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North & South [DVD]


Price: £5.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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North & South [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: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (468 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007N1BBC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,462 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

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

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

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

603 of 618 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 April 2005
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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221 of 228 people found the following review helpful By April79marie on 27 Aug 2006
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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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Alia on 17 April 2007
Format: DVD
I really have to be thankful to Amazon in particular and to all of you, reviewers in general, because I would have missed this unforgettable BBC series but for you. I hadn't known of this series at all because it wasn't showed in Spanish television. (Shame on us). So, the first time I heard of it was in these pages... Thank you!

I am not going to repeat any of the very well merited praises all of you have written about this series, I couldn't agree more with all of you. The series is perfect in my opinion. Even after reading the book you cannot find fault with it. The atmosphere, the characters (all of them), the rhythm. All beautifully done.

Maybe trying hard to find something to complain about, I could think that it was unnecessary to change the way in which Margaret and John meet for the first time. In the book it was not necessary to make John so disagreeable to make Margaret dislike him. This book speaks among other things, about prejudices, hers and his. In this period for a woman like Margaret risen up as the daughter of a gentleman, Thornton was very much behind her, it was not a question of money, but of social status and education.

A manufacturer was a little better than a tradesman, somebody who buys and sells things to get some profit couldn't be a gentleman at all. Maybe in the series they thought that we would dislike Margaret if they didn't give us a more "modern" reason for her dislike to Thornton. I don't think it has to be like that at all. The stronger are your prejudices, the higher you have to rise to overcome them, the more you have to change and the better you have to love. In the book you find this perfectly logic.
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