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Clayhanger - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976]

52 customer reviews

Price: £23.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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£23.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Actors: Peter McEnery, Janet Suzman, Louise Purnell, Harry Andrews, Denholm Elliott
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 12 July 2010
  • Run Time: 1300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003M8OHYM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,357 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

All 26 episodes of the 1970s ITV costume drama series based on the novels by Arnold Bennett. Set in the Staffordshire Potteries in the late 19th century, the series stars Peter McEnery as Edwin Clayhanger, who leaves school dreaming of becoming an architect. But expectation weighs heavily upon him, and it is anticipated that Edwin will join the family's printing business, built up from scratch by his father Darius (Harry Andrews). The coming-of-age story follows Edwin as he takes over the running of the family business and falls in love with the beautiful, headstrong Hilda Lessways (Janet Suzman). Episodes are: 'Last of a Schoolboy', 'The Architect', 'Hilda', 'The 5 Towns Chronicle and the Turnhill Guardian', 'Sin and Romance', 'Escape to Bleakridge', 'Centenary', 'Taking a Share', 'Brighton', 'Marriage', 'Love', 'Punishment', 'Laid Aside', 'Glorious Jubilee', 'The Chain Is Broken', 'The Adventure', 'The Epidemic', 'The Exquisite Burden', 'Possessions', 'A Musical Evening', 'The Orgreave Calamity', 'Dartmoor', 'Prisoners', 'Fall from Glory', 'Death and Dreams' and 'The Discovery'.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Marcia TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 July 2010
Format: DVD
It is great to see this classic series finally available on DVD. It was made and transmitted back in 1976. And hasnt been repeated or seen since. (to my knowledge)
The series is based on the Arnold Bennett novels, Clayhanger, Hilda Lessways, These Twain and Roll Call. This series is a very long 26 episode epic. At the time it was created by itv as a sort of answer to the Forsythe Saga. The setting is the "Five Towns" Bennett`s vision of the Potteries of the Midlands area. The area around todays Stoke on Trent. The main centre is Bursley. Here the Clayhanger family is headed by the industrious Darius Clayhanger, a self made printer who wants his son, Edwin, to follow in his footsteps. Edwin has his own ideas. And sees himselt as an architect instead. Also in Edwin`s life is Hilda Lessways, who marries her boss, newspaper propriertor George Cannon, only to find the marriage bigamous. Edwin and Hilda eventually wed but nothing goes smoothly for them either. We see their lives together as the decades pass and we witness the age of industrial, social and religious change. The story also moves to Brighton where Cannon runs a boarding house and Dartmoor where he is imprisoned following his bigamy.
This series was a improvement on an earlier adaptation by the BBC back in 1959 where Judi Dench had played Hilda. But on that occasion the BBC had only looked at two of the books. (Clayhanger and Hilda Lessways) This 1976 itv version was more complete.
The series is in colour and the picture and sound are excellent. And the restoration and transfer have been good.
This drama does not have the big budget that a modern series might have, and doesnt have special effects either, but it is very good.
The series is about provincial life with two generations of a victorian family.
It stars William Relton, Harry Andrews and Peter McEnery, and Janet Suzman. Also look out for Dennis Quilley and Clive Swift and Denholm Elliot.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By C. Harris on 23 Oct. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The memory can play tricks. I have waited for years for the release of "Clayhanger" and had just about given up hoping it would ever be released. When I finally slotted the first disc into the player I wondered how it would appear after all these years (all 34 of them!)and worried my memory may have misled me. However I was instantly transported back to 1976 : no video in those days and I would always make sure I was home to watch the next episode. Admittedly it wasn't just for the plot - the more the series progressed, the more I was attracted by Peter McEnery's brooding Edwin. I rediscovered the ATV souvenir brochure the other day and read that he developed the character by dealing with his hair first (making it stick up to make him look more vulnerable when he was playing the younger man and then eschewing grey dye for a balding wig as he aged) - it certainly worked.
Watching it today I wonder why I wasn't more sympathetic to Hilda's plight at the time. Even then I was firmly of the view that I was as good as any man and it would never have occurred to me that it might have been my role in life to just be someone's wife. Hilda's frustration as she tries to accept that she should be subservient as she doesn't earn and then her inability to repress her rebellious streak is actually much more understandable than my younger self realised.
There are so many rich moments - Harry Andrews' Darius' descent from dominance to dependence after Mr. Shushions' funeral (I guess he had a series of small stokes - what would today be called "multi-infarct dementia") and the moment when he reaches out to Edwin who leaves his hand on the table for just a moment before pulling it away as if he'd touched a hot flame.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By G. K. Hanlon on 20 Aug. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When I first saw this series made by ATV television in the 1970's of Arnold Bennett's Clayhanger I was facinated by the story, the supurb cast and the amazing attention to the detail of the era. Everything was portrayed perfectly, one can get a complete sense of how things really were at that time in the pottery towns of the English Midlands. One can almost feel the coldness of a room or the warmth of sunlight as it filters through a window. For folks who like things to move along at a rapid pace -then Clayhanger is not for them. For those of us who like real life (or at least how real life was in the 1870's) this is an amazing piece of television history. For many years I have wondered what becamne of the series (the acting is supurb by the way) and I discovered that it was archived by ATV and labled as: 'No Access for General Public' Thank goodness someone has finally been able to release this 26 part prestigous piece of television history for us to enjoy.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Y. Booth on 22 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
if you can get used to the pace and make it through the first 2 episodes, you'll be well rewarded.

I watched it as a schoolchild. I completely fell in love with Edwin Clayhanger and even wrote a schoolgirl letter to Peter McEenery , ha ha, who kindly replied with a long letter saying how the character had deeply affected him.

I love this series so much (even on modern day viewing) it makes me hold my breath with anticipation.

The theatrical style of filming works really well and the wonderfully liberating lack of background muzac adds to it's perfection.
Hearing Edwin and Hilda's internal dialogue moved' me tremendously.
Wonderful to see it back.
Would highly recommend it. Especially to those who have never experienced an understated production.

Peter McEnery, what can I say, as perfect and sensitive an actor as you'll see
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