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Recently, I found a VHS copy I had recorded in 1997 from HBO of this forgotten gem. Before I re-watched it, I didn't really remember much about it, or why I had recorded it. Seeing it again, I have to say it holds up as a solid docu, and is worthy of the award nominations it received. It covers a lot of emotional ground in just 30 minutes. It's personal, powerful and ultimately funny and enjoyable to watch.
BRIEFLY, it is about Pearl Randall, a 66-year-old widow, who announces that she is planning to remarry, but her three grown children express conflicting emotions. Daughter Terri captures on tape the family's attempts to come to grips with Pearl's new romance.
Don't Bother - Just watch the original movie instead
Not a horrible movie, just a second rate version of the original.
Travolta is totally wrong in appearance. He looks like Tracy's fat older sister, instead of a frumpy 1960's mom. Michelle Pfeiffer is so awful you would think her acting coach for the role was Uma Thurman.
I saw a newspaper ad for the film which had head shots of every major cast member EXCEPT the actress playing Tracy, the leading role. That sums up the movie perfectly: a typical Hollywood mentality trying to hang the movie on celebrities, instead of letting the film itself be the center of attention.
Save your money and wait for it to air on HBO or SHOWTIME next year.
The Telephone (1988)
Fantastic One Woman Show - NOW ON DVD !
I am so glad to find there are other people out here who liked this film as much as me. It is NOT the worst movie ever as some have posted. It is an amazing tour-de-force for the talents of Whoopi Goldberg.
I was surprised to learn this piece was not originally a stage play that was adapted for the screen. It it written like a solo play, and the entire film takes place basically on one unit set ( a small studio apartment in NYC )
If you are not a fan of theatre, you probably will not like this movie. (and I mean real theatre, not Mamma Mia or Phantom of the Opera kind of theatre) This movie moves slowly. It has the pacing of a live one person show. There are no big action scenes. There are no special effects. As in theatre, the story is told through the dialogue, and you actually have to pay attention.
If you are not a fan of Whoopi, you probably will not like this movie. Apart from a few brief scenes, the entire film is just her.
If you enjoy film experiences that capture the feel of theatrical performances, or if you are a Whoopi fan - don't miss this one !
I just found it on DVD recently, released from Top Ten New Media, but no extras or features of any kind, just the movie. BTW the film is actually 78 minutes, not 96 minutes as listed on this site.
The best show ever!
Even though the show has not aired in the USA in close to 20 years, I still love it. It's the best show ever. Thank god for videotape, I would go crazy without my fix of Prisoner.
Band of Gold (1995)
A Totally Brilliant Series
This mini-series is on my list of the five best things I have ever seen in my life. I loved this piece. Gritty, realistic but shaped beautifully with real heart and true characters which had depth and soul.
Only the first series was shown in the USA (on HBO), there are actually 3 series total (Band of Gold 2, and the 3rd series, simply titled Gold) continue where the first series leaves off.
I found the writing to be incredible and the casting inspired. The performances of Cathy Tyson and Geraldine James were far superior to what most American actresses can do on their best day. Singer Barbara Dickson is nothing short of brilliant as Anita. Samantha Morton and all the rest of the cast are superb - there's not a weak link in the bunch.
Anyone who thought this mini-series was boring has been watching too much crap American television, and must have the attention span of a gnat.