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The Picasso Summer (1969)

Albert Finney , Yvette Mimieux , Serge Bourguignon , Robert Salin  |  PG |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Albert Finney, Yvette Mimieux, Luis Miguel Dominguin, Jim Connell, Georgina Cookson
  • Directors: Serge Bourguignon, Robert Salin
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: WB
  • DVD Release Date: May 28, 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003ODIV06
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,242 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Pablo Picasso, where are you? Disenchanted with his work as an architect and turned off by the hipper-than-thou '60s San Francisco art scene, George Smith has a breakthrough idea: chuck it all and go meet the one real artist he admires. So off to Europe he and adoring wife Alice fly...into an unexpected physical and emotional itinerary. Albert Finney and Yvette Mimieux portray the Smiths in a stylish (split screens, freeze frames, flash cuts) psychedelic-era groove of a film that's also a sun-drenched travelogue and an artist's showcase whose varied palette includes lively animated sequences of Picasso's work. The Smiths are taking their chances. So does the often-engrossing and lushly lensed tale of their Picasso Summer.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
There's a particular sort of film from the late 1960s/early 1970s, often whimsical but with a serious undercurrent, about breaking out of your everyday routine & looking for something deeper, something more meaningful -- or maybe just looking for your abandoned dreams. Based on a short story by Ray Bradbury, "The Picasso Summer" is just this sort of film, and a gem of its kind.

George (Albert Finney) is young, handsome, successful at his job as an architect -- but he remembers his years in art school, and wonders why he's currently designing "huge boxes without a toilet." Alice (Yvette Mimieux), his wife, is passionate, supportive, vivacious, lovely -- but she sees how George is troubled by something he can't quite explain.

And then George proposes dropping everything for a week, flying to France, and looking for Pablo Picasso, his favorite artist in the world. Alice is startled but delighted ... and off they go, on a journey through the lush French countryside at its most beautiful, eager to meet & thank the great artist for his work. Quite a few 1970s film techniques are used that modern viewers might find distracting or gimmicky -- but they do capture the heady exuberance & joy of experimentation that characterized those years. The animation sequences, in which Picasso's work is brought to life, are especially good.

Of course George isn't really looking for Picasso, but for his own path not taken. He may be a little young for midlife, but he's old enough to know that his choices aren't as plentiful as they once were, and he worries that he may have settled for security rather than fulfillment. It's not that he doesn't love his wife -- their relationship is loving & joyful throughout the film -- or that he downright hates his job.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Picasso Summer" November 18, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I originally saw this movie on TV years ago and searched for years for a copy of it as well as anyone else who had seen it. It seemed I was the only one on the planet who had seen it. I finaly found someone who had not only seen it, but gave me a book about the making of it. It's hard to believe it was filmed before computers! The animations are spectacular, and the photography is beautiful. I highly recommend it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Supposedly never released in American theaters, but my mom and aunt swear they saw this film in a San Francisco theater (test screening?!) in 1969. I first saw this film on TV (in the early 1970's) with mom. My aunt was not aware this film was ever aired on TV (until she checked the Internet this year!).

The color film transfer is very clean and clear. (enough to make me glad I didn't fork over big bucks for an official VHS copy that never existed!)

Fans of Pablo Picasso and 1960's art-house films will find this film a feast for the eyes (especially the lavish, mind-blowing animations of Picasso's artwork).

Our family waited 40 years to watch this film again. It was worth the wait!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie for High Persons Until Near the End June 30, 2013
With all its well-done Picasso-influenced cartoon dream sequences popping
up throughout, it appears this movie was hoping to rope in "stoned" patrons
in the manner of "2001: A Space Odyssey." Albert Finney and Yvette Mimieux
were young and glamorous performers, and the travelogue vistas of French
countryside and waters are very lovely. The movie's stars are rooting around
looking to meet Pablo Picasso in person, as if such a thing were possible to
any but the most exclusive of V.I.P.s. Not too much more plot than just that.

After some time at this fruitless quest, they quarrel and Finney leaves his
wife behind to take the search to Spain. There he meets a matador who speaks of
Picasso being a bullfight fan, and "treats" Finney to witness the matador's work.
This is where the movie stopped being any fun for me, because I detest this
glorified spectacle of animal abuse and killing, and they show the whole mess.
I have a hope that someday the Hispanic countries will abandon this holdover
from crueler times. Some traditions are better off fading into history.

After contemplating the gallons of blood on the sand, Finney goes to reconcile
with Yvette. So I would call this a potentially fun movie that blew it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique and imaginative piece of cinema September 25, 2011
This film has quite an odd little history. Directed by Serge Bourguignon (best known for directing the Oscar winning SUNDAYS AND CYBELE), this film was never released theatrically in the U.S. Indeed, I'm not sure it was released theatrically anywhere. Based on a story by Ray Bradbury who co-wrote the screenplay, Warners saw no commercial potential and the film went directly to TV where, cut from the director's original vision, Bourguignon and Bradbury's names were replaced by pseudonyms. It's a daring experimental film with the slightest of narratives. A dissatisfied architect (Albert Finney) and his wife (Yvette Mimieux) leave San Francisco for France where they plan to seek out Pablo Picasso who the architect admires. What's unique about the film is how animation is used to bring Picasso's work to life (something I'm not sure Picasso would be all that happy with) for lengthy periods of time to comment on situations in the film. For example, there's a marvelous sequence that begins with Finney and Mimieux making love then dissolves into a montage of living Picasso-esque drawings that approximate their lovemaking. The film is not entirely successful but one has to admire the audacity of the attempt in an age of cookie cutter film making. There is a repugnant sequence involving bullfighting that stops the movie dead. All accompanied by a stunning score by Michel Legrand, one of his very best. Bourguignon never directed another film again.

The Warner Archives DVD is a strong anamorphic wide screen (1.85) transfer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Interesting Backstory
The animation sequences alone are worth a four star rating, taking up about 1/3 of the film...but the backstory is even more fascinating than the film itself: there are many... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Maxwell Kerr
4.0 out of 5 stars Really wanted to like it, but it took two viewings.
I love this part of Europe, greatly admire Yvette and Picasso, so I almost bought a very pricey DVD. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jeanajoan
4.0 out of 5 stars The centerpiece is worth t.
Curious and artsy. Picasso liives. Reminds me of the Dali scene in Spellbound , but the centerpiece is wrapped in mundanity.
Published 12 months ago by David Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a journey to a timeless and artistic place!
Picasso - there is no other like him, his influence is beyond compare. The film is a real journey, a road trip to another time and place, which seems, yes, almost quaint and oh so... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Michael Shields
5.0 out of 5 stars Picasso Like You've Never Seen Him Before
The Picasso Summer is a unique film with amazing animation and graphics, which should appeal to romantics and designers and those who'd like a leisurely ride through France and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by miller
4.0 out of 5 stars A lost gem of a film
This film brings Picasso's art work to life in a unique and ingenious way. The art appears in animated form on and off throughout the film in such a creative style that even if... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jersey Girl at Heart-
5.0 out of 5 stars The Only Movie I am In
I enjoyed seeing myself as a young woman. This is the only film I have been in and it was a lot of fun working on this movie. So seeing after all these years I enjoyed it. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Dorsay A. Dujon
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time
Probably the worst edited film on record. Bad 60's phsycadelic light show is half the film. The plot is lacking
Published on May 16, 2012 by Sam
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