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Brideshead Revisited: The Complete Series [DVD] [1981]

Jeremy Irons , Diana Quick    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Jeremy Irons, Diana Quick, Roger Milner, Phoebe Nicholls, Simon Jones
  • Writers: Charles Sturridge, Derek Granger
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Vci
  • DVD Release Date: 12 May 2003
  • Run Time: 663 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006LSFX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,130 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Fill a bowl with alpine strawberries, break out the Château Lafite (1899, of course) and bask in Brideshead Revisited, the 1981 miniseries based on Evelyn Waugh's classic novel, adapted for the screen by John Mortimer (Rumpole of the Bailey). In his breakthrough role, Jeremy Irons stars as Charles Ryder, a disillusioned Army captain who is moved to reflect on his "languid days" in the "enchanted castle" that was Brideshead, home of the aristocratic Marchmain family, whose acquaintance Charles made in the company of an Oxford classmate, the charming wild-child Sebastian. Anthony Andrews costars as the doomed Sebastian, whose beauty is "arresting" and "whose eccentricities and behaviour seemed to know no bounds". The "entitled and enchanted" Sebastian takes Charles under his wing ("Charles, what a lot you have to learn"), but vows early on that he is "not going to let [Charles] get mixed up with [his] family." But mixed up Charles gets. He becomes a friend and confidante, not to mention a lover, to Sebastian's sister Julia (Diana Quick). Meanwhile, the self-destructive Sebastian's life spirals out of control.

Brideshead Revisited boasts a distinguished ensemble cast, including Laurence Olivier in his Emmy Award-winning role as the exiled Lord Marchmain, Claire Bloom as Lady Marchmain, and the magnificent John Gielgud as Charles's estranged father. Grand locations and a haunting musical score make this a memorable revisit of an irretrievable bygone era. --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

Epic adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's classic novel. During World War Two, Charles Rider (Jeremy Irons) is stationed at the now deserted stately home, Brideshead Manor, formerly the residence of the Flyte family. He recalls how, as a Cambridge undergraduate, he first visited Brideshead after befriending Lord Sebastian Flyte (Anthony Andrews). Charles then became caught up with the Flytes and their problems, most notably Sebastian's burgeoning alcoholism.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
94 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ought we to be drunk all the time? 24 July 2006
I have come to adore the writings of Evelyn Waugh, and watched this for the first time when I was 17 and loved every second of it. I was thrilled to find the DVD set on here for such a reasonal price (at about 1.20 per hour...) and snapped it up immediately.

Of huge benefit is the extra documentary, where the cast explain how they all went away during the production hiatus, read the books and then brought back particular lines to the scriptwriters to be included. This, I feel, adds to the success of this production.

Charles Ryder's narration is imperative, and Jeremy Irons' seductive tones carry us through the story as he meets the Marchmains and how influential they become in his life. I doubt whether there are many people who would watch this, having read the book, and find it unfaithful or very different to how they imagine Brideshead to be.

For me, Charles and Sebastian are perfect, Antony Blanche's stuttering a true gem, Jane Asher is particularly annoying as Charles' wife (as she ought to be) - in essence, the cast are all phenomenal, especially when put against John Gielgud (delicious as Charles' father) and Laurence Olivier.

The best television production I have ever had the pleasure to watch. Buy it whilst you can - the production value of this box set is stunning, both on screen and the box case itself.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
When 'Brideshead Revisited' first came onto the nations screens back in the early 80's, it had a huge weight of expectation resting on its lofty shoulders. Adapted from one of Evelyn Waugh's finest novels by the brilliant John Mortimer, with an all star cast and a very large budget, the country expected greatness and they were not disapointed.
This is simply from start to finish, the finest British television drama ever. The stellar cast from Laurence Olivier down, seem to sense throughout that they are involved in something special and momentous and most give life time best performances. (The late John Gielgud's vague, but mischievous father is worth the admission price alone). The sets are sumptious and authentic and the tragic and intriguing story never fails to engage throughout. Words can never hope to sum up how wonderful this production is. It is almost twenty years since I first saw it and I still can vividly recall most scenes. Give yourself a treat and see what quality televsion can really be like. In this age of digital multi-channel programming, where quantity over quality is the new maxim, we will probably never ever see its like again, but thank heavens we still have it to treasure and wonder at today.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtitled? 24 Feb 2008
I'm sure there are thousands of international customers who would be extremely happy to know whether a movie has English subtitles or not. This information really should become a regular item when listing DVD features. For instance, I would buy Brideshead instantly if I knew it was subtitled. Now I have to go hunting for this bit of information.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brideshead Revisited 25 May 2003
In the early 1980's the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel, Brideshead Revisited was a landmark in television drama.Watching this series again after more than twenty years reminds me that Brideshead is simply one of the most glorious and opulent pieces of television drama ever made. Every scene drips with the kind of production values which used to make British television the best on the planet; the script, the camera work and the wonderful ensemble acting (where is any one going to get a cast list to rival this one?)make this an absolute must for every one who wants to wallow in television bliss;it just has not dated at all.
However, the three DVD set, while handsomely packaged and beatufully presented has no extras or special features; not even a scene menu. You have the option of playing a DVD all the way through or selecting an individual episode. That is it!
Of course, the reason for buying this DVD is to be able to watch at one's leisure an extraordinary and unrivalled production. But it is a shame that the producers have not taken advantage of the medium of DVD to enhance the whole experience.
Nevertheless, this is an essential purchase; buy it, get some strawberrys, line up the Brandy Alexanders and watch.
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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brideshead FINALLY revisited! 6 Jun 2003
By MartinP
After acquiring a DVD player just over a year ago, this was about the first thing I went looking for. And guess what: it wasn’t there! Whereas every last B-movie and sitcom-futility seemed available on disc, nobody had thought of issuing this towering monument of TV-history on DVD. Imagine my euphoria when, on a visit to Hong Kong six months later, I nevertheless found it! Fortunately the lady at the counter was kind enough to point out that it would be useless in Europe, as it was coded Region 1. As it turned out, Brideshead has been available on DVD for years in the US – but not in Europe! (The same, by the way, seems to be happening to another masterly TV-adaptation of a classis English novel, Vanity Fair).
Well, finally the waiting is over, and here it is. After opening the package, it still struck me as somewhat of a rushed job (an impression not helped by the fact that the first copy I got was faulty): the three discs come in a flimsy cardboard slipcase, and there is no additional material either in a booklet or on any of the discs, not even an index for the scene-tracks per episode. It is just the series, and nothing more (though the architectural drawing of Castle Howard from Campbell's Vitruvius Brittanicus, on the reverse of the fold-out containing the discs, IS gorgeous).
But well – who needs more, really? For anybody with a little sense of nostalgia, with a taste for the Twenties or for the English country house, or with even the slightest symptoms of Anglophilia, this is irresistible – and when you have two or more of these, be prepared to be blown away. Waugh's slow-paced, multi-faceted baroque tragedy is reproduced faithfully on screen from its exuberant start to its bitter-sweet ending.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Brideshead unsubtitled
Great DVD, iconic series and good quality mastering. It claims to be "digitally remastered". Shame it lacks subtitles. My copy was sold by World Cinema. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Seby
5.0 out of 5 stars Downton Abbey, eat your heart out.
Not having grown up in the UK, I had never heard of the series (or the book) until my daughter started studying it for A Level. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Anon
5.0 out of 5 stars Brideshead revisited can be listened to and seen endlessly
I have loved listening to it, over and over, and now I watch it over and over! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx cccccccccccccccc xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Published 8 months ago by Nolan
2.0 out of 5 stars we visited Castle Howard so I wanted to see film
Brideshead revisited Great Film Unfortunately the dvd sent to me was dubbed into Dutch which spoils it slightly for me
Published 8 months ago by muriel
1.0 out of 5 stars I didn,t get this DVD, sorry
I ordered "Brideshaed Revisited" The Complete Series (first edition, 1981), I have got the edition 2011, only few episodes, very bad quality. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jolanta
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic film
Streets ahead of any more recent attempts to film this novel. Beautifully, convincingly acted and produced. Sad, witty portrait of an earlier age.
Published 10 months ago by whisper
4.0 out of 5 stars Different .
The first 50% was captivating , the rest lacked substance , and rather boring ffor lack of real theme / story . Not to be recommended

overal .
Published 16 months ago by Don Wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars An aristocratic tragedy
Superb reproduction of the 1981 TV series. Brilliantly acted, with an overwhelming sense of loss. Money, they say, doesn't bring happiness, and this dramatisation of Evelyn Waugh's... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Roger Higginson
4.0 out of 5 stars Must it be said?
It is a good representation of the book. But the question remains: Should the book ever be written?

I realise that I am the victim of your policy, so I wrote these... Read more
Published 18 months ago by anonymous
3.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten memories
I just about remember this series first time around from my childhood - the theme tune always takes me right back there. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Ian
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