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North & South [DVD]

Daniela Denby-Ashe , Richard Armitage , Brian Percival    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (446 customer reviews)
Price: £4.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

North & South [DVD] + Wives and Daughters (Repackaged) [DVD] + Middlemarch (Repackaged) [DVD] [1994]
Price For All Three: £12.70

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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 (446 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007N1BBC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 371 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


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


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,

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
602 of 616 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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221 of 227 people found the following review helpful
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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Beautiful and Moving 4 April 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this DVD and have watched it again and again and again. It is so heartfelt and so moving, so well acted, beautiful music, it is faultless. What I loved about this, was it gave a rare insight into life of different classes in Northern England in the 1800's, we are given a taste of the differences in manners and etiquette of Northerners and Southerners, and the snobbery that existed and to a degree still exists between people from the North and South of England. But for me it was how we are journeyed into the live's of the characters, who come from both the upper and working classes, seeing the very real struggles and working conditions of the working classes and what they endured. There is a beautiful and subtle development of love between the main characters, who are so contrasting in nature but are so well suited, the imagery set against an absolutely beautiful music score, means that North and South just does not leave an impression on the mind but on the very heart. Having watched many very good BBC adaptations, Pride and Prejudice, Bleak House, Cranford, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre, Emma etc etc etc. I put this at number one, it just leaves such a deep impression.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I highly recommend this for lovers of Period dramas.
Published 6 days ago by Phyllis Whowell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thoroughly enjoyed this
Published 8 days ago by K. S. Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars Brooding
A wonderful and enchanting series. Oozes brooding mood. Some lovely performances and beautifully shot. When the BBC could get it right!
Published 10 days ago by Gaza Westfall
1.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating
Can't review as it will not play!
Published 15 days ago by MRS J L WILLIAMS
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent writing and acting
Excellent writing and acting. Gave me an insight into very tough times in the manufacturing world of those times. Powerful story line. Well worth watching and owning.
Published 21 days ago by Marilyn Friedrich
4.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas gift
We enjoyed it on tv ...but not yet viewed DVD as a Christmas gift for my daughter.
Published 22 days ago by MO
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful !
If you love Pride and prejudice you will LOVE this one too ! The acting, the settings, the storyline...wonderful stuff !
I will watch it again and again :)
Published 23 days ago by Marion
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly, truly brilliant series.
Of all the well-made BBC adaptations of classic novels I've seen so far (and that's nearly all of them), this is by far the best. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Marco M
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Richard Armitage -----Delicious!!!
Published 27 days ago by Sherree Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
If you are a Richard Armitage fan you will enjoy this. Smouldering!! A great period drama, easy watching.
Published 27 days ago by Toadie
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Any english subtitles for this set? Thanks! 4 11 Feb 2013
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