The Lathe of Heaven

The Lathe of Heaven

Director: Fred Barzyk, David Loxton Cast: Margaret Avery, Kevin Conway



The Lathe of Heaven, the first movie made for public television, comes to DVD, and while the film has a historical significance, the disc doesn't match that. Granted, everything about this disc must be taken in context. First, made in 1979 on a thread-bare budget, the full-frame televised image shows the signs of age and the fact that the original filmed elements are no longer available. The best source New Video could find is full of scratches, ghost images, and grain. Colors are generally washed out and detail is at times nonexistent. The sound, which uses the original two-channel mono track, is at times slightly distorted, though generally the dialogue is understandable. Unfortunately, sound effects and music don't come off nearly as well, and the lack of any auditory depth is persistently evident. As for extras, a fine interview by Bill Moyers with author/creative consultant Ursula K. Le Guin is certainly worth watching. She's intelligent, well spoken, and provides insight about her writing and this production. The only other supplement is a text-based biography of Le Guin. As mentioned, this disc has to be taken in context. Is the video and audio elements below par? Absolutely, by today's standards, but when making a judgment on quality, other factors have to be considered.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/29/2000
UPC: 0767685946732
Original Release: 1980
Rating: NR
Source: New Video Group
Sound: [Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time: 1:40:00

Special Features

Bill Moyers interview with Ursula K. Le Guin; Ursula K. Le Guin biography; Interactive menu; Scene selection

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Dream Another Life [4:16]
2. Appointment with Dr. Haber [9:41]
3. Tammany Hall [8:23]
4. A Change in the Weather [8:11]
5. The Doctor's Experiment [8:30]
6. Six Billion People [13:32]
7. The Purpose of Man [4:01]
8. Aliens on the Moon [14:22]
9. The Dreamer's Power [13:43]
10. With a Little Help [5:45]
11. Haber Plays God [7:05]
12. Meeting Again [6:04]

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The Lathe of Heaven 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This PBS production of Ursula K. LeGuin’s celebrated science fiction novel concerns the reality reshaping caused by the dreams of George Orr, a mild, principled young man who comes under the influence of Dr. Haber, an oneirologist -- a dream specialist. Using a device designed to control dreaming, Haber sets out to guide, then purloin, George's power for himself in order to create a perfect world of his own devising. Riddled with guilt, George seeks the help of a skeptical attorney, Heather LeLache, who teams up with George to foil the doctor's well-intentioned yet misguided plan. The film's shoestring budget compromises the production values somewhat, and the adaptation stresses more of the sensational aspects than the philosophical ones. But the story is so well written, the abstract ideas so direct and clearly formulated, that it remains one of the most enjoyable films of its ilk.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw the Lathe Of Heaven in 1979. At the time it was so far advanced that's all we could talk about at work. We have come so far in movies that I was disappointed when I saw it again.