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Catherine Cookson: Rags To Riches [DVD]

Jonathan Cake , Jill Baker , David Wheatley , Gavin Millar    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: £12.13
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Dispatched from and sold by COTSWOLD-BOOK-SUPPLIES.
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Frequently Bought Together

Catherine Cookson: Rags To Riches [DVD] + Catherine Cookson - Birth, Death, Love And Marriage [DVD] + Catherine Cookson: Secrets and Lies [DVD]
Price For All Three: £54.39

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Product details

  • Actors: Jonathan Cake, Jill Baker, Siobhan Flynn, Malcolm Stoddard, Owen Teale
  • Directors: David Wheatley, Gavin Millar, Sarah Hellings, Alan Grint
  • Producers: Ray Marshall, Ian Lennox
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 8
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: ITV Studios
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Aug 2006
  • Run Time: 1091 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009PZ8HG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,847 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Compilation of seven of Catherine Cookson's most popular novels in feature-length TV adaptations. In 'The Girl', Hannah Boyle (Siobhan Flynn), much loved by her father Matthew Thornton (Malcolm Stoddard) is hated by his wife Anne (Jill Baker). When tragedy befalls the Thornton household, Anne exacts her revenge on Hannah who has grown into a beautiful woman by making her marry the local butcher. In 'The Fifteen Streets', in turn-of-the-century Newcastle, dockworker John O'Brien (Owen Teale) falls for Mary Llewellyn (Clare Holman), a shipbuilder's daughter. Their differences in class threaten to break up their relationship, but true love eventually conquers all. In 'Rag Nymph', young Millie Forester (Perdita Weeks) is sent to stay in a convent after her mother dies in a Newcastle brothel and the attentions of the brothel-owner are turned on the girl. However, the lively ten-year-old soon falls foul of the nuns' bigotry and she returns to the care of 'Raggie Aggie' (Val McLane). As a grown-up (Honeysuckle Weeks) and beautiful woman she is exposed to the corrupting influences of the Newcastle streets at the turn of the century and is abducted to the same brothel in which her mother died. 'The Wingless Bird' is set during the First World War and tells the story of 22-year-old Agnes Conway (Claire Skinner), who seems destined to look after her father's sweet shop while her more attractive younger sister garners attention from the local men. However, when her sister becomes pregnant by a working class boy, Agnes discovers skeletons in her father's cupboard. She is swept off her feet when Charles Farrier (Edwards Atterton) proposes to her (against the wishes of his wealthy family), only to fall for his brother Reginald (Julian Wadham) when he returns from the war. 'The Dwelling Place' is set in rural Northumberland during the 1830s. It is the story of Cissie Brodie's struggle to keep her family intact when the sudden death of her parents causes them to be evicted from their cottage. Local carpenter Matthew (Ray Stevenson) helps Cissie (Tracy Whitwell) look after her five brothers, and eventually falls in love with her, but Cissie becomes pregnant after being raped by a local aristocrat. In 'The Glass Virgin', ten-year-old Annabella (Emily Mortimer) lives a life of luxury with her womanising father and the woman she assumes is her mother. When a maid is sacked for calling Annabella a 'little bastard', the secret starts to seep out; she is the daughter of a local prostitute. When Annabella is 17 the truth is finally revealed by her father and she flees the home in search of a new life with her father's young groom, Manuel (Brendan Coyle), as her lover and companion. In 'Tilly Trotter', industrial Tyneside in 1838 is the home of Tilly Trotter (Carli Norris), whose family has fallen into poverty. Tilly does her best to care for her bedridden grandfather, and is visited every month by local farmer Simon Brentwood. This arouses the jealousy and suspicion of the locals, who brand her a witch. Thinking that Brentwood is having an affair with Tilly, the villainous Hal McGrath (Shaun Mechen) decides to have her for himself. Whilst Tilly endures great hardships that life throws at her - working in the coal mines while pining with unrequited love - she ultimately triumphs over her adversities. Finally, Mike Nevill narrates a documentary about Catherine Cookson entitled 'The Storyteller'. Born into poverty in 1906, Catherine's rags-to-riches story reflected those of the many characters she went on to create; she turned to writing at the insistence of her doctor after a period of depression, and went on to become one of England's best-selling writers.


The Catherine Cookson Collection: Rags To Riches eight-disc box set contains dramatic adaptations of eight Catherine Cookson tales. Titles include: "The Girl"; "The Fifteen Streets"; "The Rag Nymph"; "The Wingless Bird"; "The Dwelling Place"; "The Glass Virgin"; "Tilly Trotter"; and "The Storyteller".

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining romantic drama 2 Sep 2006
Are you a fan of Catherine Cookson's novels? Were you a fan of these dramas when they were originally shown on TV? Or are you simply a fan of Sean Bean, Ray Stevenson or Jonathan Cake? If you can answer 'yes' to any of these questions then this is the collection for you. Full of the feisty heroines, dastardly villains and working-class heroes that we have come to associate with Catherine Cookson at her best, this collection will provide hours of entertainment, and is probably best enjoyed on a rainy afternoon with your feet up and a box of chocolates on standby.

Give or take a few dodgy wigs the quality of the adaptions is generally very good, although some of the novels have understandably been shortened or changed slightly for the purposes of televisual drama. The picture quality is acceptable, although maybe not as super sharp as modern dramas, and there are no extras on the dvds, just subtitles and scene selections. There are quite a few famous faces amongst the cast members, including Nigel Havers, James Fox, Emily Mortimer and Sean Bean, and perhaps the only real downside is the inclusion of 'The Storyteller', an hour long drama about Cookson's own life. Interesting enough, but I personally would rather have had another adaption of one of the novels.

Nevertheless, on the whole this collection offers some top drama at a reasonable price, and includes two of my favourite adaptions: The Fifteen Streets and The Girl. Definitely worth purchasing if you're a Cookson fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rags to Riches DVD 9 Aug 2013
By Janjack
Verified Purchase
A fantastic film, but then what else would you expect from a story teller like Catherine Cookson. My aim is to collect all 23 films if I can.
Happy viewing Janet
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars catherine cookson rags to riches 3 Aug 2009
this dvd set is very good for devotees of catherine cookson an excelent gift idea.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rags to Riches 27 Jun 2014
By emerald
Verified Purchase
My neighbour loves it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great 9 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase
Loved these stories.wish there were lots more to buy, but gave. Most of them now. Great writer and compelling films
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great choice of films in this set. Love it 7 Dec 2013
By Jo W
Verified Purchase
Excellent choice of films in the package, great service, arrived in excellent condition. Great Xmas present for my son's fiance
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