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Ladies of Letters [DVD]

Maureen Lipman , Anne Reid    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Maureen Lipman, Anne Reid
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 2 entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 20 July 2009
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,527 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

All ten episodes of the ITV comedy series starring Anne Reid and Maureen Lipman as pensioner pen-pals Irene and Vera. A tipsy under-the-table conversation at a wedding sparks a long-distance correspondence peppered with ironically self-revelatory descriptions of fractious families, misdirected romance and personal misfortune. But despite its undercurrent of animosity and one-upmanship, the correspondence is a lifeline for both women who in reality feel lonely and taken for granted by their descendants.


Maureen Lipman and Anne Reid star as warring widows in a marvellous TV adaptation of the hit radio comedy. When Irene Spencer (Lipman) meets Vera Small (Reid) at her daughter Lesley’s wedding reception they embark upon a correspondence unlike any other in the history of letter-writing, with exchanges about ungrateful children, quarrelsome holidays, and some rather dubious recipes. As the pensioner pen-pals keep their spirits up with sherry and shared recipes, their attempts at long-distance one-upmanship are strained by fractious families, misfiring romance and personal misfortune. In reality they are both lonely and taken for granted by their families.

Whether they are discussing the annual cricket club dance, a protest at a nuclear fuel dump or the prison ship in which they both wind up, the well-mannered, acrimony-laced missives just keep on coming. But, for all the unspoken animosity, it is clear that their correspondence is a lifeline for the two of them.

“…consistently brilliant…and not a single word or gesture goes to waste.”--Daily Mirror
“Maureen Lipman and Anne Reid pull off something of a triumph in this wonderfully observed adaptation.”--The Daily Telegraph
“…ticks all the right boxes. Lipman and Reid are an absolute dream of a comedy duo.”--TV Times

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bitching and sniping 18 Nov 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I first saw this DVD as a programme on ITV 3 at 10 'o'clock on Tueasdays. It fast became a ' must see ' and so I bought the DVD.

It is a story of 2 women who meet at a wedding, get squiffy together and start writing to each other. Neither can resist the opportunity to bitch and snipe suggesting a fondness for the sherry. It is a game of one-upmanship between 2 lonly women with families that take them for granted.

The adventures they share over the years as they write to each other, putting each other down is hilarious.

Buy it, it is one of those gems that come along too infrequently.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Letter from America 31 Jan 2010
By R. Bett
What a giggle!!! Would seriously recommend this DVD & the Audio CD to everyone. Super fun. Guaranteed to make you & your friends smile. Lets hope ITV will make episodes for the TV screen real soon :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long live the Ladies of Letters 24 Aug 2010
One of the ways we Americans get to see British television is on the Public Broadcasting Service. My local PBS station has been mercilessly showing the remarkably unremarkable "My Family" in the same time slot for what seems like an age, but they've made up for it by recently bringing us this delightful series. When I first heard the premise, I wasn't that excited, but by the end of the first episode, I was hooked. Not only are the ladies' witty exchanges extremely funny and well written, but their every move as they "perform" their letters is subtle and entertaining. The audience also gets to witness a lot of the events mentioned in the letters via flashbacks, so it isn't just the two ladies reading letters. There is a poignancy to the relationship between the two women which adds even more to the quality of the show. I have been thoroughly enjoying seeing these episodes again on DVD, especially Irene's hilarious post-bulldozer "affliction", which was censored for PBS. I am looking forward to more episodes and more DVDs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ladies, Language & Laughter 13 Mar 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you appreciate language you will enjoy Ladies of Letters. It's intelligent, well written & very funny. Maureen Lipmann & Anne Reid are an inspired choice as the two sparring ladies. Analysis would spoil the spontaneity & humour so I won't even go there. I bought the dvd for the casting alone, not having any idea what to expect other than 'quality', and was delighted to find I had bought an absolute gem.

After the first series I was impatient for more but have to admit that I found the second series a little 'off the boil' and a tad far-fetched, consequently I reluctantly withold the fifth star rating. Having said that I would most definitely recommend this dvd. Genuine 'old-fashioned' Entertainment with a capital E. It will lift your spirits. A rare find.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies of Letters 27 Aug 2009
By Cazzy
There are two DVD's containing the series from television. I would recommend this to anyone. Sheer joy!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 5 Aug 2010
What can I say? This is dramatic writing at it's best. There aren't many series that can captivate a viewer with just one ore two people with a monologue for half an hour, but this is one of them. This series will make you laugh and cry and I reccomend it to everyone. I'm just dissapointed that (at the time of writing) series 2 isn't on DVD yet (I missed it first time round.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies of Letters 5 Jun 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
DVD was received well packed and in perfect condition. This has got to be one of the funniest series on TV. I have read all the books and the TV series is true to stories in the books. It's a bit like Hyacinth Bucket vs Barbara Royale!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A grand transfer 14 April 2010
BBC popular radio series "Ladies of letters", with the leading roles being played by accomplished comediennes Patricia Routledge and Prunella Scales, has been transformed to a television series and with it, the leading parts have been replaced by younger actresses. As an avid listener, a lot of expectations needed to be met.
The television media does of course offer different options (e.g. the benefit of the listener's mind making his/her own decision on the truth of the alleged events in the radio version is lost), this version has done a good transition. We get to follow the growin (pen)friendship between Vera Small and Irene Spencer, as part of their family members (gay son Howie, ungrateful daughter Karen) and they do look alot like you'd expect.
All in all, this season one television version lives well up to the standard set by the radio shows!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny series
A very funny series featuring the wonderful Anne Reid and Maureen Lipman as two ladies of the more mature variety who meet under the punch table at a wedding and strike up a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dan
4.0 out of 5 stars dvd
given as a gift, I enjoyed the series and hope the recipient does too. no other comment can be given
Published 11 months ago by lyn schofield,
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty banter
I watched this on TV and loved it. A posh one and a chav - an unlikely friendship and never quite saying what they mean. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Miss Diane Corriette
5.0 out of 5 stars Present for a friend
I bought this for a friend of mine as a present and she loved it so it must have been good!
Published 13 months ago by Miss Marple
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I thoroughly enjoyed this series with its quirky subject matter and the very well executed use of the letter-reading. The humour abounds and the actors are supurb. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Craig Beavis
4.0 out of 5 stars very amusing
The battle of one-up-manship encapsulated!Maureen lipman is excellent in a role meant for her.A great dvd for a good price
Published 18 months ago by Mark Blyth
5.0 out of 5 stars See previous review
See review on previous series this is just brilliant so hilarious you have to buy I watch it time after time and never get bored
Published 18 months ago by Dianne
5.0 out of 5 stars First Class Quality!
The quality of the DVD is excellent. As enjoyable as ever - laughed (and cried) with them - a perfect gift for like-minded viewers.
Published on 19 Jan 2012 by Fran S
2.0 out of 5 stars Started out well finished up silly
We had greta expectaions and thought we were on to somthing until afet about 4 episodes it began to get silly and didn't improve. Don't expect to much when buying this one !
Published on 17 Nov 2011 by murray in nz
1.0 out of 5 stars It's all greek! DVD Format is different in UK vs. North America.
Well after having stumbled onto this show on television, I decided that it was a show my Mom would like and so ordered it....
I live in Canada. Read more
Published on 24 Oct 2011 by Nu2books
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