Entertaining DVDs for your bed-bound days

Tom Andrew

Though many new films have opened in the last few weeks I found myself bed-bound with a virus that seems to have made the rounds in San Diego over the last few months, and with a few DVDs.

Neither one has anything to do with the other, but they did happen to jump out at me and since I hadn’t seen either in some time, I felt they were perfect for my days in bed while recuperating.

I am speaking of “Tootsie” starring Dustin Hoffman, and the Walt Disney’s classic, though now out of print, “Song Of The South.”

I hadn’t seen “Tootsie” in many years and this new 25th Anniversary DVD boasted deleted scenes and interviews with the cast. All of which are worth the price of the DVD.

Dustin Hoffman, Teri Garr, the late Sydney Pollack, Jessica Lange and scores of others speak on how the film came to be and how dedicated all were in seeing that happen.

“Tootsie” is the story of an out of work actor/acting teacher Michael Dorsey, played with passion and determination by Dustin Hoffman.

His best friend played, by Teri Garr, has an audition for a soap opera and needs his help preparing for it. Through a series of circumstances she doesn’t get the job, but he does.

To tell you what happens here would only spoil the surprise if you have never seen the movie. For those of you who have seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it again.

The cast across the board is amazing and hilarious.

Bill Murray, uncredited and mostly improvised, plays Michael’s roommate Jeff.

Jessica Lange plays Julie, the lost actress who grows through her friendship with Michael.

Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Geena Davis and lastly but certainly not least, Sydney Pollack, who plays Michael’s agent and confidant, round out the cast.

This film was nominated for a few well-deserved Oscars, and 25 years later will still make you laugh out loud.

I highly recommend it.

Now, as for Disney’s “Song Of The South,” of course we have all heard of the famous song “Zippity Doo Dah,” which is from this movie.

The film has many wonderful songs and the story itself is taken from the collected stories of Uncle Remus.

These stories are about the fictional characters Brier Rabbit, Brier Fox, Brier Bear, and their travails.

The film is set during the Civil War in the south. A time when slavery did exist, though in the film the particular plantation where the story takes place seems to have much respect and genuine concern for their slaves.

The film tells the story of a young child who, along with his mother, is sent to his grandmother’s house while his father goes back home to work. Deeply saddened when his father leaves, the child is befriended by Uncle Remus, an older black gentleman who tells tales of Brier Rabbit, Fox and Bear, and their antics.

His mother becomes concerned when she realizes that some of the stories Uncle Remus is telling might be teaching her son to deal with life in a way she feels may be too soon for him and forbids Uncle Remus to tell him any more.

As with most Disney films all definitely ends well.

“Song Of The South” is a wonderful story of friendship, tolerance, love and understanding.

Though out of print, you can obtain it online. Apparently, the subject matter is something Disney feels is not appropriate and has pulled the film from any further re-releasing, which is a shame because it is one of the first films to use both cartoon and live action and is quite good; highly recommended and appropriate for all ages.