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Mr Pye [DVD]


Price: £14.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Derek Jacobi, Judy Parfitt, Richard O'Callaghan, Robin McCaffrey, Ralph Nossek
  • Producers: Judy Marle
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: 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: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Acorn
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Aug. 2011
  • Run Time: 198 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004P9MV5O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,819 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

A great wind of change is blowing over the Isle of Sark, and it goes by the name of Mr. Pye. Mr. Pye is a man on a mission, or as he might describe it, an evangelical adventure. He has come to encourage the residents to put aside their differences and embrace his concept of The Great Pal . This proves harder than he expected as Sark has bred a good many long-standing disagreements and rubbed-the-wrong-way rivalries. There s his landlady, the formidable Miss Dredger, and her ongoing feud with the equally formidable Miss George; Thorpe, a frustrated artist in more ways than one, especially by his love for the free-loving Tanty ; and then there s Mr. Pye himself, a man about to discover how demanding the Great Pal can be, as first he pays the price for being too good... and then for being too evil.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By N. Poingdestre on 2 May 2011
Format: DVD
I spotted a copy of Mr Pye on DVD (not this actual version but one seemingly ripped from a 1986 video recording) during a recent visit to the Guernsey Museum (which is running a Mervyn Peake review between May and Sept of this year). I remember trying to watch it when it was first broadcast on Channel 4 in the 80's but gave up after two episodes as it was just a little too weird. Now, with a more adult outlook, I can appreciate it much more and thoroughly enjoyed watching the full series. The story revolves around the eponymous Mr Pye (Derek Jacobi) a city banker who has taken early retirement and finds himself stepping onto the tiny island of Sark (arguably the prettiest Channel Island). He is a man on a mission, however, and with guidance by his lord the 'Great Pal' he quickly involves himself in attempting a reconciliation between his uptight landlady Mrs Dredger (Judy Parfitt) and Miss White (Betty Marsden), who had once been great friends but fell out over a petty dispute. His healing ministrations are rewarded by the 'Great Pal' in an unexpected manner and the rest of the plot unfolds as a consequence. What I enjoyed most about the series is the tremendous acting and the fabulous scenery. Derek Jacobi is delighful in the lead role and his child-like mischievousness is wonderful. Unfortunately (for him but not for us however), all of his scenes with Judy Parfitt are stolen by her, as she is truly wonderful, but otherwise he is the main focus on the screen. The support roles, Tanty (Robin McCaffrey) and the Artist (?) do tend to let the side down - I really struggled with Tanty's faux French accent for example - and the local extras did make me wince. Final mention goes to the tremendous Theme tune by Ken Howard and the final episode contains a thrilling version as the story reaches its climax.Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. D. Nunn on 28 May 2011
Format: DVD
It's taken an insanely long time for this TV adaptation of Peake's extraordinary moral satire to reach DVD (even though Channel 4 featured this show in its 25th anniversary). Finally we're to get the opportunity to revisit what I think is Derek Jacobi's finest hour since I Claudius.

Although in many ways this show is technically a product of its time, this actually serves the narrative very well. No crazy fast paced need to hurtle through the story, no false economy of direction that produces an over-edited near flash frame montage. Instead this is a suitably lingering production in which the settings (not least the island itself) become active participants in events as they gradually unfold to a remarkable climax.

Unlike the BBC2 production of Gormenghast that, although visually very successful, rather unfortunately all but erased the complexity of the female characters so as to hurtle through the plot (it would have benefited from an additional episode, slower pacing and more attention to characterisation), in Channel 4's version of Mr Pye the characters are far more rounded and therefore inevitably more complex, conflicted, interesting.

I would certainly hesitate to claim that Peake would have approved of any adaptation of his work although he did write a radio adaptation of Mr Pye a mere 4 years after the book was published. As third party adaptations go this production stays faithful to the text and it's clear that the writer - David Churchill - has a genuine affection and respect for the book.

I wonder whether Mr Pye is, in part, a response to C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters. Although structurally very different texts, the idea of humankind trapped in the middle of a neverending battle between angels and demons is self-evidently the common central theme.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Churchill-moss on 12 July 2011
Format: DVD
Indeed at last. I loved this adaptation and have also read the book. I visited Sark this year in the wake of always wanting to see where it was filmed. A quirky, funny and touching adaptation - Derek Jacobi is fantastic. I met some people on Sark who were extras! The artist actor btw is Richard O'Callaghan. I knew I'd seen Tanty elsewhere - she was Serena in 4 Weddings and a Funeral. I agree about the accents. Apparently the boy who played the horse carriage driver, Pepe, is a Sark resident. They dubbed his voice with a terrible thick Fren-glish accent - not at all a native accent of Sark. I bought a copy of the DVD having recorded it originally from the TV on VHS and was promised in the Sark shop it was of good quality. Not so - it was like a grainy bad VHS copy but it's a good souvenir from the place itself. I hope this DVD is of good quality - should be. I recommend this DVD.

Oh yes, in case you want to see the house where Miss Dredger lived, it's been demolished! Peake's house is still there though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ianb111 on 21 Oct. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When we bought this DVD, we did not know how old the actual film was. Having said that, this mini-series was still worth watching. It is one that we would certainly watch again. As usual, Derek Jacobi was excellent. Simply put, he is one of the finest actors around at the moment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. D. White on 22 Aug. 2011
Format: DVD
Adapted from the Mervin Peake novel, this channel four series from the 1980s is absolutely bonkers. I've not
actually read the book, but heard about the show through word of mouth at university through some friends who
had studied the book and subsequently watched the series.

Its quite hard to sum up, but its stars the amazing Derek Jacobi as Mr Pye - an angelic character who arrives on the Island of Sark to do good work. A bizarre sequence of events culminates, almost dream like, make this show complete void of any realism aside from the issue of morality that, personally, i think the story explores.

I feel this is definitely a cult status show and one to own for anybody who is a fan of the purely weird!
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