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North & South (Complete BBC Series) [DVD]

Daniela Denby-Ashe , Richard Armitage , Brian Percival    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (391 customer reviews)
Price: 4.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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North & South (Complete BBC Series) [DVD] + Wives and Daughters (Repackaged) [DVD] + Middlemarch (Repackaged) [DVD] [1994]
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Product details

  • Actors: Daniela Denby-Ashe, Richard Armitage, Sinead Cusack, Lesley Manville, Tim Pigott-Smith
  • Directors: Brian Percival
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 2Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 11 April 2005
  • Run Time: 233 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (391 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007N1BBC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 906 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

North & South is a splendid, four-hour adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's 19th century novel about an unlikely, and somewhat star-crossed, love between a middle-class young woman from England's cultivated south and an intemperate if misunderstood industrialist in a northern city. Daniela Denby-Ashe plays Margaret Hale, forthright and strong-willed daughter of a former vicar (Tim Pigott-Smith) who relocates his family from a pastoral village outside London to unforgiving, largely illiterate Milton, a factory town where John Thornton (Richard Armitage) and his mother (Sinead Cusack), survivors of poverty, rule their cotton mill with an iron hand. Thornton befriends Margaret's father but incurs her wrath for his severity with his workers. What she doesn't notice is Thornton's core sense of responsibility for his employees' welfare. On the other hand, he misinterprets some of Margaret's own actions and intentions. Equally stubborn, the two drag out their obvious attraction over many painful months and events.

North & South's two leads are both very good, though Armitage's brooding, penetrating performance may very well be considered a classic one day. There are other wonders in the cast: Cusack and Pigott-Smith are superb, and Brendan Coyle is memorable as a firebrand union organizer who ultimately becomes an ally to a softening Thornton. The miniseries script by Sandy Welch is a persuasive mix of historical context and character study. Brian Percival's direction is full of moments that linger in the imagination, such as the winter-dream look of a busy cotton mill, with thousands of snowy fibers floating in the air.--Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

Product Description

North and South is a powerful adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's feisty and passionate novel, set across the social divides in the changing world of Victorian industrial society. Margaret Hale is one of literature's most original heroines: a southerner from a country vicarage newly settled in the industrial northern town of Milton. In the shock of her move, she misjudges charismatic cotton mill-owner John Thornton, whose strength of purpose and passion are a match for her own pride and wilfulness. When the workers of Milton call a strike, Margaret takes their side, and the two are brought into deeper conflict. As events spiral out of control, Margaret - to her surprise - begins to fall in love with Thornton...

DVD Extras: Specially recorded interview with Richard Armitage, Commentary on Episodes 1 & 4 with Kate Bartlett, Brian Percival and Sandy Welch, Deleted Scenes & Production Notes



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
596 of 609 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindful Escapism 22 April 2005
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I watched the series last year and was very impressed with the production, especially the beautiful design and camerawork. And, yes, with Richard Armitage too. (I'm only human.)

So I was looking forward to receiving the dvd- I had plans to maybe ration out my viewing; watch half an episode here and there. But, of course, that all went out the window when my dvd arrived. I got home late last night and decided I'd just have a peek at the first episode before I went to bed. So, at 1am, I snuggled up with my electric blanket, a mug of tea and a large box of maltesers, and then promptly fell back in love with this wonderful adaptation. I watched all 4 episodes again. Then I watched the special features- the deleted scenes (nothing that scintillating, but there is a slightly extended proposal scene, and a few others from the first episode); the interview with Richard Armitage (charming fellow... I'd say more, but I think you're all familiar with the Armitage appeal *loosens collar*), and then I read through the extra production notes and even watched a bit of the commentary episodes (1 and 4).

So I ended up getting to sleep at 6am. But it was worth it. This dvd transfer looks wonderful, and fortunately, unlike many money-spinners, it hasn't been assembled hastily or sloppily. There are optional subtitles, the sound and picture quality are first rate, and the extras really are worth taking a look at. And, of course, you get all four episodes of a 5 star production to treasure time and again.

As for the production itself- it's a gem. The real strengths lie in the excellent camerawork and attention to historical detail in costume and set design. The direction has a light touch, and the screenplay is, for the most part, subtle and well-paced.
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220 of 226 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Like some of the reviewers on Amazon, I didn't see the film on TV because French TV seldom broadcast British films like Pride and Prejudice and North&South. But luckily for me, I have a strong liking for everything that is English (cinema, literature, theatre and music) and I am always deeply interested in what British TV can produce. I've seen the BBC Pride and Prejudice many times (I've also read the book) I like it -even though my preference goes to the new 2005 movie (sorry, can't help it)- and I am even familiar with Elizabeth Gaskell's work (I've read Mary Barton and I've started reading North&South). So, on reading the positive reviews on Amazon and on the BBC website, I decided to buy it, although I knew little about the whole story. My God, I never imagined that this BBC film could be so good! I can't even describe how I felt when I first watched the first episode except that I became completely hooked and I couldn't stop watching until I knew how it ended. And what an end!!! Wow! Now I can only say that it has even eclipsed the BBC P&P film in my heart. It is more romantic anyway! Everything is perfect, the cast, the setting, the photography (the image of cotton flakes in the mill), the dialogues, the music, the social background. The background definitely adds another interesting layer to the film because you can see both sides, the mill owners' and the workers' and you can see them working. All the characters are marvellous and so likeable. They really make a difference for me because they are down-to-earth, they have depth and there is always a certain dignity about them.
We can thank Elizabeth Gaskell for creating such wonderful characters, yet they wouldn't make such an impression in the film if the actors weren't so great. They really got into their parts.
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118 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My firm favourite...A MUST SEE!!! 10 Nov 2006
By Ed
Format:DVD
I cannot praise this adaptation of Gaskell's finest work enough. I am truly thankful because I would not have been introduced to this magnificent tale if not for my English literature syllabus! Whether you read the book or watch this fantastic production, this is one tale you cannot afford to miss. It is one of social divide and of true and great characters that transcend class. It is a social commentary of today's time as much as it was of the industrial age. Having read the book, with rapid pace, I ordered this in quick succession. I was certainly not disappointed. Though I had only intended to watch one episode, I (and my mother included!) were hooked and could not be satisfied until we had seen the conclusion of this beautifully worked drama. With captivating performances from all involved, believable character interactions, a moving story, stunning locations, and hauntingly beautiful music, this is THE drama to watch. I cannot believe I missed it when it first aired on the BBC. Truly I can safely say that it is better than the acclaimed Pride and Prejudice and is now officially my favourite book and drama of all time. If this immersing tale is enough to encapsulate a teenager, it will do the same to anyone! I cannot emphasise my recommendation further. Buy it, watch it and love it!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
This is a bit different to your usual period romance dramas from Austen, the Brontes etc. Rather than the romance being the main, and sometimes the only reason for the story, this is a bit more like Dickens, although not as convoluted as Dickens can get. The romance is only one element of the story, and here the romance is used to illustrate the North/South boss/worker social divide which are the essential themes of the novel.

Even so, this romance has become my favorite of all time, and when combined with the extra dimensions to the story, and the wonderful depth given to all the characters, North and South is my favorite drama.

All aspects of the production are outstanding and all performances so good that it seems unfair to highlight one, but I will anyway. Richard Armitage as John Thornton is the core without which it may not reach the level that it does, because some of its most beautiful moments for me, which are sometimes quite small moments, are due to his mesmerizing performance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Marxist version of Pride and Prejudice?
After watching this series my husband dismissed it as the marxist version of Pride and Prejudice, and it can well be viewed from this point. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Isa
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful adaptation
This was not my first copy as I already own a well watched one. My mother was visiting and as there was nothing worth watching on the tv I suggested a dvd. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Janet Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars BBC at its best
when ITV did Andrew Davies Pride & Prejudice in 1995 well the BBC answered it with this. great cast, good script and great acting. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Babs O'Brien
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully acted, moving adaptation of a classic
For any fans of the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice (not the abysmal film version with Keira Knightley), the quality of this production, even without the P&P budget, is on a... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Luthien
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I just loved it. Although the story is adapted I believe due to time constraint, the actors are playing their role so realistically, I was on the edge all the way. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Faulty in under 21 months
We bought this DVD in May 2012 and played it once. North and South was good entertainment but this week we tried to play it again and the disk had tarnished. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ian Horsfield
2.0 out of 5 stars Too gloomy for us.
We gave up on this one. Although we know these things probably went on, we were not keen to watch the cruelty shown by the mill owner. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
I have never read the book, but I really liked this. Beautiful cinematography, great acting, good story. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
Published 1 month ago by B. Verdonk
1.0 out of 5 stars film
the wife likes this sort of thing so theres no point in asking my opinion really ask her why she likes this sort of dross
Published 1 month ago by red
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern Pride and prejudice
A good story well told in the modern idiom. the ladies will love it .nice evenings entertainmenton a cold night.
Published 2 months ago by Mr. J. D. Roach
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