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Prime of Miss Jean Brodie [DVD] [1969] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Maggie Smith , Gordon Jackson , Ronald Neame    DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: Maggie Smith, Gordon Jackson, Robert Stephens, Pamela Franklin, Celia Johnson
  • Directors: Ronald Neame
  • Writers: Jay Presson Allen, Muriel Spark
  • Producers: James Cresson, Robert Fryer
  • Format: Anamorphic, Colour, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 6 July 2004
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001US78G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,376 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Maggie Smith is so witty and commanding in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie that you might forget the script paints Jean Brodie as an ultimately self-deluding spinster. Dame Maggie won the first of her two Oscars for playing a teacher in 1930s Edinburgh more in thrall to her romantic notions of art and beauty than the real world (she exalts the Mona Lisa and Mussolini with equal fervour), a cultivator of worshipping "Brodie Girls". Smith's expert playing makes many of the brogue-heavy Brodie-isms worth memorising ("She seeks to intimidate me by the use of quarter-hours") and raises the picture above its generally theatrical style. Real-life husband Robert Stephens plays Jean's married lover; Celia Johnson excels as the hostile headmistress; and Pamela Franklin is the deadpan whistle-blower within Miss Brodie's coven. The dippy music of Rod McKuen helps mark the movie as more of a reflection of the 1960s than the 30s. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Excellence of Miss Jean Brodie 15 July 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This film is simply the 'creme de la creme'. Maggie Smith is superb as the teacher who fascinates and enchants her inner circle of students, 'the Brodie Set', and has the screen presence and acting talent to evoke entirely convincingly the character who declares 'give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life'. The film is witty and entertaining, and although not entirely true to the book, the quality of the acting, by the young girls in particular, more than compensates. Celia Johnson (better known for her starring role in 'Brief Encounter') is also excellent as the Headmistress Miss Mackay, whose aim in life is to rid her conservative school of the radical Miss Brodie. Among the changes in the film, however, is the foregrounding of Miss Brodie's interest in fascism and the effect that this has on the least intelligent of her set, Mary McGregor. Without giving the story away- and I would advice that people read the book so as to discover the true fate of Mary- the film's portrayal of Miss Brodie's destructive influence is perhaps somewhat exaggerated and disturbing. Nevertheless, the film as a whole is just as bewitching as Miss Brodie and a must-see for Maggie Smith fans.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Give me a girl at an impressionable age..." 17 Mar 2006
I rate this film as one of my top 10 all-time movies. Though quite different to the superb novel, for me it succeeds in all areas. Excellent acting & direction, and a very convincing recreation of 1930s Edinburgh despite practically all of it being filmed in a studio. I would also add a special mention for the haunting music. You end up feeling both charmed & saddened by the characters in equal measure. This U.S. dvd has very interesting commentaries (they are often very dull!) by the director & actress Pamela "Sandy" Franklin. It is just a shame that the sublime Ms Smith wasn't available.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - Out in the UK 22 Jun 2010
Thank you Acorn. Finally someone has decided to release this wonderful film on DVD in the UK. Ignore all the messages here saying how the DVD won't play in the UK, they relate to the US, NTSC version which was previously the only version available. This is the UK, PAL, version that will plays perfectly. Can't wait.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forsooth! A great film 15 Aug 2007
Normally I'd be cross with a film that takes such liberties with the novel it's based on, but for once I'll forgive Jay Presson Allen (who wrote the play and screenplay) since it can't have been an easy job. For what it's worth, what happens in the film doesn't really happen in the book. The characters are all mixed up, new bits are invented, and the ending is completely different.
But never mind. The new ending is dramatically effective, if not faithful.
Central to the movie is Maggie Smith's oscar-winning performance and it's everything it's cracked up to be. You'll soon wish you'd said half the things she says. You may even find yourself noticing people who bid you good morning with predestination in their smiles, or making disparaging comments about chrysanthemums.
For me, a problem with the movie is that I so enjoy Miss Brodie in her prime, that when she starts to move past her prime, it's a bit of a blow, so the ending is rather sad, though somewhat inevitable.
The film moves forward in time, and the girls do a great job of being both very little girls and quite mature girls. The whole cast does a terrific job.
It's a 1969 film, so not exactly progressive in its production, but there's a charm to the way the film is set and threaded together, though the school is too obviously for me a stage set.
The DVD has a few theatrical trailers and a commentary by the director and the actress who plays Sandy.
All in all, a very enjoyable film you can watch many times (as I have). Which makes it a great puzzle it's only available on region 1.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The downfall of Miss Jean Brodie 23 May 2009
When I first saw this film on the television a few years ago i felt quite sorry for Miss Brodie at the end of the film. however, watching it again I notice that she actually brings about her own downfall. She is quite pompous and does not seem to have any respect for authority and only believes in her own ideology. Above all it is an excellent watch!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Creme de la Creme 7 Mar 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This film is fabulous, mainly due to Maggie Smith's fantastic portrayal of Miss Jean Brodie. The film now is certainly a camp classic, Miss Brodie rules her class with stories of love, truth and composure. I've never seen such good posture, I thought Smith had swallowed a yard stick. All actors are superb, I especially loved Celia Johnson and Pamela Franklin as the sly Sandy, one of Miss Brodie's 'gels'. The film's insight into Marcia Blaine's School for Girls is a tour de force and recommended for anyone who wants to see an actress who truly is in her 'prime'!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I am a teacher! First, last, always!" 11 Dec 2005
Maggie Smith won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Jean Brodie, an unconventional and outspoken teacher in a stuffy Edinburgh girls' school, who encourages her students to be just like herself. Miss Brodie proudly says she is "in her prime," and expounds on the glories of a life full of passion and commitment. Miss Brodie is, in reality, a spinster, still sadly attracted to her unscrupulous ex-lover and often living in the past. She has a small group of students she is especially close to, but two of the girls take her instruction too literally, and this leads to tragedy.
Maggie Smith was so young and beautiful when she made this movie! She dominates the screen with her charisma and power. She tosses off many funny and memorable lines of dialogue with her delightful Scottish brogue, and delivers them with righteous indignation and withering glances. Pamela Franklin is excellent as one of Jean's disciples, and Rod McKuen's music is lovely. This film is a must for fans of Maggie Smith.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A classic film.
Published 13 days ago by David Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars happy
Keep watching it.
Published 14 days ago by J Clegg
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a real gem
It's a touching, very witty film and all the performances are terrific. Yes, Maggie Smith's awards winning performance is highly theatrical, but as the film progresses everything... Read more
Published 1 month ago by addison de witt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent transaction. High recommendation
Published 1 month ago by Musical Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great film that is still great to watch after all these years.
Published 1 month ago by Alan Pithie
5.0 out of 5 stars I've frequently used this for English students who have been studying...
A famous version based on Spark's creation. I've frequently used this for English students who have been studying the text as a useful companion and compliment to the book.
Published 2 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless entertaining film.
This is a great film with Maggie Smith on her best form. I firstly saw this at the cinema when it was released, and it is one of the few classic films which made a lasting... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alan
5.0 out of 5 stars and just think she only got better - often wonder why she hasn't got...
Well worth Maggie Smith's first Oscar, and just think she only got better - often wonder why she hasn't got more Oscars!! Much better than the t.v. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Caro
5.0 out of 5 stars hilarious
Wonderful film and outstanding acting by Maggie Smith. The classic 'brodieisms ' are genius e.g ... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pura Vida
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding performances.
I recall in 1961 when the book came out that a number of my contemporaries were ecstatic over it. Some even had the title as "The Pride of Miss Jean Brodie"! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Wilberfalse
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