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Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series [2008] [DVD]

183 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Charity Wakefield, Hattie Morahan, David Morrissey
  • Format: PAL, Colour
  • Language: 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 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Jan. 2008
  • Run Time: 174 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001061UPM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,875 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

David Morrissey, Dominic Cooper, Dan Stevens, Mark Williams, Janet McTeer and Mark Gatiss lead an all-star cast in Andrew Davies' romantic and stylish three-part BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's classic Sense and Sensibility.

Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve when she falls in love with the charming but unsuitable John Willoughby, ignoring her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Elinor, sensitive to social convention, struggles to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Will the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love?


From the pen of Andrew Davies, the man who's brought some of the finest literary adaptations to the small screen in recent years, comes the BBC’s new take on Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility. Running across three episodes, it proves to be as much as a sumptuous treat as much of Davies' previous endeavours.

Austen’s story of the Dashwood sisters and a romance with John Willoughby is a familiar one (and it was realised quite brilliantly in Ang Lee’s film adaptation in 1996), and so it’s left to the super cast and terrific production values to convince audiences to dip into Sense & Sensibility again. Fortunately, the production delivers with consummate ease.

Much of the credit for Sense & Sensibility’s success lies in its excellent cast. David Morrissey, Mark Williams, Janet McTeer and Charity Wakefield are among the many strong performers, and they’re matched by equally impressive work behind the camera too. There’s an argument whether it manages to eclipse the 1996 filmed version (for which Emma Thompson took home an Oscar), but it’s perhaps to best see them as companion pieces. And truthfully, you’re not going to be disappointed with either. Because once again, the BBC has brought further life to a tale told many times before, and its production of Sense & Sensibility is set to be enjoyed for many years to come. --Jon Foster

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Hettie Lawrence TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I didn't bother watching this when it was originally on television, thinking that the Emma Thompson film was so good that nothing would match it and so I just wouldn't bother. Having watched the dvd under some persuasion from a friend, I'm quite ashamed of my ignorance and wish I'd watched it back then. This is simply an excellent adaptation which shows up faults I hadn't noticed before in the film version.

Charity Wakefield is a strikingly good actress, her portrayal of Marianne Dashwood makes that of Kate Winslet seem rather wooden. Wakefield exudes the natural, unaffected character of Marianne with so much depth that she truly lifts the heart and soul out of Austen's creation and is a joy to watch. Although Wakefield stands out in the cast, the other characters also are more 'real' and believable here. David Morrissey is a much more sympathetic Brandon, and you wonder how Marianne could ever have failed to fall in love with him at first sight. There is a really palpable sense of his having the same passionate, romantic nature as Marianne, which has been subdued by bitter past experience, only to be reawakened and eventually noticed by Marianne.

The settings, too, are sumptuously evocative. The cottage to which to Dashwoods move is no twee chocolate box cottage but a neglected, wind-swept house which combines the Romantic,desolate beauty of the wind swept Devonshire coast with the stark depiction of the poverty into which the family have descended, mirrored in Marianne's joy at her new surroundings and Elinor's practicality and concern at the challenges of their enforced new life. Add to the glorious scenery and excellent performances, the tempestuous and haunting music which permeates throughout, and you have a truly beautiful adaptation. One to keep and treasure.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Wiebke on 3 Oct. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My review is more to do with the quality of the DVD than the film itself.
Having seen the mini serie on TV I bought the DVD as in some way I hope to
support these kind of productions this way. But I am very disappointed as
scenes have been cut out from the DVD version. Why on earth is this necessary?
And why isn't there a note mentioning this? In future I better stick to my
recordings from TV.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Colly-strings on 11 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you have the least inclination to buy this, do! The DVD consists of three hour-long episodes, which feels just right - the pacing isn't rushed as it would be in a film, but nothing feels superfluous either.

Where to start with the good points of this adaptation? I'm sure I'll end up forgetting something, so let me start by saying that, in my opinion, this is the definitive version of Sense and Sensibility. I loved the 1996 film version, and am an avid Austen reader. But this adaptation trumps all, for me - yes, even the book. Note perfect in every way, I know I'll revisit it again and again, and only consider it a shame I waited so long to see it in the first place. With a screenplay by Andrew Davies and a showing on the Beeb, this deserves just as much admiration as their 1995 Pride and Prejudice, and is comparatively unknown. It's a real shame.

Alright then, the main selling points :

- Script. Wonderful. The characters are all well-drawn and likeable, and all the major relationships (Marianne and Wickham, Marianne and Brandon, Elinor and Edward) are given lots of time to develop. This is where the running time really trumps the film version. No character feels neglected, and even Fanny Dashwood and little Margaret get their fair share of screentime, something which really builds the sense of family.

- Casting. Again, excellent. The characters are cast younger than in the film, much closer to their ages in the book, and although I will admit to sorely missing Alan Rickman's Colonel Brandon, the characters are perfect. Marianne in particular perfectly aligns with my mental image of her, and Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars steers his character away from its occasional tendency to seem weak, and onto firmer ground.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By princess jem on 2 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After being so impressed with the 1996 version of Sense and Sensibility, I wondered what a new version could really offer. But this version was spectacular, it really portrayed the characters well, the acting is superb, the scenery stunning and the costumes suitably lovely. Edward Ferrars from the film version was pretty bland, and his relationship with Elinor was sidelined so it was nice to see their storyline get more attention in this adaptation. Hattie Morahan is perfect at portraying Elinor while Charity Wakefield is very convincing as the less sensible sister, Marianne. The other actors are brilliant, and in my opinion this adaptation is actually better than the 1996 version, not least because the two main characters are the right age.
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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful By hillbank68 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Jan. 2008
Format: DVD
This is very, very enjoyable. It takes liberties over and above the necessary short-cutting and telescoping which inevitably arise in a filmed version of a full-length novel, but it is very watchable and a lot of fun. The settings are, of course, grand (where appropriate) and beautiful, with a particularly Romantic 'Devonshire' cottage for the distressed Dashwoods, visually lovely but also (inside) very cold! The casting is spot-on. Hattie Morahan as Elinor has a most intelligent and expressive face and never puts a foot wrong in her reactions ; she judges the controlled passion of the character, who lives under painful stress for a good part of the film without being able to reveal it, quite perfectly, and when finally Edward is able to voice his feelings, her tearful, inarticulate joy is most moving. This is an outstanding performance. Charity Wakefield plays the good-hearted, headstrong Marianne to a T, and their mother is the excellent Janet McTear, who conveys the bewilderment and dignified lack of practicality of one in her position wholly convincingly. Edmund and Willoughby are both good and I must say I found David Morrissey better than Alan Rickman, good as he was, in the famous film, pace another reviewer. Rickman is a mannered actor - a very good one - and he was too creepily lugubrious for me, whereas Morrissey is dignified, well-bred, reserved as he should be and (actually) also very dashing - lucky Marianne, in the end, though she has to go through a lot before she gets there. The background music is sometimes intrusive, but that's not a serious problem. The film ends delightfully, with Brandon carrying his young wife into his splendid country mansion and Elinor, laughing, watching Edward chasing chickens round their parsonage yard. It's a lovely adaptation and very enjoyable to watch.
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