They Might Be Giants [VHS]
They Might Be Giants [VHS]

 
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Product Description

Former judge Justin Playfair (George C. Scott) lost his wife a few years back, and ever since he's thought he's Sherlock Holmes, determined to find his archnemesis Professor Moriarty, in this thoroughly charming tale of madness and romanticism. Playfair (er, Sherlock) is about to be committed by his brother, who wants his money, when by serendipity he's teamed up with psychiatrist Dr. Mildred Watson, no less (Joanne Woodward). She finds him fascinating, being a bit daffy herself, and together they get involved in various intrigues, mostly aimed at evading the medical authorities, but which allow the two to fall in love. Though the farcical tone of the film keeps it a lighthearted comedy, the heavy-handed slaps at authority, who are set up for such abuse, seem programmed to succeed. To what degree is lunacy, charming though it may be at times, an appropriate reaction to complex times? "To the utmost degree!" says this film, though the viewer may enjoy it and still disagree. During a comic battle in a supermarket (reminiscent of a silent comedy pie fight), one patient chases her keeper with an oversized hypodermic to the rallying cry of "I hope the loonies win!" That expresses the sympathies of the film nicely. --Jim Gay

Customer Reviews:

  • Makes you think...
    I saw this movie because I was a huge fan of the band "They Might Be Giants." I must say I was awestruck at the end. It was very powerful and somewhat disturbing. The romantic elements weren't there too much, but the acting was superb and humourous. I heard about the cut-out scene from the supermarket without which the movie made no sense, but I think that the most crucial scene is the scene in the taxi when Gearge C. Scott talks about the fact that "they might be." I like this idea. I'm frantically hunting for a text of the play....more info
  • C'est noble, c'est charmant, c'est chevaleresque
    This film was amazing. L'essence de la mthode. a Fte Accompli. The essence of method. Un film fabuleux....more info
  • Scott's best performance was not Patton, but Justin Playfair
    A WONDERFUL film, filled with beautiful performances. Holmes is not merely a personality but a force of nature, like the "fire" that is fire not because we call it that, but because it burns. This is Woodward's favorite film of hers, for good reason. A masterpiece masquerading as a little Holmes and Watson romp....more info
  • Lots of bittersweet fun
    I was lucky enough to find a dvd of this film just the other day. Although it's not worth the inflated $200 it's selling for here (and higher), it is an excellent film. And, if you can find a copy at a reasonable price, it's worth having. The acting is wonderful, the scenes of 70s New York are so authentically gritty, and the movie is a whole lot of fun. Interestingly enough, my husband mentioned to me that he had never really wanted to see this movie before since he didn't think Scott would make a believable Holmes. Almost immediately into the movie, he admitted how wrong he was.

    George C. Scott plays a delusional former judge. He believes he is Sherlock Holmes and it is likely that he became delusional after the death of his wife a year or so before. While a jurist, he always attempted to do good-- always attempted to make the world a better and safer place. Now, as Holmes, he attributes all the evil in the world to his nemesis, Moriarty.

    Joanne Woodward is Dr. Watson-- a psychiatrist at the mental health clinic. She does good works, but her personal life is pretty much in shambles. She's lonely, drinks herself to sleep, and doesn't have too high of a self-image. Her signature is required on the papers needed to commit the judge to the institution so that Holmes' brother, one of the board members of the asylum, will gain legal control over Holmes' money which will enable him to pay off his blackmailers.

    Holmes knows that there are people after him, and believes they are led by Moriarty. He spends his days searching for clues to Moriarty's whereabouts so that he and Moriarty can have their final showdown. Because Dr. Watson is eager to learn more about her new patient before signing commitment papers, she is drawn into his clue-finding endeavors.

    With Dr. Watson tagging along, both she and Holmes scour the city for clues-- making friends with a variety of folks along the way. And, along the way, Watson and Holmes fall in love.

    This is really a wonderful story about two lonely people who find each other within the loneliness and anonymity of the big city. Although Watson knows Holmes isn't "really" Holmes, she chooses to believe what he believes since he brings more joy and interest to her life in one day than she's had throughout her entire life.

    As for the ending (no spoilers): Yes, the grocery store scene is here. I'm trying to picture to imagine the whole film without it, and it wouldn't have worked. So, it needed to be here, but it's too bad that the directors chose a scene like this in the first place and had no alternate to replace it with. However, it is what it is, and some others may appreciate it. Although I think this scene (and the marching scene) detracts a bit from the quality and feel of the entire movie, I don't think it ruins it.

    If the ending does leave one scratching his head, as one reviewer wrote, just wait a second after the screen fades to black. Scrolling text will tie up the loose ends and confirm your suspicions about Holmes, Watson, and Moriarty on his horse.

    And, then, after that. . . well, it's likely Holmes will be Holmes.

    ...more info
  • They Might Be Giants
    This week the movie (complete) is showing on Retroplex. Record it from this cable channel. ...more info
  • I'm sure it's a really good movie.
    The guy above is confused. This movie has nothing to do with the band, They Might Be Giants. It's just where they got their name....more info
  • My favourite film
    I love this film its fabulous. It's one of those great movies that hopefully debunks all the set ideas people have about mental health. George C Scott is brilliant. To me its also of the most romantic film ever....more info
  • "Much madness is divinest sense..."
    An absolutely beautiful, thought-provoking film, with a poetic script and superb performances all around. Of course, it will never be a favorite among those people C. Wright Mills once called "crackpot realists;" but for those who aren't afraid to let their imaginations soar, this film will carry you to joyous heights. Funny, poignant, romantic, it will make you think about what's truly important in life, and remind you of all life's possibilities. Once seen, never to be forgotten, it casts a sweet spell over the willing viewer - a nightingale singing in the grime of the city. Highly recommended!...more info
  • Divine madness!
    From the days of "King of hearts" and "even dwarfs started small" we had not had the chance to enjoy an insanity poetic like this jewel of cinema. Funny, funny yarn about a slightly daffy gentleman who truly believes himself to be Sherlock Holmes. And all along this mad journey he will find clever clues counting with his psychiatrist, a lovely and fabulous Watson embodied by Joanne Woodward.

    As a matter of fact, Anthony Harvey could not have made a best choice with two outstanding actors. George Scott whose lunatic gaze and distorted mind as military advisor in "Dr. Strangelove" and Joanne Woodward who had accompanied to Sean Connery "A fine madness" guaranteed by far as it was the best results you and me would imagined ourselves.

    An amusing and surprisingly movie that will delight you due its imaginative plot and unexpected situations.
    ...more info
  • Missing scene ruins film
    This is the 88-minute MCA video of the film which cut 5-7 crucial minutes from the next-to-the-last scene in the supermarket. Without it, the film's ending makes no sense, and many of the plot threads are left dangling. A better choice is the version released for television in which the scene was restored....more info
  • Whimsical and engaging paranoia.
    With Y2K on the horizon, the apocalypse approaching, UFO aliens abducting innocent citizens, and North Korea trying out its nuclear delivery system, we can forget which of these is a real threat and which not. Joanne Woodward, a psychiatrist named Dr. Watson, tries to help George C. Scott, who sees threats all around him. The title metaphor comes from Cervantes, but Conan Doyle provides the major framework. Scott is a former judge who thinks he is Sherlock Holmes, pursuing Moriarty, the epitome of evil. Each step of pursuit through the city shows reality a little differently, wittily, sardonically, poignantly. (Jack Guilford's brief Scarlet Pimpernel is a special gem.) No sex; no violence; just a joyous relief from the ordinary. Unfortunately, the video is still too expensive....more info
  • George C Scott and Joanne Woodward shine!
    This is a GREAT film that was unnoticed upon it's original release because of its quirkiness.
    It concerns a judge (played by Scott) who believes he is Sherlock Holmes. He lives in a complete fantasy world, which he created right after his beloved wife died, to provided shelter from a cold world. However, he finds the fantasy world a bit lonely, for no one believes he is Holmes. A psychiatrist played by Woodward (also excellent) tries to cure him, much to the disdain of his brother, who would like Scott to be declared incompetent so he can control Scott's money.
    It turns out that Woodward is also lonely, and you can see where the movie will go, but it doesn't detract from a sweet, funny and touching movie.
    The film gained popularity on TV's Late Show. It isn't shown much on cable, so this DVD is invaluable. It also contains commentary by the director.
    Much thanks to Anchor Bay for releasing this film, and so many others that deserve to be seen but are not that well known....more info
  • Stupid plot, so-so film
    Yes, the band got the name from this 1971 movie starring George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward, so watching "They Might Be Giants" would be mainly of interest to anyone who wants to understand why the band chose that as a name (there are probably more bands named after movies than anything else - The Misfits, Faster Pussycat, Mudhoney, Brighton Rock, etc.). It's also of interest for anyone seeking more lunacy from George C. Scott, the man who made famous the line/promise in Dr. Strangelove "no more than 20 to 30 million killed - tops!"

    The main critical blurb on the cover is Leonard Maltin's not-so-promising three star rating. The premise is that George C. Scott's character is a brilliant former judge who now thinks he's Sherlock Holmes, Joanne Woodward is his shrink. Together they set out to find Moriarty. Not much to keep your interest after the first 30 minutes or so, although the scene where "Holmes" treats a man who has stopped talking by figuring out that he thinks he's Rudolph Valentino (i.e. a silent film star). ...more info
  • A classic that is way too expensive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I saw this film about 3-4 years ago on tv, and I've loved it ever since! No this video is not about the band. And no, it isn't "a film just with George C. Scott in it." It's much more... too much more to mention here in this little blurb. But I do agree, the price is far too high! I certainly hope that with the passing of Mr. Scott the distributers of this film decide to make this video available and affordable for some of its fans!!...more info
  • "i hope the loonies win!!"
    the above line was spoken not by an asylum inmate, but a nurse from the asylum who decides to help "just one nut get out".

    this is a precious film, which i caught one late night on cable t.v. many many years ago and now have on dvd.

    dated and quirky, it is an absolute delight. it might be called "one flew over the cuckoos nest" with a happy ending.

    i hadnt realized the supermarket "shootout" scene had been removed originally for theatrical release, and restored much later (the directors commentary states 1988, but i saw it on cable at least 6 years before that and could swear that scene was in!)...anyone who has seen only the cut version is missing a sweet treat in this movie. it is a slapstick comedy scene worthy of the silent film greats!

    this is right up there with the all time great movies like "harold and maude", "king of hearts" and "freaks".

    see it on dvd if you can,where it is vibrant and uncut....more info

  • "Much madness is divinest sense..."
    An absolutely beautiful, thought-provoking film, with a poetic script and superb performances all around. Of course, it will never be a favorite among those people C. Wright Mills once called "crackpot realists;" but for those who aren't afraid to let their imaginations soar, this film will carry you to joyous heights. Funny, poignant, romantic, it will make you think about what's truly important in life, and remind you of all life's possibilities. Once seen, never to be forgotten, it casts a sweet spell over the willing viewer - a nightingale singing in the grime of the city. Highly recommended!...more info
  • brilliant script, stellar performances
    Such an unexpected gem of a film. George C. Scott is perfection as Sherlock...you get Dr. Watson, the Scarlett Pimpernell (Jack Gilford...remember the "Cracker Jacks" man?) and New York City all in a beautifully written and directed James Goldman play. Good versus evil...without vulgarity, sex or violence.
    If you are tired of special effects and want to watch actors who actually let you care about the characters they portray...try this film on for size....more info
  • "i hope the loonies win!!"
    the above line was spoken not by an asylum inmate, but a nurse from the asylum who decides to help "just one nut get out".

    this is a precious film, which i caught one late night on cable t.v. many many years ago and now have on dvd.

    dated and quirky, it is an absolute delight. it might be called "one flew over the cuckoos nest" with a happy ending.

    i hadnt realized the supermarket "shootout" scene had been removed originally for theatrical release, and restored much later (the directors commentary states 1988, but i saw it on cable at least 6 years before that and could swear that scene was in!)...anyone who has seen only the cut version is missing a sweet treat in this movie. it is a slapstick comedy scene worthy of the silent film greats!

    this is right up there with the all time great movies like "harold and maude", "king of hearts" and "freaks".

    see it on dvd if you can,where it is vibrant and uncut....more info

  • If only they all were They Might be Giants videos......
    John Flansburgh and John Linnel are both truly " The Twin Quasars of Rock." This video compilation is what all music videos should be like: Original and clever. The music itself even without the videos is some of the best stuff ever recorded. But the videos are brillianty directed by the bands guitarist/vocalist John Flansburgh. You would think he should be directing movies if you see some of the camera shots he has in the Ana Ng video. You just don't find good videos like this since the videos you see on TV are now mostly Rap videos which lack a lot of creativity. They all have the same camera shots and scantily clad dancers and the songs sound the same also. And the current Rock and Alternative videos just ........Aren't good. But no sir! Not with They Might be Giants! These videos are all different have different camera shots and the music sounds great. This is something you should check out. Come on do it for Flansburgh. Buy it. Trust me you'll like it. END...more info
  • excellent
    good natured paranoia. clever comments on society, where old fashioned westerns at movie houses are replaced by porno, and where human emotion can even survive a sterile telephone company bureaucracy, and where, whimsically, if you believe in something strongly enough, it may just come true....more info
  • Universal Please Re-Issue This......................
    This Movie is way overpriced..............If anyone works for Universal please re-issue this movie so more people can buy at a realistic Price.........more info
  • Truly charming-one that will stick with you!
    This film is one a small group of absolutely captivating offbeat romances. Both George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward are excellent. Scott-is thoroughly unforgettable in his role as a man who believes that he is Sherlock Holmes. Makes the romantic comedies of our current Hollywood look worse than ever! This one is a true original and has a fairy tale feel that makes it so endearing. Well worth owning-and dvd has a featurette and commentary which will be treasured by fans of the film....more info
  • Decent
    Well, all this movie is about is a guy who thinks he's sherlock holmes and it has George C. Scott. Thats about it....more info
  • They Might Be Giants
    One of my all time favourites. If you like Sherlock Holmes stories this is a must see. First saw it as a kid; it made a big impression on me. I searched for years for this video, finally found a copy in Winnipeg, Canada. Watched it but the ending was not what I remembered. I tried to figure out why and in my detective work was given the home phone number of the director Anthony Harvey by a journalist (I didn't realize it was his number till I phoned!). Mr. Harvey explained when I talked to him that the original theatrical release had 10 minutes chopped off it (they thought it was to long), despite the directors objections). Good to see that they have re-released the original with the cut footage added back in....more info

 

 
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