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Wessex Tales [DVD] [1973]

Billie Whitelaw , Kenneth Haigh , Desmond Davis , Barry Davis    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: £13.05 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Wessex Tales [DVD] [1973] + Under the Greenwood Tree [DVD] + Far From The Madding Crowd [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Billie Whitelaw, Kenneth Haigh, John Hurt, David Troughton, Edward Petherbridge
  • Directors: Desmond Davis, Barry Davis, Michael Tuchner, Gavin Millar, Mike Newell
  • Format: PAL, Full Screen, Colour, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: 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 Media
  • DVD Release Date: 12 April 2010
  • Run Time: 296 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00264GB0G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,463 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

All six stand-alone episodes of the 1970s BBC drama series based on short stories written by Thomas Hardy. Episodes are: 'The Withered Arm', 'Fellow Townsmen', 'A Tragedy of Two Ambitions', 'An Imaginative Woman', 'The Melancholy Hussar and 'Barbara of the House of Glebe'. John Hurt, Ben Kingsley and David Troughton are among the actors who feature in the series.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), SPECIAL FEATURES: 2-DVD Set, Biographies, Filmographies, Interactive Menu, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Celebrated writers, actors and directors bring six Thomas Hardy tales to exceptional life in this stunning collection from 1973. In 1973, the BBC commissioned six writers, six directors and an exceptional cast of actors to undertake the Wessex Tales of Dorset author Thomas Hardy. These included writers such as Dennis Potter and William Trevor; directors like Mike Newell and actors like Billie Whitelaw, John Hurt, Claire Bloom and Ben Kingsley. These tales - of witchery, revenge, thwarted passion, costly ambition, buried desire, madness and betrayal - find their participants entrapped repeatedly by fate - always at liberty to make choices, but inevitably confronted by their destiny. Features six dramatisations of Thomas Hardy's short stories: The Withered Arm, Fellow Townsmen, A Tragedy Of Two Ambitions, An Imaginative Woman, The Melancholy Hussar and Barbara Of The House Of Glebe. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, ...Wessex Tales - Complete Series - 2-DVD Set

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb productions 5 Oct 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The six Thomas Hardy stories are superbly rendered for television. The location shooting is sensitive and often exquisitely beautiful. Having been shot on film, the scenes live again on DVD. The dramatisations are all by different hands but each attains a very high standard in all respects. The casts also include many fine actors, some in the first blush of their careers. My personal favourites are "The Imaginative Woman", featuring a wonderful performance by Claire Bloom, and "The Melancholy Hussar", in which Mary Larkin is astonishingly good. Hardy deals in life's mischances a great deal, and anyone coming to these stories will need to have some sympathy for his style, but there is a sufficiently rich pattern of life evoked in each of these stories to withstand even Hardy's ironic temper. Highly recommended.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
By Little Dorrit VINE VOICE
Anyone else that is sick of classic literature being rewritten to fit some clown's modern agenda and made into film - the most recent Jane Austen films being perfect examples - will enjoy this collection of pieces that faithfully transported Hardy's prose into film.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely interesting ... 28 July 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As a typically devoted Thomas Hardy fan I couldn't resist buying this out of curiosity. These tales are actually a curio collection turned into film. The Melancholy Hussar and Barbara of the House of Grebe are particularly enjoyable as is The Withered Arm.

The quality of the cast are faultless. Billie Whitelaw is incredibly compellling - and Nick Brimble is, well, possibly the most handsome actor ever. Far more raw sex appeal than any Colin Firth!

A must have, in short, for any Hardy devotee.

(Other Hardy DVDs that I've enjoyed have been the recent BBC 'Tess' and the 70's 'Mayor of Casterbridge' (starring Alan Bates).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It is 40 years since this timeless adaptation of the magical Wessex Tales was Televised.I watched this with my late mother and we loved each one,and looked forward to the next episode.

I have watched this so many times I think I know it off by heart,but the 1st tale of the "Imaginative woman" is my favourite.This cast was absolutely icing on the cake,with Claire Bloom as a young married woman taking the lead role.Her husband was the late Norman Rodway (the man with the golden voice)and the other main character was the lovely Maureen Pryor who graced our screens so many times in the old days. This must have been one of Maureen's last plays as she sadly died in 1977 from a heart condition she was only 51yrs old.

Then we have the "Tragedy of 2 ambitions" with John Hurt as a young man studying in Theologian College(that unmistakable rich,deep stentorious voice)with his brother Cornelius,originally a school teacher but later changed to Clergy,admirably played by David Troughton. Their father (Paul Rogers) was an absolute disgrace to them both,being a drunkard & loveable swindler,but it was he who provided the sting in the tail of the 2 Clergymen.The sister was the lovely Lynne Frederick. The cast was a wonderful eclectic mix of characters.This tale is so enjoyable,you will want to watch it many times.

Then we have Billie Whitelaw cast as the "knowing one" in the Withered Arm,with Yvonne Antrobus as Gertrude the Farmers wife.The farmer was a young Edward Hardwicke.This tale centres on the witchcraft and spell binding that went on in Hardy's Egdon Heath.A great tale,one of Hardy's best.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Costume Drama 16 April 2010
Featuring a multitude of actors (NB Ben Kinglsey and John Hurt!), writers and directors, they sure don't make them like this anymore!
Great value for money with 6 tales adapted for the screen from the work of Thomas Hardy. Great stuff for some rainy weekend escapism
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wessex Tales 29 Jun 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a fan of all things Thomas Hardy and watched this series in the 70s so it is great seeing it again. The production and filming style looks very dated now but the quality of the DVD is fine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well acted 25 April 2013
By Celia
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
These six stories felt very real and you feel a lot of sympathy for the characters as they struggle to find happiness. Most of the stories are very sad in a way that anyone familar with the works of Thomas Hardy will recognise - and appreciate! The acting is brilliant. Thanks to the subtitles even those of us who are a little hard of hearing can enjoy Wessex Tales.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wessex Tales 11 Sep 2013
By Tuscany
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
These stories by Thomas Hardy are excellent. I love anything to do with TH and have all his books. I particularly love the tales because they are just the right duration (about 1 hour) which makes perfect viewing for a break with a cup of tea and biscuit!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Delightful
Very pleased to be able to purchase this collection of a memorable series. Lovely to see so many good actors who are now household names.
Published 5 months ago by Julie Leitheiser
5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas Hardy
A little late making my review, but here goes, excellent and prompt delivery, and have read the story's previously thoroughly enjoyed the BBC's gem adaptation's of Thomas Hardy's... Read more
Published 8 months ago by J. Mckenzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good.
Great! Better than expected. Very, very good, especually considering how old the films were. Pleasantly surprised. Would recommend. Seemed to be true to the stories, as I remember.
Published 12 months ago by Jason Thornton
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
If you are a fan of Period/Costume dramas then you will enjoy this DVD.
Thomas Hardy is a favourite storyteller of mine. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Joan Haughton
3.0 out of 5 stars Miserable.
I found some of the tales not only miserable but disturbing. Will stick to Far from the Madding Crowd and Under The Greenwood Tree - at least they have happy endings.
Published 19 months ago by Milliemollym
4.0 out of 5 stars Hardy at his ironic best
I have to admit that I did not see these short stories in these excellent Television adaptations when they were first broadcast in the 1970s. Read more
Published 24 months ago by F. J. Dukes
4.0 out of 5 stars Wessex Tales
I was very excited to see this for sale, as I remembered it from years ago.

I wasn't disappointed, and, in fact, the tales made more sense this time around, because I... Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2011 by Millie
2.0 out of 5 stars A let down,I did try to enjoy them, but no success.
I love the Thomas Hardy stories, so was looking forward to this DVD.There were six seperate stories on this DVD, but I found them not up to the expected Thomas Hardy standard. Read more
Published on 13 Jan 2011 by Kathleen Keys
3.0 out of 5 stars How gloomy
Interesting to see these vintage TV productions of some of Hardy's stories, however typically downbeat (if not to say depressing). Read more
Published on 24 Dec 2010 by D. Harrison
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