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  • A Dark Adapted Eye [1994]
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A Dark Adapted Eye [1994]

Price: £5.75
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3 new from £5.75 9 used from £3.19

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A Dark Adapted Eye [1994] + Gallowglass [1993]
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Product details

  • Actors: Helena Bonham Carter, Celia Imrie, Sophie Ward, Guy Witcher, Robin Ellis
  • Directors: Tim Fywell
  • Producers: Phillipa Giles
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2 Entertain
  • Run Time: 167 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041VQTRW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,197 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Faith (Helena Bonham Carter) spends the war with her two Aunts Vera (Celia Imrie) and the beautiful Eden (Sophie Ward). Seemingly devoted sisters, they are caught in a bitter rivalry that surrounds the child they both claim as their own. It is then left to Faith to try and piece together events, based on a true story, that lead to one Aunt being hanged for murder.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alison Hart on 27 Jan. 2013
Format: DVD
Cannot praise this enough. It is a faithful adaptation of an excellent novel. The casting is superb and the narration adds to the atmosphere and the slow build up to the "reveal". What a shame the BBC only televised three of BV's books way back in 1994. Time to adapt some more.....
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By merlin on 30 Nov. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was a really good film starting in the 1940's and going up to the 1960's. Celia Imrie was execllent. Welll worth watching.
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By roy strong on 2 Jan. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An interesting story.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Boring waste of time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Mystery & Sister-Sister Deadly Duo 7 May 2002
By carol irvin - Published on
Faith Severn (Bonham-Carter) tells us the story of her Aunts Vera and Eden. Faith stayed with them as a child during WWII when London was being bombed so she has the chance to witness their relationship turn from morbid closeness to conflict and hostility culminating in murder. It is a riveting piece of work and I was glued to the tv set the entire time. Of special interest is a plotline that is guided by two sisters whose conflict is born and festers when a baby is born to one of them. Two women in the same family, conflicted over a child born into that family, is a very common, every day occurrence and utterly believable as something that gets out of control fast.

I must confess that Bonham-Carter, as I continue to see her shine in role after role, is a much better actress than I ever thought she'd turn into when I first saw her in "Room With A View," where she played a rather standard English historical ingenue. I've only seen this on video and so I can't comment about scenes which were edited out from when it showed on television, as one Amazon reviewer has done. I did not feel the lack of any scenes or character development, however. I have also not read the book so cannot compare that either although it is generally a fruitless task to compare films with the books they were based upon anyway.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A classic mystery 5 Oct. 2003
By K. Smith - Published on
This is a fantastic story, which has been adapted well for video. The characters are well developed and completely believable and the plot twists grippingly through the years during and just after World War II. Excellent performances from Helena Bonham Carter and the ever talented Celia Imrie kept me gripped. This is a brilliant story from Barbara Vine but is not based on real events.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Deep Family Mystery 1 April 2009
By John D. Cofield - Published on
Verified Purchase
Faith is a young woman from a haunted family. One of her aunts has been hanged for killing her other aunt, and the family labors under the shadow of this tragedy. Why did it happen, and what were the inner tensions which led to the murder. A Dark Adapted Eye skillfully unravels the layers of mystery and tension which developed over many years until finally reaching a partial resolution.

A Dark Adapted Eye was the first book by Barbara Vine, Ruth Rendell's alter ego. I enjoy Vine's mysteries because they examine how past events effect the present and leave invisible wounds on those who participate or merely witness. This television adaptation was produced in Britain in the early 1990s and was first shown on PBS' Mystery. It features excellent performances, particularly by Celia Imrie and Helena Bonham-Carter. It has thus far not been released in DVD or Blu-Ray, but I hope that it will be eventually.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VHS version has been edited but it's still great 2 July 2010
By pekinman - Published on
Verified Purchase
I'm glad I only spent $13.00 for this used video cassette. 20th Century Fox and the BBC have edited little snippets here and there from the original broadcast. I wore out my home-made video of this series after 14 years of regular use. It is frustrating that the BBC have not deigned to give this splendid drama the deluxe dvd treatment it deserves, especially as it is one of the finest BBC productions ever made.

A Dark Adapted Eye is a haunting, absorbing story of two strange sisters who have a fated relationship with one another, the effects of which have devastating results for their entire extended family. This may sound banal and melodramatic but it isn't. It is deep, and moving, and sticks in the mind ever after. The entire cast is stupendous, especially Celia Imrie's Vera. She is matched in greatness by Sophie Ward's Eden and Helena Bonham-Carter's Faith.

Don't pay top dollar for this video but find a good used set somewhere like I did here on Amazon.

l give this a four star rating because of the editing to fit the video format. But the little missing bits don't hurt this powerful little masterpiece in any important way; but the missing scenes are as good as the rest of it and are missed by this viewer.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This film is one of the best book adaptions ever. 12 Aug. 1998
By Catherine Shu - Published on
Verified Purchase
The life of Faith Severn is permanently altered when her uber-normal aunt, Vera, kills her sister Eden. Faith, in trying to understand what has transpired, discovers that her aunt and family hardly lead the kind of respectable, middle-class life they congratulated themselves on having. This is a beautifully done drama with great performances. A great way to spend an afternoon for mystery fans and lovers of great drama. END
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