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Madame Sousatzka [1988] [DVD]

Shirley Maclaine , Peggy Ashcroft , John Schlesinger    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: 8.06 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Madame Sousatzka [1988] [DVD] + The Turning Point [1977] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Shirley Maclaine, Peggy Ashcroft, Navin Chowdhry, Leigh Lawson, Twiggy
  • Directors: John Schlesinger
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Sep 2007
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,519 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Shirley Maclaine puts in a formidable performance as a piano teacher who meets a child prodigy who she believes can be moulded into a great star, under her guidance. 'I teach not only how to play the piano, but how to live' she claims.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Bengali speaking Sushila Sen, her husband and son, Manek, re-locate to London, England and begin their lives as immigrants. Tragically, Mr. Sen passes away, leaving Sushila to struggle with everyday living, and looking after a school-going Manek. She manages to get a job and they are able to survive on her wages. Manek attends school, shows an interest in piano-playing, excels at it to the extent that his school-teacher refers him to a piano teacher, Yuline Sousatzka, an immigrant from Russia, renowned for her teaching skills. Yuline takes over Manek's life - not only for teaching him to excel in piano playing - but also his life as a whole. Disagreements do arise, as Manek does not want anyone to run his life for him, nevertheless the training progresses. Then Sushila loses her job due to "not meeting the standards" (an excuse used to openly discriminate against visible minority employees) and is fired. With no money coming in, Manek is under pressure to use his piano skills to make some money, much to Yuline's chagrin. But Manek has his way and is ready to play - or embarrass himself totally in front of an elite crowd at the London Symphony Orchestra. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, Golden Globes, Venice Film Festival, ...Madame Sousatzka

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars madame souzatska 23 Dec 2003
Format:VHS Tape
this is a truely fabulous film. Its about this very talented 15 year old piano playing boy and his eccentric teacher. With the help of other characters in the film (including twiggy) =this film covers many topics such as homosexuality, age, property, changing world, love, growing up, ambition and most of all reationships between different types of people and what the different types of people are. a must-see with a great soundtrack of piano music.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This film is a brilliant exercise in the complex world of piano teaching at the highest level. A highly talented pupil is found by Madame Sousatzka who is soon to be poached by another teacher. The film explores the twists and turns of the relationship which is a lesson on how not to get too attached to a pupil if you are a teacher. The piano playing is exceptional bearing in mind it is all mimed by the lead actor Navin Chowdry but there is Barry Douglas doing the real thing later on in the film. The mistake which occurs in the Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor from the performer highlights the risks of a concert pianist life and mirrors the feelings Madame Sousatzks had as a student. A wonderfully entertaining film which will be loved by many music students and teachers alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is a truly marvelous film which takes place in London. Shirley MacLaine is superb as a piano teacher to an Indian boy who has inherent talent. Madame Sousatzka lives for her music not having made it as a concert pianist herself. This film has an international cast and they blend together in John Schlesinger's film. Twiggy plays an aspiring singer (and she is a fine singer in real life) whom the boy is attracted to. Twiggy's real-life husband, Leigh Lawson, plays her lover and agent. Dame Peggy Ashcroft is superb as always as one of the tenants of the building that is slated to be torn down. Schlesinger focuses on Madame Sousatzka with all of her idioscrincies and flaws. She looks down at Twiggy as a sexy pop star yet the tenants of the building, which represents a slice of London's life, meet for a party in Madame Sousatzka's apartment.
The script is great and I have not done a good job in describing the film above. There is a man in the building who is "homosexual" who does get bashed on the street. He fits in with the entourage of stars in the film and is not presented as any sort of outcast. Although the primary focus is piano teacher and student, this film brilliantly shows us the piano student's mother who struggles to pay for her son's lessons. We see, much from Madame Sousatzka's perspective the other tenants of the building yet we form our own views of them aside from her opinion.
This is a wonderful film that tragically was overlooked in the U.S.A. I loved it then and it is Shirley MacLaine's finest role of the 1980s. Twiggy is a true stand-out in this film providing her with the best role she had since "The Boy Friend". She really is a fine actress with star quality. Dame Peggy Ashcroft is as brilliant as always.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A memorable performance by Shirley MacLaine 11 Feb 2013
By The CinemaScope Cat TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A 15 year old Indian piano prodigy (Navin Chowdhry) is taken under the wing of the great piano teacher Madame Sousatzka (Shirley MacLaine). It's not long before Sousatzka clashes with the lad's mother (Shabana Azmi) who is eager for the boy to start playing concerts before the teacher thinks he's ready. It doesn't help when a promoter (Leigh Lawson) attempts to lure the young man away from his teacher and enter the commercial world. While the story (based on the novel by Bernice Rubens) isn't particularly original, the screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (HOWARDS END) provides a solid framework for MacLaine's terrific performance, one of her very best. MacLaine's Sousatzka is one of those brilliant monsters for whom Art (in this case, music) takes precedence over everything, investing her very heart and soul into the "children" she creates even as her heart gets broken every time. She's surrounded by a colorful company of assorted characters played by Peggy Ashcroft, Twiggy, Geoffrey Bayldon and Sam Howard. The capable direction is by John Schlesinger and while the film is far removed from his superb work in the 1960s and 1970s, it's still a solid example of good craftsmanship.

The Network DVD is a decent full frame transfer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
That movie was for me a real masterpiece and I also have appreciate to see it again after all these years (1988).

Many thank's to you and all you team for that nice shipment...


many thank's
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait 14 Jan 2014
By NickR
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this film in 1990 on a bus travelling across a desert in Australia. I didn't think it was my kind of film but, for want of anything else to do, decided to watch it. I thought it was brilliant. Great characters and a gripping story. I never forgot it but never came across it again - on TV or video/dvd - then, the other day, I was browsing on here and saw it was available on dvd (for the first time in years apparently), so I ordered it and it arrived the next day. I'm glad to say it was every bit as good as I remembered - I'd forgotten the story and most of the actors/characters in it, other than Shirley MacLaine. Brilliant - I won't be waiting another 24 years to see it.
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