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Cranford [DVD] [2007]

Judi Dench , Philip Glenister , Simon Curtis    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
Price: 7.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Judi Dench, Philip Glenister, Francesca Annis, Michael Gambon, Lesley Manville
  • Directors: Simon Curtis
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Dolby
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Feb 2008
  • Run Time: 275 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Z1TYT2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,455 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Based on a trio of novels by Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford is the latest in a long line of sumptuous costume dramas from the BBC. And it’s a fine addition to the BBC’s heritage too, pulling together a stellar cast for an involving, highly enjoyable series that’s well worth picking up on DVD.

The key asset Cranford has in its corner is that aforementioned cast. It’s lead by the marvellous Dame Judi Dench, and she’s in fine company alongside Dame Eileen Atkins, Francesca Annis, Michael Gambon, Julia Sawalha and Imelda Staunton. They’re just some of the residents of Cranford in the 1840s, a town in the north of England on the verge of potentially dramatic changes.

In the midst of the general feeling of unrest comes a new Doctor, Frank Harrison (played by Simon Woods). His presence further unsettles matters, thanks to his appeal to the town’s female contingent, and also his differing methods. From here, Cranford goes on to deliver an engrossing cocktail of humour, emotion and raw drama that’s quite brilliantly put together.

Cranford is, ultimately, the kind of lavish production that we’ve come to know and admire from the BBC. It’s a very good drama, spread across five episodes, that simply leaves you thirsting for the next time the corporation unlocks the costume cupboard. That time can’t come soon enough. --Jon Foster

Product Description

This is the DVD of the lavish BBC costume drama, Cranford, based on three of Elizabeth Gaskell's novels including Cranford itself.

The cast boasts some of Britain's best-loved and most experienced actresses, including Dame Judi Dench, Dame Eileen Atkins, Imelda Staunton and Francesca Annis.

The five-part drama series tells the witty and poignant story of the small absurdities and major tragedies in the lives of the people of Cranford, as they are besieged by forces that they can't withstand.

Cranford in the 1840s is a small northern English town on the cusp of change. Things are on the move. The railway is pushing its way relentlessly towards the town from Manchester, bringing fears of migrant workers and the breakdown of law and order.

The arrival of handsome new doctor, Frank Harrison (Simon Woods) from London causes a stir; not only because of his revolutionary medical methods, but also because of the effect he has on many of the ladies' hearts in the town.

Judi Dench plays Miss Matty Jenkyns, whose hopes and rebellious spirit are crushed when she was forced as a young woman to give up Mr Holbrook (Michael Gambon), the man she loved.

Philip Glenister, Lesley Manville, Julia McKenzie, Julia Sawalha and Greg Wise also star alongside Judi Dench and the above-mentioned actors. Created by Sue Birtwistle and Susie Conklin for BBC One and written by Heidi Thomas (I Capture The Castle, Madam Bovary, Lilies).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
166 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Period drama at its best! 3 Dec 2007
The thing I love about Cranford is that it gives you a valuable insight into the lives of a whole cross section of society from the struggling working class to the aristocracy and everything inbetween. This is very rare as most period dramas would tend to focus on just one main family or storyline, but here you have various characters, families and friends from all walks of life and each of them fascinating in their own way. The scenes and costumes are raw and realistic, the acting outstanding, transporting you into their lives and situations. It is period drama in the best sense of the word as there is a fair dose of tragedy and sadness. This however, is well balanced by some very humorous portrayals and scenarios, as well as some wonderful romances and the joy of life in the Cranford community! All in all, a very worthwhile purchase with a magnificent cast and brilliant depiction of how life used to be in England!
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166 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Period Drama - possibly ever! 23 Dec 2007
By C. Quin
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
we avoided watching Cranford at first - thought it would just be another of those irritating adaptations which are either one long cliche and/or look like a Laura Ashley catalogue come to life. The last thing we expected was to watch all five episodes back-to-back - and then to wish there were more!

We would agree with everything M Edwards said in his review: wonderful acting (Julia McKenzie nearly had me sobbing in the last episode), interesting insights into life in the early 1840's, a real cross-section of society into whose lives you gazed (servants were not just 'seen but not heard' as in so many period dramas but allowed lives of their own), real comic moments, an excellent balance of the sad/tragic v happy/comic - all of which helped you to see the characters as real people you could meet today as opposed to fictitious individuals frozen in time.

We loved the way 'retail therapy' was as alive and well in 1843 as it is today, how the worries about the coming of the railway echoes our concerns about how use of the Internet and/or immigration will change our society ... you could really identify with the characters' reaction to the events of their day (which, thankfully, were to the foreground in this production and not just a background rumble as they so often are). And boy did this production make you give thanks for pain killers of all descriptions! And for electric light, running water, contact lenses, antiseptics ...

Cranford reminds us that people are much the same down the ages - we just worry about different things. We may not celebrate May Day as the Cranfordites did - and may therefore not come together as communities as they did - but most of us still feel for neighbours when they suffer grief or misfortune ...
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A period drama with some fun! 15 Jan 2008
I began watching this series not really knowing what to expect. CRANFORD seemed to be an unusual period drama, as the focus was definitely on women. The nature of the small town, which is predominately populated by women, demands that there be enough to hold the attention of the audience whilst not descending into something that is totally unbelieveable or twee. What you get is a rather unique period drama in which there is plenty of the usual dosage of propriety and romance, but also a lot of fun too.
The cast are brilliant - Dame Judi Dench is, as always, marvellous. But the supporting cast are also bery good at bringing this rather strange little town to life. As you watch their lives unfolding, you cannot help but empathise when their lives are threatened by the proposal of a new railway. Whilst some see it as progress, others are dubious as to how it shall affect their life and tranquility. As any good period dramas must, this works in showing that, although our modern day concerns may be very different, when you come down to it all it shows that no matter what age you live in, there shall inevitably be something to threaten life as you know it.
CRANFORD is a charming drama. I would recommend it to anyone.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cranford-- wonderful place! 16 Mar 2008
By Kendra
I ordered this from Amazon UK to be able to view this prior to its U.S. release date. I was not disappointed! Sadly, I had to watch it by myself because my husband didn't think he'd like it. He would have been wrong, by the way. It was exquisite in every way.

I watched it over 2 nights. It's a 5 hour miniseries and it is broken up into five 1 hour-long episodes.

The first 3 hours were very very good. Excellent, even. But the last 2 hours were absolutely perfect.

In Cranford, we meet many of its residents with most of the focus on 2 spinster sisters and their surrounding friends and relatives. Everyone is kind here and look out for their neighbors and generally want to live correctly and do the right thing. Their village has been like this for ages and the citizens have all known eachother since birth. It is an idyllic place and a happy place. They welcome new residents, too, with every bit of friendliness.

Cranford has existed in the same way for years, even though times are changing. A railroad may come through the town and most residents are against this type of change. For with the positive changes-- such as information, goods, and knowledge, there would also be negative changes-- more transients, less safety, etc.

The intertwined story lines here involve the two sisters, class distinctions, entitlements and expectations, a very funny love triangle, and accepting change and modernity.

One of the best stories involves the young son of a poacher (one who kills animals on others' land). The manager of the aristocrat's large estate takes the young boy under his wing and wants to teach him to read and write.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant series
Love this series watched it a number of times didn.t want to watch be wife & children convinced me, I was totally engrossed could niot wait for the next episode, the series engage... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Clifton Lemord
5.0 out of 5 stars A mellow drama.
Set in a period of dramatic change in GB's tranquil past with villagers confronted by the industrial revolution in nearby Manchester. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Philip Sanders
5.0 out of 5 stars Cranford
What can I say about this? Having seen the TV production, I had to have it for myself....superb acting, period costumes and absorption into the mid-1800's is impossible to avoid. Read more
Published 6 months ago by esther
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely storyline with loveable characters
Very enjoyable and absorbing period drama with likeable characters and pleasingly insensible plots. If you like pride and prejudice, give it a go.
Published 6 months ago by Sophie Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality BBC drama
Good quality BBC drama, Dame Judi Dench is superb and plays this role excellently. The production is, of course, excellent
Published 6 months ago by Richard W Finlay
2.0 out of 5 stars BORING!!!!
Published 10 months ago by Ester
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a present
Bought as a present which my mother enjoyed. Decent price and a good series that kept her entertained for a few weeks.
Published 10 months ago by claire152
5.0 out of 5 stars Cranford
Brought for myself love period dramas . Judi Dench is very good in this again wasn't sure to buy it but it was well worth watching . Even hubby enjoyed it .Another good buy
Published 10 months ago by trace
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
Great service, speedy delivery and terrific price. I would certainly recommend this to friend's and family. DVD is great viewing for people who love a great period drama.
Published 15 months ago by Dunno
5.0 out of 5 stars A*****
Very British A*****. It shows the old classics still can be appreciated by all ages and all people from different countries.
Published 16 months ago by Sonya
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