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Bleak House (BBC) [Blu-ray] [2005] [Region Free]

Gillian Anderson , Charles Dance    Parental Guidance   Blu-ray
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
Price: 11.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Bleak House (BBC) [Blu-ray] [2005] [Region Free] + Little Dorrit [Blu-ray] [Region Free] + Cranford [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Price For All Three: 28.89

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Product details

  • Actors: Gillian Anderson, Charles Dance, Timothy West, Alun Armstrong, Pauline Collins
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Feb 2008
  • Run Time: 461 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VA3J2A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,803 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

"Brilliantly modern and essentially Dickensian...tense, pace and star-studded." -- The Telegraph

Bleak House has always been recognized as one of Charles Dickens’ literary masterworks, but this adaptation is fast-moving, daring, gripping television. Here is the murder mystery, the love story, the comic genius and the tantalising scandal of the novel but, stripped of its sentimentality, we find ourselves swept along by a pulsating and edgy drama.

Out of an interminable court case spin three young people each searching for their place in the world. Their story moves fast – swirling through an incredible array of characters from passionate young lovers to ruthless lawyers, from an ice-cold aristocratic beauty to a shrewd, relentless detective – until the final thrilling climax.

With a screenplay by Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice), Bleak House features a galaxy of major stars from feature film, television and comedy.

Bonus Features:
• Interviews with Gillian Anderson, Denis Lawson and Charles Dance
• Commentaries with Writer Andrew Davies, Producer Nigel Stafford-Clark and directors Justin Chadwick and Susanna White
• Photo gallery

Cast includes: Gillian Anderson, Alun Armstrong, Charlie Brooks, Warren Clarke, Pauline Collins, Charles Dance, Phil Davis, Burn Gorman, Richard Harrington, Matthew Kelly, Patrick Kennedy, Denis Lawson, John Lynch, Anna Maxwell Martin, Alistair McGowan, Carey Mulligan, Nathaniel Parker, Natalie Press, Anne Reid, Ian Richardson, Hugo Speer, Liza Tarbuck, Johnny Vegas, Timothy West.

Screenplay by Andrew Davies
Directed by Justin Chadwick, Susanna White

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
122 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassed 12 Dec 2005
Charles Dickens was a master of the English language, writing with a depth of characterisation that predated social science explanations of behaviour and describing his world in a manner so visual you wonder what he could have done with access to a film camera or two. Justin Chadwick and Susanna White, directors of this epic, 2005 BBC production had access to a camera or two, and have produced a masterpiece of television drama.
"Bleak House" was published in nineteen monthly episodes during 1852-53. The television dramatisation, in fifteen episodes, effectively replicates this. The story, which revolves around the long drawn out court case of Jarndyce versus Jarndyce, exposes the corruption and claustrophobic inertia of the Victorian legal system. Dickens's novel is a vast satire of lawyers and the deathly grip of class and status. He weaves together an epic tale with a cast, if not of thousands, then at least more extensive than other novelists would trust themselves to handle.
The television production has 45 principal characters and over 80 speaking parts. It is a mark of the quality of the original novel and of Andrew Davies's adaptation of the text that the complexity of the story grabs and holds your attention. There's satire, comedy, drama, pathos, romance, social commentary, a murder mystery, a few other mysteries, a whole world of characters and stories.
And the cast is outstanding. There's not a weak link to be seen. This is almost a who's who of the British acting profession, and everyone will have their own favourites. I'd single out several. Gillian Anderson gives a faultless performance as an English noblewoman. Denis Lawson is a wonderfully sympathetic John Jarndyce, the voice of decency.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
By Mr Ghostface VINE VOICE
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I first saw this fine series watching a friend's DVD, upscaled on a PS3 on my 1080p TV. It looked perfectly fine, and my partner and me loved it. It's a wonderful show with all-round incredible performances from every single actor. The script is wonderful and the direction and production design second to none. That's why we bought it ourselves on Blu-ray. And wow. While the DVD looked very good indeed, we could not believe just how crystal clear it looks on Blu-ray. It's quite breath-taking, and I'm not just saying that. The series is shot with vast amounts of black and a very muted colour palette, which can often lend itself to graininess when dealing with older material shot on film. Bleak House was shot with HD cameras and the results are here for all to see. Of course, technical achievements are meaningless without a strong script and convincing performances, but that's not a worry here.
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151 of 155 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't be better - absolutely wonderful 9 Jan 2007
By Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane TOP 100 REVIEWER
The BBC decided to screen this adaptation initially in 30-minute episodes, two a week, like a soap. Unexpectedly this worked quite well, but more because of the excellence of the production than because of their quirky manner of showing it. Seen on DVD, when you can watch as much as you wish, it is even more powerful. The cast is astonishingly good - many famous names (Warren Clarke, Pauline Collins, Phil Davis, Matthew Kelly, Alistair McGowan, Anne Reid, Ian Richardson, Liza Tarbuck, Johnny Vegas, Timothy West) taking roles which they inhabit as if they were made for them. But the central roles, of the unfortunate litigants in the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the corrupt lawyer Tulkinghorn (Charles Dance, menacingly lizardy), kindly John Jarndyce (Denis Lawson) and above all Gillian Anderson as the chilly and tragic Lady Dedlock and the heroine, Anna Maxwell Martin as Esther Summerson (described in Dickens' character list in the novel as 'a prudent and wise woman and a self-denying friend') are even better. The sets are totally convincing, Dickens's huge compass of characters and events is covered entirely satisfactorily, the complicted plot emerges clearly and there are moments of great pathos and genuine dignity. But above all is is absolutely riveting (and perhaps that is why the BBC's cliff-hanging original approach was not so daft after all). Anyway, I cannot recommend this too highly. It is really wonderful.

P.S. (25th. December 2009) I see Carey Mulligan, who played one of the wards of court in this production, has been nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in the recent film 'An Education' - in which she is indeed excellent.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! Even if you don't like period drama 4 Mar 2006
By A Customer
I waited to get this on DVD rather than watch the half hour chunks on the TV. I know it was screened like that to reflect how it was originally published in serial form blah blah but I like to get settled in!
Anyway, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Its true to the novel and contains the usual array of Dickens' grotesques, complex plotting and social commentary - but this version is fast paced, beautifully acted and completely absorbing. Some of the characters get on your nerves (eg dripping wet Ada and wearying Lady Dedlock - although you'll fall in love with Gillian Anderson in the role despite wanting to give her a good slap and a double espresso!)but thats just a feature of the book. The characters are obviously of their time and act in ways frustrating to us now.
Its got some of the best villians I've seen for a long time (Charles Dance and Phil Davis both brilliant)and the central female character (Miss Emmerson? can't remember, must be going senile) is played superbly. She gives hope to many a plain girl as despite being disfigured by smallpox she still has the men falling over their feet to get her. Lots of lovely cameos as well and Johnny Vegas is brilliant as a fat, illiterate, alcoholic. Who'd have thought he could play illiterate.
On top of all that it looks fantastic and the settings, costumes etc fully satisfy all us period drama lovers.
Buy it, take the phone off the hook and settle down to 8 hours of wonderful TV.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT DICKENS
I loved this BBC movie about a Dickens 's novel I had never read. The actors are wonderful and the atmosphere.
Published 15 hours ago by BLANCHE Ana Alicia
5.0 out of 5 stars A great treasure
This was a wonderful series when first shown and I was delighted to find it available on DVD. I can only describe it as absorbing. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime
I cant really add anything to what has already been said about this except to add my own thoughts.
This is what quality drama is all about. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Wolfers
5.0 out of 5 stars Charles, you are amazing...
I have always been a fan of Charles Dickens and period dramas, but even I can admit that they can get a little overly cheesetastic at times. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Gulliver
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense classic drama
Superb story with great acting, and the quality we have become to expect from BBC drama. The production is gripping and a great price for hours of entertainment
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
This is a great adaptation, a great storyline, captivating, full of twists and you just want to keep on watching it, well acted, well presented, the BBC have done a fantastic job. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Melissa
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A MOVIE
Published 1 month ago by A. Lovett Talbot
4.0 out of 5 stars How do I get Disc 2 and 3?
I loved the first disc. The cast is superb. It is inspiring. I don't know how to access the rest of the discs..
Published 1 month ago by Catherine Margaret Hewett
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
It's a star-studded cast and they certainly all live up to their reputations. Gillian Anderson in particular was very, very convincing. The mood of the whole is convincing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nell
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story + Fantastic actors = Incredibly enjoyable miniseries!
The story itself is the best thing about Bleak House. The Jarndyce and Jarndyce case is what throws all the characters together and drives the action throughout the 15 episodes. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Callum Freeman
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