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ROMAN POLANSKI'S - What? [1972] [DVD]


Price: £12.54 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Only 13 left in stock.
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£12.54 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 13 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

ROMAN POLANSKI'S - What? [1972] [DVD] + The Fearless Vampire Killers [DVD] [1967] + Macbeth [DVD] [1971]
Price For All Three: £31.89

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Product details

  • Actors: Marcello Mastroianni, Sydne Rome
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Severin Films
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Nov 2008
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001ENEWP6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,324 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

More than three decades after its controversial release, it remains the most butchered, debated and least-seen film of the Oscar winning and controversial director Roman Polanski's entire career. Special features include; 'Sydne in Wonderand' a film about star Sydne Rome; 'Memories of a Young Pianist' a featurette with composer Claudio Gizzi and 'A Surreal Pop Movie' a featurette with cinematographer Marcello Gatti.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Colin J. Herd on 28 Nov 2008
Verified Purchase
I must say I am surprised to be the first reviewer of this item. It's been out a couple of weeks now and I've been waiting til I choked down my bafflement before posting here; maybe all the other reviewers are similarily dumb-struck. What is there to say? Well whoever chose the title got it dead on for me because that word was on my lips, silently, all the way through watching.

This dvd presents (supposedly for the first time- but what's this dvd on amazon- que?- if not a previous release, with a better cover at that) for the first time to an english speaking country on dvd Polanski's 'lost film' 'What?'. It feautures bizarre, stylish, very funny performances from Polanski himself, Marcello Mastroianni, Hugh Griffith and others, including Sydne Rome in a terrific performance as the central protagonist Nancy, a nakedly bemused and confusedly nude American traveller who has checked into a beautiful, if gaudy, italian villa that reminds me of the house in Joseph Losey's classic film 'Boom!'. It is filled with reproductions of famous art-works.

The set-dresser is a genius.

All in all this film is glossy and pretty, but nonetheless a frightening psychological-kinky-campy-thrillo-com, ( the psychological part is definitely in a vein that Polanski fans will have syringed before and with glee usually.) It is also a kinky romp that reminds me of Carry-on films, i.e. lusty old men and a willing dumb-beauty. Buy it, open a bottle, and shake your head and bite your nails and giggle through that funny gap in your teeth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 16 Feb 2011
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Pretty much Roman Polanski's rarest film these days - the print for the DVD was supposedly stolen from producer Carlo Ponti's vault - What? is a surprisingly enjoyable reimagining of Alice in Wonderland as a 70s sex comedy with Sydne Rome escaping a trio of inept rapists via cable car to a beachside villa where she encounters various human equivalents of Lewis Carroll's creations trapped in their own perverse fantasy worlds. Thus the White Rabbit becomes a doddering caretaker, Tweedledum and Tweedle Dee a pair of ping pong playing layabouts, the walrus a priest on a lilo, the March Hare Polanski's harpoon-wielding Mosquito ("That filthy little dwarf!"), the White Knight Hugh Griffith's dying patriarch and the Mad Hatter Marcello Mastroianni's ex-pimp, ping pong ball crusher and tiger impersonator. Did I mention the American tourists? It has it's own dreamlike logic and acceptance of the absurd that will certainly alienate some viewers as it did most contemporary critics: the only thing that people find hard to accept in this beautiful sun drenched locale are logic and reasons, preferring to stay hidden in their own recurring obsessions. Rome isn't much of an actress but she does have the ability to retain an air of innocence even when completely naked, which is the main demand of the part, and the film is surprisingly well cast, with Mastroianni relishing the chance to play laid-back sleazy and Polanski himself at his funniest when delivering offscreen death threats. It's all nonsense and knows its nonsense - even the end, explaining away its own arbitrary absurdity while revealing the film's title - but if you're simpatico, it's surprisingly seductive nonsense.

The DVD boasts a fine 2.35:1 widescreen transfer with trailer and a trio of featurettes providing a decent extras package.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By JAllen on 8 Mar 2009
...Polanski's 'What?' is the closest you will ever see to one of his books translated onto film. I've never read it mentioned anywhere, but I would be willing to bet that Manara saw the film when it was originally released and has been drawing variations on it ever since. Not only does it contain a lecherous Marcello Mastroianni (who has been drawn into a number of Manara adventures), the absolutely breathtaking Sydne Rome is the living embodiment of the 'Manara girl', and the surreal Alice-In-Wonderland-with-no-clothes-on script has exactly the same feel as the sweeter natured of Manara's confections. Polanski fans may find 'What?' bewildering, but Manara fans will be absolutely and utterly at home. I can't recommend it more highly.
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3 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Apostasy Now on 21 Aug 2009
dull and cheesy sex comedy, not one of Polanski's better movies. The one saving grace of this turkey is Sydne Rome, who looks stunning.
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Starczewski on 22 Feb 2010
uhm soft porn at best and not really a film to quote from a portfolio of a normally serious film maker. Guess though alot of fun was had in making this movie
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