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188 of 192 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TV Serial that is High Art
Now available on 7 DVDs, comprising all 26 episodes plus several hours of additional features, this most celebrated and splendid of BBC TV serials was the brainchild of adapter and producer Donald Wilson. Its world-wide success is known to all, but some might not be aware of the following: -
Donald Wilson was denied funds to produce it for ten years. Had there been...
Published on 15 Nov. 2005 by John Austin

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Falls at the turn
The first half of this saga is excellent (4/5), as Soames (Eric Porter is wonderful in the role) the Man of Property is brought into focus and the family divisions defined. The casting is impeccable (New Zealander Nyree Dawn Porter - no relation - notably) and the production, even after more than forty years, looks well. But the second half is weak (2/5). Many of the...
Published on 18 May 2011 by WSH


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188 of 192 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TV Serial that is High Art, 15 Nov. 2005
By 
John Austin "austinjr@bigpond.net.au" (Kangaroo Ground, Australia) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Forsyte Saga: The Complete Series [DVD] [1967] (DVD)
Now available on 7 DVDs, comprising all 26 episodes plus several hours of additional features, this most celebrated and splendid of BBC TV serials was the brainchild of adapter and producer Donald Wilson. Its world-wide success is known to all, but some might not be aware of the following: -
Donald Wilson was denied funds to produce it for ten years. Had there been a delay of a further year the series would have been filmed in colour, as he wished, rather than black and white.
The first of the John Galsworthy novels on which the series is based contains almost no dialogue. BBC script writers supplied the dialogue that helped make the ten siblings in the eldest Forsyte generation so memorable.
Galsworthy intended the Forsytes to represent the rapaciousness, greed and snobbery of the English upper middle class. In this adaptation they are much more endearing.
Being filmed in black and white made it possible to interpolate archival film of Queen Victoria’s funeral procession and of combat scenes from WW1.
Joseph O’Conor who plays the part of Old Jolyon was two years younger than Kenneth More who plays his son.
Eric Porter and Margaret Tyzack, who play Soames Forsyte and his sister Winifred, are in each episode and are required to age almost 50 years.
Although never credited, the music that opens and closes each episode is the first movement, “Halcyon Days”, from the suite “The Three Elizabeths” written in the early 1940s by Eric Coates.
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BY ALL MEANS GO FOR IT, 22 Sept. 2008
By 
B. Bruno (Paris France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Forsyte Saga: The Complete Series [DVD] [1967] (DVD)
I was sent to bed when the serie was shown in France in 1967, 10 years old at the time, but I amazingly remembered Kenneth More, Eric Porter and Nyree Dawn Porter faces. My mother was absolutly taken by the show and had no time for a kid.
Just last year, in Oslo, I walked into a news stand and found a very cheap print of the book. I bought it...........and let it rest until this summer on my coffee table. I finally took it while on a 10 days hike in the austrian alps and couldn't let go of the book. Primarly because I realized the Forsyte, although english, were just like my family !! Very chilling, but yet, there are heaps of french Forsytes, have a read at Emile Zoal or Balzac !!
I suddenly had to have the DVD. I finally went for the 1967 one and I'll never be sorry I did.
Black and white was in hinsight, a brilliant idea. Had it been in coulour, the make up would have been terrible. Don't forget most of the actors were in the 30's and had to be aged almost 50 years. Black and white allowed that.
I was amazed by the way it was filmed. One could believe it was very static, quite the contrary. The cameras never stop moving; think there were no portable cameras or steadycam then, but only very big " on stand video cameras.
The acting is just brillant but I'm sorry to say Nyree Dawn Porter'snperformance didn't really cut the mustard as far as I am concerned, still a very beautifull dame. All the other cast members are of the kind you would rarely or never find in France and elsewhere. I always had a soft spot for Kenneth More as a kid ans Eric Porter made me feel for poor Soames. Once you start watching you'll find it very hard to stop.........and we're talking 20 hours viewing. It's a bit like deciding to stop smoking........it's always the last one !!
You want to see some great english television, then buy the DVD. .................You'll thank me for it :)))
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant British Product, 4 Jun. 2009
By 
Neil Brough "Vonnegut Fan" (Around) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Forsyte Saga: The Complete Series [DVD] [1967] (DVD)
This first televised version of the Forsyte Saga is a masterpiece. The writing, casting and acting are flawless. When you have watched the last disc, the first feeling that you have is regret that there is not another.
The later, colour, versions have some merit but do not bear comparison with this for even a moment.
First class work by all concerned. Buy it at once if you do not already own it. Thought is not called for - you simply cannot go wrong.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A long lost friend, 9 May 2010
By 
John Torr - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Forsyte Saga: The Complete Series [DVD] [1967] (DVD)
It was like welcoming back a long lost friend or should I say friends. It some ways it seemed like it was only a few weeks ago that I was watching this wonderful story; full of complex characters and intertwining plots. There is a saying "they don't make things like this any more!", and it is true, to assemble such a brilliant cast to complement the story, would practically be impossible now. It reminds us of the golden days of drama, and towers above any of the serials and drama that we now see on television.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb production, 2 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: The Forsyte Saga: The Complete Series [DVD] [1967] (DVD)
The Dutch version is exceptional value, is in English, all you have to do is turn off the dutch subtitles. The quality of this series is brilliant and classes above the more recent TV production. The characters are so well acted they become real people. The length gives time for the characters to develop and the story subtle rather than have to have everything spelt out and pushed at you. Can't recommend it more highly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never to be bettered....., 16 July 2009
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This review is from: The Forsyte Saga: The Complete Series [DVD] [1967] (DVD)
Its no wonder the nation were gripped when this first burst onto the tv screens - churches emptied and pubs complained no-one went whilst it was on...and over a total of 26 weeks, it was a soap-opera par excellence. With immaculate casting of believable characters, it was never less than a must-see week in week out. Copies of the books flew off the shelves in Smiths, and the newspapers discussed each episode, such as the rape of Irene, with great relish...

It shows, only too obviously, the value of actors trained in rep, rather than just tv, that they are heavyweight and three dimensional, and you really do care 'what happens next'. Eric Porter especially, playing Soames with a sympathetic edge, managed to 'age' from being a youngish Soames at the beginning to the old Soames, dying in his '80's, entirely convincingly, and was in every episode. And the redoubtable Margaret Tysack, playing Winifred, still gathering awards as we speak, in the theatre, shows her wonderful diction off to a tee...

The sets, being 1960's BBC, do appear rather shaky at times, with the occasional wobbling wall, and boom mike shadows on actors faces, a product, no doubt of financial constraints of the time. Being filmed in black and white, it fits the whole Victorian atmosphere.

A big bonus of the box-set is the extras - fascinating interviews with the main actors at the time of filming the last episodes, documentarys made at the time, out-takes, and filmed vox-pops - asking the man and woman in the street whether they were a 'Soames suporter' or an 'Irene supporter' ! Having had the video set for years, I noticed that on he DVD version, episodes are edited to cut in different scenes....

However, as one of the servants to the Forsytes might have said, "Its worth every flippin' penny, Maam" !
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an oldie but a goldie, 29 Oct. 2009
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This review is from: The Forsyte Saga: The Complete Series [DVD] [1967] (DVD)
I bought it for nostalgic reasons but I was pleasantly pleased to discover that I still like this version better than any other. You don't even notice it is in black and white and the story line is true to the books. Good actors, good sets and good use of drama. My teenage daughters are absolutely hooked.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Such an excellent series, 3 May 2009
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This review is from: The Forsyte Saga: The Complete Series [DVD] [1967] (DVD)
I had forgotten what an excellent and gripping series this was. Even though in black and white (and the quality of the DVDs is a bit iffy at times) it does not detract from the enjoyment of a brilliant series, which is great value for money. Pity the region 1 version is so much more expensive as I would have liked to have sent it to family in Canada.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still brilliant!, 18 April 2009
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This review is from: The Forsyte Saga: The Complete Series [DVD] [1967] (DVD)
Have thought about buying this set for ages! The reduction in the price finally persuaded me. I'm so glad I bought it as it is still a wonderful series. I was enthralled from the start and look forward to watching the next episode as much as I did when I was a teenager in 1967! Heartily recommended and much, much better than the more recent adaptation even though it's in Black and White.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ages like fine wine., 9 Jan. 2013
By 
Sanne Kaiser (North Carolina, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Forsyte Saga: The Complete Series [DVD] [1967] (DVD)
The Forsyte Sage, vintage 1967, has withstood the test of time and triumphed over recent vintages with depth, subtle layering and nuanced acting that gives a satisfying finish. The written series by Galsworthy may be too dense for modern readers, but this BBC adaptation sticks to the essentials without losing any of the deep issues that such a saga worth the time. Margaret Tyzak is particularly fine as Winifred Forsyte Dartie, bringing a zesty sense of flowering from restrictive age to modern expression without ever losing her appreciation for what is lost in the gain. The camerawork is generally good despite the lack of colour, the scenery and costumes are top-notch, and only the fake southern accents in the latter episodes mar the overall wonderful interpretations. This is a good series to watch as a prelude to reading John Galsworthy's books, or as an altogether satisfying subsitute.

The case and discs are nicely presented, with episode and chapter titles on the reverse of each individual case-page; my set has played without skip or mismatch throughout. Well produced with a solid slipcover.
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