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  • The Shooting Party (Collectors Edition) [DVD]
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The Shooting Party (Collectors Edition) [DVD]


Price: £14.98
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Product details

  • Actors: Edward Fox, James Mason, John Gielgud, Robert Hardy, Dorothy Tutin
  • Directors: Alan Bridges
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Mono
  • 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: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 9 Oct. 2006
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HEZ7OS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,577 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Period drama based on the novel by Isobel Colegate, starring James Mason as Sir Randolph Nettleby, who invites a small party of aristocrats to a shooting party at his country estate. The year is 1913, and the country is poised on the brink of the Great War - but these privileged elite carry on with their shooting, dining, gossiping and discreet entanglements as the only way of life they know. However, their lifestyle is under threat - both from within their immediate circles and from society as a whole - and the film ends on a tragic and poignant note.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

171 of 174 people found the following review helpful By tweed-jacket on 12 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD
This film was previously unknown to me. It is a high quality historical drama, and deserves to be better known. It's a subtle, gently paced film, which conveys much in only an hour and a half.

The film depicts a country house weekend shooting party, in the autumn of 1913. It explores some of the tensions that existed in British society in the run up to World War I. The personal relationships between the upper class characters are interesting, and provide rich sub-plots. The film also illustrates the strong bond of respect that existed between the rural working class and the landed gentry.

One wonderful aspect of the film is the mature cast. James Mason, Dorothy Tutin, John Gielgud, Edward Fox, Gordon Jackson and Frank Windsor all radiate effortless charisma. They are true character actors, and are totally absorbing.

I won't spoil the plot by describing the full story but to give you a flavour of the film, one of the sub-plots involves Judi Bowker and Robert Hardy, as a married couple who seem to have a strong affection and respect for each other, yet are distanced by their age gap and differing intellects. A meeting of minds sees Bowker become drawn to Rupert Frazer, and they embark on a passionate, but non-physical, affair. It is interesting to watch this slowly unfold, and the fact it doesn't end happily adds emotion to the film's conclusion.

The line of guns, onto which birds are systematically herded to their death, is a simile of the impending Great War, where the youth of both sides would walk forward only to be shot to pieces by machine gun and artillery.

Further pathos is added by the unnecessary competition between two guns, Edward Fox and Rupert Frazer, leading to the death of one of the beaters.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Triestino on 16 May 2010
Format: DVD
The year is 1913, the setting the autumnal British countryside, and a wealthy aristocrat has invited rich friends to take part in a shooting party on part of his 1,000 acre estate. Both outdoors and indoors, we see the complex interactions among the main characters, as well as among the poorer and less well-educated rural servants - the gamekeepers and the beaters. As the story unfolds, a sense of foreboding grows, and the tale duly ends in a tragic climax.

The story is heavily suffused with allegory and with unspoken apprehension about the immediate future. The senseless slaughter of the game birds is an allegorical reference to the slaughter that is shortly to come on the battlefields of the First World War; the film is replete with references, some not too subtle, about the rapidly approaching end of an era. At dinner, one of the characters observes that civilization is coming to an end - and just in case you haven't got the point, the director immediately cuts to the sudden cracking of a burning log in the fireplace. If you like that sort of thing, you will find much to admire in this film.

For me, the main problem with The Shooting Party is that it is history seen with the gift of hindsight. All of us nowadays know that 1913 was the last "normal" year for Europe before the ghastliness of the First World War engulfed the countries of the continent. But whether British aristocrats in 1913 were aware that they were living at such a pivotal moment in history is another matter altogether. Moreover the "end of an era" concept can easily be exaggerated.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mark Pearce on 5 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
England 1913.Over a long weekend Lord Nettleby(James Mason)entertains various members of the aristocracy at his country home where the men indulge in the shooting competition and the women gently gossip about marriages ,potential marriages and debt.
Exquisite rendering of Isobel Colegate's dazzling book has memorable performances(James Mason and Dorothy Tutin in particular), a beautifully judged script from Julien Bond which allows so many characters(from the peasantry to the gentry)to be fully developed thus allowing themes such as the seriousness of the disintegration of rural life and concerns about a forthcoming" conflict" to be interwoven into the narrative from multiple perspectives.
Wonderful period detail and John Scott's subtle score add finesse to this lovely film.Only an obviously limited budget and a slightly abrupt ending detract from an even more profound study of Edwardian mores.
The documentary is affectionately done with the reminder of exactly who was meant to have been playing Lord Nettleby but did not complete the first day of shooting.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Aug. 2007
Format: DVD
The Shooting Party shows the decline of the British aristocracy (and why they became irrelevant) through the story device of a weekend of country shooting and the relationships among the manor head (James Mason), those he has invited, those who are retainers on his estate, and those protesting the shoot.

Mason is absolutely superb. He was a subtle actor who made some awful role choices in his career. This was one of his great roles. In the Shooting Party, he embodies the sadness of the loss of values he treasures as well as an understanding of why these values are being lost.

The BBC Video's release of the film does the the movie justice. The picture is just a little soft, but the colors are rich and the transfer has clarity. The audio is excellent.

Whatever you do, don't buy the version from Jef Films, For all practical purposes, it is unwatchable. The Jef release looks and sounds as if it had been made from a fifth generation home recorded video tape, and might well have been. Color is faded, the images are out of focus, the sound is variable and unpleasant. Unfortunately, it can still be found as a Region 1 DVD and may be out as a Region 2..
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