A Video Review of “The Lathe of Heaven” (1980)
Copyright 2002 Glenn Walker
This production based on the Ursula K. LeGuin novel and starring Bruce Davison (Willard, Six Degrees of Separation, X-Men), Kevin Conway (Black Knight, The Funhouse) and Margaret Avery (The Return of Superfly, The Color Purple) was brought to the small screen in the early days of public television. It remains legendary as one of PBS’ greatest dramatic accomplishments.
* SPOILER WARNING *
The story is that of George Orr (Davison), a man whose dreams come true. Whatever he dreams becomes reality. After a suicide attempt he comes under the capacity of Dr. Haber (Conway) who upon learning Orr’s secret uses it to change the world.
However george’s mind doesn’t play fair. Haber tries to end racism, everyone turns gray. He wants to stop overpopulation, a plague kills six billion people. He tries for peace on earth, aliens attack the moon. In each case Haber gets a bigger nicer office and eventually his own dream institute.
A brilliant novel and a brilliant film. It is a great production considering the budget constrictions of PBS at the time. The unique synthesized score is also of note.
Definitely catch this if you can.