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  • Tea With Mussolini/How To Make An American Quilt/A Thousand Acres [DVD]
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Tea With Mussolini/How To Make An American Quilt/A Thousand Acres [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Winona Ryder, Cher, Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Kate Nelligan
  • Directors: Franco Zeffirelli, Jocelyn Moorhouse
  • Producers: Sarah Pillsbury, Marc Abraham, Midge Sanford, Steve Golin, Riccardo Tozzi
  • Format: PAL
  • 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: 3
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Jun. 2007
  • Run Time: 326 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PMGRNM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 515,684 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

'Chick flick' trio. 'Tea With Mussolini' (1999) is a drama based on the childhood memories of director Franco Zeffirelli. In 1934 Florence, a diverse group of women meet each afternoon for tea. There is Lady Hester Ransom (Maggie Smith), widow of the British Ambassador to Italy; Arabella (Judi Dench), a singer and artist; Georgie (Lily Tomlin), an eccentric American archaeologist; Elsa (Cher), also an American, and brash and reckless with it; and finally Mary (Joan Plowright), who has virtually adopted a young Italian boy named Luca. As the political climate shifts towards fascism, the ladies must face some inevitable changes - and Luca must face his own responsibilities. In 'How to Make an American Quilt' (1995), Winona Ryder plays a young graduate who is spending the summer with her grandmother and great aunt in order to finish her thesis and mull over a marriage proposal. Complications arise when she meets sexy Leon - and to help her decide who to plump for, the women of her grandmother's quilting circle tell stories of their own lives and loves. 'A Thousand Acres' (1997) is a family drama based on a novel by Jane Smiley. When retiring Iowa farmer Larry Cook (Jason Robards) announces that he wishes to split his land between his three daughters, the eldest - Ginny (Jessica Lange) and Rose (Michelle Pfeiffer) - reluctantly agree. However, younger daughter Caroline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) disagrees - and is disowned by Larry as a result. The decision sparks off a tragic family feud: Larry soon falls out with Ginny, who has begun an affair with a local boy, and subsequently with Rose, but loses a court battle to regain control of his farm.

From Amazon.co.uk

Tea with Mussolini

In filming this semi-autobiographical account of life in Italy during the dawn of World War II, director Franco Zeffirelli imbues Tea with Mussolini with the mixed blessings of fond reminiscence. It's a warmly inviting film, as impeccable as any Merchant-Ivory production, but like a hazy memory it's uncertain in its narrative intentions. And yet with an exceptional cast to compensate, the film's as engaging as it is inconsequential. Zeffirelli's alter ego is Luca (Charlie Lucas in youth; Baird Wallace as a teenager), who is raised in Florence by Mary (Joan Plowright), the middle-aged secretary of his absentee father. Luca lives among a loose band of British and American women, nicknamed "Il Scorpioni" for their stinging wit in the shadows of Mussolini's thuggish dictatorship. Along with Mary there's Hester (Maggie Smith), a crusty ambassador's widow; Arabella (Judi Dench), a lively bohemian; lesbian archaeologist Georgie (Lily Tomlin); and Elsa (Cher), a flamboyant American who quietly finances Luca's education.

Il Scorpioni witness the rise of fascism and the dangers of resistance, weathering dictatorial custody and (in Elsa's case) falling prey to heartbreaking betrayal. But Tea with Mussolini carries little dramatic weight; you have to forgive its unfocused structure to appreciate its merits. Zeffirelli gently conveys the passage from pleasantry to wartime, and he's drawn uniformly fine performances from this seasoned cast. If the film is vaguely unsatisfying, it's only because it had the makings of greatness and settles instead for an ethereal quality of anecdotal enchantment. --Jeff Shannon

How to Make an American Quilt

Based on the bestseller by Whitney Otto, this film seemed to miss all the poetry and the ephemeral charms of the wispy novel by trying to make a concrete movie out of it. Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse (who made a similar hash out of A Thousand Acres), the film centers on Winona Ryder, who is debating her impending marriage and decides to make up her mind while spending the summer with her grandmother (Ellen Burstyn). This leads to a variety of encounters with Grandma and her sewing circle (which includes Anne Bancroft, Kate Nelligan, and Maya Angelou, among others), who reminisce about men, love, and marriage. It's put together piecemeal, like a quilt, but the parts add up to a fragmented, unsatisfying whole, despite some solid acting. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Bargain two for one deal DVD
"How to make an American Quilt" is very poignant., sensitive and lovely. A great DVD for ladies.
"Tea with Mussolini" is a sensitive reminder of the war and effects on a group of older British ladies living in Italy.

Both films are highly recommended. Good clear picture quality.
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By Mrs. W. J. Spencer on 29 April 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Delighted to be able to view both of these films. Tea with Mussolini brilliant (with those actresses how could it not be), and I have wanted to see How to Make An American Quilt ever since I read the book.
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By Eleni on 10 Oct. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I find "Tea with Mussolini" superbly acted and in a genre of its own, I could watch it over and over. Slightly less impressed with the other film but many people with love it.
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2 films for the price of 1! box sets are always a good buy. 2 feel good films, great for curling up with a box of chocs!
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