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They Might Be Giants


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DVD 1-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: George C. Scott, Joanne Woodward, Jack Gilford, Lester Rawlins, Al Lewis (III)
  • Directors: Anthony Harvey (II)
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2000
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004KDEP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,150 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "They Might Be Giants" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Features 10 minutes of footage not seen in the original theatrical release
  • Featurette: Madness...It's Beautiful (8 min.)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Former judge Justin Playfair (George C. Scott) lost his wife a few years back, and ever since he's thought he's Sherlock Holmes, determined to find his archnemesis Professor Moriarty, in this thoroughly charming tale of madness and romanticism. Playfair (er, Sherlock) is about to be committed by his brother, who wants his money, when by serendipity he's teamed up with psychiatrist Dr. Mildred Watson, no less (Joanne Woodward). She finds him fascinating, being a bit daffy herself, and together they get involved in various intrigues, mostly aimed at evading the medical authorities, but which allow the two to fall in love. Though the farcical tone of the film keeps it a lighthearted comedy, the heavy-handed slaps at authority, who are set up for such abuse, seem programmed to succeed. To what degree is lunacy, charming though it may be at times, an appropriate reaction to complex times? "To the utmost degree!" says this film, though the viewer may enjoy it and still disagree. During a comic battle in a supermarket (reminiscent of a silent comedy pie fight), one patient chases her keeper with an oversized hypodermic to the rallying cry of "I hope the loonies win!" That expresses the sympathies of the film nicely. --Jim Gay

Customer Reviews

Because this is one of the best movies ever made.
Thomas E. Maddocks
He was such a powerful, unique actor, that it is natural to think that he had a greater career than he did in fact.
Robert Moore
By the end of the movie, Moriarity gives way to a love that will be "found together in the light."
Stephen P. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

320 of 321 people found the following review helpful By S.L.S on June 4, 2009
Format: DVD
This is an absolute gem of a movie.Read the reviews.I want to say PLEASE re-release this
movie so the average shmoe can afford to buy it.
If you feel the same as me them click yes if you thought this was a helpful review.
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211 of 211 people found the following review helpful By viewer on June 1, 2005
Format: DVD
Please re-release this wonderful George C. Scott movie on DVD so that humble people such as myself can afford it.Thanks!!!!!!
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105 of 107 people found the following review helpful By William Timothy Lukeman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 2, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
An absolutely beautiful, thought-provoking film, with a poetic script and superb performances all around. Of course, it will never be a favorite among those people C. Wright Mills once called "crackpot realists;" but for those who aren't afraid to let their imaginations soar, this film will carry you to joyous heights. Funny, poignant, romantic, it will make you think about what's truly important in life, and remind you of all life's possibilities. Once seen, never to be forgotten, it casts a sweet spell over the willing viewer - a nightingale singing in the grime of the city. Highly recommended!
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 9, 2005
Format: DVD
What does it mean to be insane in a world that doesn't make sense? Movies have revisited that question in a host of films over the years, from MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN to HARVEY to A THOUSAND CLOWNS to THE RULING CLASS to HAROLD AND MAUDE to CATCH-22 to OFFICE SPACE. THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS is one of the more compelling films in this genre. The film concerns the former Justice Playfair, who upon the death of his wife, loses his mind and believes that he is Sherlock Holmes. His brother becomes enmeshed in a blackmail scheme, and to gain control over his brother's estate to pay off the blackmailers, attempt to have him committed. To that end, he approaches the Strauss Clinic, whose head is anxious to commit because of the sizable amount of cash that Playfair's joining them will bring. But they need to have their resident psychologist, Dr. Mildred Watson, sign the commitment papers, and before she is willing to do this, she insists on interviewing Playfair. Our hero is resistant to her investigating him until it strikes him that she is truly Dr. Watson. Perhaps not the male he was anticipating, but a Dr. Watson nonetheless. So, the game is afoot, with the initially sceptical and resistant Watson following Playfair/Holmes in his investigation of a series of clues left by his great nemesis Moriarty. What makes it easy for her to believe in Holmes is the fact that he is such a remarkably compelling Holmes. His deductive powers are extraordinary, even Holmes-like. Like Holmes in the novels, he can look at a person an deduce an extraordinary number of details about them.

The title is taken from the greatest story of an insane individual in an insane world ever created, Cervantes's DON QUIXOTE.
Read more ›
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By M. Schaffer on September 20, 2009
Format: DVD
I would love to purchase this movie as a gift, but it is definitely overpriced. Is there anyone in marketing that has figured out that you can sell several thousand copies of this film at a lower price and still make money! Will someone please step up to the plate!!
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A. Salgado on January 30, 2008
Format: DVD
This Movie is way overpriced..............If anyone works for Universal please re-issue this movie so more people can buy at a realistic Price......
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Kaczmarek on January 25, 2004
Format: DVD
The late, great George C. Scott does a fine turn as a widower judge who thinks he's Sherlock Holmes in "They Might Be Giants," a film that proves Scott easily could have played the fictional detective in a straight adaptation of Conan Doyle's mysteries, too. The film takes great delight in lampooning the establishment of the day--no surprise, as it debuted in 1971--with particular attention on cutting down to size the burgeoning mental health industry. Joanne Woodward is charming as a psychiatrist and social misfit, appropriately named Dr. Watson, who teams up with Scott to track the nefarious Moriarity, only to discover love and destiny instead. Along the way, they are joined by a battalion of New York City's cataways, including laconic Jack Gilford, a young M. Emmet Walsh, F. Murray Abraham with an afro, and even Paul Benedict, the fellow who would go on to fame as "Mr. Bentley" of television's "The Jeffersons" fame. Though it has an atypical but beguiling score by John Barry and some very tender moments courtesy of screenwriter James Goldman (Gilford's affinity for swashbuckling and Watson's doomed attempt at a romantic dinner among them), "They Might Be Giants" sometimes suffers from a lack of thematic focus that rivals the mania of its main characters. A slapstick scene in a grocery store seems tonally wrong in a film that otherwise takes the high road of satire rather than the low road of farce. (Apparently, it was originally excised from the film, only to return in a later version, though I recall seeing the film on TV as a child in the 70s, and the grocery store scene was intact.) Commentary by the film's director, Anthony Harvey, is worth noting, though the man interviewing him dodges the most obvious question burning in the mind's of viewers--exactly what is one to make of the film's ending?
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I saw this movie because I was a huge fan of the band "They Might Be Giants." I must say I was awestruck at the end. It was very powerful and somewhat disturbing. The romantic elements weren't there too much, but the acting was superb and humourous. I heard about the cut-out scene from the supermarket without which the movie made no sense, but I think that the most crucial scene is the scene in the taxi when Gearge C. Scott talks about the fact that "they might be." I like this idea. I'm frantically hunting for a text of the play.
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