Our Town

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Overview

This screen adaptation of Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama gets a simple presentation for this DVD release. This edition of Our Town -- one of several now available, owing to the film's public domain status -- has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono. The dialogue is in English and no multiple language options have been included. This release includes two bonus short subjects: The Wizard's Apprentice and The ...
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Overview

This screen adaptation of Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama gets a simple presentation for this DVD release. This edition of Our Town -- one of several now available, owing to the film's public domain status -- has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono. The dialogue is in English and no multiple language options have been included. This release includes two bonus short subjects: The Wizard's Apprentice and The Town.
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Special Features

Digitally remastered from the original negative elements; Includes the short film "The Wizard's Apprentice" believed to be the inspiration for the Disney classic "Fantasia" ; Includes the 1943 short subject film "The Town," a study of a typical Midwestern town and it's residents by famed director Josef von Sternberg; Also includes a bonus audio track featuring the entire recreated production of "Our Town" for the Lux Radio Theatre
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although this film version of Thornton Wilder's classic (and, for its time, innovative) stage play tacks on a dreadful happy ending, the rest of the film is a faithful and moving adaptation of this American classic. Wisely dispensing with any attempt to "cinematize" the play's physical conceit (i.e., that it be performed with essentially no scenery and with props mimed), the movie, by necessity, has a more naturalistic tone to it. Since Wilder's masterwork is about the small moments that make up our lives, however, this is in no way damaging and, in some ways, adds more impact to the proceedings. Simplicity is the key to a successful Our Town, and Sam Wood directs with an appropriate delicacy and warmth. He's helped by a solid cast, headed by Martha Scott's incandescent Emily. The actress is vibrant without becoming overpowering, and her performance in the climactic scene evokes the honest emotion of the script without straying into weepy manipulation. A very young William Holden is not up to the task of matching her portrayal -- he's a little forced and lacks sufficient variety -- but he doesn't damage the film. The rest of the cast -- especially narrator Frank Craven and mothers Beulah Bondi and Fay Bainter -- are top notch. A further bonus is Aaron Copland's magnificent score, which, though it becomes slightly intrusive in one or two instances, possesses such beauty that one easily forgives it for making its presence felt. It has a few flaws, but, overall, this Our Town is a captivating experience.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/18/2003
  • UPC: 683070869724
  • Original Release: 1940
  • Rating:

  • Source: Focus Film
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White / Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:30:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Holden George Gibbs
Martha Scott Emily Webb
Fay Bainter Mrs. Gibbs
Beulah Bondi Mrs. Webb
Thomas Mitchell Dr. Gibbs
Frank Craven Mr. Morgan, the narrator
Guy Kibbee Editor Webb
Stuart Erwin Howie Newsome
Doro Merande Mrs. Soames
Philip Wood Simon Stimson
Ruth Tobey Rebecca Gibbs
Arthur Allen Prof. Willet
Charles Trowbridge Reverend
Spencer Charters Constable Warren
Dix Davis Si Crowell
Tim Davis Joe Crowell
Douglas Gardiner Wally Webb
Dan White Wedding Guest
Technical Credits
Sam Wood Director
Harry Chandlee Screenwriter
Aaron Copland Score Composer
Frank Craven Screenwriter
Bert Glennon Cinematographer
Harry Horner Production Designer
Edward P. Lambert Costumes/Costume Designer
Sol Lesser Producer
William Cameron Menzies Production Designer
James W. Payne Set Decoration/Design
John Sherwood Asst. Director
Irvin Talbot Musical Direction/Supervision
Sherman Todd Editor
Thornton Wilder Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title [4:14]
2. A Quart of Milk a Day [6:49]
3. History of Our Town [6:37]
4. "Am I Pretty?" [5:40]
5. Choir Rehearsal [8:07]
6. "Night Solomon" [7:13]
7. The Daily Life [11:39]
8. George & Emily: The Beginning [11:16]
9. The Wedding [5:53]
10. Summer of 1913 [8:14]
11. Emily Remembers [5:45]
12. "I Want to Live..." [7:15]
13. Closing Credits [:45]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Bonus Materials
      Lux Radio Theatre: "The Town"
         Begin
      Lux Radio Theatre: "The Wizard's Apprentice"
         Begin
   Scene Index
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 16, 2013

    One of the most poignant and heartwretching films I have ever wa

    One of the most poignant and heartwretching films I have ever watched. I remember watching it as a little child, and how sad I felt when Emily reflects on the best day of her life. All too often we take our days of life for granted, never realizing how precious those days are, from our youth, our simple routines, and those that we love until we find out that life has irrevocably changed or we have lost one of our loved ones. Cherish each day of this glorious life while you are here, the journey is all too brief.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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