The Fugitive Kind
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Written in 1957, "Orpheus Descending" is a reconstruction of Williams' 1940 "Battle of Angels," filmed under Sidney Lumet's direction as "The Fugitive Kind."
Williams subtracted elements of the ancient myth of Orpheus and Euridice to examine the sadistically patriarchal Southern Gothic town and to create a violent plot, involving ruined love, weakness, sex, betrayal, vengeance and lingering hatreds... "Orpheus Descending" shows how social prejudice threatens the lives of identified outsiders...
This classic play is not quite his masterpiece... "A Streetcar Named Desire" is... It lacks some of the regretful charm of "The Glass Menagerie" and the entire impact of "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof." Nevertheless it is a deeply moving work of art...
Williams was known for his compelling dialog and themes that - for their time - often seemed strange or shocking... He vividly suggested the sexual tensions and prevented violence of his tormented character, usually with compassion as well as irony...
The film focuses on a handsome drifter from New Orleans, named Val Xavier, wearing a snake skin jacket - Williams' trademark of a rebel, non-conformist - Val is a "fugitive kind" who comes in off the highway... He is a rural Orpheus who descends to rescue his love, not in Hades precisely, but among the intrigue, chatter, and violence of the hot-tempered town of Two Rivers, Mississippi... He is a wandering guitar player who embarks on an affair with a lonely frustrated unhappy storekeeper's wife Lady Torrance...
Anna Magnani is intelligently sensual and charming as Lady...Read more ›
The top and bottom of the regular full screen version has been cropped out of the picture to give the illusion your getting a widescreen - what your getting is less picture!
The studios should label the DVD's as they did when they cropped VHS video picture " this film has been modified to fit you tv screen" as in modified to fit a 16x9 tv in this case.
You have already lost one third of the picture when it was modified to full screen, now you loose an additional one third to one fourth of the movies image!
The reason leterbox and widescreen has a demand, is that the audience or consumer wants to view the Movie as it was filmed and framed by the filmaker, and not loose out on portions of the movie that the director intended.
In other words the idea to release in widescreen was for the intention of showing MORE not LESS of the movies image.
The studios believe they can get away with this, since the average buyer does not have a full screen video version to compare with, or the consumer is just unaware.
I compared this DVD to a full screen VHS version, and in many cases where some DVD's come with both Full & Wide Screen on a flip disc, compare them before watching, many of the widesreen sides are just chopped versions of the full screen.
The picture quality is great on this and most DVD's, it is unfortunate though that it has to be a conciliation for cropped picture.
However, the latter two plays cannot match the cast of "The Fugitive Kind." Nowhere else in cinematic history can you find such powerful and engrossing performances from everyone: in-depth close-ups of Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward, Maureen Stapleton (the original Broadway "Lady Torrance") and Victor Jory in a harrowing performance.
I used to go to the Carnegie Hall Cinema every time "The Fugitive Kind" was shown and bask in the black and white beauty of Tennessee Williams' cry from the the heart. I own the video and have waited forever it seems for "Fugitive" to appear on DVD. However, I cannot tell if this version in widescreen or not. If not, I'll just keep my VHS version.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great film starring the greatest American actor of all time, Marlon Brando.Published 4 months ago by tom brozovich
Every aspect of this movie is unforgettable ! Deep movie, well acted, and one you will remember. This is a 'must have'.........for sure. I have very few DVD's ..... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Pat Davis
This moody little movie isn't one of Brando's best known, but it is one of his best performances. Anna Magnani might be the reason for that, because keeping up with her requires... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Cynthia Dagnal-Myron
This is a great film-play, though some critics considered it over-the-top. Tennessee Williams provided the fissionable material that enabled a great cast and a great stage director... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Frank
One of the great Tennessee Williams Movies, played perfectly by Brando, Woodward and MagnaniPublished 12 months ago by Richard F. Marrella