6.9/10
37
1 user 1 critic

Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel with the World (1963)

The acclaimed poet is examined in this film completed just prior to his death at age 88, with his speaking engagements at Amherst and Sarah Lawrence Colleges intercut with studies of his ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Filmmaker Shirley Clarke ("The Connection") directs this powerful, stark semi-documentary look at the horrors of Harlem ghetto slum life filled with drugs, violence, human misery, and a ... See full summary »

Director: Shirley Clarke
Stars: Rony Clanton, Carl Lee, Yolanda Rodríguez
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ornette: Made In America captures Ornette's evolution over three decades. Returning home to Fort Worth, Texas in 1983 as a famed performer and composer, documentary footage, dramatic scenes... See full summary »

Director: Shirley Clarke
Stars: Ornette Coleman, Demon Marshall, Eugene Tatum
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The highlights of a 12-hour interview with Aaron Payne, alias Jason Holliday, a former houseboy, would-be cabaret performer, and self-proclaimed hustler who, while drinking and smoking ... See full summary »

Director: Shirley Clarke
Stars: Jason Holliday, Shirley Clarke, Carl Lee
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A director tries to film a group of junkies in Leach's room while they are waiting for Cowboy to bring their heroin connection.

Director: Shirley Clarke
Stars: Warren Finnerty, Garry Goodrow, Jerome Raphael
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dorothy and Bob DeBolt's tale of the struggles and joys involved in their 19 adopted children, many of who are physically disabled war orphans.

Director: John Korty
Stars: Kim Atwood, Marty Atwood, Mike Atwood
Serengeti (1959)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
Director: Bernhard Grzimek
Stars: Bernhard Grzimek, Holger Hagen, Hermann Rockmann
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In September, 1959, six Europeans leave Cook's Bay on the southern coast of Dutch New Guinea, now West Papua or Irian Jaya, to trek north to the far side of the island. The journey (450 ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre-Dominique Gaisseau
Stars: Gerard Delloye, Tony Saulnier, Herve de Maigret
Best Boy (1979)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In this documentary, the director follows the day-to-day activities of his retarded, middle-aged cousin Philly, over a three-year period.

Director: Ira Wohl
Stars: Ira Wohl, Philip Wohl, Zero Mostel
M (1951)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In this Americanization of the 1931 German thriller, both the police and the criminal underworld stalk a mysterious killer who preys on small children.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: David Wayne, Howard Da Silva, Martin Gabel
Documentary | Biography | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The rise and fall of Nazi Germany in part through the use of classical allegory.

Director: Louis Clyde Stoumen
Stars: Marlene Dietrich
Love of Life (1969)
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An Oscar winning look at the life of Albert Rubinstein shortly after he turned 70. It contains some home movies of him and his family, but is primarily him talking and demonstrating his great skill as a pianist.

Directors: Gérard Patris, François Reichenbach
Stars: Artur Rubinstein, Eliahu Inbal, Paul Kletzki
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Irwin Allen explores the mysteries of the deep blue sea in this Technicolor documentary. Based on Rachel L. Carson's famous study, this Oscar winning project investigates everything under ... See full summary »

Director: Irwin Allen
Stars: Don Forbes, Theodore von Eltz
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Robert Frost ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

The acclaimed poet is examined in this film completed just prior to his death at age 88, with his speaking engagements at Amherst and Sarah Lawrence Colleges intercut with studies of his work, as well as with scenes of his life in rural Vermont and personal reminiscences about his career. He is also seen receiving an award from President Kennedy and touring an aircraft carrier. Written by scgary66

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 2013 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Robert Frost: Miłosna sprzeczka ze światem  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"I never take my side in a quarrel."
7 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Never do it to pay a bill – cos you probably won't." Robert Frost's advice to aspiring poets could apply to any calling in life. But especially to the arts. His passion for poetry not only paid his bills but won him four Pulitzer prizes. And Shirley Clarke's documentary of his life won her an Oscar.

Robert Frost was a quintessentially American poet. He could express the charm of rural life with a depth that allowed this love of nature to inspire thoughts of life and the universe. We see him both through the eyes of a filmmaker researching his earlier years, and again with live footage, up close in his last months, still working. He is perhaps to Americans what Rabbie Burns is to Scots, so although his language is quite accessible it takes me a while to warm to the man.

His common-garden assertions, "Peace is something you only get by war or the threat of war," need a little more substance to convince me. His pro-Americanism – "the greatest country that has ever existed" – sounds mere arrogance to a foreigner who doesn't happen to agree. He seems a nice man. But why are so many in awe of him? Then we have shots of Frost giving a lecture, including readings of his own work. A tremendous, vibrating voice. Eyes of many in the audience are glistening. Biting a lip, you can feel them savouring each syllable. (Yes, he also brings a tear to my sceptical eye.) Listening to Frost is almost a spiritual experience. There is no discernible reason for the effect his simple words have. He becomes his words. (Readers who remember the 60s can maybe identify with similar sort of charisma that Dylan held sway as you sucked into the words flowing off his tongue.) If Frost comes alive reading his verses, set in the countryside, it lets us see the man in a new light. As he digs potatoes. A man of the earth. Of the soil. But above all, a man. A man who can express in words to reach anyone the unique feeling of becoming one with the land. Breathing in the breadth of the countryside, its timelessness. A slower pace. One that re-charges overworked city batteries that run on caffeine and tomorrow's deadline.

"When I see birches bend to left and right

Across the lines of straighter darker trees,

I like to think some boy's been swinging them.

But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.

Ice-storms do that."

I had never more than glanced at Robert Frost's poems. But by the end of the film I was enchanted. His work has a pastoral quality reminding one perhaps of Seamus Heaney (Compare, if you will, 'Birches' with Heaney's 'Exposure'). Both men tend to blur the distinction between humour and seriousness. They want us to enjoy the grand cosmic joke that is reality.

Frost is evidently pleased with the way Clarke is making the movie. He suggests, gesturing, that it is being done right 'this time' (apparently dissing earlier documentaries of his life). This involvement with the camera is typical of Clarke's tendency to make the film-making part of the subject of the film.

A Lover's Quarrel with the World is less harrowing in style than Portrait of Jason, with its monolithic attention to the documentary subject until he breaks down and exposes his 'soul'. Clarke's portrayal of Frost is loving and respectful, yet also seems to bring out the essence of the man. This film is more accessible, and one of Clarke's most mainstream offerings. The structure eventually makes all the film an illustration of his lecture, his lecture an illustration of his poetry. The film becomes the Poem.

"I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover's quarrel with the world," he wrote in his own epitaph. This line is from a poem called The Lesson for Today. In the film, Frost says, "I thought of modifying that, and saying I had my lover's quarrels, plural, with the world, but I make that one sustained quarrel all my life . . . It's a long sustained quarrel." And as if to balance wryly that thought with its opposite, another Frost saying is, "I never take my side in a quarrel." A remarkable accomplishment.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Contribute to This Page