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Brass: The Complete First Series [VHS] [1983]

Timothy West , Caroline Blakiston , Les Chatfield    Parental Guidance   VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
Price: 19.99
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Product details

  • Actors: Timothy West, Caroline Blakiston, James Saxon, Gail Harrison, Emily Morgan
  • Directors: Les Chatfield
  • Producers: Mark Robson
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • VHS Release Date: 25 Sep 2000
  • Run Time: 323 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004WZYI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,372 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Entire first series of the Eighties comedy detailing the 'Dallas'-like manoevrings of the Hardacre and Fairchild families. Bradley Hardacre (Timothy West) is the tycoon owner of Utterley's brass factory - and nearly everything else in town - who finds his workforce ready to down tools thanks to disgruntled Agnes Fairchild (Barbara Ewing), whose husband George is Bradley's most contented employee! Also, the young men of the Fairchild family are now of an age to take an interest in the Hardacre girls, and romantic complications ensue.

From the Back Cover

Where there's muck there's brass.

Times are hard in Utterley. Bradley Hardacre (Timothy West), owner of the brass factory as well as everything else in town, is the most ruthless of men. While his workforce live in constant fear, he and his family enjoy a life of luxury. Agnes Fairchild is determined that her family and the rest of the Hardacre workforce should suffer no longer. However, her plans to overthrow the Hardacre empire are thwarted by her husband George who is ever the unswervingly loyal employee. Meanwhile, to complicate matters further, the loves and passions of the Hardacre girls and the Fairchild sons are heating up, with some truly hilarious consequences for everyone concerned.

Featuring all 13 episodes of this outstanding British Comedy. Starring Caroline Blakiston as Lady Patience Hardacre, Geoffrey Hinsliff as Bradley Hardacre's most appreciative employee George Fairchild, and Barbara Ewing as his long-suffering wife Agnes Fairchild.

Brass is true Northern humour with a touch of class!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Bradley Hardacre is determined that the Lancashire town of Utterley shall not fall victim to the Great Depression. This is because he owns it - from the cottage hospital (the former cottage workhouse where he grew up on a diet of kicks and gruel) to the crutch factory where he first began to master the dark arts of capitalism and, finally, to the mine, the mill and the munitions factory from which he has earned a fortune. Now, having married a neurotic aristocrat and developed an abiding hatred of the working class among whom he spent his early years, Hardacre plans to climb to the pinnacle of British society - no matter what the cost (to be paid by others, naturally).

This is the premise of a inspired comedy from the early 1980s (apart from the final series, which was broadcast in 1990). The 32-episode series follows the fortunes of the Fairchild and Hardacre families as the relationships between their respective sons and daughters become intertwined in ever more bizarre ways. The whole thing is played very straight and deadpan, with suitably dramatic music and lots of theatrical touches.

Writers John Stevenson and Julian Roach hilariously exploit and discard one cliché after another, sending up Brideshead Revisited, Sherlock Holmes and Private's Progress among many other classic genres. In addition to the outrageously stereotyped characters themselves, brief glimpses of supposedly historical figures are also seen - `Murdoch' from the Utterley Bugle, `Fleming' in the laboratory and `von Braun' the fireworks engineer, among many others.

Quick delivery and sheer wealth of material means more than one viewing is needed to spot all the cultural and historical references. The acting is a delight throughout and the plot is enjoyably complex.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vote for Brass! 9 July 2004
By Andy Millward VINE VOICE
No, it wasn't voted up there in the top 100 sitcoms, but I adore Brass above all but the cream of the crop. To begin with, it's not tainted by canned laughter or other artifical additives - the excellent cast play their roles totally straight-faced, and nothing emphasises humour in a farce better than deadpan delivery.
Secondly, Brass knowingly takes apart the cliches of kitchen sink soap operatic Northern dramas like no other series I ever came across - the ultimate parody, down to the last pseudo-Lanky accent. Not even Mel Brooks could do it better! And like the best parody, it's done lovingly and with deep-seated admiration for the subject matter - the spoiled and bored neo-Victorian family of factory owner Bradley Hardacre and the split loyalties of the working class Fairchild family. Neither side is exactly sympathetic, but so knowing is the satire that you couldn't fail to enjoy their ever more complex relationships.
Third, this is a truly excellent cast to bring home the interconnected rivalries between the haves and have nots. Also, fine scripting to develop a beautifully-plotted and fast-paced farce laced wih genuine belly laughs.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An everyday tale of northern folk 23 Oct 2007
I very much enjoyed this series when it was on the 1980s, so I was pleased to see all three series in one DVD set. I was keen to see the third series in particular as, for various reasons, I never got to see it when it was originally broadcast. The DVDs were a bit of a disappointment in that they didn't have any additional features and hadn't been digitally remastered in any way. Better sound quality, or sub-titles, would have been useful as, in many cases, the actors' more dramatic lines are drowned out by the music, or made indistinct by their extravagant delivery - or perhaps I'm getting a bit deaf. I loved seeing the first two series again (26 episodes in total) and the third (6 episodes) was fun in places but by this time they'd lost two of the regular cast members: Geoffrey Hinsliff who played George Fairchild and Robert Reynolds who played Autin Hardacre. Their replacements do a reasonable job, but it's impossible to compete with the originals. I wish Granada had spent a bit more money when creating this set, but I'd still recommend buying it, it's classic TV.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 Carat Brass 9 Aug 2004
I've waiting for Brass to appear on VHS or DVD while the last few years and now it's available. And I'm not disappointed.
After twenty-odd years it is still fresh and original even if some of the more contemporary and topical references might be lost on a younger audience - such as Young Scargill, Anthony Blunt, Brideshead Revisited (which was on TV about then)- much as a bribe in the amount of an "Archer" (2,000) as coined by Alan B'stard in "The New Statesman", might go over their heads.
The comedic references come thick and fast and this is a series which will yield fresh laughs through a repeat viewing as one picks up on subtleties which might have been missed the first time round. Parodies of the characters and storylines in "When the boat comes in", "The Citadel" and others are wonderfully understated - the scriptwriting is absolutely First Class. Reading the other reviews of the series shows how other viewers have picked up different nuances and references.
I am now anxiously awaiting the second series -"Father, it's snowing - it's the start of the eviction season".
This is a must for anyone who enjoys Monty Python's professional Yorkshiremen sketch translated from White Rose to Red Rose country.
My only quibble might be the PG rating - not every episode makes entirely suitable viewing for my ten year old son.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series
It is just as good and funny as I remember from years ago. My husband is also enjoying it for the first time we are inAustralia.
Published 1 month ago by Ann Williamson
5.0 out of 5 stars A much loved memory
If you can't quite catch all the humour because the pace is too fast, it is not helped by the poor sound. But repeating the series over again is the way to go. Read more
Published 1 month ago by jove
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Comedy Viewing
Having watched the TV series and loved every episode nostalgia encouraged me to purchase this for those times there is nothing to watch on the available multiple choice TV... Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Nicholson
5.0 out of 5 stars Still giving pleasure, a lot of pleasure
A slow start but after the first few episodes, as the characters come to life and the plot, or rather the multiple plots, develop, this series gets better and better. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Derrick Hale
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended.
Excellent entertainment. The last series does not come to a conclusion - maybe they were hoping for a further series: however, a recommended purchase - splendidly non P.C.
Published 3 months ago by Michael L. Buswell
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous!
It is a marvellous historical send-up. I thought this when I first saw it years ago and I am more than pleased now to own my own copy.
Published 3 months ago by Mookie
5.0 out of 5 stars brasstastic
back to the 80's with this fantastic series, good old Bradley Hardacre do not miss a chance for a trip back in time
Published 3 months ago by fizzycola
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I missed the series when aired on TV but I heard so much about it I had to see for myself.
The comedy itself is brilliant and with such deadpan delivery this is a must for... Read more
Published 5 months ago by ian carlile
5.0 out of 5 stars Needs no description.
Most of us well remember 'BRASS' Worth every penny it cost. What I delight to see those episodes once again.
Published 5 months ago by deep Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD Great product
Bought as a present & he loved it, exactly what was described. delivery very quick. Not expensive. I would recommend to a friend.
Published 5 months ago by Sandra Fisken
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