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The Comedians (Los Comedianies) Spanish import, plays in English

Richard Burton , Elizabeth Taylor    DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 9.94
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Frequently Bought Together

The Comedians (Los Comedianies) Spanish import, plays in English + Night of the Iguana [1964] [Dutch Import] + Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? [DVD] [1966]
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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Alec Guinness, Peter Ustinov, Paul Ford
  • Producers: Peter Glenville
  • Format: PAL, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Castilian, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Czech, Greek
  • Dubbed: Castilian, English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000T2DW18
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,256 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good film -- terrible sound quality 15 May 2012
By KurtM
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The film is very worthwhile as a time-capsule glimpse into the kind of ambitious-yet-commercial, glamor-slash-message productions that were made in that era. Never mind that the picture quality has not been remastered. But the English soundtrack is at such a low audio level that an average TV has to be turned up to its highest volume to make some of the scenes, especially the intimate ones between Taylor and Burton, audible at all. I have never yet experienced such an extreme case on a DVD. Probably this was done to remove some kind of noise from the old recording, but it leaves many passages almost inaudible and somewhat distorted. What the "remasterers" did add, though, is a completely needless fake "stereo" effect on some dialogue scenes, where the sound is shifted more or rather less accurately from left to right depending on where the speaker is standing in the frame. The quality is not as bad on the German and Spanish dubbed soundtracks, which are also there, though, typically, fails to list them in the product description. Oh, by the way, though I ordered the "Spanish import" version, the disc I received had the English cover, not the one the item picture shows.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When they were good, they were superb...... 1 Nov 2008
As a great admirer of Richard Burton's filmwork, I snatched this set up immediately. All the films, save for Vicente Minnelli's "The Sandpiper" held my interest throughout, with "Virginia Woolf" and "The Comedians" (based on the Graham Greene novel) taking top honors.

"The VIPs" was a pleasant surprise as I was completely unfamilar with this Burton/Taylor venture. Supporting cast is excellent with Rod Taylor, Louis Jourdan (as Tayor's lover), and the unmistakably impressive Orson Welles, in a semi-comedic role opposite Elsa Martinelli.

Melodrama to be sure, but done with class, wit, and an engaging storyline that holds one's interest throughout its entire 119 minutes. It is amazing how some actors, like Burton and Taylor can take a relatively bit of fluff from Terrence Rattigan's screenplay, and transform it into something absorbing and grand.

What makes these films work? One would have to argue that the chemistry between Burton and Taylor in so many of their films was unmistakable; certainly Mike Nichol's "Virginia Woolf" is a masterpiece, but these are performers who have a intrinsic quality that is rarely seen in actors today--I think we would call it PRESENCE--players ultimately in command of their material and the roles they play who make acting seem effortless and entirely convincing. Burton is a master of roles. He can play the burnt-out professor in "Virginia Woolf" as well as a conflicted, upstanding minister and school headmaster whose life, contrained as his clerical collar, tempts an extramarital affair with the free-spirited mother (Taylor) of one of his students in "The Sandpiper."

The commentaries and extras on "Virginia Woolf" are both ample and exemplary, while shedding a new critical light on this classic play.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"The Comedians" (1967), runs a long, long 152 minutes. It stars the most famous acting couple of that time, probably still among the world's most famous, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who notoriously fell in love, while still married to others, during the filming of Cleopatra 2 Disc [DVD] [1963]. This dark film is based on Graham Greene's novel of the same name-- The Comedians. Greene wrote the screenplay himself, for MGM, with whom he was under contract at the time, as were the actors; he undoubtedly was instructed to make it a star vehicle for the pair, who were making the seventh of their eleven movies together.

This color film was set in Haiti during the tyrannical rule of Papa Doc Duvalier; it was actually filmed in African Dahomey and Benin and in the Victorine Studios in Nice, France: Haiti had been a French colony; at least at that time it apparently looked French, and some of its residents can speak French in addition to its own Creole. The picture was directed by Peter Glenville, and boasts rather an all-star cast, in addition to Taylor/Burton. There are Peter Ustinov (Agatha Christie - Death On The Nile [DVD]); Alec Guinness (Alec Guinness Collection - Screen Icons [DVD]); Paul Ford and Lillian Gish. And a phalanx of good black actors: Georg Stanford Brown, Roscoe Lee Brown, James Earl Jones, Gloria Foster, Zakes Mokae, Raymond St. Jacques, Cicely Tyson, and Douta Seck.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars decent collection 25 Feb 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I purchased this as I'd wanted to see The VIPs (not available for rental or purchase elsewhere), so ordered this set. I had already seen (and loved) Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, so figured at least 2 out of 4 would be decent.

The VIPS was the second Taylor/Burton outing since their first on Cleopatra, and it still stands the test of time. It's allegedly based on a true story of Vivien Leigh who wanted to leave her husband Laurence Olivier for lover Peter Finch, then got stuck in the fog at Heathrow waiting for her plane to take off. It has an all-star cast, including a very young Maggie Smith, Orson Welles and a cameo from David Frost playing a reporter. Multi-stranded storylines which comfortably come together in places, this is a fun, glamorous look at a night of the 1960s international high-flying set. Margaret Rutherford initially seems to be there for comic relief, but provides the most heartfelt and satisfactory ending (and won an Oscar for it too).

The Comedians is an altogether more serious affair. Set in Haiti just as a dictatorship comes into force, I understand that this is one of the few historically and politically accurate accounts in the commercial arts of Haiti in the 1960s, and is based (and written for the screen by) Graham Greene. It was compelling and the cast was excellent, but I found it too long (2.5 hours) and dragging in parts, but appreciated its noble intents.

The Sandpiper I hadn't even heard of before, and perhaps for good reason. Directed by Vincente Minnelli, it tells the story of a free spirit (Taylor) who clashes with the priest/headmaster (Burton) who is legally entitled to take her son away. It started with such a promisingly intriguing premise but didn't quite delve deeper than the archetypes that it could have.
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