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The Good Companions - The Complete Series [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD]

Jan Francis , Judy Cornwell , Bill Hays , Leonard Lewis    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 12.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Good Companions - The Complete Series [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD] + The Good Companions [DVD] + Good Companions [DVD] [1933] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Actors: Jan Francis, Judy Cornwell, John Stratton, Bryan Pringle, Leslie Sands
  • Directors: Bill Hays, Leonard Lewis
  • Format: PAL
  • 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: 3
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Sep 2011
  • Run Time: 450 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004W2OYNQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,719 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Jan Francis leads a lively cast in Beiderbecke writer Alan Plater's definitive adaptation of J.B. Priestley's celebrated novel. Charting the rollercoaster fortunes of a struggling concert party, Francis co-stars alongside Bryan Pringle, John Stratton and Moody and Pegg's Judy Cornwell, with guest appearances by Roy Kinnear, Denis Lawson and Nigel Hawthorne. Priestley's defining work and one which established him as a national figure The Good Companions has been a mainstay of English literature since its initial publication in 1929.

Jess Oakroyd, discontented with his home, his work and his football team, tears up his Insurance Card and disappears into the night. He intends to go to Nuneaton, but instead finds himself on the ragged edges of show business. We share with him the trials and tribulations of the Good Companions as they tour seaside towns, industrial cities and rural backwaters in their search for success and stardom.

SPECIAL FEATURE: On the Road: The Making of The Good Companions
 

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), SPECIAL FEATURES: 3-DVD Set, Interactive Menu, Making Of, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Jan Francis leads a lively cast in Beiderbecke writer Alan Plater's definitive adaptation of J.B. Priestley s celebrated novel. Charting the rollercoaster fortunes of a struggling concert party, Francis co-stars alongside Bryan Pringle, John Stratton and Moody and Pegg's Judy Cornwell, with guest appearances by Roy Kinnear, Denis Lawson and Nigel Hawthorne. Priestley's defining work and one which established him as a national figure The Good Companions has been a mainstay of English literature since its initial publication in 1929. Jess Oakroyd, discontented with his home, his work and his football team, tears up his Insurance Card and disappears into the night. He intends to go to Nuneaton, but instead finds himself on the ragged edges of show business. We share with him the trials and tribulations of the Good Companions as they tour seaside towns, industrial cities and rural backwaters in their search for success and stardom. ...The Good Companions - Complete Series - 3-DVD Set ( The Good Companions )


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Old friend met after too long an absence 2 Oct 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This very welcome release gives fans of J B Priestley's 1929 novel "The Good Companions" the first chance for thirty years to see Yorkshire Television's nine part adaptation for television which was made in 1980 and broadcast in 1981. As with almost all TV dramas dating from those times which are now coming out on DVD we have to concede that the definition of the image is by contemporary standards rather fuzzy and dull but to complain about that is really about as helpful as complaining about rain in Manchester - it goes with the territory,

This series differs from many classic book adaptations in that it is in effect a TV musical. The drama is interspersed with songs. They were written specially for this series by the composer David Fanshawe. Mr Fanshawe, who sadly died last year, is probably best known for his insatiable curiosity about the musical cultures of far flung places in the world and for incorporating them into a truly eclectic inclusive style of composition. Here his songs are derived from what to this listener at least seems a profound knowledge and understanding of the style of musical comedy songs in the first half of the 20th century. Some of the songs are a little anachronistic in that they are not in the style of musical comedy songs of the 1920s. There are a few which seem to draw fromstyles of the 1940s and 1950s. It seems to me that you could not dramatise the Good Companions without including musical performance on stage and the decision to extend the musical contribution to the dramatic action itself as happens here (a la Dennis Potter) seems a justified one. I will concede that not all the songs come up to the required standard but some do.

The story is about three innocents abroad.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good companions 17 April 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An absolute delight. I did find the songs a bit hard to get used to and would have generally preferred the series without them, but the characters, acting and settings were delightful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich pleasure indeed 17 April 2012
By David
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I first read Mr Priestley's masterpiece of a concert party on the road about 50 years ago and have re-read it many times snce,knowing and loving the characters like old friends.One fears that TV adaptations of something that one knows so well could miss the boat completely,but not so this one.Of course the adaptation is by Alan Plater whose Beiderbecke series was also beautifully done,and flat caps off to him,Yorkshire Television,and of course JB himself for such an enjoyable DVD that remains faithfull to the book throughout.They are all there,every name ,every location,every performance just right.We are in the middle of watching it all through again.If you loved the book,if you enjoy a rich tale beautifully told,and with a happy ending, get this and hours of pleasure.What we now want is a reissue of Lost Empires.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life On The Road 29 Sep 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The 1980 Yorkshire Television version of The Good Companions has a number of merits but one major drawback. With a running time of seven and half hours it is by far the most extensive film or television treatment of J B Priestley's celebrated novel about a concert party and the several disparate principal characters who join it 'on the road'. Predictably, Alan Plater's adaptation is a skilful one. And give or take some less than polished singing the cast is excellent, with Judy Cornwell (Miss Trant), John Stratton (Jess Oakroyd), Jeremy Nicholas (Inigo Jollifant) and Jan Francis (Susie Dean)quite possibly the best ever performers in their respective roles. Production values are quite lavish and the big song and dance routines, in particular, are well staged. Leslie Sands' beautifully modulated narration is a quiet pleasure, spoken as it is by one of Priestley's greatest champions. The drawback - and it is a big one -is the musical numbers themselves, of which there are many, too many in fact. Moreover they occur in the action so often as to sometimes induce a feeling of tedium. David Fanshawe's music and Alan Plater's lyrics are mostly little better than servicable and collectively the songs are far inferior to those in the Andre Previn-Johnny Mercer musical version of 1974. There is an intended bonus in the form of a documentary 'On The Road - The Making of The Good Companions', which features a conversation between J B Priestley and Alan Plater, as well as extracts from the two film versions. This is interesting, even valuable, but the technical quality is generally poor as a result of the transcription being made from a single off-air recording.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dream of Life 5 July 2013
By Timster
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have just bought the DVD of Yorkshire TV's 1980 series dramatisation of J B Priestley's 1929 best-seller The Good Companions (one of my all-time favourite books) and it's a total delight. I remember seeing a few episodes when it was first broadcast, found the LP of the music in a second-hand store, know the 1970s West End musical version (André Previn/Johnny Mercer) and have read several of the negative customer reviews here on Amazon with bemused amazement. Did we see the same 3 DVDs?

Alan Plater's dramatisation of Priestley's 600-page novel is comprehensive, definitive and 100% effective for a full-length (over 7 hours) TV series. The writing, casting, direction, locations, photography, design and taste are faultless. It's got to be the perfect cast, every single character (even the supporting roles) absolutely spot on. The atmosphere of a catchpenny 1920s concert party touring Midlands towns and seaside resorts is beautifully captured.

Like Dennis Potter's innovative TV work of that period, it skilfully shifts from real life to musical fantasy, with production numbers, song and dance, both on stage and off, which, in my view, perfectly suits Priestley's own phrase in the novel ("these stumbling chronicles of a dream of life") and his own description in the TV interview about the series' making (included in the DVD set) of the novel's mixture of realism and fantasy ("a fairytale quality"), like Dickens' writing.

Some Amazon customer reviews' criticisms are very puzzling.
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