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A Family At War - Series 1 [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Colin Douglas, Barbara Flynn, Leslie Nunnerley, Coral Atkins, John McKelvey
  • Writers: John Brabazon, John Ellison, John Finch
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Acorn
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Jan 2004
  • Run Time: 640 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000Z0I5M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,071 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

The classic ITV series chronicling the fortunes of the Ashton family living in Liverpool during the Second World War. An ensemble cast including Colin Douglas, Keith Drinkel, Colin Campbell and Barbara Flynn feature in this series written by the highly acclaimed writer John Finch.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 21 May 2004
Format: DVD
TV Drama, by its very moniker, has an implied expectation and today's programme-makers do deliver the literal. Any modern dramatization of the war years tends to revolve around sensational acts of bravery, mishaps, controversey, revelations or - God forbid - murders.
A Family At War dates back to a time when dramatists were not afraid of subtelties. This series deals with the impact of war on the everyday lives of an ordinary family and does more to evoke an understanding of what it must have been like to live through those years than any recent attempts. Here we see people reacting to change as humans do - slowly and not particularly well. We see the tetchiness born of a broken night's sleep; the dawning realisation that the war was not going to be over in a matter of months; the slow and painful agony of not knowing the fate of a loved one; how uncertainty and confusion can bring out feelings and thoughts buried throughout years of normal living. Moreover all this is built up with a subtely more akin to reality. It is realised through ordinary conversations, as much in what is not said as what is: the viewer finds an empathy with the characters and begins to understand them as he/she gets to know them. None of the high impact, short, sharp dumbed-down bursts of intense drama designed to ensure that even the greatest fool gets the point of any particular scene.
While it's accuracy is still a little off the mark in the finer details, it is still far more authentic than most recent wartime recreations - no doubt to draw the greater percentage of an audience who - in 1970 - would have lived through the times.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Raymond L. Herman on 21 Jan 2004
Format: DVD
We first watched "A Family at War" more than 30 years ago on public television. It was one of those series that kept you close to the screen and always in place as each hour episode was shown. Time has not diminished the artistry of all the actors and except for a few scenes where the quality is not perfect by today's standards, the overall quality of the production is top notch. Colin Douglas was magnificent in this series as was the rest of the cast which starred in this story of the Ashton family as they made their way through those difficult times of World War Two. John Finch's screen work will live forever as one of the best of this genre in our generation. If you have never seen this before--get it!!!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 July 2004
Format: DVD
I'm writing from the US. I first saw this series in the '70's on American public television. The powerful story and wonderful acting has stuck with me for all this time. When it became available of DVD I bought it immediately, even though I was almost afraid to see it again after 30 years- afraid it would not be as good as I remembered. Believe me, it was as good and better than my memory. This is a gripping story of how real people handled the stresses of war, separtion, bombing and displacement. A MUST SEE!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stan on 23 Oct 2006
Format: DVD
My wife has been after this for some time and I eventually succumbed. We have really enjoyed it and are now nearing the end of series 2. The attraction lies in the setting (30's surroundings and attitudes, the onset of war and the gradual effect it has on the family's lives). The acting is good (not superb but believable) and the plot development, of local disputes against the greater turmoil, keeps you involved.

The other angle of interest is that this was filmed in 1970 and the differences in technique between then and now are interesting in themselves. No sex (suggested, but not on-screen), no bad language (even in scenes of great dispute, it just doesn't come out), no graphic violence (yes, its a film about war and people do get shot and bombed, but they don't hammer each other into pulp as we see so often today).

All in all, a good watch
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Williamson on 15 April 2004
Format: VHS Tape
This series is just as enjoyable to watch as it was in the 70s. You can certainly watch it more than once and probably get pleasure from it time after time. There are lots of good actors, including the young man who provided the lead role in Kes. Let's hope the other two series will be released soon. The storylines are very interesting and evocative - in short I couldn't fault it.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mrs C Craig on 8 Sep 2005
Format: DVD
This is one of the best series ever made and we are enjoying watching it again, it was nice to see some of the old actor's such as Bet Lynch, Percy Sugden and Fred Elliot all out of Coronation Street when they where younger.
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