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  • Armchair Theatre - Volume 3 [DVD]
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Armchair Theatre - Volume 3 [DVD]

10 customer reviews

Price: £14.54 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
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£14.54 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Armchair Theatre - Volume 3 [DVD] + Armchair Theatre: Volume 2 [DVD] + Armchair Theatre - Volume 4 [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Patrick McGoohan, Stanley Baker, Ian Hendry, Janet Munro, Billie Whitelaw
  • Directors: James Ferman, William T. Kotcheff, Charles Jarrott, Philip Saville, Dennis Vance
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Aug. 2012
  • Run Time: 685 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0085MHEMC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,242 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Pioneering, enormously influential and often challenging, Armchair Theatre was ITV's flagship drama anthology series. Bringing high-quality contemporary drama to a wider viewing public, the series easily demonstrated the network's potential to rival the BBC's drama output with diverse and powerful plays by some of Britain's most gifted writers.

This set comprises twelve plays taken from the series' first incarnation, produced by ABC and broadcast in the 1950s and '60s. An astonishing roll-call of writers includes J.B. Priestley, Harold Pinter, James Mitchell, Fay Weldon and Alun Owen; Patrick McGoohan, Stanley Baker, Billie Whitelaw, Colin Blakely, Judy Cornwell and Hugh Griffith are among the celebrated and accomplished actors appearing in groundbreaking dramas ranging from the playful to the poignant.

SPECIAL FEATURES
[] Now Let Him Go retakes - alternate takes from the oldest surviving edition
[] Old Man's Fancy - an unaired play from 1964
 

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Oct. 2012
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Armchair Theatre - Volume Three contains twelve plays from the show's first decade or so, running from 1957 to 1967. This was the period in which the programme broke new ground in the styles and subject matters of the plays it produced.

From a viewpoint of five decades later, it's hard to appreciate just how revolutionary some of these plays were, but they occurred during a period when television delighted in taking risks, more so as the 1960's progressed.

It starts with the oldest surviving play, "Now Let Him Go", written by J.B. Preistley. Hugh Griffith is in fine form as a celebrated painter, dying in a North Country pub, watching his family squabble over his reputation and legacy.

Stand-out episodes also include "A Night Out" by Harold Pinter, a typically bleak tale starring Tom Bell. There's lighter fare too - such as "Tune On The Old Tax Fiddle" - with an wonderful cast headed by Raymond Huntley, Norman Rossington and John LeMesurier.

The excellent casts, allied to the quality of the plays, are two reasons why this release is so enjoyable. From a young Patrick McGooghan, as a drifting Cosmonaut in "The Man Out There" to Stanley Baker as a ruthless criminal in "The Criminals" this is, at times, a masterclass in acting.

Picture quality is what might be expected from archive material of this age. As per most Network releases, no restoration has been done. It's regrettable, but given that the majority of Network titles are of niche interest, it's not really surprising. It shouldn't affect your viewing pleasure, as the picture quality is quite acceptable.

For anybody interested in the history of British television, Armchair Theatre - Volume 3 is an essential release.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By jeremiah harbottle on 31 Aug. 2012
at long last, we are treated to some of the earliest episodes from the series, "armchair theatre."
i do like the other volumes of this programme but i was delighted to discover that instalments from the 1950s and 1960s were finally surfacing on dvd.
so far, i am impressed with this set. i have seen the episodes with such popular names as stanley baker, patrick mcgoohan, john gregson, ian hendry and tom bell and they work very well, mainly on the strength of the writing and the acting. it is true that the sets are rather cheap and shoddy but i am happy to overlook that small snag in light of the storylines and plots. the tension, the excitement and the imagination are really what makes these dvds worth watching. each writer knows exactly how to create drama based upon true-to-life characters and everyday events and the results are successful.
as the episodes from this set were shot on video, the quality of the footage looks a bit grainy but once again, that is a mere quibble.
i hope that network dvd release more of these black and white "armchair theatre" episodes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Michael Aldrich on 17 Oct. 2014
I was a "Call Boy" during the Armchair Theatre productions at ABC TV at Teddington Studios these DVDs bring back a whole host of memories for me. Sad that these good old times have gone real Dramas and well acted throughout!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kathieplas on 2 Jan. 2013
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Once over the initial shock of grainy film and really basic sets we began to appreciate the excellent quality of writing and acting in these plays. Drama of this type, high quality stand-alone 3-act plays have almost disappeared from the TV of today.
So different from the glossy superficial feel of recent TV drama, now mostly series, these plays stay with you and even make you think!
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One or two of these are really good and I didn't enjoy many others. It's misleading to advertise them as starring Patrick McGoohan when he only plays a part in one of them ... not his best role either. I was expecting better.
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