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WUSA (1970)

Paul Newman , Joanne Woodward , Stuart Rosenberg  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Perkins, Laurence Harvey, Pat Hingle
  • Directors: Stuart Rosenberg
  • Writers: Robert Stone
  • Producers: John Foreman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC, Anamorphic
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: February 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0042JH07G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,412 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward. An uncaring drifter lands a job as a New Orleans DJ for a right-wing radio station. Prepared to spread the hate message he doesn't agree with across the airwaves, it soon interferes with his feelings for a young woman. 1970/color/115 min/PG-13/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rush to judgment January 18, 2011
A few comments on the film (the DVD isn't out as of this writing) for those who haven't heard of it, which may be many since it has kept a low profile over its 40 year existence. As I recall, the film was largely dismissed at the time of its release, and there were many negative reviews. Some of the criticisms, e.g. pretentious and wide-of-the-mark, were not entirely wrong, but, in retrospect, the film's virtues were dismissed as well. Paul Newman may seem miscast as an amoral drifter who, indifferent to the consequences, becomes a rising star at a right-wing (actually, proto-Fascist) radio station in New Orleans that not only reports the news with a hard slant, but works secretly to manufacture news that will inflame its listeners, but I thought he did an excellent job. Anthony Perkins is the somewhat unbalanced voice of conscience who can't get through to him and, in an odd choice, essentially plays Norman Bates. Newman has a relationship with another drifter, Joanne Woodward, which also highlights how callous he is about the suffering of others.
The film is well-acted, and weaves about, often more restrained or eccentric than you expect. None-the-less, it is unsatisfying, possibly because we don't get enough of WUSA, either its news or Newman's on-air persona. Obviously, the draw of this film now is the degree to which it outlines the mechanics and popularity of right-wing radio (then relatively uncommon). But that's largely what's missing, although the station owner, played menacingly by Pat Hingle, gives Newman a blunt and frightening talk about his intentions, including a cryptic reference to what's coming next.
Not a great film, and parts of it just don't work, I think, but well worth seeing. It was probably meant to be scary but came out a bit too disorganized. In the end, reality trumped it by orders of magnitude.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WUSA Overlooked gem February 10, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
40 years ago, Paul Newman made a most prophetic film about the future of talk radio and America. The film and its characters were so exactly on target, the public overlooked the film because it lacked the normal cheerleader mentality of our films. Newman and Woodward are up to their standard performances, meaning excellent. Joanne Woodward is one of the most talented and beautuful women ever in American films. Too few films allowed her to showcase her sexuality and beauty, WUSA and The Stripper were two exceptions. Newman is perfect as the cynical intellectual who knows he is telling lies but like all of America is doing what is necessary to survive. The last scene in the movie is especially forward looking, when he says "Don't worry about me, I am a survivor. Ain't I lucky?" For those of us who lived through the era of JFK and RFK we know how the films portrays a drop in our nation's expectations from Camelot to survival. It is the perfect political film.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Downbeat Film That Was Ahead Of It's Time.. May 28, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
WUSA was Paul Newman's follow-up to the highly successful BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID and was a complete 180 compared to that film. It was also one of his biggest flops and today it's easy to see why. The film was way ahead of its time not only in its portrayal of the nature of right wing radio but in it's use of unsympathetic, self-centered, and amoral characters led by Newman who emerge unscathed while the inherently good characters played by Joanne Woodward and Anthony Perkins suffer for their goodness. The script by Robert Stone of DOG SOLDIERS fame (made into the movie WHO'LL STOP THE RAIN? a few years later) brilliantly captures the apathy and the disillusionment of the country after the deaths of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy two years earlier. Unlike M*A*S*H which came out the same year, there is not an ounce of comedy in WUSA and that's what makes it so difficult to accept. It's cynical look at the effects of looking the other way was just too much for audiences in 1970. Today it looks like a prophetic period piece.

Paul Newman plays a drifter who winds up in New Orleans and gets a job at a right wing radio station appropriately called WUSA. He doesn't believe the stuff they preach, it's just a job to him, a way to keep him in drinking money. He takes up with down and out floozie Joanne Woodward and encounters Peace Corps dropout Anthony Perkins who doesn't realize that's he being used by the right wing powers that he despises. In addition to those three, WUSA has a strong supporting cast of capable players including Pat Hingle, Robert Quarry, Moses Gunn, and Laurence Harvey as a fake preacher. In later years Newman felt that the film failed from lack of studio support and because it wasn't political enough. He was half right.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Olive did not do it right... August 14, 2011
Even though WUSA is a downer, to say the least, one should be able to enjoy the DVD, right? Wrong! Even though the video is 2.35:1 and visually great, the audio leaves something to be desired. The audio is in 1 channel and one either gets drowned out by the music OR cannot hear the actors. The audio dialogue is at a very low volume and yet the music drowns out any dialogue. There is even a scene between Newman and Woodward where the dialogue is drowned out by a fountain. It might be tolerable IF there were subtitles...but there are NO subtitles! Paramount has leased several of its titles to Olive Films. That would be great if the quality stood up to Paramount's. But in this case, it doesn't. Olive did not do it my opinion. This was a very disappointing experience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars WUSA
This is a strange little film, you never get the feeling that you know entirely what is going on. There's some intriguing dialogue hidden in the middle, but the whole theme is... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bartok Kinski
5.0 out of 5 stars Real good movie
Good movie perfect transition to blue ray flawless excellent plot just a real good movie from the time worth watching
Published 12 months ago by sameadamson
3.0 out of 5 stars WUSA
While dated and not his greatest work, Paul Newman does what he can to save this movie. It has a good cast; but just comes across as dated and under done.
Published 14 months ago by Robert Baldwin
4.0 out of 5 stars As Current as Ever, for All its Many Flaws
Warning: Spoilers, and not for the weak of heart or head.

"WUSA" is kind of about this guy who works at a southern radio station with a ring-wing slant, and it drifts... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Christopher Twelvetrees
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts good ends weak.
Good picture until you got to the ending. Ending very weak and not believable. I was disappointed since I am a Paul Newman fan.
Published 15 months ago by gary spearman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Such a great movie! " ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! ! !
Published 21 months ago by kris erickson
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie from the past
I was so glad to find this movie and the price was just right. The transaction went smoothly. will do business with the seller again. This is a great movie from the past.
Published on February 14, 2012 by ColoradoJen
3.0 out of 5 stars Midling film with some good period footage
WUSA is one of the late 60s/early 70s Hollywood's take on the new "counter culture". It's neither one of the better nor one of the worst examples. Read more
Published on July 27, 2011 by D.C.Meyer
1.0 out of 5 stars How disappointing
Having never seen the film, I got the DVD with the expectation of a phophetic vision of the future, ala "Network. Read more
Published on February 25, 2011 by Mr Tweedy
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