"Antwerp!" For science fiction fans, the long-awaited VHS and DVD release of The Lathe of Heaven
is a dream come true. This haunting adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin's genre-classic novel was broadcast but once on PBS in 1980 before rights and other legal snafus relegated it to the archives. Reportedly PBS's most requested program, the made-for-TV film was at last rebroadcast in 2000. Set in Portland, Oregon, in the near future, The Lathe of Heaven
stars Bruce Davison as George Orr, who, to put it mildly, has a dream problem. Not only do his dreams come true, but they "change reality back to the Stone Age."
Kevin Conway costars as Dr. Haber, a dream specialist who instantly recognizes George's gift and tries to harness it to make the whole world right. But, as George notes, "Unlimited power means unlimited danger." The increasingly megalomaniacal Haber uses George to try to cure the world's ills, from overpopulation to war, resulting in, for starters, a devastating plague and even alien invasion.
Many in this production went on to projects familiar to audiences: Cowriter Diane English went on to create TV's Murphy Brown; Scott Rudin, credited with "Principle Casting," is now one of Hollywood's most formidable producers; Margaret Avery, who costars as a skeptical lawyer who comes to believe George's incredible tale, was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in The Color Purple. For those who have only been able to see this now-legendary production on poor-quality bootleg tapes, this release will be sheer heaven. The DVD contains an interview with Le Guin conducted by Bill Moyers. --Donald Liebenson
For George Orr, sleep is not a respite. For Dr. William Haber, dreams are tools. For sci-fi fans, the wait is over. Praised as "rare and powerful" by The New York Times, Ursula K. Le Guins THE LATHE OF HEAVEN is one of the most celebrated science fict