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Our Mutual Friend [VHS] [1998]

David Morrissey , Peter Vaughan , Julian Farino    Parental Guidance   VHS Tape
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Actors: David Morrissey, Peter Vaughan, Pam Ferris, Kenneth Cranham, Timothy Spall
  • Directors: Julian Farino
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: BBC
  • VHS Release Date: 24 Jan 2000
  • Run Time: 350 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CWI4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,750 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

Dickens was the master of Victorian social satire, ruthlessly exposing the cruelty and absurdity that supported the strictly hierarchical class-structure of the day. This superb production of Our Mutual Friend does full justice to his darkest, most complex novel, fleshing out the satirical bones of the plot with performances that eschew caricature in favour of psychological depth. Anna Friel's Bella is wonderfully complex, her innate goodness struggling with her love of money and desire for advancement. Paul McGann, as the lawyer Wrayburn, is also superb, wrestling with the implications of his feelings for Lizzie. And of course, this being Dickens and the BBC, there's a terrific supporting cast, including Timothy Spall as the melancholy articulator of skeletons, Mr Venus. As the fortunes of the characters rise and fall, the river Thames flows eternally on, the symbolic backbone of this remarkable story. At six hours, this version of Our Mutual Friend is a long production, but not a moment too long. A mystery, a love story, a critique of the pursuit of wealth and status, this is perhaps the best adaptation of Dickens ever to be committed to film. --Simon Leake, Amazon.com

Product Description

2 Great VHS Videos in a double box, fast dispatch, UK SELLER

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinematographically Perfect 23 Dec 2003
I just want to put in a word for the crew that filmed, lit and designed this. It is ravishing and the attention to detail is astonishing. At almost any point you can freeze-frame the action and the result is like something you'd see in the National Gallery. Technically this is by far the best thing the BBC has done for years.
It's also much blacker than Dickens usually is, despite being basically, a happy tale. The blackness, especially in the first half, comes from painstakingly researched historical detail and the effort they've put into the locations: gone are the flimsy sets of 1970's BBC Costume Drama...
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133 of 136 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Lizzi and her father earn their money with recovering corpses from the Thames. One night they find a drowned young man. It is Mr Harmon who just came back from the colonies to collect his vast inheritance. Old Mr Harmon's lawyer Lightwood and his friend Wrayburn appear on the scene, to have a look at the corpse. And Wrayburn casts an eye on Lizzie ... Lizzie's father is soon suspected of having murdered the young man, but before he can be put in jail he drowns in the river himself and Lizzie is all alone now, or is she? ...
As the the heir is dead now, the money goes to poor and simple Mr Boffin, the manager of old Mr Harmon's business. He is a very kind man, therefore he wants to support young Mr Harmon's fiancee Bella and persuades her to join him and his wife and enjoy their new good fortune with them. Bella - who didn't know her fiance in the first place and wanted to marry him because of his money - does this, of course, as it opens new and promising opportunities for her. But then she falls in love with the wrong man, who even has the cheek to propose to her: John Rokesmith is Mr Boffin's secretary and poor as a church mouse. Mr Boffin is outraged by Rokesmith's proposal to Bella and throws him out. Now Bella has to face a difficult decision ...
While the Boffins and Bella have some fun with the inherited money it appears that melancholic and bored Mr Wrayburn, who couldn't be bothered with life before, has fallen in love with Lizzie. But Lizzie has disappeared after her father's death and doesn't want to be found by him. And Wrayburn is not the only one who wants to find her...
I loved the series! The setting was really great, from the dirty cramped houses of the poor to the large houses of the rich, everything appeared really authentic.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Feeling's Mutual 23 Sep 2007
This series sets out to enthrall and entertain and accomplishes both in superb fashion.

It's a complicated story, with many well-defined characters, and it's a bit of a chore to keep them sorted, but it's worth the effort. This is a tour de force of production and acting. It's a little gruesome in parts, but it brings home the look, the feel, the dirtiness and -- almost -- the smells of riverside London. The additional background interviews with the producers and actors is worth watching for the history alone.

The fly in the ointment in the DVD version I watched (in the USA) is that the screen aspect was slightly compressed, narrowing the facial features. A minor gripe and readily ignored.

Dickens lives!
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mutual satisfaction 18 May 2006
Simply the best Dickens adaption [big or small screen], that includes the recent 'Bleak House'. It's fairly obvious that somebody has read the book and extracted all the important plot strands and meaning and put them into a fantastic 3 hours of telly. Seeing Rogue Riderhood on the screen is an absolute joy. There are some big name actors/actresses in this but it doesn't detract. If you like your drama to be intelligent with meaning then you will enjoy this.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dickens for people who don't like Dickens 10 Sep 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I freely admit, I find Dickens' books unreadable and adaptations of his books usually unwatchable (I except the recent version of Bleak House).

I only watched this adaptation because of the cast and I was bowled over. It's beautiful to look at, I read the book afterwards and could see all those vivid images and the characters as protrayed by the actors in my mind in a way that I doubt would have happened if I hadn't seen this adaptation.

There are so many scenes which are stunning to look at. Perhaps that brings me back to my reason for not liking Dickens - that the characters are somehow lacking and that the background is more important. But speaking as a Dickensaphobe, I felt the background did the job and I was utterly enthralled.

The most haunting character for me was Bradley Headstone played superbly by David Morrisey. A truly wonderful portrayal of a man in torment, trying so desperately to keep a lid on things.

The women characters (often in Dickens novels seeming to me to be a bit too simpering) were strong. In the case of Lizzie Hexham (Keeley Hawes) gentle but without being a doormat. Bella Wilfer (Anna Friel), a bit flighty but fundamentally decent.

Eugene Wrayburn (Paul McGann) the bored lawyer who is woken up by the sight of Lizzie and the enigmatic John Rokesmith, Steven Mackintosh, the other stand out star so far as I am concerned. I can't describe his performance without giving the plot away but he shows so many moods, form the gentle to the terrifying.

Even if you don't like Dickens, you will like this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 27 days ago by Nannie H
4.0 out of 5 stars More strengths than weaknesses
A gripping and absorbing re-telling. Of epic proportions, it does near-full justice to one of Dickens's finest novels. Read more
Published 2 months ago by 'Fountain Pen'
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent adaptation of Dicken's work
This series is an excellent adaptation of "Our mutual friend," Dicken's last novel. There are no important changes, apart from plot simplifications (the novel is too... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Manuel Alfonseca
1.0 out of 5 stars Turkey
This "new" DVD set arrived for my daughter's Christmas : although offered as new both DVD's were extensively scratched and would not load on any player in the house. Read more
Published 7 months ago by nigel wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely DVD
I loved this DVD, it was originally for my mother-in-law, I couldn't resist so I watched it first, so glad I did, it was a pleasure to watch, I would highly recommend it.
Published 11 months ago by debi
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to watch.
The characters are wonderful & it is so easy to find yourself willing them toward a happy ending. The acting is superb with Kenneth Cranham & David Bradley (Silas Wegg & Rogue... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Loli P
1.0 out of 5 stars ZERO STARS
I am amazed that this is given any good reviews at all! At least half the acting is completely wooden and uninspired. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jodiel
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtually flawless...
All I can say is that you haven't yet seen this dramatisation, you are in for a real treat. The writing, acting and photography are all of the highest calibre. Read more
Published on 18 Aug 2012 by David Lown
1.0 out of 5 stars Slightly Cross
I would have beeen delighted to review this wonderful BBC production if I had received the DVD, which I have not ( one month after paying for it ).
Published on 26 May 2012 by bigsister
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent with reservations
The BBC classic literature dramatisations have come a long way since the good old days when the budgets scarcely ran to convincing cardboard scenery. Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2012 by G. Walker
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