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Vanya on 42nd Street (Criterion Collection) (1994)

Wallace Shawn , Julianne Moore , Louis Malle  |  PG |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Vanya on 42nd Street (Criterion Collection) + My Dinner with Andre (The Criterion Collection) + Andre Gregory: Before and After Dinner
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Product Details

  • Actors: Wallace Shawn, Julianne Moore, Brooke Smith, George Gaynes
  • Directors: Louis Malle
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: February 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0068CEGEA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,158 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

New high-definition digital restoration

New documentary featuring interviews with Andre Gregory, and the cast


PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Steven Vineberg and more

Editorial Reviews

In the nineties, André Gregory mounted a series of spare, private performances of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in a crumbling Manhattan playhouse. These treasures of pure theater would have been lost to time had they not been captured on film, with subtle cinematic brilliance, by Louis Malle (My Dinner with André). In Vanya On 42nd Street, a stellar cast of actors—including Wallace Shawn, Julianne Moore, Brooke Smith, and George Gaynes—embark on a full read-through of Uncle Vanya (adapted into English by David Mamet); the result is as memorable and emotional a screen version of Chekhov’s masterpiece as one could ever hope to see. This film, which turned out to be Malle’s last, is a tribute to the playwright’s devastating work as well as to the creative process itself.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your average film... April 10, 2012
I have been waiting for years it seems to get my hands on this film, truly unaware of what I was in store for. My friends raved Julianne Moore's performance here, and Louis Malle is one of my favorite film directors ever, so the chance to see his famed final act (yes, this is his last film) was a dream come true and yet it was unavailable almost everywhere and I couldn't seem to get a copy.

Then, behold, the glorious Criterion Collection!

Much in the vein of Malle's '81 masterwork `My Dinner with Andre', `Vanya on 42nd Street' feels more like a home movie than a feature film. This film basically follows the rehearsal by actors in New York covering Chekhov's classic `Uncle Vanya'. They take the play, scene for scene, and act it out, taking small breaks here and there for refreshments; but those scenes are few and far in-between. Instead, the film basically gives us glimpse at an intimate recreation of actors living and breathing a `scene'.

Beautifully shot (the cinematography is outstandingly intimate), wonderfully acted (the entire ensemble is so on point, but I was particularly impressed with Wallace Shawn) and expertly spliced to create an intriguing and engrossingly unique cinematic experience.

I loved this!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Minor Classic for Chekhov Fans December 16, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It was a clever way to introduce the play: Andre Gregory, Wallace Shawn, and other cast members walk along Broadway on their way to the run-down New Amsterdam Theatre to "rehearse" UNCLE VANYA and away it goes. Andre Gregory, Wallace Shawn and Louis Malle gave us MY DINNER WITH ANDRE and then made this wonderful production of this classic Chekhov play in a theatre that seemed beyond repair and is now the Disney's delightful Broadway home. The setting is perfect. The acting is impeccible. We are introduced to Julianne Moore in this production. Every older member of the cast is an iconic stage actor, and Julianne Moore and Brooke Smith shine too. For a theatre fan, a Chekhov fan, a Louis Malle fan, and a lover of this cast, I can't say enough positive things. I had a copy that broke recently and bought the Criterion Series version from Amazon to replace it. It's worth every penny.
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