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King Lear [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Jüri Järvet , Juozas Budraitis    DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £12.50
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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.


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Frequently Bought Together

King Lear [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Hamlet [DVD] + Twelfth Night [1988] [DVD]
Price For All Three: £25.14

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Product details

  • Actors: Jüri Järvet, Juozas Budraitis, Elza Radzina, Valentina Shendrikova, Karl Sebris
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Facets
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Jan 2007
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000K2Q7H8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,246 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Review

Tone and text are interwoven with an artist's eye and a poet's ear….a strong contender for the greatest adaptation of Shakespeare's greatest play. --Film4

A commanding title performance by Estonian actor Yuri Yarvet, some striking landscape imagery, and Dmitri Shostakovich's anguished score help make for a spirited adaptation. --bbc

A commanding title performance by Estonian actor Yuri Yarvet, some striking landscape imagery, and Dmitri Shostakovich's anguished score help make for a spirited adaptation --bbc

A commanding title performance by Estonian actor Yuri Yarvet, some striking landscape imagery, and Dmitri Shostakovich's anguished score help make for a spirited adaptation --bbc

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So frighteningly beautiful and Soviet alike 28 Aug 2008
Format:DVD
King Lear is a tragedy that had to appeal to Soviet film-makers. It is dense and extreme. A whole world is destroyed in a couple of years because of an unwise decision of the king doubled with an unwise blindness about the real feelings of his daughters. That's dramatic and that appeals to the good old Russian soul. But there is in this play by Shakespeare what we find in all the tragedies of that author: a full cycle of elimination of all the participants in the drama and the future falls then in the hands of some nearly outsider that comes back by chance and manages to survive through the swords and the poison that runs freely in the wine. The new leader appointed by fate is there to clean up the mess, bury the dead and then try to rebuild some kind of a human world. That too can but attract the Soviet mind of old for whom change can only come through a tabula rasa, a full elimination of the past and change can only the result of an effort to reconstruct after the violent destruction of what was. What's more there is in this play a general structure that can only please a dialectic mind: the destruction comes from inside and the third party that comes from outside is defeated by the two parties that are fighting one against the other inside and unite just long enough to defeat the third sister and her husband. But this film is a lot more interesting than just that story we know by heart. It is the phenomenal acting of the actors in a setting that wants to recreate the dreary drab misery of the ninth century and the horror of a constant civil war that ensues the departure of the king. The war does not even aims at looting but just at destroying everything and everybody. The vision is so extreme that we wonder if it is realistic or just a nightmare in the director's mind. Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential for OU course 27 July 2012
By al
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
had to buy this for OU course on Shakespeare text and performance. It is a fantastic adaptation of the story of Lear and his daughters, a great study in the nature of madness and the circumstances that bring it about. Shostokovich's score captures the emotion and feel of every scene and you can see the influence the film has had on modern film-makers. Brilliant.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Aye, every inch a king" 19 Nov 2012
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this 1970 Russian, black and white, and largely faithful adaptation of King Lear at a cinema about five years ago and was completely swept away by its vision. This was Gregori Kozintsev's last film, and if you liked his version of `Hamlet', then this is even better. (It's a real shame that Lear has not been filmed as often as, say, Hamlet or Macbeth. But, then, it is a play about wisdom and growing old and would not supposedly attract the `yoof' market.)

Kozintsev's movie has an amazing and impressive opening sequence. And there are more amazing scenes later on, such as the progress of the king in line and his retinue across the flat sands. Castle walls are massive, enveloped in smoke and mist. Meanwhile, the medieval halls are lofty but sparsely furnished, and the landscapes are desolate, with leafless trees where there are any trees at all.

Lear himself is played by veteran Estonian actor Juri Jarvet, who has that something in his eyes that remind you of Klaus Kinski or Nicol Williamson. (Jarvet would play in the following year the part of the disturbed doctor in Tarkovsky's `Solaris'.) My one regret is that in this interpretation there is a lack of defiance - or, alternatively, of grave upset - when Lear is finally brought low prior to the onset of his overt madness at the end of act two. Instead, he bares the gait of a naïf. This works in its own way, but there was, I feel, an opportunity lost here. All the same, I particularly enjoyed the conceit of Lear's fool being seemingly played by an adolescent boy.

This is not a complete performance of Lear, of course, but the expurgations are small. The subtitles follow the standard English text of `The Tragedy of King Lear', but there is the odd (and sometimes unintentionally humorous) misspelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King Lear 18 Sep 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Fantastic atmospheric film - essential resource for the Open University Shakespeare: Text & Performance course. Second viewing meant more than the first (especially after the background reading).
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