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Sword Of Honour [DVD]


Price: £5.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Only 15 left in stock (more on the way).
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Product details

  • Actors: Daniel Craig, Megan Dodds, Katrin Cartlidge, Josh Cole, Stephen Mangan
  • Directors: Bill Anderson Jnr
  • Producers: Gillian McNeill
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Channel 4
  • DVD Release Date: 19 May 2008
  • Run Time: 191 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00158FK1U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,821 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Television adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Second World War trilogy. Guy Crouchback (Daniel Craig) seeks purpose in the British army following his shattering divorce from Virginia Troy (Megan Dodds). However, the ups and downs of military life at the height of the war at times prove too much for Guy, especially when he renews his acquaintance with his ex-wife. Ultimately he begins to find his sense of duty tested to the limit by the strength of his renewed relationship with Virginia.

From Amazon.co.uk

War is hell, but it can bring out the best in the unlikeliest of men. Sword of Honour, a splendid British miniseries, is based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Evelyn Waugh. Waugh's alter ego in the film, Guy Crouchback, played with gravitas, fortitude, and a wee bit of vulnerability by a pre-James Bond Daniel Craig, joins the World War II effort as an older soldier because he feels a pure calling to fight evil. And fight he does, though the realities of war and army life are ultimately revealed to him in all their venality and haphazardness. The film sweeps across Europe, from pre-war England--where life for the upper crust is all crisp linen, martinis, and a fierce denial of the notion that the British Empire is, in fact, doomed--to Capt. Crouchback's missions in Vichy France, an utterly destroyed Crete, Egypt, and more. All the while, Crouchback fights his own demons along with the Nazis; his alluring ex-wife, Virginia (played with sultry sensuality by the American actress Megan Dodds, so memorable in the British series MI-5), to whom Crouchback is undeniably still drawn. The action and production values are topnotch, as is the ensemble cast. But the key is Craig, whose world-weary demeanor only barely masks the needs of a soldier--and a man--who is all too human. His performance is soul-stirring, and even those who think they aren't war-film fans will be captivated by the layered storytelling here. Extras include cast filmographies and a biography of Waugh. --A.T. Hurley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. P. Shields on 19 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD
Any attempt to condense the Sword of Honour trilogy into one lengthy film (although I think it was shown originally as a two-parter?) was bound to be flawed.
And it is. The books themselves start off more comic in tone (Men at Arms) and become more tragic and cynical during Officers and Gentlemen and Unconditional Surrender. This probably reflects Waughs own state of mind which became increasingly bitter as his health deteriorated (see Selina Hastings' excellent biography)
However the film never quite knows where it is and tries to be funny and tragic at the same time (not easy) and fails in general.
It must be said that Daniel Craig does a good job, but Trimmer and Ritchie-Hook in particular are miscast. The portrayal of Apthorpe was also a big minus and not at all like Men at Arms.
The Crete section is well handled and stops me giving only two stars.
However this would have been better adapted as a six part series like Brideshead, and it often seems rushed an sketchy as a result, with key characters popping up and then disappearing 35 minutes later.

My advice to anyone who has watched this and not read the books would be (predicatably) to read the books!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
"Sword of Honour,"is a British television serial, a World War II costume historical drama that was a 2001 TalkBack production for Britain's adventurous BBC Channel 4. The DVD box set runs approximately 193 minutes, and includes an Evelyn Waugh biography.

The series stars Daniel Craig, before he became the sixth actor to portray that dashing undercover agent, Bond, James Bond. It's based on the wartime trilogy of novels that goes by the same name, The Sword of Honour Trilogy: Men at Arms, ; by the noted British satirical/comic author Evelyn Waugh. A cursory reading of any biographical material on the well-known, best-selling Waugh (Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder), serves to illustrate that it closely follows the author's own World War II experiences.

Craig (Quantum of Solace,Defiance [DVD]), plays 35-year old, wealthy Englishman Guy Crouchback, who comes back from Italy to England at the beginning of the war, determined to get in on it, though he is too old for most wartime purposes. As a good Catholic, one among the heavily-populated gallery of such that Waugh created, Crouchback seeks moral redemption in a "good war" after a nasty divorce that echoes Waugh's own first.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 May 2004
Format: DVD
Anyone who tries to adapt any novel for film or television is going to have to make some sacrifices and changes in order to make their version worth watching. In this sense William Boyd does an excellent job cutting down peripheral characters and storylines. What we are left with is a story about heroism, very different heroes, against a backdrop of the imcompetence on a grand scale of the British army of 1939-1945. Perhaps most vividly some excellent dramatisations of the evacuation of Crete, an often forgotten episode of the war.
Crouchback, the main character, begins the story idealistic at the prospect of conflict, though not in a jingoistic sense, rather Crouchback hopes the war will provide a chance to prove himself on a personal level. He is inspired by Ivor Clare, a dashing guardsman who is awarded the Military Cross at Dunkirk, although he is not all he seems. Trimmer, an oppourtunistic idler, is certainly not a hero, though is seized upon by the propaganda machine as an honest British peoples hero, and his image is cultivated in the press. Finally Ricthie Hook, is certainly brave enough to be a hero but comes accross as ultimately a tragic figure, only good for the business of soldiering.
The character of Apthorpe is very different to the Apthorpe in the book, yet is exceptionally played and provides much of the stories black humour. Naval experts may notice the Royal Navy type 22 frigate, probably launched late 1970's early 1980's used in one scene, but this is only minor - one for the ship spotters! I disagree with the other reviewer, i feel the atmosphere of wartime London was evoked quite well, and anyway only a few scenes are set in England, so I don't consider this especially important.
All in all worth a look
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lord Byron on 13 April 2014
Format: DVD
I agree with other reviewers who were not impressed by this adaptation of Waugh's trilogy. It was interesting to see Mrs Troy made flesh, so to speak, but Daniel Graig was a miscast. More serious damage was done to the character Apthorpe; and the actor who played him was likewise miscast and made a poor fist at playing Apthorpe. Perhaps it was a tall order for the film makers to try to capture Waugh's trilogy in a relatively short adaptation. The actor who played Ritchie-Hook cannot have read Waugh's trilogy; or if he did, he just couldn't rise to the job. Trimmer, the pseudo-Scotsman, doesn't come near the character in the triology. I have watched the VHS version of Sword of Honour twice over a period of about 10 years, and my low opinion of the work didn't change on the second viewing. If you haven't read Waugh's trilogy then you may find the film adaptation rather more than o.k. If you have read the books, then don't waste your money on the dvd. BBC radio broadcast a 6-part adaptation of the trilogy. If you can get a copy of this audio, you'll find it's worth the money.
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