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The Prince of Tides
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  • A brief comment
    I didn't think you could do another psychological drama that was that new or different about people who overcome buried emotional problems, finally face their repressed and dysfunctional pasts, and now have a chance for a better life, but Streisand managed it with this film based on the Pat Conroy novel. But Nick Nolte in the lead role must overcome the demons from his own parents' upbringing as well as another terrible secret still hidden in his own unconscious. In addition to Streisand's capable direction, the film wouldn't have been possible without Nolte's superb (and possibly best) performance, who really carries most of the film on his capable shoulders. I'm also reminded of Nolte's role in the later movie, "Damage," where he played another tormented, dysfunctional character, but unlike in this film, that character never confronts his demons and goes into an apparently inexplicable downward spiral. Overall a fine film and a surprisingly good cinematization of the original novel....more info
  • One of Streisand's Best!
    I think this movie is Streisand's masterpiece. It is very good and the story is very well developed. The acting from all parties is terrific and the direction by Streisand is wonderful. I saw this film when it first came out and enjoyed it very much. I know that many people who read the book were not happy but I think she pared down the book to a very manageable size. I highly recommend it. ...more info
  • her
    Because i love Barbra Streisand, she can do no wrong, great movie. seen it 6 times and will watch it again...more info
  • A Perfect Movie
    I haven't read the book, so my review is based solely on the movie.
    I avoided watching it for a long time because I had read so many conflicting reviews. I now realize that every negative review I read has one or both of the following in common: The reviewer hates Barbra Streisand, or the reviewer thinks that, if the movie doesn't follow the book exactly, the movie is bad. Occasionally, someone will mention something else, such as a dislike of Nick Nolte or of George Carlin, but most of the negative reviews are based in those first two biases.

    Fortunately, I admire Ms. Streisand, and I understand that a movie must, by its very nature, differ from the book it is based on. In some cases (High Fidelity, for example--wonderful movie, terrible book), the movie is better.

    In this case, the author of The Prince of Tides co-wrote the script, so he had every opportunity to make sure that the story he was telling was true to his book, even if it wasn't a blow-by-blow exact replica.

    I am so glad I saw this movie. I feel as though my life is enriched because of it. From the opening moments, I knew I was in very capable hands. The acting, directing, photography, dialog--everything in this movie is among the best there is. There is not one false step in this movie.

    A lot is said in finely nuanced facial expressions and through body language--the kind of acting that is a notch above ordinary fare. Some of the topics dealt with are quite intense, and yet somehow Barbra Streisand as a director manages to handle them deftly, neither overdramatizing them nor underplaying their significance. This movie deserved every Academy nomination it got, plus one for director, and should have won far more than it did. Kudos and many thanks to Barbra Streisand and Nick Nolte for this gem....more info
  • There's some things you never get over.
    Up until this film I did not have a very positive view of Barbara Streisand's acting ability. Despite my tendency to hold on to my opinions past their time, I have changed my mind in a dramatic way. This film undeniably proves that Streisand is a very talented actress. Nolte on the other hand has always had great potential, even if it hasn't been realized in every film he appeared in. No need to worry, in "The Prince of Tides" he is tremendous.

    This wonderful drama contains elements of horror and suspense but its strength comes from the romance that blossoms between the psychiatrist Susan Lowenstein, (Streisand), and the failing football coach, Tom Wingo, (Nolte). These two have a chemistry which draws them together against their will and sucks the audience along for the ride. Additional complexity, derived from the fact that they are both married, also enriches the experience.

    Because the story is ostensibly about the struggles Tom goes through as a result of his Sister's latest suicide attempt, the film often travels back in time. Lowenstein needs Tom to fill in the blanks about his sister's life so that she can be better treated. Unfortunately Tom is almost as reluctant to recall his childhood events as his comatose sister. This is not at all surprising when we eventually discover all the details.

    We slowly learn, along with Lowenstein, about a severe and traumatic family history. Three children, of whom Tom is one, are spiritually imprisoned by an abusive father and a manipulative, ambitious mother. Their only comfort is in each other, which is expressed perfectly whenever their parents fight, by their escape underwater where they hold hands in a ring of love. In the present though, even this bond has been sundered. Tom's older brother is now dead and his sister has lived away from him in New York for many years.

    There are many sub-plots running through the story. Tom's inability to deal with his wife, Susan's problems with her son Bernard and her famous violinist husband, Tom and his Sister's repressed memories and his mother's attempts to keep it all hidden. Overall it is undeniably a rich and compelling film. It serves as an example of how good drama can be....more info
  • An enjoyable movie, but still a disappointment
    I think few people who, like me, had read the book by Pat Conroy would be satisfied with the movie version. On the positive side, it was well acted, well cast and the script did not stray too far from the novel. However, so much was left out that the power and drama of the novel were lost. Particularly disappointing was the fact that Luke and Savannah, two of the main characters in the book, barely featured in the movie. Focussing so much on the romance between Tom and Lowenstein, only a secondary storyline in the novel, may have made the story more straightforward but also more ordinary. Nick Nolte was great as Tom and I did enjoy the movie, but after reading the book and knowing what the film could have been I feel a bit disappointed. Probably this book would be better adapted for a mini-series, where more time could be allowed to develop all aspects of the story....more info
  • Streisand takes away from an otherwise classic
    Unfortunately, Barbra Streisand got a hold of an absolutely classic Pat Conroy novel and sensationalized her role to position herself for an oscar. While the main storyline is intact, so much of the novel is missing from the film that the viewer is truly cheated. I am not a fan of Babs, but I will give her credit for an excellent acting and production job. It's sad, however, that it had to come at the expense of this momentous story.

    There is no one that could have been casted for the part of Tom other than Nick Nolte. He is fabulous and portrays the role of the 'southern male' as well as anyone could. Anyone with a heart for the South should read the book, and then see the film, if it comes on cable....more info

  • Excellent Nolte
    Not too bad for the most part, though the ending is pretty unconvincing. The cynical, distant Nick Nolte goes to NYC after his twin sister (played by Melinda Dillon) there tries to commit suicide. He begins seeing her psychiatrist (Barbra Streisand) and through flashbacks we learn about the demons of his family's past - all of which he's learned to suppress his whole life. Conveniently Nolte's wife (Blythe Danner) takes up with another man while Nolte is falling in love with Streisand; at the end he returns to his wife though he still loves Streisand. Nolte is excellent in his role, and as is often the case when he's on screen, his persona dominates every scene he's in; Streisand is fairly bland in comparison. The movie begins to show its weaknesses after Nolte and Streisand fall in love: where the movie should be exploring their love and "obligations" in a hard, meaningful way, it only goes soft and paisley romantic. Why Nolte goes back to his wife, why she even wants him back, is hardly touched on; instead we get the throwaway lines, "You love her more," says Streisand; "No," replies Nolte, "just longer." Not a whole lot of substance there....more info
  • Absoulutely Great
    This movie starring Barbara Striesand and Nick Nolte is a fantastic movie. Although long, you never become bored. You are drawn in from the moment it starts. I think the story is beautiful and has beautiful scenery. Anyone from the south knows why they live here. It's a wonderful place. Great movie of redemption for Nick Nolte's character and Striesand as his savior. ...more info
  • A story of salvation!
    I loved this movie, even though I agree with the reviewers who said that the movie did not do justice to the book. I believe that with a book this powerful, where every character has such depth and intensity, it would be literally impossible in the confines of a movie's "time" limits to do it justice. I, too, would love to have seen the story of Luke and Savannah--Savannah was actually the strongest character in the book, but the movie portrayed her as the weakest. I would also have enjoyed their interesting grandmother, Tolitha, (who could forget the chapter where she had the children take pictures of her in a coffin in the funeral home), and their grandfather who dragged the cross from one end of town to the other. I just think that this book was so powerful that a decision had to be made as to which aspect of it would be portrayed. I agree with one reviewer that a mini-series would have been in order. I would gladly have devoted 10 or 12 hours to watching this wonderful story!...more info
  • Greatest Movie Of All Time
    With one word.....superb!

    This is, without a doubt, the greatest motion picture I have ever seen! Pat Conroy, the books author is a genius in his telling of the southern tale of Tom Wingo, and his New York City romance with psychiatrist Susan Lowenstien. Nick Nolte is by far, the best actor to come out of Hollywood in decades. This man could have played Rhett Butler. Maybe it's because of my love for my native South Carolina, and the romance I see in New York City, that attracts me to this movie, which I have watched close to a dozen times.

    Barbra Striesand is excellant as Susan Lowenstien, and her son (by Elliot Gould), who plays Bernard does a great job as well.

    I enjoy just about every aspect of this film, the intro, the flashbacks, the south in the summer, all of it! Though the South Carolina scenes were filmed in the coastal town of Beaufort, according to Conroy's book Tom & Sally actually reside on Sullivan's Island, just outside of Charleston. This area is the most gracious and beautiful on the planet. Maybe it's because I come from South Carolina.

    Favorite Scene: The Shrimp Boat shown after Tom and his children go shrimping with Tom's father, Henry.

    Note: The movie could sure have bettered itself by cutting down on the overuse of language, in my opinion.


    Kris Butts...more info

  • Barbra Streisand and Nick Nolte are GREAT!
    This movie is for any Streisand fan to watch. The casting of Barbra as a New York psychiatrist is excellent as Nolte as a football coach who comes to New York to help is sister who tried to commit suicide. Tom played by Nick Nolte falls in love with Barbra's character Dr. Lowenstein, both are married but not happily. I'll save the ending for the movie. The music, the acting including Barbra's son Jason Gould is high caliber. I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes a well done movie, this is one heck of a movie.
    Barbra you did it again!!...more info
  • A Moving Film, Streissand and Nolte Have Chemistry!
    Having read the novel by Pat Conroy, you'd be satisfied with this film. There are some aspects however, for reasons of time, this is only a 2 hr movie, were not dealt with in the movie as they had in Conroy's novel,i.e. Savannah and Luke's(Tom's siblings) are better characterized and the life Tom had with his mother and father in the rural South, marked by domestic violence and finding inner strength in a realm of fantasy, Tom's mother's stories and later on Savannah's imaginative writing. When Tom goes to New York to check up on Savannah (who has attempted suicide) he meets the charismatic and aesthetic Dr. Susan Lowenstein, superbly performed by director/actress Streissand. It seems Streissand was meant for the role- she has the definate New York urbane intelligence and her chemistry with Nick Nolte resembles that of an old Hollywood film a la mode Rhett and Scarlett in Gone With the Wind. The love story, as Dr. Lowenstein delves into the troubled past of Tom Wingo, and a romance blossoms in their sessions, is very touching. The saddest part in fact is that Tom Wingo is married, estranged from his wife, and the right thing to do would be to give up his affair with his psychiatrist and return with the recovering Savannah back to his life in the South. The ending is warm and touching, much like the ending to Bridges of Madison County,"whenever I hear the wind it will whisper the name Lowenstein " Nick Nolte tells us, his voice and his superb performance giving us the magic we badly need in our romantic-less lives. I suggest you read both the novel and then view the film....more info
  • Streisand takes away from an otherwise classic
    Unfortunately, Barbra Streisand got a hold of an absolutely classic Pat Conroy novel and sensationalized her role to position herself for an oscar. While the main storyline is intact, so much of the novel is missing from the film that the viewer is truly cheated. I am not a fan of Babs, but I will give her credit for an excellent acting and production job. It's sad, however, that it had to come at the expense of this momentous story.

    There is noone else that could have been casted for the part of Tom other than Nick Nolte. He is fabulous and portrays the role of the 'southern male' as well as anyone could. Anyone with a heart for the South should read the book, and then see the film, if it comes on cable....more info

  • The tide has not eroded this cinematic masterpiece
    I hadn't given this movie much thought since seeing it when it came out originally in '91. I remember finding it a fascinating film at the time which even prompted me to read the book and discover the writing quality of Conroy. Unlike most such situations when I am disappointed by movie adaptations of great books, I found both genres to have their own beauty. This past weekend I was loaned a copy of Prince of Tides and I spent a leisurely 2 hours enjoying this masterpiece for a second time. Flashbacks are beautifully interspersed with real time discoveries. Characters to love, hate, envy, pity and laugh with abound. What impresses me most about this film is the impeccable way you find yourself switching from the lifestyle of the coastal south to the frenzy of New York City. All cinematic elements combine to take you back and forth in time and location as the characters experience their pasts and make new memories for the future. Nolte was brilliant. Streisand was lovely as an actress and obviously gifted as director. Blythe Danner was touching and talented as always, and the passage of time reveals the beauty both inner and outer she has bestowed on her daughter Gwyneth Paltrow. Buy this film and plan an evening of enjoyment whether you are male or female, young or old. The passage of time has done nothing to dim the quality of this film. It is as impressive now as it was originally, maybe even more so since it has stood the test of time so well....more info
  • It's all about presentation, and this film is presented in the worst possible way...
    I can't help but wonder how good this film may have been had it had another director, maybe one more attentive to the nature of the story. Instead, actress/singer/director Barbara Streisand helms this picture, and she does a lot more damage than good. Instead of creating a film that is rooted in raw emotion and heartbreaking tragedy she turns this film into a longwinded soap opera with over-the-top acting and `romance novel' style dialog. In fact, the last quarter of the film is so ridiculous that I seriously wanted to vomit amidst all the saccharine facileness.

    The film tells the story of Tom Wingo, a southern `good ol' boy' who is troubled by a dark family secret, a secret that has pushed his sister to attempt suicide. While she lies in a hospital room, Tom ventures to New York and meets his sister's psychiatrist Susan. Tom is apposed to his sister seeing a shrink, but the more he sees Susan the more he begins to open up, about his life, his wife, his mother and eventually uncovering the family secret that has haunted him for so many years.

    The idea behind the film is a good one in my opinion (I have not read the book, although I don't hear good things about it so I don't think I will) but the handling of the material really sidelines the film in my opinion. Instead of taking a raw and emotional approach to the film, the soap operaish delivery makes light of the tragedy surrounding the film and ultimately turns the serious subject of abuse, suicide and murder into a joke. All of this weighty material is more or less just a backdrop for Tom and Susan to fall in love and in the end the film makes their relationship the weightiest subject; expecting the audience to swell up with tears at the prospect of them having to leave one another as apposed to the audience being emotionally responsive to the turmoil boiling within Tom's past.

    The acting doesn't really help the matter.

    I am not a fan of Nick Nolte. I never have been and never will be. He has really only delivered a few (countable on one hand) good performances, and this is not one of them. His over-the-top delivery of Tom's emotions is comical to say the least. He has one good scene, when he finally breaks down and exposes his past. It's the only scene where his emotions seem real, and it's the only respectable `scene' in the film (which ends up getting ruined by the overly sentimental `cry in my bosom' closing). Streisand is better than Nolte, but too clich¨¦d. The only good acting comes from the supporting cast, notably Blythe Danner (who is sorely underused) and Kate Nelligan (who received an Oscar nomination for her performance). They are not enough to save the film, but they at least prove to add some interest to their scenes.

    In the end I can honestly say that `The Prince of Tides' is a missed opportunity, which I think is what makes the sting of the films failure hurt all the more. It could have been so deep and haunting but instead comes off vapid and hollow. ...more info
  • The Prince of Tides - Stolen Oscar
    This movie was wonderfully directed and the acting of all characters was tremendous. All persons nominated for an Oscar were robbed, especially Nick Nolte. It's disappointing to see the Academy rob the actors, particular Nick Notle and Kate Nelligan, of well deserved recognition because of their animosity towards Barbra Streisand, who by the way does a great directing job. The cinematography was also very well done.

    After seeing the movie, I read the book. The book was brilliantly written. I have since read more Pat Conroy books. However, the book was very detailed and it would have been impossible to include all aspects of the book in the movie. Streisand did the best possible job of putting the novel into a 2+ hours of a movie. Keep in mind that Pat Conroy wrote the screen play for the movie and worked with Barbra Streisand during the making.

    It is part of my movie & book library....more info

  • A big soap opera
    Though released in 91, this looks like 1981. Nolte was still young enough to be appealing, but his hair in this one isn't his best look. Barbra is just terrible. Dated. Her acting ability is rough, at best. The clothes haven't worn well over the years. Neither has the hair. Ths plot is ridiculous. I've never heard of a psychiatrist quite like this one: she spends months trying to figure out what's wrong with Nolte's sister, by talking to Nolte? This doesn't happen in real life. Pat Conroy's novel was hot stuff way back when, but it hasn't stood the test of time. The scenery of Beaufort, SC, is gorgeous, however. Also, like many movies of its time, this is too long by 30 minutes....more info
  • The Prince of Tides will Wash Over You
    This is a dramatic, moving movie with great characters and wonderful plot development. Barbara Streisand plays a wonderfully real psychologist who seeks to help Nick Nolte's character deal with his troubled past in order to help his future. It is very moving and will leave you thinking about it a week later....more info
  • Barbra's Ego Undoes A Worthwhile Effort
    I loved Pat Conroy's book, The Prince of Tides. I looked forward to the film version. Nick Nolte was an inspired choice to play Tom Wingo. I have no qualms with the rest of the cast. I, too, wish that more of the story (of Luke especially) could have been told. But, I have no major problem with the screenplay and the direction served the script fine.

    My problem is that Streisand as producer and director should have read the damn book a little closer when it came to the character of Lowenstein, the psychiatrist. She was described as upper-class, slim & dark, cultured, refined & immaculate. Now, Barbra may be interesting & intelligent....but classy and refined she ain't. Not with footlong violet fingernails that would rival the Dragonlady's. Maybe if I hadn't read the book, it would have worked...but I doubt it.

    Casting in a movie is half the battle. And that her ego allowed her to cast herself in this role says more about Barbra's delusions than it does her talent. She told the story well, but the great love and understanding between Wingo and Lowenstein just wasn't believable for me between Nolte and Streisand.

    Too bad, because she handled the rest of the movie pretty well. I only wrote this because Barbra did a lot of bitching at the time that she was overlooked at Oscar time for Best Director. I truly feel that had she cast that role to someone else and JUST directed, she would have made the list. But, she had to make the movie a Barbra Streisand movie starring Barbra and thereby sank it rom potentially great to just a good film. Ego will get you every time. 3-1/2 stars....more info

  • In the brumes of the alcohol!
    Sensible and poignant melodrama about an alcoholic. With a sumptuous reference frame, Streisand made possibly her finest masterpiece.

    Penetrating script with a towering acting of Nick Nolte.
    ...more info
  • Prince of Tides
    Who ever watched the move "Prince of Tides" should now know how damaging childhood abuse is; how much mental damage the silence can do and; how abuse influences the lives of the abused.

    The ones who lived through childhood abuse felt the pain while watching and know how the silent fear grinds away the worth of life itself.

    To get out of such numbing self-denial victims must talk and live the shame and guilt with the once who caused it.

    My compliments to Barbara Steisand for her courage to direct such a sensitive subject with indescribable excellence. My deepest respect to Nick Nolte for playing this very intense roll with brilliance.

    A new book entitled "Haunting Shadows from the Past" By Sieglinde W. Alexander, will be released on Oct. 1. 2000. This book describes in many details the devastating effect of child abuse in our lives....more info

  • Barbra Streisand triumphant directorial achievement
    This movie is certainly a triumph for Barbra Streisand as a director. The entire cast is superb. Streisand should not have acted though in this movie - some of her scenes are pathetic....more info
    Though Barbra Streisand kind of gets in the way of her own movie, The Prince of Tides does have some expertly compelling sequences, most chillingly the flashbacks that seriously do justice to Pat Conroy's epic novel. Dealing most significantly with the inner child, and the revelations that can free us, the book and the film successfully engage you with a rich sense of time and place. The characters who populate the film sometimes seem from two different worlds, but I think that is part of the point. Kate Nelligan and Jason Gould will surprise you with unusually good performances, and of course, Nick Nolte does some of his best acting ever in this film -- the role suits him; even its grander touches seem so - so - Tom. The score, by James Newton Howard, swirls symphonically around the action of this movie, and is achingly beautiful....more info
  • Lowenstinks.
    This film was dreadful. Streisand is absolutely unlikeable. To enjoy this film, you would need to buy into the romance between Streisand and Nolte and I just can't see how that is possible. I couldn't believe it when I found out how critically acclaimed this film was. Along with The English Patient, this is one of the worst 'critically acclaimed' films I have ever had the displeasure of viewing....more info
  • A '90s masterpiece.
    The Prince of Tides starring and directed by Barbra Streisand is a moving story. Nick Nolte is perfection in this film, I love the character development and layout. This movie is so sad and draining but the end results was totally worth it, you've got to see this one! Enjoy....more info