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  • Masterpiece Theatre: All the King's Men [DVD] [1999] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Masterpiece Theatre: All the King's Men [DVD] [1999] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A7DW8U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 419,737 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Scots Lass TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Sept. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The true story of a battalion formed from the workers of the Sandringham estate in 1914 is told here in a thoughtful production which illustrates the perceived glory of war which is quickly shattered by the reality of fighting.

David Jason gives one of his best performances as Capt Frank Beck - the head keeper of the Royal estates who drills his troop of young men, many of whom he has known since they were born, into a fighting unit ready for the glory of the First World War. The King is not keen to lose Frank to the fighting, but, even in his 50's, Frank is determined to go and lead his men and he finds an ally in the Dowager Queen Alexandra (Maggie Smith).

In a touching scene, before departure, Frank meets a friend whose son is severly disabled following action at the front and it begins to dawn on Cpt Beck that it may not be the valiant battle that he and his men expect. 14 year old friends on the estate are keen to do their bit, but when one proudly becomes a telegram boy, his friend lies about his age to join the regiment. Cpt Beck allows the boy to travel with the estate workers.

Husbands, fathers, brothers, boyfriends - every available man sets off to Galipoli where Frank is stunned at the shambolic base camp, inaccurate maps, poor supplies and chronic dysentary that his lads must endure. And when it comes to battle, the tactic is simply to walk, in a straight line, towards the enemy....an enemy which cannot be seen but is in an ideal position to pick off the approaching troops.

The story revolves around the apparent 'vanishing' of the Sandringham Company and the attempts by those left behind to learn what happened. Grieving relatives hoped that the men were held prisoner.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Roger Boon VINE VOICE on 4 Aug. 2007
Format: DVD
"All the King's Men" is a richly textured piece of television drama, sensitively directed by Julian Jarrold. Its carefully nuanced script explores the horrors of the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey in World War One and the myth surrounding the mysterious "disappearance" of the Sandringham Regiment, who were drawn from King George the Fifth's estate.The men are led by Captain Frank Beck,the agent on the estate, who with the support of the Queen Mother defies the King and, despite his age, leaves Sandringham to lead the men who he has trained and whose lives he has been intimately involved with on the estate. Through the excellent performance of David Jason we see a man of some nobility of spirit,used to respecting his superiors all his life,trying to do his best in a situation where his superiors got it completely wrong.His idealism is nicely contrasted with the humane pragmatism of the regimental doctor who has no such illusions.
The truth of a body of men ineptly led and totally unprepared for fighting in an unknown and hostile terrain with appalling logistical support is graphically portrayed and echoes the much better known Australian film, "Gallipoli." The deliberate burying of the truth of what happened(which involved large numbers of men being shot in the head rather than taken prisoner)in order to protect social sensitivities and preserve morale is nicely dealt with through the superbly restrained performance of Maggie Smith as the Queen Mother who is clearly not fooled but never betrays the fact.
The film also sympathetically explores the social values of the English class system and particularly the close knit generation of Sandringham workers who made up the regiment.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Red Rose on 18 Jan. 2008
Format: DVD
The lead role was made for David Jason. This is the previously untold story, surrounding the first world war, where all but one (as it turned out), of the soldiers from the Sandringham Company 'vanished into thin air' or into the mist to be exact.

Ageing, David Jason uses his influence with the Queen Mother, to be sent along as Commanding Officer with his unit to fight abroad. The film reflects the age and the mood of Britain at that time and its values. The film also reveals the details of a huge 'cover up', which is a real eye opener even these days.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Stewart on 16 Aug. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is not meant to be a history , it is a drama and a very well written , produced ,cast and acted one.
This is one of those film productions which BBC excels and does so very well , if you want an accurate documentary or one which is historically accurate to the last letter this may not be the one and I do not profess to know the history of Gallipoli in any detail other than an awareness of that sad series of landings.

As a drama it works very well you can relate to the main characters and the rigid class structure from which they came , something which is illustrated as a running theme throughout the film.
The rights and wrongs of the war is touched upon , the propaganda of the times , the expectations , under age soldering , and how national pride meets the reality of the war overseas none of which remains intact following contact with the enemy.

It is well written and the cast make this an excellent story , one you could certainly watch again without any effort.
Maggie Smith , Patrick Malahide , Ian McDiarmid , some of the major names which spring to mind.

IMO a very good drama but it has to be watched as that , it is not meant to be a history.
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