98 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 25th Anniversary Edition Worth the Upgrade!
It seems that in "special" releases, Columbia and Paramount really trail behind Warner Bros., which is why I hesitated somewhat from upgrading my barebones "Tootsie" DVD to this 25th Anniversary Edition. The first extras that I looked at were the deleted scenes; there are quite a few short ones here, none of which really deserved to be inserted. Some are mildly amusing,...
Published on February 9, 2008 by Dave
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the movie but with NO features it's an insult!!
This is an excellent film. It's been around nearly 20 years and what features do they give us for such a special movie and special performances?? NONE....NONE. I don't really consider production notes a "special" feature. In my opinion, special features "move" and talk.
Who out there thinks that TOOTSIE should not only have commentary but also...
Published on September 2, 2001 by Marc Lahn
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98 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 25th Anniversary Edition Worth the Upgrade!,
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This review is from: Tootsie - 25th Anniversary Edition (DVD)
It seems that in "special" releases, Columbia and Paramount really trail behind Warner Bros., which is why I hesitated somewhat from upgrading my barebones "Tootsie" DVD to this 25th Anniversary Edition. The first extras that I looked at were the deleted scenes; there are quite a few short ones here, none of which really deserved to be inserted. Some are mildly amusing, some shouldn't have even been shot in the first place. OK, one extra down, two to go. Next I looked at Dustin Hoffman's "screen test." Source material are original betamax tapes of Dustin first doing the Dorothy Michaels character. Although theses tests are very short, they are extremely relevatory into the talents of Hoffman. Between the time he filmed these initial test and the time that his final character was put on film, Hoffman transitioned from a bad drag queen into a believable female. Truly incredible to compare the two performances which are roughly 3 years apart. 2nd extra down, last one to go: "The Making Of" documentary. I had no expectations of this whatsoever; expecting a 20 minute assortment of clips and a little narration, instead, we are treated to about an hour and a half of indepth interviews and insight into the creation of this comedy classic. There are current interviews from Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Terri Garr, and Sydney Pollack. The only major player missing is Murray, but it doesn't detract from the documentary. We learn that this movie is one of those amazing occurrances where the right creative team comes together; Hoffman is a difficult to control idea-man who definitely needs to be steered and somewhat restrained. As the Director, Pollack supplied this excellent guidance, and rather than play the movie for bawdy laughter, he went for honesty and truth. Elaine May also apparently gave the film its momentum and helped build all of the intertwined stories that lead to the exciting conclusion of the live Soap Opera reveal at the climax. Bill Murray and Terri Garr gave many classic improv moments, and Jessica Lange gives a very sweet and honest "straight" performance. In the interviews, Dabney Coleman tells how nobody ever laughed on the set; it was the editing of Pollack that made all the humor work, and when looking at the movie after hearing this, it is obvious to see the truth in his statement. This documentary all has many behind-the-scenes clips and confrontations between Pollack and Hoffman, who pushed the director to try every possible route and questioned everything about the movie. Large gripe - why couldn't the theatrical trailer have been put on here? It was on the barebones previous release...surely it could have fit on this DVD, too.
For those not familiar with the plot, here it is: Michael Dorsey is a talented but exasperating NYC actor (much like Hoffman apparently) who nobody wants to work with; he drives up budgets and is difficult to work with. Desperate for money, he disguises himself as a woman to win a role on a soap opera. After he gets the role, he must keep it a secret from his girlfriend (Terri Garr), his costar Julie (Jessica Lange) with whom he has fallen for, and from Julie's dad (Charles Durning) who has fallen for him, thinking he is a woman. The longer it continues, the harder it is to keep juggling his life and secrets, and Michael must figure out a solution.
The film itself looks good for its age in this widescreen 2:40:1 transfer in English 5.0. It is a little surprising that there's no commentary track, however, the documentary covers so much it really isn't all that necessary. Nice job and a move in the right direction, Columbia!
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roll Tootsie,
One of the other reviewers here comments that "Tootsie" is a movie that doesn't get much notice anymore. I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is true, it's a real tragedy. In my opinion, this is one of the best comedies ever made. It's somewhere between the blatant slapstick of "The Great Race" and the witty sophistication of "The Pink Panther", and it doesn't have a car chase in it, but this movie is nonstop funny from beginning to end. There is humor in just about every scene, and funny lines abound. Dustin Hoffman, one of the best actors of his generation, gives one of his best peformances as a tempermental actor who can't get a job and secretly tries out for a female role on a big daytime soap opera in drag. Of course, he gets the part and becomes enormously popular, largely because he refuses to put up with the crap that other actresses put up with. Not only is Hoffman excellent, but the rest of the cast is also outstanding. Jessica Lange got a best supporting actress oscar. The oscar for best picture should have landed here, as well. If you've never seen this one, do yourself a favor -- get a copy and watch it. If you haven't seen it in years, get a copy and watch it again. Either way, you won't be sorry. This is one Hollywood's best comedies.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Astounding film fails to harness the power of DVD,
If ever a movie got robbed on Oscar® night, it was TOOTSIE. Up against the historical powerhouse GANDHI, it didn't stand much of a chance. But in any other year, it would clearly have swept the statuettes off the stage.
This sublime comedy is a must for every aspiring actor, not only for the message it delivers about the need for talent to be tempered by professionalism, but also for the sheer quality of the acting on display. There's not a single actor in the entire piece who fails the script. The editing is particularly crisp, often adding a comic punctuation of its own.
For me, the standout actor is not Dustin Hoffman but the highly underrated Sydney Pollack. As Michael Dorsey's frustrated agent, and the only character actually in opposition to Dorsey's impersonation, his sense of frustration and confusion provides, I think, the funniest moments in the film. What's even more impressive is that his character echoes his behind-the-scenes role. As the film's director, his principle duty is to make sure that the film coheres into a logical narrative. Similarly, as Dorsey's agent, he provides a lot of that necessary narration. Though many of Pollack's lines are not only hilariously funny, they also serve to better define Dorsey and provide answers to fill in potential plot holes. In the end, the audience is twice served by Pollack. Not only does he direct with great comic assuredness, his character crucially makes Dorsey's madness believable.
What makes this DVD disappointing is not its film. No, the woeful lack of any special features is simply inexcusable. There is really no reason to buy the DVD over the cheaper VHS. It's incredible to me that such a seminal work can be so bereft of even a simple director's commentary. Hopefully, later "special editions" will be a more complete addition to your DVD library.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FUNNY. AND MEANINGFUL.,
What a tightly scripted, beautifully acted, finely paced comedy! Having seen it a long time ago, I felt it must've been very much like an older version of Mrs Doubtfire, but this marvellous film has a lot more going for it than the female impersonation angle.
When a failing actor cross dresses to get a job, he also discovers the inconveniences of being a "woman of the 80s". Throughout the film, there's always a pleasing sense of cynical humor (e.g., "I dont believe in hell. I believe in unemployment, but not in hell") and Hoffman is topnotch in his role.
The from Morricone has a somewhat grating refrain of Stephen Bishop's "It might be you" but I guess it perfectly serves its purpose, providing the touching backdrop to the actor's increasing awareness of the strength of feminine qualities -- the touch of the baby to his cheek, the poignant sight of Julie's skirt swishing in the kitchen, the offering to Dorothy of her chocolate-covered finger to suck, etc.
I can see that Hoffman must have committed to this movie bigtime, and I notice that there's a book that describes the making of this film but is currently out of print. Perhaps something to this effect would have been great to include on the DVD itself, which is incidentally quite lousy for such a classic film.
At any rate, it's a great addition to any movie collection.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What y'all really want is some gross, caricature of a woman!,
In 1982, Dustin Hoffman played one of his most memorable roles as Michael Dorsey in the hilarious comedy, "Tootsie". As an out-of-work actor, Michael teaches acting classes because no director will hire him due to his somewhat peremptory attitude, or so says his agent George Fields (Sydney Pollack, who also directed the film). Frustrated with being undesirable and wanting to prove himself, Michael dons a dress and high heels so that he can apply for a female role in a television soap opera. Calling himself Dorothy Michaels, the soap opera director, Ron (Dabney Coleman), thinks that Dorothy is too ugly for the part, but Dorothy's dominance earns 'her' the right to a screen test and 'she' gets hired! As the film progresses, Michael's pretense as a woman earns him the stardom and recognition that he longed for. However, it also gets him into trouble not only with a woman that he's dating, Sandy (Teri Garr), but also with two of the regular stars from the soap opera, Julie (Jessica Lange) and John Van Horn (George Gaynes).
With an excellent script, superb acting and a hilarious story, it was completely unsurprising that "Tootsie" earned 10 Oscar nominations, including nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Syndey Pollack), Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay. Dustin Hoffman was nominated for Best Actor and both Teri Garr and Jessica Lange were nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Of all the Oscar nominations, only Jessica Lange won the Oscar. Dustin Hoffman won the Golden Globe for Best Actor, as did Jessica Lange for Best Supporting Actress. The number of Oscar nominations that the film earned demonstrated the many strengths of the film, not to mention that the film will keep you laughing and fully engaged!
Other very memorable characters in the film include Julie's father Les (Charles Durning), Michael's roommate Jeff (Bill Murray), soap opera producer Rita (Doris Belack) and soap opera nurse April (a young Geena Davis).
If you enjoy films such as "Some Like It Hot" (1959) and "Mrs. Doubtfire" (1993), you will more than likely enjoy "Tootsie" equally as well. I rate "Tootsie" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars and am very pleased to own it on DVD.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Are Large...We Contain Multitudes,
When I first saw this film more than 20 years, I really did not fully appreciate then what director Sydney Pollack, his cast, and his crew had achieved. To be sure, I found the humor hilarious, the cross-dressing and gender-bending clever, and all of the performances first-rate. I have the same opinion today. However, in ways and to an extent no previous film had done, Tootsie makes certain assertions which have serious implications, then and now. For example, that at least some men can more fully develop their masculinity by recognizing their femininity, as indeed Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels (Dustin Hoffman) does. And the same is also true of at least some women. Moreover, this film effectively demonstrates how difficult it can often be to gain and then sustain another's complete trust. To salvage his acting career, Michael repositions himself as Dorothy so he will be hired to play a character in a soap opera. As Dorothy, he establishes an especially close relationship with another cast member, Julie (Jessica Lange), and falls in love with her while continuing to deceive her. Later, her widower father Les (Charles Durning) falls in love with Dorothy and thus becomes another unwitting victim of Michael's deceit. The eventual happy ending does not include Les.
Shakespeare never devised for his Italian comedies a plot as complicated as the one Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal provided for Tootsie. Under Pollack's direction, all of the cast members provide brilliant performances, notably Bill Murray as Michael's friend Jeff and George Gaynes as John Van Horn, another cast member. Jessica Lange was selected to receive an Academy Award as best actress and deserved it. Much of this film is hilarious, it is always entertaining, but as I indicated previously, having seen it again recently, I find it much bolder and more thought-provoking now than I did 21 years ago. To some, perhaps, its serious implications may even seem threatening.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks great on DVD - But the "extras" are weak!!!!,
Finally, one of the all time greatest movies is out on DVD! The digital anamorphic picture is excellent as is the newly remastered Dolby digital 5:1 sound. BUT THE DVD "BONUS" FEATURES ARE WEAK!!! There is no commentary from the director or anyone in the movie, no alternate scenes or outakes, not even a original trailer for the movie!!! The only "bonus" material included are the "Production Notes" which are printed on a sheet of paper inside the DVD packaging and 3 trailers for Groundhog Day, Hook and one other movie that have nothing to do with Tootsie!!!! Also included is a cheesy filmography for Hoffman, Lange, Murry and Pollak.
This DVD was in production at Columbia Tristar for a number of years... besides the excellent video and sound transfers - WHAT THE HECK TOOK THEM SO LONG!?!? For a film that was recently ranked as #2 as one of the funniest films of all time, it sure got a shabby treatment upon its DVD re-release.
In short, buy this DVD for the excellent sound and video quality... not for any DVD supplemental material. It is 5 Star movie, but a 2 Star DVD release.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GO TOOTSIE GO!,
Tootsie is one my all time favorite films. It has one of the best actors of all times, Dustin Hoffman playing drag. I think this is probably his best acting ever. He is hilarious as Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels.
He is playing an out of work actor, a very out of work actor who wants a job so desperately. He decides to dress in women's clothes and try to get a job as a woman. He does a better job there! He lands a job on a soap opera, and his character, Dorothy Michaels is adored by the fans, and one older doctor on staff, played by Uncle Henry from Punky Brewster.
Dorothy/Michael takes things in stride and soons learns a great deal about himself and how he is with women.
I recently viewed Tootsie again. I had seen it in the movies when it came out at least twice. This is one of the best comedies of all time. The screenplay for this movie is awesome. Hoffman gets some of the best lines ever heard on film. Bill Murray gets a couple of good lines too. He was very good in this movie. Jessica Lange was outstanding, and very deservant of her Best supporting Actress award. She was perfect in this film, not a single flaw. The acting from everyone was just great. When "Dorothy" decides to reveal the real truth on live t.v. is one of the best movie scenes of all time. There isn't a scene in this movie I didn't like. This whole movie is wonderful from start to finish, a truly great comedy that I think everyone should add to their video collection.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dustin Hoffman is the best!,
Dustin Hoffman is a fantastic character actor, one of the all time greats. He is superb in this movie. He is an actor who can't get a job as a man but through circumstances, ends up getting a woman's part in a soap opera. The cast thinks he is a woman and it really was funny watching Hoffman try to keep them from learning he was a man. This movie was really funny and yet it had a lot of drama and humanity included.
I found his portrayal of a woman more interesting and likable than that of the male character, in fact, there were times that I would get so wrapped up in the character, Dorothy, that I would forget that he was a man acting as a woman. The cast, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Bill Murray, Charles Durney, Geena Davis, were all great.
This is one of those movies that will be remembered for years to come! Enjoy!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dustin Hoffman UNSTOPPABLE,
Anyone who says this movie plays off of other cross-dressing movies is seriously mistaking. Tootsie enhanced it. With superb acting, hysterical script, and great direction Tootsie is the funniest movie ever created. The timing Dustin Hoffman has makes the whole movie worth watching over and over and over again. YOU MUST BUY THIS MOVIE!
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Tootsie - 25th Anniversary Edition by Sydney Pollack (DVD - 2008)