Galileo

Galileo

Director: Joseph Losey

Cast: Joseph Losey, Topol, Colin Blakely, Georgia Brown

     
 
Filmed in England, Galileo is based on Charles Laughton's 1947 adaptation of the play by Bertolt Brecht, which, like this 1975 film, was directed by Joseph Losey. Israeli film-star Topol plays the 17th-century Italian astronomer, whose theories run contrary to the edicts of the Catholic Church. Forced to renounce his ideas about planetary movement, Galileo

Overview

Filmed in England, Galileo is based on Charles Laughton's 1947 adaptation of the play by Bertolt Brecht, which, like this 1975 film, was directed by Joseph Losey. Israeli film-star Topol plays the 17th-century Italian astronomer, whose theories run contrary to the edicts of the Catholic Church. Forced to renounce his ideas about planetary movement, Galileo nonetheless holds fast to those beliefs to the end of his days, certain that time will vindicate him. Brecht's trademarked "alienation" technique, wherein the audience is constantly reminded that it is watching a play, is muted by Losey's cerebral direction. Galileo was one of producer Ely Landau's American Film Theatre presentations.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Bertolt Brecht's treatise on the responsibilities of scientists to the societies in which they operate and upon which their work can have uplifting or devastating consequences receives a decent, but muted, adaptation under Joseph Losey's direction. Brecht's theater-of-alienation techniques didn't survive the translation to the screen, which is probably a plus, and Losey does a fairly good job of making the material work as cinema (something which is not always true of other titles in the American Film Theatre series). Still, there's an almost inevitable talkiness to the affair which causes the film to drag in places. In the title role, Topol is good, but the part demands much more than good. Possibly wishing to instill audience sympathy, Topol fudges Brecht's view of Galileo as a weak traitor who betrays both himself and the larger society, opting instead to go the route of the unappreciated and misunderstood man of science. Still, Topol does deliver the goods in his big scenes, and the supporting cast, especially Georgia Brown, John Gielgud, and Clive Revill, is outstanding. Though less than perfect, Galileo still captures enough of the play's strengths to be worth viewing.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/11/2003
UPC:
0738329029227
Original Release:
1975
Rating:
PG
Source:
Kino Video
Presentation:
[Letterbox]
Time:
2:18:00
Sales rank:
52,052

Special Features

An interview with Topol; Theatrical trailer; "Bertolt Brecht and Galileo" - an essay by Michael Feingold, Chief Theatre Critic, The Village Voice; The AFT Cinebill for Galileo; Ely Landau: In Front of the Camera - AFT promotional reel - 1974; The American Film Theatre trailer gallery - includes a complete list of the AFT films; The American Film Theatre Scrapbook; Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Topol Galileo Galilei
Colin Blakely Priuli
Georgia Brown Ballad Singer's Wife
Clive Revill Ballad Singer
Margaret Leighton Court Lady
John Gielgud Old Cardinal
Michael Gough Sagredo
Tim Woodward Ludovico
Judy Parfitt Angelica Sarti
Mary Larkin Virginia
Tom Conti Andrea Sarti
Edward Fox Cardinal Inquisitor
Michel Lonsdale Cardinal Barberini
Patrick Magee Cardinal Bellarrnin
John McEnery Federzoni
Richard O'Callaghan Fulganzio
Madeline Smith Lady
James Aubrey Actor

Technical Credits
Joseph Losey Director,Screenwriter
Reginald Beck Editor
Barbara Bray Screenwriter
Richard Hartley Score Composer
Ely Landau Producer
Richard MacDonald Production Designer
Ruth Myers Costumes/Costume Designer
Otto Plaschkes Producer
Michael Reed Cinematographer
Henry T. Weinstein Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. "I Predict..." [10:01]
2. A "New" Invention [9:25]
3. "I Believe in Reason" [11:54]
4. A Confirmation [11:15]
5. "Foolish, Absurd and Heretical." [8:51]
6. "Should I Lie to Your People?" [13:08]
7. Galileo & Apprentices [8:48]
8. "I Have to Know." [11:34]
9. All Fools' Day [8:53]
10. The Duke & the Pope [3:03]
11. Galileo Recants [8:44]
12. A Pupil or an Enemy [8:29]
13. "I Betrayed My Calling." [8:50]

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