVD BONUS FEATURES: Audio commentary by Armistead Maupin, Director Alastair Reid and Olympia Dukakis, Laura Linney and Barbara Garrick; exclusive behind-the-scenes location and rehearsal footage; Armistead Maupin biography and booklist; cast biographies; and full-color insert with introduction by Armistead Maupin, production notes by Producer Alan Poul and Tales of the City filming locations and landmarks.

Special Features

  • Complete six-episode unedited series
  • Exclusive behind-the-scenes location and rehearsal footage
  • Armistead Maupin biography and booklist
  • Full-color insert with an introduction by Armistead Maupin

Product Details

  • Actors: Olympia Dukakis, Donald Moffat, Chloe Webb, Laura Linney, Marcus D'Amico
  • Producers: Peter Ansorge
  • Format: Color, Collector's Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: February 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006BT1A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,797 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tales of the City (Collector's Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Great cast, interesting stories and anything with Olympia Dukakis HAS to be wonderful.
KeeversDad
What I truly love about Tales is how all these different character make you care about and want to go with them to their life process.
dpgonzales@yahoo.com
My old VHS copies are better and will continue to be viewed until a truly quality version comes out on DVD.
Eric A. Standridge

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

279 of 282 people found the following review helpful By Antonio Arch on January 12, 2004
Format: DVD
To begin, I give Tales of the City itself five stars. I would give it ten if I could. I get sentimental every time I catch it on TV, loved it on PBS ten years ago and just as much now.

My problem is with this DVD Collector's edition. It states very clearly on the box that this is the original, unrated, unedited version. Which is why I buy it, take it home and wait for one of my favourite scenes. Finally Brian picks up Connie Bradshaw at the Laundromat and I'm waiting for that wonderful post-coital confrontation. And I realise that the dialogue has been DUBBED OVER. Over the course of the next three hundred minutes I agonise over the several other scenes that have been cleaned up.

This boxed set is beautiful. It has some wonderful extras including rehearsals and commentaries, but the dialogue has been tampered with and yes it does absolutely detract from the story
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336 of 343 people found the following review helpful By hewasacloud on June 11, 2003
Format: DVD
I've been waiting for "Tales of the City" to come out on DVD for years.
The first intallment of this series is excellent ****** The actors give such fun, humane and real performances. The entire production is a true gem. However, though the DVD box claims it is the unedited version,
all of the "curse" words are over-dubbed with "clean" words. Unfortunately, this really alters the dialogue is certain scenes.
Being such a fan of the series, I sadly returned my copy, and will
continue to watch it on VHS, unless they put out a truly "unedited" DVD.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Philip on August 30, 2013
Format: DVD
An excerpt from my review of this new Acorn 20th Anniversary DVD of Tales of the City:
full review here: [...]
When Tales was first released, it was banned on many Southern U.S. PBS stations. It seems so tame now compared to reality TV. It has since been heralded as one of the best mini-series ever produced. It is a joy to watch and re-visit my friends at 28 Barbary Lane. Laura Linney in particular is a dream as Mary Ann Singleton. So many great guest stars and of course there is Maupin's world where gay, straight, bi, confused, black, white, transgender, rich, poor, old and young all thrive in a world he experienced in 70′s San Francisco which we are a little closer to attaining in some places in 2013. I tear up every single time Mary Ann walks through the gate for the very first time and sees the house that is 28 Barbary Lane and will become her home for many years and the occupants her family.

All that said, you can imagine how disappointed I was in this edition when I realized Acorn not only hadn't spent a dime re-mastering anything, the new DVD actually looks worse than the VHS tapes did. We live in an era of larger digital televisions. But even the simplest of sets would show a grainy, washed out Tales of the City that looks more like it came from old Polaroid snapshots of the 70′s rather than sophisticated television recording equipment of the 90′s. I'm horrified they are marketing this version and suggest no one buy it unless you must have a copy of this and can't wait until another company decides to restore this masterpiece. I'm writing both Acorn to tell them how disappointed I am and Criterion to ask them to open a television division. Maupin's Tales deserves the Criterion treatment. Acorn's done him wrong. I'm still giving Tales of the City a 5 out of 5. Just be wary of this new version for poor picture quality.
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79 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 30, 2006
Format: DVD
Ah, if only I had read these reviews BEFORE spending my money. I concur with the complaints here: the quality of the transfer is horrid, and the dialogue has been dubbed. The box states that this is the "Complete 6-episode unedited version." False advertising.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By L.T. on October 24, 2005
Format: DVD
When this DVD version came out I was very tempted to buy. As a completist/Anal retentive I crave uniformity until I saw a friend's copy which was inferior to the DVD version in Australia. This mob who managed to mount a convincing DVD cover neglected the content! Please don't be deceived! The transfer is very grainy not artistic grainy but just plain poor quality grainy! If you want to see this on a plasma screen, forget it! it is that bad! I was fortunate to get a hold of the Australasian copy which is far far far superior and a whole lot cheaper than this! I guess all I can say is this is not good enough. If you can get a copy other than this one this title is a DEFINITE must have!
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Eric A. Standridge on December 31, 2005
Format: DVD
The quality is truly the worst transfer I've ever seen. I at LEAST expected broadcast quality, but this looks like someone played their VHS copy, pointed a digital camcorder at the TV, and then transferred it to DVD. Awful. Some of the scenes even shake! Also, the dubbed swear words are so insulting to mature viewers. This is DEFINITELY not the original, unedited version. My old VHS copies are better and will continue to be viewed until a truly quality version comes out on DVD. If ever...
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By "jcinkc" on March 27, 2003
Format: DVD
This DVD is promoted as "unedited." However, it is the same version as originally shown on PBS which WAS edited for language. Those replacement dubs of certain 4-letter words remain in this DVD. (When this original series was shown on Showtime a couple years ago, some scenes were shortened, but the actual 4-letter language was intact.) Why couldn't we have had it all?
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. Tan on April 7, 2006
Format: DVD
After reading the bad reviews about the new dvds collection I went to buy the UK edtion. It seems that everything is there , the quality is excellent. But of course you must have a multi system to see this Eurpoe version.
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