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They Might Be Giants (1971)

George C. Scott , Joanne Woodward , Anthony Harvey (II)  |  G |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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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 (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004KDEP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,814 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

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
313 of 314 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please re-release this dvd. June 4, 2009
By S.L.S
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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205 of 205 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please re-release on DVD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! June 1, 2005
By viewer
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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103 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Much madness is divinest sense..." 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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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film that ponders, "What is insanity?" May 9, 2005
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.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is a market for this movie! September 20, 2009
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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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Universal Please Re-Issue This...................... January 30, 2008
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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sherlock Holmes as You've Never Seen Him Before January 25, 2004
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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think... October 3, 1999
By A Customer
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars "Curing" A Classic: the nuttiest Sherlock Holmes movie ever made.
the producers of Elementary are doing a pretty good job, but they're not exactly original. Sherlock Holmes in contemporary London, aided by a lady Watson, had already been... Read more
Published 1 month ago by jude pepper
4.0 out of 5 stars great movie, scott was a great actor
great movie, scott was a great actor. I like that they sent along a DVD copy with it. Tapes were okay but not always reliable.Prefer DVDs, should last better.
Published 1 month ago by Alan Denman
4.0 out of 5 stars On my top ten movie list
This is one of my all time favorite movies and I'm glad to see that it's finally available at a reasonable price. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Richard W. King
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie; bad version
Lovely movie with George C. Scott in one of his best rolls. Unfortunately this VHS version is missing a vital scene near the end. :-(
Published 6 months ago by fl
5.0 out of 5 stars A most enjoyable if pricey film to acquire.
George C. Scott at his best, as a man who has gone off the deep end and thinks he's Sherlock Holmes. A very funny comedy, and you really do end up hoping the looneys win.
Published 8 months ago by Jonny D.
5.0 out of 5 stars For those wanting a reasonably priced copy
I love this movie, but cannot afford the ridiculous prices being asked for it. I found a site that sells copies that are reasonably priced at $19.95 plus shipping. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Agapeman
5.0 out of 5 stars Goofy/Noir
This is a gem! Sherlock Holmes with a Capraesque twist. It's in a class of it's own! You gotta love it!
Published 9 months ago by Alan Barysh
5.0 out of 5 stars There Really Might Be Giants
Because this is one of the best movies ever made. It lacks subtitles which for me is a bad thing because I'm hard ofhearing. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Thomas E. Maddocks
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!
This is an incredible gem of a movie! The "Sherlockian" plot is delightfully filled with twists and turns, intensity and humor.
George C. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Fan
4.0 out of 5 stars They Might Be Giants
Am a fan of George C. Scott and had seen this movie a long time ago
and was struck by the quotation at the end. Nice to have this in my
private collection !
Published 16 months ago by Ed
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