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The Riddle Of The Sands [DVD]

97 customer reviews

Price: £2.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£2.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Actors: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Simon MacCorkindale, Alan Badel, Jürgen Andersen
  • Directors: Tony Maylam
  • Writers: Tony Maylam, Erskine Childers, John Bailey
  • Producers: Drummond Challis
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: 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: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Jan. 2007
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000L43B24
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,784 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Spy thriller based on the novel by Erskine Childers. Two sailboating Englishmen discover a massive German fleet secretly preparing to attack their nation and set out to do something about it. Not only do they have to thwart the German Navy but also Kaiser Wilhelm (Wolf Kahler) himself.

Synopsis

In The Riddle Of The Sands [1979], a British yachtsman named Charles Caruthers (Michael York) and his friend accidentally find themselves having to overcome a pre-World War One German trial invasion force in the North Sea. The film also stars Jenny Agutter and Simon MacCorkindale.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm Allsop on 22 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a wonderfully atmospheric film that deserves wider recognition. It's plot is engagingly simple and of it's time. But to regard it as simplistic is to miss the point. Two dashing Englishmen putting one over on the overstuffed, evil Germans. The locations are stunning and if you don't find the locations captivating you have no soul. I watch this film as a treat every time I want to slow down and work out what is actually important in life. Theraputic and simply wonderful
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By G. Wylie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Aug. 2006
Format: DVD
I first saw the 'Riddle of the Sands' when attending a summer school at York University in the late 70's and have to admit being instantly captivated by it! My wife and two daughters joined me for the following week in which we had a great time exploring the old city and its hinterland. Finding that the film was also being shown during this week at the University, we all went to see it. My initial impression was reinforced and my family all thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

I then read Childer's book!

With the passage of time, the film occasionally appeared on TV during the following decades and I became more and more frustrated. Either I found it on TV too late to record, missing the start, or I did not have a video tape available when I learned it was being shown.

Lately I have been able to obtain a DVD of the film and can now enjoy it whenever I have the urge. And this is frequently.

The cast is excellent. The filming beautiful. The soundtrack haunting.

The book, too, is excellent! Childers is not a historical novelist. He was a contemporary. Very much a man of his time. As they say. He walked the walk. He talked the talk. And, if they had had them at that time, he, I'm sure, he would have worn the 'T' shirt too! As it was, he probably wore the 'Old School Tie'. Being very much a part of the 'Establishment'.

Some commentators have suggested that people did not talk the way Childer's suggested. A rather sad reflection of the present times and its current values and perceptions!

Imagination is a timeless gift. And Childer's had it to the full.

Get the film then read the book. Or vice-versa. Your choice. But do both and enjoy the many and repeated pleasures I, and I'm sure many others, have experienced,
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jose Martins on 27 Sept. 2011
Format: DVD
A movie of rare beauty.
The quality of the cinematography is almost luxurious and the soundtrack is solemn yet subtle.
The geographic setting is the North Sea coast of Germany, East Frisian Islands, and as we jump in and out of sailing boats and steamers we can feel the sea breeze and smell the salty air.
The actors present us with a sober performance that doesn't hide its perfectness. Michael York in particular is the complete English Gentleman: the fleugm and purpose of Empire builders.
The plot is based on Erskine Childers spy novel of the same name and it is both plausible and well imagined.
There's also a delicious ambiance of early Twentieth Century quite hard to resist and seldom achieved in Cinema.
An unclassifiable gem.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm Allsop on 26 Feb. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Wet Sunday afternoon - feet up and watch this. A great little film. Bags of atmosphere and a real ripping yarn from the days when men were content with half a pound of rough shag and boats were made of wood. A really English tale of espionage at sea written by someone who was later actually shot as a spy. Do yourself a favour and watch this.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful By MarmiteMan on 14 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD
Thanks to Royal Navy might, Britain was living in 'splendid isolation' throughout the 19th Century, unthreatened by, and therefore wholly unconcerned with anybody else, lest it interrupt Lloyds, tiffin' and Ascot. Prussia and several other German states managed to beat mighty France within a few months in 1870 and achieve unification. As a land empire Imperial Germany was respected and admired - that is, until Kaiser Bill started building a navy.

At the time of publication Erskine Childers' THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS (1903) was but one of many so-called 'invasion novels' predicting a war with, usually, Germany and calling for British preparedness. However, such is its popularity that it has remained in print ever since. Back then it was one of the first spy thrillers (vying with Kipling's KIM for that accolade), but is nowadays - with our finely-honed-by-too-many-action-films cynicisms and hyper-reality expectations - perhaps rather tame. THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS therefore now stands more as an historical novel.

The Boys' Own type story is about two thoroughly pukka English chaps messing about in a boat and getting one (or two) over on those dastardly Germans. A previous reviewer is correct that "navigating hidden sandbanks and cross-currents just doesn't photograph." And indeed, Davies' & Carruthers' rowing through thick mist from Nordeney, along Memmert Balje, to Memmert, was actually a breathtaking feat of dead-reckoning on Davies' part. Unfortunately this hardly comes across in the film - "the skill Davies showed at navigation that day was greater than anything that could be taught; it bordered on genius" is the best Carruthers can narrate to the viewer. However, I would disagree that the film was "filmed at least forty years too late" (sorry!).
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