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Julius Caesar - BBC Shakespeare Collection [DVD]


Price: £12.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Julius Caesar - BBC Shakespeare Collection [DVD] + Julius Caesar: York Notes for GCSE
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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Pasco, Keith Michell, Virginia McKenna, David Collings, Charles Gray
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: DDHE/SIMPLY - under license from BBC Worldwide
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KPJDU8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,028 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

In 1978, the BBC set itself the task of filming all of William Shakespeare's plays for television. The resulting productions, renowned for their loyalty to the text, utilised the best theatrical and television directors and brought great performances from leading contemporary actors. "Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war" The crowds may have hailed Julius Caesar after his conquest of Pompey the Great, but there are other Romans who are alarmed at the power and authority the great dictator is assuming. Among them are leading citizen, Cassius, and the respected Marcus Brutus, a friend of Caesar. The consquences of their actions will sonn throw the Republic into violent and bitter turmoil... Shakespeare`s greatest Roman tragedy breaks all conventional rules of drama, creating neither a clear-cut hero or villain. Director Herbert Wise, who also directed the great BBC dramas I Claudius and Elizabeth R, brilliantly conveys a world of personal and political conflict while allowing the play`s chilling supernatural undercurrent to emerge.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ruth O'D on 15 Jun 2010
Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare's most accessible plays; it has alot going for it - the pomp and glamour of ancient Rome; one of history's best-known figures; politics, intrigue, murder and war; interesting character studies in Brutus, Cassius and Mark Anthony and one of the few speeches (Friends, Romans, Countrymen....) that we all think we know by heart - even if we only manage the first sentence. However I have yet to see a film version of this play that does it justice.

This version isn't BAD, but there is nothing brilliant or gripping about it. In particular I felt the key actors were not well chosen; Caesar was rather boring, Brutus, on whom the play hinges, had an odd bland look about him and Cassius looked more snivelling and weasely than crafty and dangerous (more Peter Pettigrew than Severus Snape, if you know your J.K. Rowling). The scene near the end where these two quarrel - always a slightly awkward scene, I feel - was just plain silly. For me, the most convincing actor was Keith Michell as Mark Anthony, although he seemed a little old for the role. One interesting casting was Elizabeth Spriggs looking young and elegant as Calpurnia (Mrs Caesar) - I know her from lots of period dramas, as Bertie Wooster's fearsome Aunt Agatha and as the original Fat Lady in Harry Potter - always as an imposing older woman - I was intrigued to see what she looked like in her prime.

I have seen two other versions of this play; Julius Caesar 1953 and Julius Caesar 1970.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jacques COULARDEAU on 22 Nov 2010
We have here one of the major plays by Shakespeare but it is not the one that is most often played or really and extensively quoted. This is a political play with practically nothing else around. The political bones are the very flesh of this animal. Julius Caesar is a very short lived hero in this play. He dies so fast that we can't even remember his face. He is the hero of the play absent most of the time by failure of living long enough. A small group of people come together to assassinate Julius Caesar because they are jealous of his fame and his power and his popularity. They manage to get Brutus, the closest friend of Julius Caesar on their side and he will deliver the third but killing blow. Then from that moment on the play is hijacked and becomes the retribution to the killers. Mark Antony is the first and essential craftsman of that reversal of fate. He manages to bring the popular crowd of Rome against the self-declared liberators. And then the whole thing will have to be solved on the battlefield. Brutus' brother will be lured into asking his ex-prisoner and freed soldier to kill him, which this one does with willingness because he can flee and be free after so many years of dependence. Then all the members of the conspiration die one after another till the last one Brutus who manages to force a simple soldier to hold the sword on which he runs himself. This is a typical cycle and construction for Shakespeare: someone disturbs the fragile equilibrium of society and society re-establishes its balance by eliminating every single member of the group that disturbed the peace of this society, Rome in this case. The victors are those who were close to the first victim but not so close that they could have been eliminated at the same time as him.Read more ›
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By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 July 2013
This is a review of Julius Caesar

If somehow you missed the play or the history, Julius Caesar let his status go to his head and is about to take on the role of Emperor. It is up to a handful of Noble Romans to see that this does not happen. The play is about these individuals, their individual purposes and what happens to them after the attempt to stop him. The focus is on Caesar's right arm (Mark Antony).

Displays been brought to life many times down through the years by various actors in various environments. However, this is a unique presentation and as unique as it is can only really be purchased as part of the BBC Shakespeare tragedies set. Looking closer at the actors, you may recognize a few of them from other British films. Brutus (Richard Pasco) played in over 45 TV titles. ... Julius Caesar (Charles Gray) played General von Seidlitz-Gabler in "The Night of the Generals"

This was the version, from Ambrose Video, that I used when I was in school. Therefore, even though other versions may have their strong points, this will be the one I equate with the written works.

Julius Caesar ~ Marlon Brando
Julius Caesar ~ Charlton Heston
====================================================
In the future, I will review the other films in this set as I have seen most of them.
BBC Shakespeare Tragedies DVD Giftbox
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By T. Wrycraft on 24 July 2011
Verified Purchase
This hasn't really stood the test of time. My year 9 class were more interested in giggling at the short Togas the romans wore and the fact that the 'stabbing' is obviously missing. they groaned at the fake blood and sniggered at the 'dead' caesar breathing on the floor. However - once past the fits of 'OMG it's so old/cheesy/grainy' they settled down and generally got drawn in by the quality of the acting (some corking performances) and the chance it bought for them so visualise what is a bit of a complex plot for most 14 year old brains (once you get to grips with who is besties with whom and who's a two faced cheating scumbag it's actually quite straightforward really)

so, a bit of a cheesefest but well acted and powerful in all the right places.
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