Impromptu

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Overview

James Lapine's historical romantic comedy Impromptu comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.66:1. A closed-captioned English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Surround, and a French soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Mono. English, French, and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include the original theatrical trailer. This is a solid release from MGM/UA that should satisfy fans of the film, but offers nothing unique ...
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Overview

James Lapine's historical romantic comedy Impromptu comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.66:1. A closed-captioned English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Surround, and a French soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Mono. English, French, and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include the original theatrical trailer. This is a solid release from MGM/UA that should satisfy fans of the film, but offers nothing unique for the average DVD collector.
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Special Features

Original theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Literary and historical purists may likely be annoyed by Impromptu, as its accuracy is highly suspect, but audiences looking for a light romantic farce with a barbed edge will find it quite rewarding. Director James Lapine shows a very sure hand in his film debut, keeping the many inter-relationships of the large cast clear and always making sure the audience doesn't get lost amid the amorous complications. Bruno de Keyzer's cinematography, understated but effective, also helps, giving the film a distinctive look and feel. And Sarah Kernochan's screenplay is quite witty. (When George Sand's former lover tells her "You promised to love me," she dismisses him with a simple "I didn't promise to succeed.") Best of all is the cast, led by Judy Davis in another fully realized portrayal. She pulls the role of Sand on as if it were a second skin, creating a character that is wild, strong willed, exasperating, offputting, unorthodox, endearing and at all times original. Hugh Grant and Mandy Patinkin, both of whom can be overly mannered, turn in fine performances, Bernadette Peters is a petulant joy, and Emma Thompson is a surprise in an atypical role. Although there are some flaws -- for example, many will find the "rape" scene involving Delacroix to be in questionable taste -- overall Impromptu is a sparkling, refreshing little film.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/19/2002
  • UPC: 027616871541
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Vistavision (1.66:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1 / Stereo / Mono
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, stereo, monaural
  • Language: English, Français
  • Time: 1:48:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Judy Davis George Sand
Hugh Grant Frederic Chopin
Mandy Patinkin Alfred DeMusset
Bernadette Peters Marie D'Agoult
Julian Sands Franz Liszt
Ralph Brown Eugene Delacroix
Emma Thompson Duchess D'Antan
Georges Corraface Felicien Mallefille
Anton Rodgers Duke D'Antan
Anna Massey George Sand's Mother
John Savident Buloz
Elizabeth Spriggs Baroness Laginsky
Jezabelle Amato Inn Keeper's Wife
Claude Berthy Chopin's Valet
David Birkin Maurice
Georges Bruce Doctor
André Chaumeau Priest
Jean-Michel Dagory Inn Keeper
Ian Marshall de Garnier Editor
Isabelle Guiard Princess
Fernand Guiot Butler
Nicholas Hawtrey Philosopher
Sylvie Herbert Sophie
Francois Lalande Local Doctor
John Lyons
Joanna Merlin
Annette Milsom Ursule
Nimer Rashed Didiar
Stuart Seide Clerk
Lucy Speed Aurore
Fiona Vincente Solange
Technical Credits
James Lapine Director
Jenny Beavan Costumes/Costume Designer
Gerard Daoudal Art Director
Bruno de Keyzer Cinematographer
Michael Ellis Editor
Cedric Gerard Makeup
Peter Glossop Musical Direction/Supervision
Sarah Kernochan Screenwriter
Franz Liszt Score Composer
Mario Luraschi Stunts
Jean Nachbaur Producer
Stuart Oken Producer
Gilbert Pieri Special Effects
Alain Pitrel Set Decoration/Design
Dominique Plez Makeup
Jean-Luc Russier Makeup
Daniel A. Sherkow Producer
John Strauss Musical Direction/Supervision
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Main Titles/Rituals [6:58]
2. A Prayer's Answer [7:13]
3. The Fortnight Begins [4:51]
4. Picnic on the Grass [5:44]
5. George Scales Walls [6:03]
6. Marie's Treachery [8:32]
7. Brilliance at Dinner [6:42]
8. Horseplay [4:57]
9. "Stupid, Stupid Rain" [8:23]
10. How to Win Chopin [8:35]
11. Discovery and Loss [5:16]
12. Confrontations [8:36]
13. "A Perfect Impromptu" [5:13]
14. Duel and Duet [12:30]
15. Love's Generosity [4:30]
16. The Good Air/Credits [3:20]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Spoken Languages: Français
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: None
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    If you're smart enough to realize it's fiction, you'll have a blast

    Not just here but all over the internet, reviewers get their corsets in a wad because of the 'historical inaccuracies'. Sheesh. This movie is not a documentary, gang; it's a cute Victorian romp at a fictional house party where the guests are Chopin, George Sands, Franz Lizst & friends. We get a very stylized, almost satirical view of how the Victorian bourgeoisie spent their weekends, towing along a brood of brooding artists who whined endlessly yet didn't have the guts to insult their patrons by leaving. Chopin, played by Hugh Grant, is more or less the voice of reason, though he himself manages to create some pretty bizarre & scandalous situations. Who cares if it's true? It's entertaining. In the same vein of "Amadeus" and "Immortal Beloved", this is very much a fictional work.

    OK, now let's talk about the actual DVD itself. Although I didn't measure it, the aspect ratio is said to be 1.66:1. That's a shame because the theatrical version is 1.85:1. Also they didn't do an anamorphic transfer. However, it's still a great improvement over the fullscreen VHS version, and you'll notice a few things on the edges that had been previously cut off. It would be great if they do a 1.85 anamorphic remaster one day, but I'm afraid lesser-known films like this are usually passed over. So this is the best you get. It's not bad really.

    One last thing, about the music. It features of course the wonderful music of Chopin, but it's not exactly a showcase like "Amadeus" or "Immortal Beloved" was. For that reason a few people might be left musically unfulfilled, but I'm pretty sure it won't matter to most.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Response to Fuddiduddiness

    I don't think I spelled fuddy-duddiosity correctly above. I've studied a little of Chopin's life and did not find anything in this movie to really matter, regarding his life. There is a bit of his music in the movie--which is fabulous. Also, there are some fine actors portraying events that may or may not have mattered. I'm pretty sure the kids blowing up a frog in the first scene never did so. I bet the movie makers didn't actually blow-up the frog, so I'll guess that didn't matter either. If this were an educational film about Nazis, I'd hold it to a different "mattering" standard--but Mandy Patinkin and Hugh Grant are in it and they're really fun. Also, there's a lot of touching moments. Chopin, played by Mr. Grant, has a quote at the end of the movie about what it is like to live with an illness for a long time and how that changes your attitude. I'll be he didn't really say it, but that fact that Hugh did, and it was caught on film, mattered to me. Nice costumes... etc. (pardon my spelling errors with the names above)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Second The Emotion

    The previous reviewer who was outraged by the fact that the movie was not only inaccurate historically but plain bad as any sort of story is on target. We might laugh at the romantics and see their lives as a 'french bedroom farce,' but they didn't see themselves that way--which is the very essence of romanticism. They were deadly serious about love and art. Les Enfants du Siecle captures the high drama of their times, and their sense of themselves. They were not spoofing rebellion. They were revolutionary in the way they lived and the way they wrote. Impromptu does not capture this historical fact, but imposes farce and titillation on its subjects--and not very interesting or funny farce at that.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Watch Les Enfants du Siecle instead

    A great movie, if you're a fan of gross historical distortion and outright lies. This 'weekend' never happened, George Sand was never Liszt's lover and Marie d'Agoult, an one-time close friend and later enemy of George, found Chopin a rather disgusting character. These are only the largest distortions (they abound in this film). Aside from all of this, it's just plain bad. A great disservice to George, Chopin, Liszt, Marie and all involved. The supporting cast is also pretty awful.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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