Our Town (Widescreen Edition)
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Top Customer Reviews
Wilder's play, which was inspired by Gertrude Stein's 1925 "The Making of Americans", draws one into it, with the actors sometimes talking directly to the viewer; it has a simplicity and charm that make it stay fresh even when one knows the words by heart.
The time is the early 20th century, in Grovers Corners, New Hampshire, and centers on the Webb and Gibbs families, who live next door to each other, and especially Emily Webb (Maggie Lacey) and George Gibbs (Ben Fox), who fall in love with gentle glances and sweet words. Lacey and Fox are luminous, and capture the heart of this lovely play.
As their parents, Jayne Atkinson and Frank Connors are marvelous as Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs, as are Jane Curtin and Jeffrey DeMunn as Charles and Myrtle Webb.
Originally produced for Connecticut's Westport County Playhouse, the show later moved to Broadway, where it garnered Paul Newman, 78 at the time, a Tony nomination.
Directed by James Naughton, this is a splendid performance of a perfect, and quite profound play; it is a keeper, and one that will make you smile, and sometimes weep, over and over again. Total running time is 120 minutes.
For those who don't know the play, it shows life in a small town in New Hampshire circa 1901 - 1913. The main characters are two young people who grow up, fall in love, get married, and are separated by death. On the surface, it's just another piece of nostalgia, but there are dark currents in Grovers Corners, little ironies and inconsistencies that are often commented on by the Stage Manager, and are embodied in the town drunk Simon Stimson.
Be advised if you don't like sentiment: you'll have a lump in throat throughout the entire third act as the play explores the beauty of everyday life. And afterward, you'll look at your family and friends in a different way.
Bravo to PBS for having the vision to bring this classic to a new audience, staged in the bare-bones way of the original play. Buy this DVD - you'll watch it over and over and force it on your friends.
Almost anything you can say about "Our Town" will sound trite, but it is universal, timeless and about all the things that matter-- young love, marriage, old age, death, the daily routines of putting a meal on the table, the beauty of living day to day although we the living sometimes run roughshod over others with our own self-centeredness and do not look at the stars enough.
Watching this production for the second time, I was struck at how poetic Wilder's language is and how beautifully Mr. Newman delivers his lines, along with the other supporting characters as well. This production is a perfect example that less is more.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is sad that Wilder's work is no longer a must for high school and college. The innovative production staging alone should be renough for this work to be revered but the true... Read morePublished 1 day ago by russell bentley
This version of one of my favorite plays was out of this world. The story of Grover's Corner New Hampshire directed and acted in by Paul Newman, was in a word perfect. Read morePublished 25 days ago by T. P. Oconnor
Excellent adaptation made all the more poignant by the stand out performance of the late Paul Newman. Mr. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Depressing! Plot summary: "Small town. Characters waste their lives, then die. Some of them die young. The end." Ugh! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Voracious Reader
The ultimate performance of Our Town. Paul Newman captures the essence of the all-knowing, all-seeing stage manager. His performance is mesmerizing. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jaws
Not one thing about this production or this play could be more perfect.
Paul Newman is ESPECIALLY flawless, but all of the performers gave honest, vulnerable,... Read more