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  • Phaedra [DVD] [1962] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Phaedra [DVD] [1962] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Amazon.com: 54 reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Human Nature Never Changes 31 Aug. 2011
By Pamela S. Dorris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I once asked my 92 year old grandmother what was the single most memorable event that had occurred during her long life. Was it the invention of the automobile? TV? A-bomb? Men on the moon? Her reply was that she couldn't speak to my question but one thing she knew for sure: human nature never changed.

Greek tragedies are studied in institutions of higher education because they resonate in the psyches of people today in much the same way they did before Christ was born, largely because human nature never changes. The story of Phaedra's tragic mis-alliance with her stepson plays out in this movie because there are elements within it that are simply timeless.

Phaedra, the pampered, adored but bored wife of a shipping tycoon, finds herself inexplicably and inexorably drawn into an affair with the tycoon's son from an earlier marriage. It's a glorious thing. He's young, attractive, sexually inexperienced and a breath of fresh air. She's older but still beautiful, a rose in full bloom, no longer a bud but still desirable in the catnip way older women appeal to younger men today. She's secure in herself and offers the promise of being an experienced lover.

Ka-boom!

When the stepson enters into business with his tycoon father, the impossibility of continuing the affair becomes apparent. Phaedra is now repelled by the tycoon's sexual attentions and jealous of his son's youthful companions. The stepson is young and trying to do the right thing, but can't deny he still has feelings for Phaedra. It's doomed.

The familiar story of Aristotle Onassis's life provided ample parallels with the backstory of this movie. Onassis's cut-throat competition with his father-in-law Livanos is touched upon with Phaedra's husband's crazy workaholic alliances both with and against his father-in-law. The death of the tycoon's only son presaged the death of Onassis's only son, Alex, ten years after this movie was made, as well as the suicide of Onassis's first wife, Tina Livanos Niarchos.

What really resonated with me was Phaedra's implacable will, a force of spirit that swept everything before it, a will so inflexible that all consequences be damned. I've known people like this. It's not pretty.

This movie was released in the early 60's and has some period details. The cast is perfect. Mercouri is stylish and sexy, Tony Perkins is a far cry from his legendary performance as Norman Bates, and Raf Vallone as Phaedra's husband is spot-on as the tycoon trying to juggle his many business ventures as well as his famly life. It's all the more effective that at the end of the movie he's only just beginning to learn of the wreckage his life has become, literally and metaphorically.

Good stuff here, folks, and worth viewing.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Buy it while you can. 27 July 2011
By Hildegard Brosseau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a limited edition and once people find out how good it is, it won't be available for very long, I should think. The DVD transfer - from whatever source - is fabulous. Clear, crisp print, good as new, in super wide screen. No black borders, just glorious Greece, London and Paris and Melina Mercouri and Anthony Perkins as the doomed lovers, not forgetting the magnetic Raf Vallone. It's just as good as when you first saw it in the cinema. And if you haven't, you absolutely MUST see it now. You won't see the likes of it again, not very likely.
Don't be discouraged by the stupid "lesbian " tag this film is given on this [the amazon] and other websites. It has nothing to do with lesbianism. But it has a lot to do with Greek tragedy. Powerful performances by Mercouri and Perkins. Neither was ever better in any film. Oh yes, almost forgot, and then there's the music by Theodorakis. Hauntingly beautiful. Thanks to MGM/Fox for making this film available. FINALLY!
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Greek myths made luscious 13 July 2011
By John Romeo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is about as good as it gets when it comes to making those dreary Greek myths palatable. The casting was brilliant and the acting is superb. If she was my stepmother, I'd certainly give it a shot! A haunting and unforgetable face that will stay with you for days, maybe a lifetime. And, forget Norman Bates, Perkins as a lovesick boy is much more appealing and convincing. These are Oscar worthy performances. The real surprise though is Vallone as the modern day irrepressible Zorba pushed finally to the limit. Man can be destroyed but not defeated! The black and white cinematography is lovely, and the Greek locations and music wrap it up into a beautiful package. The "cloudiness", both visual and intellectual, is just right. The transfer is better than you'd expect. Hmmm, and just a mere 50years after its release, it finally is available on DVD "upon request". Do it! They don't make them this way anymore. Alas!!!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Stunning Phaedra! 17 Aug. 2011
By Amfreville Marc - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Absolutely excellent. It was an essential item missing in Melina Mercouri's list of available movies. I do hope this initiative will go on and we shall soon be able to purchase Dreams of Passion for example. The acting is remarkable, both Melina and Perkins are totally convincing. The sound track is excellent, and this adaptation of a classic one of the best in its genre.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
MASTERPIECE 24 Oct. 2012
By marco covarrubias - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
WHY AND WHO DECIDE TO CANNED THIS MASTERPIECE FOR 50 YEARS?.

YES, THE PICTURE IS ONE OF THE BEST....LIKE CASABLANCA OR BETTER.

THIS MASTERPIECE SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN EVERY SCHOOL WITH A SERIOUS
PROGRAM IN LITERATURE..... SEEING THIS MOVIE IS REALLY A GREAT PLEASURE.

I CLAP MY HANDS TO THE EXCUTIVE WHO HAS THE TASTE AND WISDOM TO BRING
BACK TO LIFE AGAIN THIS MASTERPIECE.

SINCERLY,

MARCO COVARRUBIAS
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