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Travels With My Aunt [VHS] (1972)

Maggie Smith , Alec McCowen , George Cukor  |  PG |  VHS Tape
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

Price: $36.82
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Product Details

  • Actors: Maggie Smith, Alec McCowen, Louis Gossett Jr., Robert Stephens, Cindy Williams
  • Directors: George Cukor
  • Writers: Graham Greene, Hugh Wheeler, Jay Presson Allen
  • Producers: James Cresson, Robert Fryer, Russell Thacher
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Warner)
  • VHS Release Date: March 26, 1996
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304005970
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,949 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The steady hand of George Cukor and the grand manner of Maggie Smith bring Graham Greene's lovely novel to spiffy life. Smith, fresh off her 1970 Oscar® win for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, plays the larger-than-life Aunt Augusta, free spirit and committed eccentric (a role originally considered for Katharine Hepburn). She drags her starchy nephew (Alec McCowen), whose biggest adventure in life thus far has been tending his fine English garden, into a series of globe-trotting escapades. Cukor, one of Hollywood's most accomplished veterans at this point, keeps the episodic action moving while incorporating flashbacks to Augusta's flamboyant career as a bon vivant. He also creates a stage for Maggie Smith, who swells into the largeness and age of the role--she's actually almost a decade younger than Alec McCowen. Equally good is McCowen, who did delicious work as the dogged inspector in Hitchcock's Frenzy the same year. --Robert Horton

From the Back Cover

From Academy Award-winning director George Cukor comes an enchanting tale of an unconventional lady who brings style, class and grace to smuggling, hustling and swindling. At her sister's funeral, Aunt Augusta (Oscar winner Maggie Smith)-a spirited woman of indeterminate years-befriends her bereft nephew, Henry (Alec McCowen)-a stodgy middle-aged banker who's only passion is caring for his prize dahlias. But before poor Henry can say "green thumb" twice, Aunt Augusta whisks him into a series of bizarre misadventures, which transport them throughout Europe and transform Henry into a virile and vibrant man about town.
Scripted by Jay Presson Allen and Hugh Wheeler from the best-selling novel by Graham Green, Travels with My Aunt is a "delightful, sophisticated fare" (Movies on TV and Videocassette). Co-starring Lou Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentlemen) and Cindy Williams (American Graffiti), this "grand rollicking adventure... is a hilarious yet poignant offbeat romantic comedy that is a triumph of exquisite style and sensibility" (The Los Angeles Times).

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
By Kali
Format:VHS Tape
Maggie Smith is deliciously wonderful as the unconventional Augusta, a woman with a shady and colorful past. Arriving at the funeral of her sister after man years absence, she plucks her staid stick-in-the-mud nephew from his humdrum existence in suburban England and drags him with her on a journey of self-discovery, introducing him to her many Bohemian friends as well as her West Indian lover Wordsworth played brilliantly by Louis Gossett Junior. Augusta's nephew is played with excellent British stuffiness by Alec McCowan who finds out to his horror that there is more to his own past than that of his Aunt. Compelled by a sense of duty mingled with confusion he sets out to help the madcap Augusta in her bid to raise the funds to free one of her old flames Mr. Visconti who is being held to ransom by a band of desperate men. This film is delectably funny, quirkily humorous in a sardonic come sartorial way whilst at the same time maintaining equilibrium in the form of its characters who are larger than life but totally human and believable. Maggie Smith however steals the show with her portrayal of Augusta a woman with a past as colorful as a patchwork quilt. There are little twists and turns that add to the piquant essence of the whole film, such as Henry's true parentage both maternal and paternal, and Augusta's own self-interpretation of her life and actions over the years. The final scene will bring tears of laughter to your eyes and you should be left with a good feeling because "Travels with my Aunt" is a feel good with a bit of a difference.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sheer Delight. March 29, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
Directed by George Cukor and though it's not in the same league as his famous hits such as " The Philadelphia Story " or " My Fair Lady " I still have to agree with every other reviewer on Amazon and give this little known gem 5 stars.

Maggie Smith plays Aunt Augusta, a wild septuagenarian scoundrel who incarnates life itself. No small acting feat, especially when she also portrays her as a teenager in flashbacks. Even with The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by comparison, this is still her greatest achievement. Robert Stephens, her sometime real life husband, another great actor and co-star from The Prime plays her one true love, Mr. Visconti.

Too many magical moments to mention, though the scene when we first encounter Visconti at 'the most romantic railway station in Europe' as the present dissolves back to their first meeting is indescribable.

Oh yes, I haven't told you the plot have I?

Well let's see Alec Mc Cowan plays Henry, her nephew ("Be that the whole truth, woman?"--Louis Gosset) a middle aged banker who is set in his ways and---

---Oh, never mind! Just leave your dahlias behind in the garden to fend for themselves and climb aboard the Orient Express with Aunt Augusta.

And by all means, go first class. You never know when poverty might strike, like influenza.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Travels With My Aunt December 12, 1999
By Lynn
Format:VHS Tape
Though quite hammy at times, Maggie Smith delivers a stellar performance as Aunt Augusta in "Travels With My Aunt." She takes her nephew on a series of zany adventures all over the world. It's definitely a fun way to spend an evening!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Book is Better April 4, 2012
By Harriet
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The book by Graham Greene is charming and beautifully written. The film is totally different. There are episodes in the film that are not in the book and it is not nearly as subtle and charming as the book. Maggie Smith is worth seeing (though she does overact some) but the film was a disappointment. I purchased the film at Amazon because it is not easily available elsewhere.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great to see at last with a beautiful transfer July 6, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was apprehensive when there was mention of DVD-R transfer of this title and being dubbed to order, but I decided to take the risk as its one of my all time favourite films. There was NO need for trepidation, this is a wonderful, vibrant transfer, in 16:9, not some crappy pan and scan 4:3 effort from a dodgy VHS. Very well packaged as well. The colours jump from the screen, the sound is pretty much stock standard for the day. Maggie Smith is over-the-top hilarious, Alec McCowen is wonderful, its silly, sad, laugh out loud and heart wrenchingly poignant, all at the same time. A real classic, and a must for any fans of classic cinema. Directed by the great women's director George Cukor....what more would you expect! Four star rather than 5 as there are some (very) minor black wea and tear marks on the print used for the transfer, but they are almost unnoticeable, and well and truly overcome by the great content. Buy without hesitation if its one of your favourites too.
Its fascinating to look at the output of Graeme Greene, and compare the film versions of his books: THE QUIET AMERICAN, THE END OF THE AFFAIR, BRIGHTON ROCK, THE FALLEN IDOL, THE THIRD MAN.....just so prolific.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious - Top comedy to enlighten the heart July 20, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Best performance I've ever seen from our famous Maggie Smith, to immerse yourself in this movie is sure to cure anyones malady. At first a frown may appear on your brow, but once you understand the characters (especially 'Augusta' - Maggie) the true colours of fantasy, comedy AND reality where some are concerned - just shine through. I cannot understand how this movie has never really had the publicity it deserves, get your wallets out and buy a copy immediately. I'm about as selective as one can be when it comes to comedy's, particularly from the '70's but this is one you cant let go.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
not as good as hoped
Published 1 month ago by werner skaba
2.0 out of 5 stars I thought it would be intelligent humor. So I have wasted $11
its so disappointing. I thought it would be intelligent humor. So I have wasted $11.99. Would return it but doesn't seem fair since I have watched half of it, until I gave up... Read more
Published 2 months ago by youbebest
2.0 out of 5 stars No CC
Was disappointed the movie does not have closed captions.
Published 2 months ago by Joey Lowery
4.0 out of 5 stars but I love the movie
The copy is a little grainy, but I love the movie.
Published 2 months ago by Myrna Pool
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed it and quality of video was great and disc ...
enjoyed it and quality of video was great and disc in great condition as well as the case. David l.
Published 3 months ago by David L. Lewis
1.0 out of 5 stars Too kitschy--really overdone
I didn't think I would ever find a Maggie Smith movie that I didn't like. This is it. So overdone, so actually painful to watch. I couldn't watch more than 10 minutes of it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Nancy Greco
5.0 out of 5 stars Travels with my aunt
Have been waiting for years to see this film again and was not disappointed. Then again I think Maggie Smith is superb whatever part she plays. SO happy I managed to get a copy1
Published 6 months ago by Olga
5.0 out of 5 stars A whirlwind adventure with the great Maggie Smith
I'll start off saying that I LOVE anything with Maggie Smith. This film is no exception. It takes you on a cross country romp with some very memorable characters. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Anthony Chiappette
4.0 out of 5 stars good film
even though it was a warnerarchive release this was in very good condition
recommend it for anyone who likes funny and maggie smith films
Published 7 months ago by robert dow
1.0 out of 5 stars Aplomb Gone Wrong
I personally don't see giving a general pass to a usually competent or favorite performer just for past history. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Commenter77
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