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Shooting The Past [VHS] [1999]


RRP: £14.99
Price: £7.95
You Save: £7.04 (47%)
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Product details

  • Actors: Lindsay Duncan, Timothy Spall, Liam Cunningham, Billie Whitelaw, Emilia Fox
  • Directors: Stephen Poliakoff
  • Writers: Stephen Poliakoff
  • Producers: Helen Flint, John Chapman, Peter Fincham, Simon Curtis
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: BBC
  • VHS Release Date: 24 Jan 2000
  • Run Time: 195 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W4FP
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 220,521 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Ms. F. I. Macdonald on 19 Aug 2006
Format: DVD
if i could choose one tv series to watch over and over again until my dying day it would be Shooting the Past. Poliakoff is an absolute master of beauty and atmospheric tension and i adore this series to death. it combines all my favourite things - photos, old paris, murders (you'll know what i mean),memories and the stories that go with fotos. The music is absolutely beautiful and sends shivers down my spine just thinking of it. It is so perectly in time with the story that you would think it was magic. i have not one bad word to say about this film, and it wil be a treasure that will stay with me for always, inspiring me to never give up, no matter how bad the situation seems.
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Kali on 14 Feb 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A unique library of old and modern photographs are put under threat when the building they are housed in is suddenly sold. The new owner of the property, Liam Cunningham played by the able Christopher Anderson, has no interest in the photos and doesn't care what happens to them. In fact most of the photos will be destroyed with the crème de la crème of the collection being sold on. All Liam is interested in is renovating the building and making a hefty profit for the business he represents.
However the library's many eccentric employees won't give up without a fight and from then on a war of wits and determination is played out among a wonderful array of black and white photographs that represent the past, the present and even the future.
The characters in this film are truly delightful, especially Timothy Spall who plays the oddball Oswald Bates, a man with a memory for faces so attuned that he can see resemblances between a person he has only seen once and those whose pictures are imprinted upon photographic paper.
However the battle to save the collection seems doomed, with every attempt the Library staff makes being thwarted but fate has something wonderful in store for Liam Cunningham and it is this wonderful twist in the story that ultimately will save the collection for future generations.
This is a fabulous film, originally a three part series for the BBC in the late 1990s I think it would have been a success if it had been released in Art House Cinemas all over the World.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By L Hamilton on 1 Sep 2007
Format: DVD
"Shooting the Past" is for you if you, like me, are sickened by the violence and blood-lust so many movies find not only indispensible but also central to the plot nowadays when "the gorier, the better". "Shooting the Past" is a diamond, providing proof that violence(it has none), sex and nudity (infrequent, mild here) and foul language (infrequent) are most definitely not necessary in a movie for it to be great.

"Shooting the Past" is a quiet story of the triumph of sentiment and heredity over the interests of big business, and it is utterly enthralling, beautifully told, brilliantly acted, wonderfully scored. Don't miss it.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By CB on 30 Aug 2006
Format: DVD
I have just one thing to add to these thoroughly deserved unanimously glowing reports and it is an important piece of practical advice. Do not start watching this DVD if you do not have a clear three hours or so in front of you. Once you start watching you will have to finish!

Absolutely compelling and highly recommended. A beautiful film.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Feb 2004
Format: DVD
I saw the series upon transmission and I was utterly captivated. This is writing and direction at its best (by Stephen Poliakov), with performances being absolutely second to none. The atmoshere conveyed by the wonderful cast who manage this time-warp photographic collection is a mixture of sadness, tension, irony and amusement as those consider their stand against the dark external forces that arrive in the form of the brash American businessman who appears hell-bent on breaking up the collection for profit and destroying everything that those within have known for so long.
Timothy Spall (Auf Weidersehn Pet's Barry), as the archivist, gives what could be described as his best ever screen performance. This is classic British TV drama and an absolute must for every self-respecting DVD collection - and should be viewed by anyone who questions whether British television is still capable of producing drama of the highest quality.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 May 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Shooting the Past is an unusual story full of eccentric characters who have one thing in common - the collection of photographs they are trying to save. They are all passionate and determind, gradually getting through the closed mind of the American buyer who wants to turn the building where the photographs are housed into a business school. The story told to him through the photographs, of his own family history is atmospheric, sending shivers down ones spine. This film has to be seen to be truly appreciated, I would advise anyone to buy the video, they won't regret it.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Dec 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I was lying on the couch one night watching TV looking for something to watch. I flicked onto BBC2 and heard that Shooting The Past was about to start. As there was nothing else on (and as i thought it was a history documentary) I started to watch.
Within a few seconds I was engrossed. Firstly by the sound-track and then by the amazing quality of story and acting. Timothy Spall is perfect in the role of Oswald. All the other actors are perfectly suited to thier charachters.
The story is hard to describe so i wont bother trying. Its something you have to watch and experience.
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