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The Forsyte Saga [DVD] [2002]

22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Damian Lewis, Gina McKee, Amanda Root, Alistair Petrie, Gillian Kearney
  • Directors: Christopher Menaul, David Moore
  • Writers: Jan McVerry, John Galsworthy, Stephen Mallatratt
  • Producers: Andy Harries, David Boulter, Rebecca Eaton
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Vci
  • DVD Release Date: 13 May 2002
  • Run Time: 425 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000649HL
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,758 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

The Forsyte Saga is ITV's flagship drama for 2002.

The Forsyte Saga is an immense drama of sex, power, and money. It chronicles the lives of three generations of a powerful Victorian family. Superior, arrogant and confident on the surface, beneath the imposing veneer lies a festering core of unhappy and brutal relationships, riddled with jealousies and tensions.

At that heart of the Saga is Soames Forsyte, a rich and successful partner in the family law firm and a staunch upholder of the old moral code. But his fiery, tormented relationship with his beautiful wife Irene upsets his complacency and, as Irene embarks on a passionate affair, the Forsyte Family is cruelly ripped apart in a bitter feud.

A classic of English literature, The Forsyte Saga paints a fascinating picture of early twentieth century London life, charting the progress of a great dynasty from the height of the Victorian era through the turbulent transition into the modern age. The Forsyte Saga is a compelling drama of love, adultery, obsession and deceit, providing an enticing glimpse into a passionate and flamboyant existence.

DVD extras include:
Making Of The Forsyte Saga
Trailer

From Amazon.co.uk

Granada Television's adaptation of The Forsyte Saga achieved the seemingly impossible in Spring 2002, matching the BBC's 35-year-old black-and-white classic version with a richly cast and superbly directed take on John Galsworthy's first two novels. The success of these six 90-minute episodes proved that despite the current emphasis on mini-series and dramas developed around the "hot" actor of the moment, our appetite--and attention span--still craves ensemble pieces which are given the space and time to develop in today’s focus-group-led scheduling. It also demonstrates that nothing generates television gold like a compelling family drama crammed with lust, rape, class conflict and the insuperable power of money.

The Forsyte Saga is nothing if not superior soap opera. It could all have gone horribly wrong, haunted by the spectre of its BBC predecessor--a television legend for anyone over 40. Instead, it succeeds entirely on its own merits with scarcely a weak link; from Stephen Mallatratt's taut and fluid script to David Moore's carefully measured, seamess direction.

Risks were taken to banish the old ghosts, particularly in the casting. In the event, Damian Lewis' repressed Soames and Gina McKee as his ill-matched bride, the enigmatic Irene, are inspired choices delivering complex portraits of unhappy, damaged human beings who deserve our sympathy. In a sea of marvellous cameos and splendid acting, the top honours go to Corin Redgrave and Rupert Graves for their hauntingly sensitive interpretations of Old and Young Jolyon, as well as to Amanda Root's increasingly exasperated Winifred; and Gillian Kearney's sharply intelligent and worldly June. All rounded characters without a weakly written cipher in sight. --Piers Ford

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anon on 16 Jun. 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having not read John Galsworthy's books or seen the original BBC series of "The Forsyte Saga" as yet, I am unable to make a fair comparison. However, I will say that this series has inspired me to read the novel.... aswell as practice the piano and pronounce my consenants!
This amazing story is (inevitably) historically accurate, and is in my opinion totally believable. The casting seemed to me to be unquestionable and since the majority will fail to read the lengthy saga, I would suggest that entering into the story with an open mind will only allow the audience to enjoy this truly moving story of love and possession the more.
For all those interested in period drama, the DVD/VHS is well worth acquiring!!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 May 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Ok so this may be a bit excessive, but I have not enjoyed a period drama series more since the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice. The casting is brilliant, the characters are entirely believable and the story line has on more than one occasion moved me to tears. The original score complements the series perfectly, it is wonderful not to here the old hackneyed favourites that tend to accompany period dramas. My only small complaint is that the house at the centre of all the drama, Robin Hill, looks entirely fake. The special effects people didn't quite get it right there. However, this is only a small blot on an otherwise wonderful experience - Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss N. A. Long on 16 Jan. 2004
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The Forsytes. A family that had everything power, money, and influence. At the heart of family is Soames Forsyte (Damien Lewis)a staunch upholder of the old morale code and a rich and succesfull solicitor in the family law firm, He has everything that would be considered a success, except for one thing- a wife, so when he meets the beautifull but poor Irene Herron he dicides to have her, but when Irene begins a passionate love affair with the poor but handsome Phillip Bossiney (Ioan Gruffudd) fiance to cousin June(Gillian Kearney) it has devestaing consequences not only for the jilted partners, but for the whole Forsyte family, who are cruelly rippped apart.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By V on 26 May 2004
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
STARRING: Damian Lewis, Ioan Gruffudd, Rupert Graves, Corin Redgrave, Wendy Craig and Gina McKee.
ITV's The Forsyte Saga is the TV adapted version of John Galsworthy's two-out-of-the-three Fosryte Saga novels. It surpasses the BBC 1960s version by a long shot. The Forsyte Family is a wealthy Victorian family with little care for those around them and absolute greed in gaining the best for the family name. However the family divides after a scandal involving a young Irene Heron (Gina McKee - The Lost Prince). Irene marries the lawyer in the family, Soames Forsyte (Damian Lewis - Band of Brothers), an epitome of all things Victorian and old and a favourite of the old Victorian aunts, Ann, Juley (Wendy Craig - Butterflies) and Hester. However the scandal which Soames causes by thinking he owns Irene, spilts the family for generations to come. The Forsyte Saga chronicles the life of this one family from the 1870s up to the early Edwardian Period. Be prepared for many deaths, marriages, scandals and relationships in this gripping and nostalgic look at life for the wealthy in the 19th Century.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Aug. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I have read the Forsyte Saga books and have the original black and white series on video. When this new series was announced, I viewed it with a certain amount of trepidation. These fears were realised because this version does not compare very well with the original at all.
In the first instance, the character of Soames does not come across sufficiently as the selfish "man of property" as portrayed by Galsworthy in the first two Forsyte novels and by Eric Porter in the 1967 production. So one ends up wondering what Irene finds so repulsive in him.
Simarly, I did not find the character of Irene as glamorous and enigmatic as that portrayed by the late Nyree Dawn Porter leading us to wonder why he becomes so obsessed with her.
My other main criticism was that the characters did not seem to age that much considering that about 30 years elapses from the start of the series to the end.
For example, it was difficult to believe that Rupert Graves was playing a man who should have been 54 years of age by the end of the series! Soames also did not look like a man in his late 40s.
There were some compensations. Corin Redgrave as old Jolyon gave a genuinely moving performance and the costumes were excellent.
However, all in all I would recommend that anyone interested in the Forsyte Saga should invest in the black and White videos.
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By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 10 May 2010
Format: DVD
I haven't read the books and am not old enough to have seen the original TV production so am reviewing this with a completely open mind. In that sense this is glossy soap opera, well-written, well-acted, well-filmed.

The first three episodes which tell of the marriage of Soames and Irene, and her affair with Bosinney were excellent: poignant and subtle. The mis-match of Soames and Irene is done excellently, with much to admire and dislike in both of them, so no easy sides to be taken in their feud.

But after that the series got a little too panoramic for me: too many years passed too quickly without much focus on the people, and the passing around of Irene to various Forsyte men seemed too unlikely and yet predictable.

So I'm on the fence about this, loved the first half, less sure about the second. But I'm about to watch series 2 and will see if it improves.
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