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The Caesars - The Complete Series (2 Disc Set) [DVD] [1968]

Freddie Jones , Caroline Blakiston    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: £8.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Caesars - The Complete Series (2 Disc Set) [DVD] [1968] + I Claudius - Complete BBC Series (5 Disc Box Set) [1976] [DVD] + The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Complete Series [1970] [DVD]
Price For All Three: £28.16

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Product details

  • Actors: Freddie Jones, Caroline Blakiston, William Corderoy, André Morell, Ralph Bates
  • Writers: Philip Mackie
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 3 April 2006
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EWOO3I
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,643 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

The complete six-part series, following the rule of the Roman Emperor Augustus (Roland Culver) and the battles for succession after his death. After years of civil war following the assassination of Julius Caesar, his adopted son Octavian manages to unite the various factions and assume control of the Empire. Taking the name Augustus, he presides over an unparalleled period of growth and prosperity, but when he dies, the Empire is thrown into confusion by the corrupt and violent reigns of Tiberius (André Morell) and the insane Caligula (Ralph Bates).


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible! Tiberius revealed at last! 23 Nov 2009
Format:DVD
I joined Amazon UK (I'm an American) just to buy this DVD, based on the strength of IMDB reviews. Not only was I not disappointed, I've viewed this set over a half dozen times. This series is a must for all fans of Roman history, and those looking for well scripted mini-series of the "masterpiece theater" ilk. I'm sure that the black and white, rather grainy video is what has kept this fine production from the American market. Unfortunate, as the performance by Andre Morell as Tiberius is stunning. If one goes by the gossip of Suetonius, Tiberius was an evil pustule of no consequence. In truth, he was the second Caesar, and gave Rome 20 years of additional peace, perhaps ensuring the continuance of the monarchy, and had to rule in the long shadow of Augustus.

There are six episodes: Augustus, Germanicus, Tiberius, Sejanus, Caligula, and Claudius. Tiberius is the primary figure in the first five, Caligula in the last. Comparisons to I, Claudius are unavoidable, and this series preceded the eponymous Derek Jacobi work. Better than I, Claudius?? Certainly different, if not better written in some ways, and Andre Morell is mesmerizing.

[Aside to Americans or others afraid of buying the "wrong" region: The discs play on your computer no problem, or on a "region free" DVD player - take the plunge; I've been very pleased with gaining access to otherwise "lost" material
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133 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Politics and Murder in Imperial Rome 10 Aug 2006
Format:DVD
Rome 14 AD. Augustus (Roland Culver) has been Emperor for 40 years. In his youth he had put an end to 100 years of civil war - but the price was the end of the Republic. Now he is old and worried about the future. To preserve the Pax Romana he needs to appoint a successor but none of his descendents is suitable. So what should he do? He decides to nominate Tiberius as a stop gap until his great-grandson is old enough, thus creating an Imperial Line.

Unfortunately for Augustus, his family do not live up to his high ideals as they attempt to marry, scheme, plot, and murder their way to the throne. On the way we meet: the handsome but inept Germanicus (Eric Flynn); the scheming Agrippina (Caroline Blakiston); the unwilling but ruthless Tiberius (Andre Morell); the murderous Sejanus (Barrie Ingham); and the downright evil Caligula (Ralph Bates). Watching all this is Claudius (Freddy Jones). Claudius is regarded a s a dimwit because of his club-foot and stutter - but he is the most intelligent of the lot.

The Caesars (1968) was one of the last major series to be made in black and white and is an example of the quality drama made by ITV at it's peak. It consists of six episodes, each concentrating on one of the major players. It was written by Philip Mackie and was highly acclaimed at the time. Freddy Jones was awarded the TV best actor award at Cannes for his portrayal of Claudius. The Caesars is set about 50 years after the mini-series Rome(2005) and covers roughly the same period as I Claudius (1976); although from a different perspective. It is easily the equal to, if not better than, either of these mini-series.

The six episodes are:

(1) Augustus: Who should succeed him?
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The end of liberty 23 July 2009
Format:DVD
As someone who likes any film or show with a toga, rates I Claudius as the best series ever and loved "Rome" it came as a shock to discover a series I'd never heard of about the early emperors and one made in my own back yard by Granada TV. Perhaps the reason for this is that having been made in black and white just before the colour revolution "The Caesars" now looks like something from the 1930s.

This is a shame because once you get over that shock this is a an ambitious and I think succesful attempt to examine the psychology of the early emperors. I can't but help think that much of the characterisation set the template for the much more famous "I Claudius" to follow.

The series focuses on the strange relationship the early emperors had with their power. Like all Romans they were ambitious to achieve glory for their family and Rome but also felt uncomfortable with absolute power and shunned much of its trappings. The central character is Tiberius and rightly so. He is one of history's great paradoxes - a man of enormous ability but whom his contemporaries and historians would vilify. Why? Because, if you believe the series, he could never be bothered to pretend he didn't enjoy the power but could not give it up.
True or not I don't know but as a super aristicratic Claudian he would have expected power and glory (and he merited it) but it came to him by gift not achievement.

All the other characters are measured against him. Augustus charming but ruthless, Germanicus vacillating, Livia and Agrippina power hungry, Sejanus and Macro ambitious and Caligula mad. All these stories are told and you are left sympathising with Tiberius. The story ends with Claudius and tkaing power. His reaction to power is unexpected; basically you feel he is not overly fond of the role but concludes that despite the madness of Caligula Rome needs an emperor not a republic any more. After him the emperors will no longer be equivocal about power.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost gem 7 Feb 2011
By arbiter
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"The Caesars" is actually a misnomer for this 6-part series, as one of them is titled "Seianus" who was Tiberius' henchman and the other "Germanicus" who died before he could inherit the laurels.

The sound is lousy at times and made me wish for subtitles and the black and white picture betrayed its advanced age. Yet this is five-star material beyond a shadow of a doubt. There are two good reasons:

- the actors. With a minimum of inflection or change of expression emotions are conveyed. Particularly Tiberius and Claudius come over absolutely convincing. The latter (Freddie Jones) deserves an Oscar - he really lived his deformity and sadness (not bitterness) of being constantly overlooked, undervalued and ridiculed. A heart-rending display of the will to live and a historical plea for the acceptance of disabilities!

- the script. Many lines are good quotations for politicians even today. My favourite is "The rule by one person is the most hazardous form of government ever invented." It proved only too true for many successors of the original, brilliant Gaius Julius. Actors of Roman series or films just don't seem to get to say meaningful things any more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Andre Morrell's finest hour !
For me this TV series is by far the most convincing dramitisation of this period of history I have ever seen. Read more
Published 2 months ago by crowscamp
5.0 out of 5 stars A tour-de-force from André Morell in a quality production
Made by Granada and originally transmitted in 1968, perhaps unsurprisingly The Caesars has often been compared to the later production of I Claudius (made by the BBC in 1976). Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. D. K. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Underrated Drama in the History of TV,
About 6 years ago I began watching the HBO/BBC co-production ROME and I enjoyed it so much that I started reading about ancient Rome, watching documentaries about ancient Rome and... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Hank Norville Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars the dialogue is even fancier than I Claudius'
It boggles the mind that there were writers out there who could write this good. The Caesars is always compared to I Claudius. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Halifax Student Account
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, almost perfect
Before writing the review itself, some background information.

Here and at Amazon.com I have seen several reviewers compare this series - favourably or not - to the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by P. Bartl
4.0 out of 5 stars Caesars series.
I love the history of the Caesars but the qaulity of the film is not as clear as I would like. Possibly because it is an old series.
Published 9 months ago by Khalmar
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality copy
A great disappointment! Saw the original! The old TV format did not play well. Very poor sound quality and some picture distortion. Did not watch it!
Published 9 months ago by sharon Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
I bought this as a present for my mummy - she used to love this when she was younger - and it brought such a smile to her face when she opened it that I couldn't be happier with... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Justine Arnold
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting
It's black and white, the picture quality isn't great and there are some technical issues with the transfer. And none of that matters : this is great TV drama. Read more
Published 10 months ago by N. R. J. McCaughan
4.0 out of 5 stars A good product at a good price!
It's a shame that it's in black & white but unfortunately TV series weren't recorded in colour back in 1968! That's the only reason it has four stars instead of five.
Published 12 months ago by V. Wilshaw
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