The Shaw Collection: (Pygmalion / The Millionairess / Arms and the Man / The Devil's Disciple / Mrs. Warren's Profession / Heartbreak House)
DVD | Box Set
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Shaw Collection, The (DVD)
Six acclaimed adaptations bring to life the memorable characterizations, brilliant command of language, and dazzling wit of Shaw's classic plays, highlighting the vitality of his work, as well as the ideas and critiques embedded in it. Titles included are: Arms and the Man, starring Helena Bonham Carter; The Devil's Disciple, starring Patrick Stewart and Ian Richardson; Mrs. Warren's Profession, starring Coral Browne; Pygmalion, starring Lynn Redgrave; Heartbreak House, starrin John Gielgud; and The Millionairess, starring Maggie Smith and Tom Baker.]]>
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These plays are great theatre, Living in a country where the European tradition of theatre is unknown, it has been a wondrous opportunity to view these classics of a great tradition. But it is the iconoclasm of Shaw's vision that I appreciate most. The society in which I live is even more rigidly structured than that known to Shaw. To even hint a criticism of society in which he revels would land me in prison for the rest of my life! Shaw is relevant today as he was when he wrote these magnificent plays
There are a couple stinkers, "Heartbreak House," in particular. Instead of dialog, we get a two-hour series of pronouncements. Shaw is showing off, and so are the actors - it's like going back in time to the Old Vic, what with the rolled r's and clunky "outdoor" scenery. The same can be said for "The Apple Cart." Yuck. Androcles and the Lion is also pretty painful.
These are all evocative of those old Masterpiece Theaters, and it's fun to identify actors you've seen in other shows and movies. There's never been a shortage of really brilliant talent in England. Too bad the production values are so iffy; film for outdoors shots, videotape for inside shots - so bad that when they light a match the camera doesn't know what to do - like an old kinescope. But if you can overlook the thump-thump of wood whenever people are walking on "stone" or "grass" and focus on the wonderful lines and nuanced performances, you'll really enjoy this set!The Shaw Collection (Pygmalion / The Millionairess / Arms and the Man / The Devil's Disciple / Mrs. Warren's Profession / Heartbreak House)