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Tartuffe (Broadway Theatre Archive)

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Moliere's timeless comedy, starring the incomparable Donald Moffat portraying the scoundrel Tartuffe, who manipulates his way into the confidence and affection of Orgon, an affluent bourgeois concerned with his own salvation.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Hal Holbrook, Ruth Livingston, Patricia Elliott, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Tammy Grimes
  • Directors: Kirk Browning, Stephen Porter
  • Writers: Molière, Richard Wilbur
  • Producers: Ann Blumenthal, Jac Venza, Samuel Paul
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2003
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008DDRQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,612 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tartuffe (Broadway Theatre Archive)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By V. Lague on January 31, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have come to expect a lot from Broadway Theatre Archive. They save the best, I thought. However, this is defintely not the best version of Tartuffe that I have seen. I first saw it onstage, presented by the Trinity Square Reperatory Company in Providence, Rhode Island. The audience, including me, laughed so much we almost fell out of our seats. But, this version, unfortunately, is boring. If you want to see a really funny version, watch the BBC filmed version of the Royal Shakepeare Company's production of Tartuffe. It's a great laugh!
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25 of 35 people found the following review helpful By DMA on March 19, 2005
Format: DVD
If you see only one Tartuffe in your lifetime, skip the one about which you are currently reading. Grand, to be sure, it is 2nd best to the 1st best Tartuffe: the 1983 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Company's production of "TARTUFFE, OR THE IMPOSTER" by Molière, (Jean-Baptiste "Crazylegs" Poquelin)

A Faitour de Force of Giggles and Grandeur . . .

Comedy is notorious for its inability to properly translate from one language to another or from once upon then to the here and now. It is quite undeniable that the fitful psycho-familial rantings of King Lear do move us so; as do other 17th Century sensations such as Henry V's Azincourt call-to-arms or our Jew of Malta's enkindled response to a naughty daughter's apostatizing Semitical dis (the burning down of her nunnery to kill NONE but her; but instead killing ALL but her) . . . alright...that has the merit of mirth in a rather sick, sad, base, colour and hue. But genuinely intended time-worn giggles and humour from yesterday invariably fall flat upon contemporary ears and sensibilities. Flat they fall invariably, BUT FOR Jean-Baptiste Poquelin a.k.a. the grand French playwright of clever comedies, Molière.

Without too much contemporary tinkering, Molière's 17th century play 'Tartuffe, or the Imposter' is the Royal Shakespeare Company's brightest and most pleasant production. Chris Hampton's adaptation from the original French text is faithful AND funny-the text DOES translate-and this a supreme credit to Molière's transcendent creative merit.

The casting is as good as for one could wish for such a production. Nigel Hawthorne is Orgon, the inforbearant father taken twice by our imposter Tartuffe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Orson Welles on December 29, 2014
Format: DVD
This production, based on the Richard Wilbur translation, may not be to everyone's taste. However, see no need to denigrate it as other some reviewers have done. I have seen on youtube the 1983 BBC adaptation reviewers highly recommend in place of the Broadway Theatre archive DVD . The BBC version is worth seeing. It has an excellent cast, and it's always a treat to watch Nigel Hawthorne. But there are two problems with it: first, the text has been heavily cut; second, the translation is in blank verse, not in alexandrines with rhymed couplets. So the BBC version has skeletal version of the plot with some stage business thrown. Some people obviously prefer a loose translation. That's fine with me. But if you want to get a close English translation in order to measure any given performance against, I strongly recommend Maya Slater's The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, and Other Plays (Oxford World's Classics) (2007). Slater's inventive, nuanced translation, her introduction, and her notes are all worth their weight in gold. I suggest viewers and readers consult as many translations, Wilbur's among them, and performances as possible. No need to skip any and confine yourself to just one. And many are free on youtube, some in French. The video quality of the BBC production is poor unless you watch it on an iPhone or iPad. Still, it is watchable even on a 60" flatscreen TV.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13, 2004
Format: DVD
I was in a high school production of Tartuffe and had the chance to see the movie. The movie is a bucket of laughs and a good time. It gives you the chance to see a very young Tammy Grimes and Victor Garber as well as a great cast. Its a great show for you theater lovers out there. Great show, great cast, great plot. Just good old fun and good old laughs! Based on Moliere's Classic Comedy.
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Format: DVD
Tartuffe, written by the 17th-century playwright Moliere who lived under the patronage of King Louis XIV, is as relevant today as it was in the 1600's. After its premiere in 1664, it was attacked by French Catholic fanatics who interpreted the play as a criticism against the Roman Catholic Church, which was already reeling from the Protestant Reformation during the 16th century. Louis XIV and the general French public admired it, but the king did, for a time, suppress the play because of pressure from these aristocratic Catholics. However, despite the censorship, Tartuffe has become a standard in the theatrical repertoire and regarded as a masterpiece of political and religious commentary, as daring as any of the plays by William Shakespeare.

Ironically, Tartuffe does not propagate against religious belief and/or practice, but it does put into question religious fanaticism and blind loyalty, hence its relevance today as 350 years ago. Briefly, the story concerns a wealthy lord named Orgon who has taken into his house a kind of ascetic wanderer named Tartuffe. Tartuffe preaches religious piety and gratitude daily to Orgon, who has become enthralled and rather mesmerized by this man who was homeless before the lord of the house opened his doors to him. When anyone questions Tartuffe's motives, Orgon is the first to defend the man he regards as his spiritual adviser. But as the play unfolds, we learn that Tartuffe has ulterior motives that cast a shadow of doubt upon his supposedly religious humility, pious wisdom, and unselfish devotion. Despite its rather serious subject, humor permeates all through Tartuffe rendering it a masterful theatrical blend of comedy and drama from start to finish. In other words, there is never a dull moment until the climax when all is revealed.
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