Customer Reviews


44 Reviews
5 star:
 (26)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing Story, Excellent Production, Fine Acting
This production, in my view, is one of the glories of British television acting and and story telling, even if the DVD transfer is not as pristine as we'd like. The acting is excellent, from the leads to the extras. The story is fascinating, especially if you like peeking at the lives of royalty and the upper crust. Every pound Thames Television put into the show is...
Published on 6 July 2007 by C. O. DeRiemer

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Edward & Simpson dvd
A good drama series of the life and times of Edward & Simpson . i found the intervals a bit annoying at times but was based originally over several weeks . Excellent acting by all concern, worth watching.
Published on 25 Aug 2010 by michael


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing Story, Excellent Production, Fine Acting, 6 July 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
This production, in my view, is one of the glories of British television acting and and story telling, even if the DVD transfer is not as pristine as we'd like. The acting is excellent, from the leads to the extras. The story is fascinating, especially if you like peeking at the lives of royalty and the upper crust. Every pound Thames Television put into the show is visible; the settings are authentic or look it; the costumes appear bespoke, as they say; and everyone's manners are immaculate, even if what they do isn't.

It's the story of the affair between Edward, Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, and Wallis Warfield Simpson, an American twice-married divorcee. It starts just before he meets her and ends shortly after he abdicates the British throne to marry "the woman I love." He became the Duke of Windsor and she his Duchess. It was probably the biggest story of its time. The program runs for six 60 minute installments. Because of the style, the acting and the story of these two people, who are so self-indulgent and so obtuse (on his part) and so calculating and brittle (on her part), it never seems boring.

Edward, played by Edward Fox, is a man of great charm and handsome appearance, a man girls swoon over and men wish to be like. He's also privileged, unselfconsciously selfish and not really too bright. He's a man who seems most comfortable with older women, women who can cosset and coo over him. His mistresses have all been older and married. Edward Fox, a fine actor, is wonderful in the part. (For those who might not recognize his name, he was the Jackal in The Day of the Jackal). Wallis, played by Cynthia Harris, is a woman who can seem hard and even scheming, but who also has some vulnerability about her that makes her at least somewhat sympathetic.

Among the fine cast is Nigel Hawthorne as Walter Monckton, one of Edward's loyal but realistic counsellors; Cherie Lunghi as Lady Thelma Furness, a mistress Edward casts off by simply telling his switchboard not to accept anymore of her calls; David Waller as Stanley Baldwin, the shrewd prime minister; and Jessie Mathews as Wallis' Aunt Bessie Merryman, all pink and plump and powdered...and keen-eyed. (Mathews in the Thirties was the toast of the London stage, singing and dancing in a number of musicals. She introduced Rodgers and Hart's "Dancing on the Ceiling.")
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality drama but poor quality DVD, 7 Nov 2005
By 
Ms. H. Sinton "dragondrums" (Ingleby Barwick. U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
This production was made for T.V. back in 1979. It is the story of King Edward VIII and the love that was to cost him his throne. Edward Fox is excellent playing David, the spoiled and selfish Prince of Wales who would one day be King Edward VIII. David was the original playboy prince, more interested in his social activities than any social obligations. He had various married mistresses to the despair of his family. When Wallis Simpson, a married American woman (played by a convincingly brittle Cynthia Harris), came into his life, it set off a catastrophic chain of events. David fell head over heels in love and was determined to marry her no matter what. What is less clear, at least in this production, is whether Wallis felt the same or was, in fact, more enamoured of becoming Queen of England.
David was always popular with the public and was quite sure that, as king, he could do as he pleased and marry whom he wished. Of course the Establishment had other ideas and made it clear that a divorcee, and an American one at that, with no royal blood, was a totally unacceptable choice for Queen.
As history has shown, the Establishment won and King Edward was forced to make a choice between the throne and Mrs Simpson, the latter won and Edward went into exile where he married the woman he loved. Never again would he be welcome either to his family or in England, and as a final insult his wife was refused the title HRH.
This is a production that has stood the test of time thanks to the fine acting from the entire cast. It has everything a drama could want, romance, intrigue, tension and is all the better because it is a true story. The downside of this DVD is the fact no effort has been made to clean up the picture or sound and there are no extras, not even sub-titles for the hard of hearing, unacceptable for a format known for clarity of picture/sound and opportunities for extra material. Having said that, the quality of acting and the all too human story make this a DVD well worth viewing, just be prepared for the quality being less than you may be used to.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage early TV drama, 9 Oct 2007
By 
E. J. Powell "e j powell" (wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
I have owned the VHS tapes of this series for years. For me, they captured a golden era in British TV drama, when character, mood, and dramtic values were high, even if - by todays's standards - the technical standards were a little "studio bound."

The list of actors in this made-for-tv series was top rate, as was the research on the historical background. Of course, there are shortcomings. In particular, the American accents by British accents have come in for criticism. However, in the 40s and 50s, I think Americans may well have had more "English" accents than we are used to hearing today - at least, if American movies of 40s and 40s are anything to go by. But for all the minor criticisms that can be made of this series, it is still a wonderful achievement should not be missed by any fan of good acting.

Because the quality of my VHS tapes was 'washed out' I wanted to update with a dvd, but was put off from doing so by the negative comments on the amazon web site. But when the price dropped to around £7 or so, I took the plunge, and I have to say I was pleasntly surprised - certainly the quality is a vast improvement on the old VHS.

It really is a pity that the originals have not been digitalised, or cleaned up - the series would justify it. But for anyone out there considering a purchase, I would not hesitate to recommend the series for some really wonderful acting, and some pretty sound background research. Some reviewers were disappointed that we did not get a "love story." Personally, I was more grateful NOT to have a romance, but a more considered story about Edward's background, the constitutional crisis, and the upheavals to british society.

Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best DVD - but a good series, 19 Jan 2007
By 
Diane Burke (Perth, WA formerly Aberdeen UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
Having watched "Edward & Mrs Simpson" on DVD, it looks initially like it was a straight copy off the ITV tapes. Notwithstanding, it was a very well acted series which showed just how much power the government really had behind the throne in the 1920s and 30s.

Cynthia Harris made a good Wallis but there was no real "chemistry" between her and Edward Fox; no sign of just why she was his great passion. Ending the series when they did, just after the marriage made things feel a bit flat. It would have been good to see how they lived out the rest of their lives as a jet setting dilettante and his wife. Perhaps it was the fact that the 1970s was more restrictive with what could be done in playing out Royal dramas.

Edward Fox made Edward VIII a very believable, sometimes likeable fellow who was quite evidently spoiled. Where he gets told it's either Wallis or the throne, you can imagine him throwing a right royal tantrum behind the scenes.

The DVD quality is alright but showing where the ad breaks were makes for poor quality and in Disc 2 there is a definite break where you see the countdown.

A special feature of the Windsors post wedding would have been interesting for viewers who were not alive around the time the Duke died or when Wallis herself died. A feature on the fantastic jewels she was given would also have been good as this is alluded to in the series when "Chips" Channon and Wallis are discussing a new man at Cartier's.

The sets are so true to the era and the costumes hark back to a very glamorous time prior to World War II. The actress playing the future Queen Mum is very convincing especially with her biting comments about "that woman".

The quality of DVD lets down an intriguing series that is somewhat hard to understand today in our more progressive era - particularly when we know that Camilla Parker-Bowles was allowed in the end to nab her prince. But if it hadn't happened, perhaps the Royal Family as we know it today, would not exist in the format that it does.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great drama, 18 Jan 2011
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
There is no need to cover the ground extensively trodden by other reviewers as to the great acting, superb casting, magnificent 1930s atmosphere and wonderful sets. Edward VIII is one of those roles in which it is impossible to imagine anyone else other than Edward Fox. Some have commented on the picture quality of the DVD - I found it to be quite good considering it was made for television in 1978 on a mixture of film for the exteriors and videotape for the interiors. The only reproaches are to be found with the DVD production company Network - as always on their DVDs, there are no subtitles at all (they should be obligatory). Others regret the inclusion of the 'break bumpers' announcing 'End of part 1' etc; I believe the company is right to leave these in as I much prefer to see programmes 'as broadcast' rather than with bits, however apparently insignificant, edited out. For some programmes it is a necessity as the music or action of a scene may overlap the appearance of the announcement of the commercial and to cut it would damage the original and often appear odd, although this is not the case here. We even see the Thames countdown clock to the beginning of Part 2 in the break in episode 5 where the space between the announcements is abnormally long. Note that DVD1 announces 4 episodes and DVD2 only 3 - in fact there are only 3 on the first and 4 on the second. Rather unusally for Network, there are no bonus items on the DVDs but there are some useful notes on the jacket insert.

This series is rather like the Titanic - you know full well how it is going to end and yet you just want to read on (or view on here) as the tension mounts - surely the proof of excellent drama.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent period true-life drama, 22 Dec 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
Interesting how history now treats the Edward and Mrs Simpson story. This adaptation, partly based on the book "Edward VIII" by Frances Donaldson, captures the moment Wallis Simpson met the future King and takes the story right through to the abdication in December 1936 - the final scenes marking the Duke of Windsor's route to exile after his radio broadcast. Brillient acting throughout, Edward Fox is superlative as the Prince of Wales/King and Cynthia Harris is wonderfully cast as the engaging Wallis. When filmed, the Duchess was still alive but it is not known how she responded to this drama. There is without doubt, a sense of unknowing regarding her emotions at the time of abdication. A highlight is the entire way the drama was directed - nostalgic and golden. The opening song is also befitting: "I've danced with a man whose danced with a girl whose danced with the Prince of Wales" - the mood is set.
Given our own Prince of Wales's recent divorce and marriage, it is perhaps a good time to reflect on the sacrifice that King Edward made due to constitutional pressure.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edward Fox, Nigel hawthorne in the performance of their lives., 28 Jan 2011
By 
Alan Cluer - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
This series by master writer Simon Raven was first aired in 7 parts in 1978. It tells the intimate story of Edward V111's romance with Mrs. Simpson, twice divorced already. Over the period shown we see glimpses of his popularity with the common people but mostly we see his hedonistic appetite for dilettante avoidance of his duties, and his relationship with Mrs. Simpson which is allowed to become a threatening fixture in his life by the failure of his advisers - Baldwin the prime Minister, his father George V, his equerry, who allow the affair to drag on simply because her paucity of charms and the difficulties which surround the relationship imply to them that the relationship must fizzle out of its own accord. Edward on the other hand, who enjoys being king but has little taste for the duties involved, paints himself into an impossible corner egged on by his paramour. It ends, brilliantly and movingly, with his abdication speech and subsequent exile. Exquisitely played by Edward Fox in the role of his career, by Peggy Ashcroft as Queen Mary, Nigel Hawthorne as Walter Monkton, with Cynthia Harris recreating brilliantly Mrs Simpson's manipulative sinister charm and political naivetė, this is English real living history ar it's best. And for a bonus it's a natural segue into 'The King's Speech?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Edward and Mrs Simpson, 2 Jun 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
This is a 2 disc (350 minutes) DVD of a TV series first shown in 1978 which covers in detail the relationship between Edward and Mrs Simpson from the 1920s though to the abdication crisis of 1936.
Edward is very well played by Edward Fox. Cynthia Harris is good as Mrs Simpson but I wonder whether she was slightly too old for the part. The production pays excellent attention to detail and appears to be historically very accurate. Good locations and period detail.
I have seen other film versions of this story but think this one is easily the best one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, sympathetic tragedy, 11 Oct 2008
By 
Miland Joshi (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
Edward and Mrs Simpson was first shown on ITV decades ago. The DVD version could have been more seamlessly edited, instead of separating the parts divided on TV by advertisements, but that is a minor criticism of a very well-made and most enjoyable series that earned Edward Fox (who plays Edward VIII) a BAFTA award. The story is a tragedy, treating its characters sympathetically. The emotion and tension builds up to a moving climax just before the very end, and then falls away in a way that confirms the tragic nature of the story. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Edward & Simpson dvd, 25 Aug 2010
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
A good drama series of the life and times of Edward & Simpson . i found the intervals a bit annoying at times but was based originally over several weeks . Excellent acting by all concern, worth watching.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD]
Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] by Waris Hussein (DVD - 2005)
£7.95
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews