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Bodyline (TV Mini-series) [DVD]

Hugo Weaving , Gary Sweet    To Be Announced   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Hugo Weaving, Gary Sweet
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Classification: To be announced
  • Studio: Lace
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FQJ04G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 456,253 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Dramatisation of the 1932/33 Test cricket series between England and Australia. Played in Australia, the series gained notoriety in Australian and worldwide cricketing history for the fact that the English team applied a bowling technique called "leg theory", or more commonly, Bodyline. This technique involved bowlers bowling the ball directly at the batsman's body, and resulted in many of the Australian team receiving numerous bruises and injuries, with batsman Bert Oldfield sustaining a cracked skull. The series generated much anger and resentment towards the English team within Australia and seriously damaged Anglo-Australian cricketing relations at the time.

From the Back Cover

Starring: Gary Sweet, Hugo Weaving, John Doyle

Year: 1984

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Role Reversal 19 April 2008
By Antares
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Highest quality production with excellent sets and location filming. Don't worry if you don't like cricket. I didn't when I first saw this on TV back in the 80s (and I still don't!) but as a period drama it's sumptuous and absolutely gripping. The role reversal is fascinating to watch. It's the English team who are the 'bad guys', using the cricket ball as a high-speed missile to devastating effect while the Australian batsmen tremble and flinch at the wicket and protest to the umpire over 'unsportsmanlike' behaviour. 20 years after it screened in the UK, I'm still waiting eagerly for its release (why is it taking so long to come out in Region 1/2 formats?
Best scene: the first time the England captain, Douglas Jardine, explains his plans to members of his team while sitting at a dinner table in full evening dress and using salt and pepper pots to represent players on the field! The atmospheric background music makes it seem as if he's just announced the invention of the atomic bomb. In cricket terms, he had! Best performance: Hugo Weaving, as the sulky, buttoned-down Jardine, dominates effortlessly throughout. If he didn't get an award for this, he should have done!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great drama 10 Jan 2008
I'm not a cricket fan but remember this as being well acted drama and interesting. I hope enough postive reviews might get it released again on DVD.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great series... the first time around 15 Feb 2011
I remember taping this of the TV in the mid-eighties, and I am not alone, it seems, in noticing that it's had some significant editing for this DVD set.

For example, there's a scene near the beginning where the young Douglas instructs his bowler to run out a batsman who's been wandering down the wicket. In the TV broadcast, the offended batsman tells Douglas "that was *not* in the spirit of the game" to which Douglas replies "but it *is* in the rules". The exchange does not appear in the DVD.

Large chunks of the narration from Jardine's would-be girlfriend have been lost, I think.

Also removed is a scene where a number of strangers approach Harold in an Australian bar, enquiring "are you Harold Larwood?" Expecting trouble, Larwood replies "aye, what of it?", only to discover that the strangers are some fans from his part of northern England who are intent on having a few beers with him.

Others have commented on the picture, which has been formatted to 16:9 from its original 4:3. It's quite noticeable in some scenes where the tops of people's heads have been cut off. Picture quality is also poor, partly as a result of the reformatting.

As for the series itself, it's still eminently watchable, despite a hokey script at times. It gets by on some superb acting, particularly from Hugo Weaving as a the upper class, emotionally repressed Jardine, and also Jim Holt who is working class dignity personified as Harold Larwood.

The Australians don't come off nearly as well, especially Gary Sweet as Donald Bradman. So intent were the screen writers on making the Australians, and Bradman in particular, the absolute heroes of the piece, they ended up making them cliched and dull.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT 8 Sep 2007
Totaly brilliant even if your not a cricket fan I am sure you will love this. The casting is perfect and the acting is the best. If you get the chance to own this go ahead you will not be disappointed.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely series but poor DVD presentation 19 Feb 2009
This is a very enjoyable series even for those of us who are not big cricket fans. The series takes us through a turbulent period in English cricketing history. When it was shown here in the UK, may complained that the history was somewhat bias towards the Australians - but I'm not enough of an expert to know whether that's true.

There are fine performances, particularly from a young-ish Hugo Weaving as Jardine, Jim Holt as Larwood and Heather Mitchell as Edith. It was great to see the series again after so many years.

The only disappointment - and it's a big disappointment - is the DVD presentation. The film has been re-scanned in 16:9 widescreen having originally been 4:3, so around 25% of the picture at the top and bottom of the screen is removed! Despite the modern telecine transfer of the film, which normally results in a picture better than that which was originally broadcast, the picture quality is not great, because the 'zooming in' of the picture causes loss of picture quality and pretty much negates the advantage of the modern film transfer.

Also, and this was a huge disappointment to me, the closing credits have been re-made, against a simple black background without the cricket board logo. Possibly the opening credits are new too - I can't remember the original! This may have been for copyright reasons, I don't know - but worse still, the end music has been shortened. This is a real shame as the theme music was one of the highlights of the series and is not, as far as I know, commercially available.

Overall, nice to see, but a very poor example of how to present a series on DVD.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD urgently needed for Region 2!! 27 Jun 2008
By S. Mayo
This was an absolutely wonderful series - and as other reviews have already stated - not just for cricket lovers. The acting was superb and the characters so diverse - from the arrogant and privileged Douglas Jardine and Percy Fender to the working class Harold Larwood. Not forgetting Don Bradman of course. I recorded it on video tape but desperately want it on DVD. If only the BBC would show it again, I'm sure there would be a huge demand for it on DVD. Can Amazon say whether it is ever likely to be produced for Region 2?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bodyline
Saw the original.Amazon did not make it clear that it was for region 4 only.Ihad to alter my DVD Player's region Codes.Fortunit worked.Thanks
Published 4 months ago by J.D.West
5.0 out of 5 stars Bodyline DVD
Very interesting watch of a much forgotten but important sporting event from years gone by. A must for any cricket fan.
Published 7 months ago by Peter Cashmore
4.0 out of 5 stars titanic battle on and off the pitch
Crickets greatest ever player and crickets most ruthless captain clash, in this epic series.

In 1930 Don Bradman and Australia, thrashed the England team to take 'the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Red Rose
This DVD fictionalises the story of the Bodyline Ashes Tour of 1932/33 and while there are factual inaccuracies, particularly in casting where a handsome Gary Sweet plays the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Chris Perrin
3.0 out of 5 stars Take this with a pinch of salt
This Australian made for TV series is a one sided highly bias portrayal of a1930's ashes series. If you are Australian you with love it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Morgana
4.0 out of 5 stars bodyline
thoroughly enjoyed this series again,
the only reason for four stars is the dvd's being region 4. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mr. T. C. Martin
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear?
I have given this DVD BOX SET a single star, not because I didn't enjoy it, I did, I bought this as a Region 4 from Oz when it first came out after seeing it on CH4 was it? Read more
Published on 9 Jan 2012 by Niccolò Machiavelli
3.0 out of 5 stars Rhocket
Having watched the series many times on old VHS tapes years ago, I was delighted to be able to buy this excellent show on DVD, albeit on Region 4. Read more
Published on 5 Feb 2011 by Rhodri W Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars It just wasn't cricket!
This was a fantastic DVD of the most controversial event in cricket history. The series included some great acting from Hugo Weaving as Douglas Jardine and Gary Sweet as Don... Read more
Published on 2 Dec 2010 by Big Kev
5.0 out of 5 stars Bodyline (TV Mini-series) [DVD]
Absolutely loved this series when it was broadcast by the BBC during the '80's. Would absolutely love to buy it for Region 2 if only Amazon would be prepared to publish it. Read more
Published on 21 Feb 2010 by Mr. K. E. Reynolds
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