Watch now

21.99 + 1.26 UK delivery
In stock. Sold by RCDiscs.

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available


The First Churchills - Part 1 [1969] [DVD]

John Neville , Susan Hampshire , David Giles    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 21.99
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 3 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by RCDiscs..
Looking for Bargains?
Check out the DVD & Blu-ray Deals of the Week page to find this week's price-drops. Deals of the Week end on Sunday at 23:59.


Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Find all the best television shows from the other side of the pond in our US TV store and catch the latest shows in our 2014's Hottest TV page.

  • Not what you're after? Check the BBC Store to see all the latest titles and offers. Learn more

Frequently Bought Together

The First Churchills - Part 1 [1969] [DVD] + Jennie - Lady Randolph Churchill - The Complete Series [DVD] [1974]
Price For Both: 29.99

These items are dispatched from and sold by different sellers.

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Actors: John Neville, Susan Hampshire, James Villiers, John Standing, Lisa Daniely
  • Directors: David Giles
  • Format: PAL, Full Screen, Dolby, Digital Sound, Colour
  • Language: English
  • 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: PG
  • Studio: Acorn Video
  • DVD Release Date: 9 May 2005
  • Run Time: 267 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007XMLXY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,877 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

The first part of the late Sixties television dramatisation of the lives of John Churchill (John Neville), the first Duke of Marlborough and his wife Sarah (Susan Hampshire). The episodes included are: 'The Chaste Nymph', 'Bridals', 'Plot Counter Plot', 'The Lion and the Unicorn', 'Rebellion' and 'The Protestant Wind'.

Product Description

The first part of the classic 1969 BBC tv-series about the life and times of one of Britain's greatest soldiers, John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough and his loyal, loving but fiery-tempered courtier wife, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Dealing with Churchill's early life as a soldier, courtier and adviser at the courts of Charles II and his brother James, Duke of York, latterly James II, and covering such fascinating events as The Popish Plot, the ascension to the throne of James II and Monmouth's Rebellion, it's richly entertaining, superbly acted and still looks very good today after over 40 years. Starring John Neville (A Study in Terror; The Adventures of Baron Munchausen) as Churchill, and Susan Hampshire (Monte Carlo or Bust; Living Free; Tv's- The Forsyte Saga; Monarch of the Glen), as his wife, Sarah, along with excellent support from the likes of; Sheila Gish, John Standing; Moira Redmond; Lisa Daniely & in one of his best ever roles, James Villiers as King Charles II.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic BBC TV adaptation 4 Jun 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
After the success of the Forsyte Saga in 1967, the way was opened for a host of other serial dramas. The difference with this one being that it was made in colour and was considerably shorter than the "Saga" at 12 episodes.
I originally first viewed the series when it was repeated on BBC1 in the early 1970s and at the time was suitably impressed. Hence I eagerly awaited the release of these videos and found that I wasn't disappointed.
The series is based on the books by A.L. Rowse and depicts the rise of John Churchill who became the first Duke of Marlborough and the victor of Blenheim, Ramillies and Oudenarde in War of The Spanish Succession. And the ancestor of Sir Winston Churchill.
Don't be worried that you are going to be presented with a "dry" historical account because the series emphasises the more human aspects of John Churchill's character. Initially he is depicted being a bit of a rogue and a womaniser until he meets his future wife Sarah Jennings who effectively tames her husband.
They become a powerful team due to Sarah's influence with Princess Anne (later Queen) at Court and ultimately are responsible for controlling much of domestic and foreign policy -with Sarah additionally controlling the Queen's purse strings.
All the major historical events are depicted - Charles II's mistresses, the abdication of James II, the bed warming pan scandal (!), William and Mary and finally Anne's reign and death.
These events form the backdrop to the personal story of John and Sarah. Their extreme love for each other when it wasn't the done thing to be faithful, her moods and tantrums, her quarrels with their daughters and all the backstairs intriguing which ultimately resulted in Sarah being dismissed from Court and Marlborough being impeached.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rise To Power Of John Churchill 8 Nov 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a splendid old BBC series on the career of John Churchill, earl of Marlborough. It passes therefore through the reigns of Charles II, James II and VII, William III, and Anne. John Neville (as Churchill) does not perhaps carry off playing the young Churchill as well as the older version (see part 2), but Susan Hampshire is surprisingly good as the intemperate Sarah. Modern day viewers may find it a trifle too prosy and the sets are not quite up to the standard of the recent Rufus Sewell Charles II, but this is good old fashioned historical costume drama and I commend it to you.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical drama at its very best 27 Jun 2009
By Paul Magnussen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Anyone seeking to widen their acquaintance with either history or historical drama need look no further than this wonderful BBC set from 1969.

Based on Winston Churchill's Marlborough: His Life and Times, this production is virtually faultless in scripting, acting, direction, costumes and just about everything else. All the settings are completely believable (putting French television's "Les rois maudits" into unfavourable contrast); even the battle scenes are convincingly done, even though the cast is not huge.

But dominating everything is the magnificent performance of Susan Hampshire as Sarah Churchill, which justly won her an Emmy; right now I can't think of a more commanding a performance in any medium, even Paul Scofield's Thomas More. Neither are any of the supporting cast less than first rate -- I must make particular mention of Margaret Tyzack's lonely and rather pathetic Queen Anne, John Standing's lovely sympathetic Sidney Godolphin, and a host of delightfully repulsive political back-stabbers and other minor characters.

I do not have Churchill's huge Marlborough opus to hand, but I do have The History of the English-Speaking Peoples, and in nearly nine hours the only historical error I noticed was a brief glimpse of a lute with machine-heads.

If you loved Elizabeth R and I, Claudius, then this saga of the most brilliant soldier of his day, sandbagged by dim-witted monarchs and spiteful politicians, will not fail to fascinate you too.
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first churchills 1 July 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This part of the BBC drama series is in ecellent condition (being sold as nearly new) and the series is first class. It reminds me of the BBc classics in the older days which they have always done so well. As I am a keen historian and at the moment involved in writing an historical drama I found it so interesting and completely well acted. Nowadays a lot of money is thrown at period dramas and sets are humungous (Cranford and Little Dorritt) but this drama absolutely captures the period of the time (1680 - 1700) and is really interesting. I cannot wait for the second part to arrive.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
We've just had a fabulous afternoon watching this DVD of "The First Churchills", who of course are the fore bearers of Sir Winston Churchill.

Especially unusual was the fact that the John (Jack) Churchill and his wife Sarah were very much in love, indeed it seemed to have been a passionate one too.

It was also fascinating watching all the twists and turns of the Monarchy and the machinations of the government and Privy Council.

High recommended viewing (even if you are not much of a History Buff) .... we now need to find the next DVD in this series.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category