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Lonelyhearts [VHS]

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Actors: Montgomery Clift, Myrna Loy, Robert Ryan, Dolores Hart, Maureen Stapleton
  • Directors: Vincent J. Donehue
  • Writers: Dore Schary, Howard Teichmann, Nathanael West
  • Producers: Dore Schary, Walter Reilly
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
  • VHS Release Date: June 24, 1992
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301973224
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,041 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

A riveting drama of a young idealist who seeks his fortune in the rough and tumble world of newspaper journalism, Lonelyhearts features a first-rate cast in compelling performances. When Adam White (Montgomery Cliff) joins the staff of The Chronicle, his whole life changes. He has wanted to be a writer all his life and his assignment to the "Miss Lonelyhearts" column give his chance. But at what cost to his personal happiness? White's relationship with Justy Sargeant (Dolores Hart) is soon threatened by his involvement with his career and his sympathy for the poor souls who bear all to Miss Lonelyhearts. Robert Ryan brilliantly portrays the world-weary and fiercely cynical editor, Bill Shrike, and Myrna Loy is stunning in an uncharacteristic role as Shrike's neglected and troubled wife. Completing the stellar cast is Maureen Stapleton in her Oscar-nominated film debut. From the Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West, this daring film is an utterly spellbinding view of ambition, greed and human frailty. B & W. 1958. Approximate running time : 1 hour 44 minutes. Not rated.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Shelley on July 15, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
In Patricia Bosworth's biography of Montgomery Clift, Clift is said to have hated the Dore Schary screenplay based on the novel by Nathaniel West and the play by Howard Teichman, calling it "Miss Lonelyhearts meets Andy Hardy", a joke on Schary as head of MGM. Whilst the treatment changes the fate of the Christ-like figure played by Clift, the character still suffers. He is burdened by the anguish of those who write to his advice column, his editor (Robert Ryan) is in pathological rage over the infidelity of his wife, his father is in jail for killing his Clift's mother, and his girlfriend is so controlling and possessive that she wants to know his "every thought". West's cynicism is prevalent in the Ryan character's ugliness - his contempt for humanity who he thinks are all fakes and frauds, and his humiliation of his wife as projected guilt over his own affairs. This all sounds pretty glum, and whilst I tend to agree with Clift's assessment of the Schary screenplay with the Clift romance with Dolores Hart as bland, one can be amused by the many ironies behind the scenes here. Casting Clift as a man who does not drink and one to dispense advice to the lost is laughable in light of Clift's alcoholism and shattered emotional state after his infamous car crash. However Clift remained a handsome man, perhaps even the change added character to his former face, and his shattered sensitivity makes his acting all the more remarkable. If him calling Hart "dear" and the way he leans on her reveals an essential falseness, the directness with Ryan more than compensates. Bosworth details the trouble the filmmakers had in capturing the scene where Clift punches someone, with Ryan finally providing the closeup, but Clift's pain afterwards is all too real.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
A fine example of melding stage and screen. Debut film director Donehue had a stage background, lent a quality of intimacy to potent Dore Schary screenplay. Montgomery Clift, in obvious pain from disfiguring auto accident, provides added pathos to pathetic character, burdened from woes inflicted by cynical newspaper editor, sardonically played by Robert Ryan. Myrna Loy, as his beaten down wife, matches Ryan's sophisticated polished performance. Supporting cast lends considerable credibility, best supporting actress nomination for Maureen Stapleton well deserved. Supporting cast well represented by Frank Maxwell, Jackie Coogan and Mike Kellin. Donehue's subtle direction completes ensemble production, with Schary's personal views being intelligently injected without appearing stagey. Sadly, Donehue died shortly after this film was completed. Schary and Ryan had a productive history together in Hollywood, hallmarked by landmark 1947's Crossfire. Lonelyhearts ably shows both men's commitment to fine film making, and they were reunited one final time for a tribute to Schary on Ralph Edwards' This Is Your Life. Video version recently re-released after being withdrawn from distribution in past few years, should be superb when done in DVD, highlighted by cinematograper John Alton's muted black and white photography.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
In this tale based on Nathaniel West's 1930s novel "Miss Lonelyhearts," Adam White, an enigmatic man with a past that at times gives the viewer pause, challenges a cynical newspaper publisher over the stuff and substance of human nature. We really never find out who wins, but the film is superb, with many layers of emotional depth. Clift plays his lead character a bit too tautly, and much of the time comes off as a terrorized, wooden fellow who's had one too many snorts of his drug of choice. Still, it's a human yarn full of poignancy, and the supporting characters give fine performances. For a story based on the news business, why wasn't this movie given more press?
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Format: VHS Tape
Based on one of the handful of great American novels - by Nathaniel West, the author of "Day of the Locust", who died very young - this film was a wasted opportunity that is interesting none the less. The cast is wonderful but the surrealistic novel is both adapted and directed as if it were a social reality tract. Clift is fine as a shattered center, uncomfortably true to his own life at the time, but he's truer to the source material than the film is, so seems at odds with it. Myrna Loy is wonderful in a part that hardly exists in the book, and could have been cut from the film. To give you an idea who should have directed this material, Cocteau would have been ideal. Or Ken Russell before he became Hollywood bloated. Other plays have been written from the novel, but it's a black poem, and like "Locust" perhaps no film could truly express it. All the same, see it, then find the book. It could be argued it's the greatest American art novel ever written, rivaled only by the work of James Purdy and Jane Bowles.
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Format: DVD
Lonelyhearts, 1958 film

This is a story about the newspaper business, the main source of information before television for most people (aside from rumor). A young man gets a job writing as “Miss Lonelyhearts” for the ‘Chronicle’, giving advice to people who are asking a stranger with unknown credentials. Adam White doesn’t like this assignment. [What else can he do?] It tells about some people’s lives and personalities, like a novel that is based on personal experiences. Aren’t those advice columns just a form of entertainment [like that “Jerry” show on TV]? Do not mistake them for an authority on proper behavior. Ever wonder if those letters were made up for comic effect? Or recycled from earlier years?

Adam West’s father is in prison for killing his wife and her lover when Adam was a child; he was put in an orphanage. What effect did this have on his life? Adam’s column is criticized by the editor “for purely commercial reasons”. The headlines are filled with examples of people breaking the Ten Commandments and suffering afterwards. “People are animals.” Are people’s problems caused by their misdeeds? Adam is asked to contact one of the letter writers in person; he does so. This married woman visits Adam at his apartment. [A big mistake as a meeting place.] Her husband is “handicapped”. “It happens to men sometimes after an accident.” [Would family support have helped? Is this a drawback to a “nuclear family”?] A taxi drops the lady around the corner from her place. Adam goes to a local bar. A man recognizes him and confides in him. [What a coincidence!] He wants the letter his wife wrote. Adam can’t help him. We hear the other side of the complaint.

Adam’s conscience bothers him. He learns his editor was right about people.
Read more ›
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