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Ages of Man [DVD] [1966] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

 Universal, suitable for all   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 11.85
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

Product details

  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Ent. One Music
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Dec 2010
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B0041ONFCQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,246 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dear dear Johnnie.... 4 Sep 2011
Sir John Guilgud is regarded as one of the greatest stage performers. I never saw him on stage so will never know personally. Ive always appreciated him on film/TV. In fact in Murder on the Orient Express he has one of the funniest lines ever, when talking to Poirot what he did last night he explained he read in bed. His cabin sharer seeing he was reading asked him if it was about sex. He replied "No its about 10:30". Poirot (Albert Finney) laughed and so did I. Sorry I digress.

The DVD of Sir John in a black suit quoting elequintly and masterly Shakespeare peices is fine, but because it was a blank stage, I tended to get abit bored. I have to appreciate it was a successful solo world tour and this peice is made for television in 1966 and won awards. Still, I guess you have to be a true thespian to completely enjoy. Included as a bonus in the dvd is a very short intro part of Ian Mckellens Acting Shakespeare - Now that is interesting and he can hold an audiance. I must get that.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gielgud + The Bard. Still Holding Up Through the Ages of (Wo)Man 14 Feb 2011
By Alan W. Petrucelli - Published on
Ages of Man was first performed by John Gielgud in the summer of 1957, in Edinburgh, Scotland, as part of their Annual Festival of the Arts. The great actor toured with the work, on and off, throughout his career, playing it on Broadway in 1959 and 1963, and winning him a special Tony "for contribution to theatre for his extraordinary insight into the writings of Shakespeare"
And on a Sunday afternoon in 1966, producers Daniel Melnick and David Susskind brought it to American television. Yep, it won an Emmy for Outstanding Dramatic Program.
This is perhaps the single greatest production of Shakespeare's words done in the 20th century. There are complete audio recordings of this actor's Hamlet, Prospero, Lear, and Richard II, and a variety of films where he played lesser roles. And perhaps audiences are not well-served by compilations---one speech from play A, two speeches from play B . . . sort of Chinese menu of the Bard's greatest hits. And perhaps a skinny, somewhat fey, proper English man in a business suit is not ideal an image for the great heroes of drama.
However, Gielgud take the "Ages of Man" speech from As You Like It, and illustrates it so brilliantly, and with such genius, pathos, and talent, that you can (almost) hear Shakespeare think. No wonder the old man won a 1979 Grammy Award for his third audio recording of the recital (having been nominated for the same award for his performaces in 1959 and 1964).
All alone, for 104 minutes, this staggeringly talented actor illustrates Shakespeare and teaches us all of life, love, death and the staggering and irreplaceable beauty all around us. Surely pages and pages have been written about Gielgud's diction, vocal purity, projection, imagination and truth, but don't waste time here.
Buy this DVD, out by Entertainment One. If you love Shakespeare, there's no choice. If you hate Shakespeare, here's the best chance to change your mind. Ages of Man is to be treasured, enjoyed and shared, now and forever.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ages of Man by John Gielgud. 7 Nov 2011
By a mydellton - Published on
This is an archive film of John Gielgud's great acting style in his one man show of Shakespeare's roles and soliloquies. It is a black and white TV production from the mid 60s. After more than 45 years it has obviously dated, but is still largely entertaining for Shakespearian minds and enthusiasts. However, the general public would soon be bored well before the two hours has passed.
As with other old black and white productions (such as BBC's `An Age of Kings') the contrast and brightness controls need adjustment. Otherwise a bright halo continually shines around Gielgud's head. He may be great, but perhaps not that great...?
Gielgud appears in a sombre suit on a bare stage, and for two hours we listen to his amazing voice which has been likened to `a silver trumpet muffled with silk'. Many prospective actors will do well to `borrow' much of this technique and encompass it within their own skills wherever possible.
I waited for over 30 years for this DVD (which may prove what a sad creature I am) as the audio tape somehow did not suffice. Perhaps it was because Gielgud did not leave us many of his excellent Shakespearian roles after his death. There is only one surviving leading role, Julius Caesar; although we can see a form of the Tempest's Prospero in `Prospero's Books'. Otherwise all we have are some smaller, cameo roles which is a shame for such a great career. Therefore Ages of Man is an important production.
I saw Gielgud on stage three times. The first time was in the `Best of Friends'; and the last time and only time I saw him in a Shakespearian setting was on an early makeshift stage at the Globe Theatre. This was just before Sam Wanamaker sadly passed away. Gielgud recited the Chorus `O For a Muse of Fire' from Henry 5th, which is one of the speeches on the disc.
Sadly, many of Gielgud's performances are now only memories by those who saw them, but this DVD does give us a window onto Gielgud's power and skill.
29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Suit the Action to the Word" 7 April 2011
By Cat - Published on
Verified Purchase
In this one-man show "Ages of Man" we're treated to a selection of sonnets and soliloquies from Shakespeare's most famous works, expertly delivered by the great John Gielgud. He easily recites famous speeches from Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar and King Lear, with the most beautiful and impeccable diction that is sadly missing from todays' theater. It's easy to understand Shakespeare's imagery when one speaks it as well as he. As much as I enjoyed hearing him speak I have to say this isn't one of my favorite of Gielgud's performances. I appreciate the concept of his show as well as it being a 'bare stage' performance: no costumes, props, scenery, or anything else that would distract the audience from the text. Even so, I thought Gielgud's show a little boring in some repects. Most of the time, if he's not delivering a sonnet while sitting at a desk, he's delivering a soliloquy while staring at a fixed point in space-sometimes not even physically reacting to the actions of the unseen characters--even though he's verbally acknowledging them! I know Gielgud understands the text and I can tell he's a master at the intricacies of Shakespeare's language; the antitheses, the imagery, the scansion, etc, but I felt this was mostly a recital and not a performance. Gielgud is 63 when he performed this show, but I felt it was odd that he was performing certain monologues and not endowing them with the correct physicality that he probably would have done if he were in the entire play. He appeared very mature and stoic during his balcony speech as Romeo in contrast to the chaotic passion and the excitement Romeo feels towards Juliet. I don't object to actors playing parts older or younger than they are, but one needs to be physically and mentally invested and I thought Gielgud's composed, regal manner was distracting to the scene. Gielgud's speeches were mainly from political figures, emperors, generals or Kings but no matter if the speech is about impending death, struggles with madness or grief, they're all delivered in the same composure and rhythm no matter what the cirumstances. The only monologue where I thought he was truly, physically invested was Lear's final speech over Cordelia. I don't wish to imply that he is not a great actor, Gielgud's generation obviously studied and performed Shakespeare differently and his was accepted as the pinnacle of performances. After viewing this show, I can appreciate his obvious devotion to speech and his ability to clearly express Shakespeare's words---an admirable feat considering how tough it is to understand the text. Personally though, I prefer actors to incorporate physicality in their performance, (according to the clues Shakespeare writes in the text). I recommend viewing Ian McKellen's one man show "Acting Shakespeare" as a comparison to Gielgud's. McKellen performs many of the same speeches, but his textual understanding combined with physicality is a more visceral experience. McKellen 'suits the action to the word, the word to the action'-just as Shakespeare dictates.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bad Video, Transcendent Talent 30 Jun 2012
By Jerry B - Published on
Verified Purchase
This is a seriously bad video that I assume was copied from a seriously bad kinescope. But Gielgud's voice and presence triumph throughout, and there is none better. If you're a fan, this is a must in spite of the near headache-inducing video flares and pixelations. If there's a better copy of the original out there somewhere, maybe someone will make a better DVD of it. But until then, this is a rare glimpse at a true master at work.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Retrieving a treasure 31 Mar 2011
By Anne-Marie Byrnes - Published on
Verified Purchase
My purchase was a repeat performance, since I bought "Ages of Man" when it was issued as an LP decades ago. I don't know of any actor better than Gielgud when he reads verse. He belongs in the record library of anyone in love with poetry and with Shakespeare.
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