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30 of 31 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

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Edwards Medical record
It has long been conjectured what would have happened had Edward not abdicated. The result would probably have been the present queen aged 45 rather 25 as Edward and the former Mrs simpson never had any children.

While serving in the navy Edward and his brother, the future George VI, both suffered severe doses of Mumps which isn't mentioned in the DVDs. I have...
Published on 3 Jan. 2012 by James Wells


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality Drama, 24 Dec. 2013
By 
Captain Pike (Sussex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
This seven-part series is probably three episodes too long and it drags at times, but the quality of the production and the main cast make it well worth watching. Edward Fox is particularly wonderful and clearly worked hard at capturing the vocal mannerisms of Edward VIII. His performance of the abdication speech is remarkably similar to the original.

Cynthia Harris is also very good, but doesn't quite convey the quality that drove a man to give up his throne for a woman. In a filmed interview with the Duchess of Windsor, she comes across as being a little more feisty than Harris's softer interpretation.

The attention to period detail is near-perfect and the production team have clearly worked hard to ensure that Simon Raven's historically-accurate script isn't let down by any inappropriate contemporary touches. Unlike many of today's period dramas, where the actresses often sound as if they've been clubbing in Dalston, everyone seems authentic (apart from Jessie Matthews' appalling American accent).

The other strength of this series is that it seems remarkably even-handed and by the time you reach the final episode, it's hard not to feel sympathy for all concerned. It would have been so easy to either paint Wallis Simpson as a scarlet woman, or depict the establishment as being stuck in the Victorian era, but I ended the series understanding both points of view.

Another gem from the golden age of television drama.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect! Even better than I remember it., 6 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
I remember this TV series from it's first transmission, when I was about 8 years old. I always thought it was good, but watching the DVD it's even better than I remember it. Edward Fox is absolutely perfect as Edward VIII ("David") - I can't imagine anyone else playing this part. All the other parts are really well cast too. Excellent actors and perfect period detail. It could not be bettered. The writing is excellent too with just the right balance of sympathy for the Prince and for the fate of the rest of the Royal family in the face of his decisions.

At the current price, it's a real bargain. A must for anyone interested in Royal history or TV drama.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Edwards Medical record, 3 Jan. 2012
By 
James Wells "Cambyses" (KSA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
It has long been conjectured what would have happened had Edward not abdicated. The result would probably have been the present queen aged 45 rather 25 as Edward and the former Mrs simpson never had any children.

While serving in the navy Edward and his brother, the future George VI, both suffered severe doses of Mumps which isn't mentioned in the DVDs. I have often wondered whether this had any bearing on Edwards actions.

It seems openly admitted that Queen Mary was rather a distant mother to her son and so could Edwards preference for older women have been the subconscious yearning for some sort of mother figure? The physical similarities between Queen Mary and Mrs Simpson seem, to me anyway, rather striking.

The History Channel recently interviewed some of the few survivors who'd known both of these people and opinions seemed divided. The women seemed to think that the former Mrs simpson, as an American, wasn't too bothered by titles. One of the men interviewed said that she was known as "The Cobra".

As a costume drama this is an excellent "watch" but some questions about real motives, still remained unanswered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fine acting can't save this award-winner from being a bore, 4 April 2012
By 
Philoctetes (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
To its credit, this drama - if one can call it that - of royal procrastination more successfully adopts a tone of deference than could ever be achieved in today's climate. Yet it may be precisely because of today's climate that the story of the king and the commoner no longers comes off as drama. Poised between comedy and tragedy, it achieves neither, not even offering us the comedic merit of absurdity and finally turns into an interminable bore, one that fine acting cannot rescue. Add to that the long title credits and the frivolous song played over them, as well as the absolute failure (however acccurate) of anyone to have a proper confrontation with the king, not even his mother (Dame Peggy Ashcroft, superb as always) and this story of someone endlessly putting off a decision, having started so gay and full of energy, is not likely one you'll be returning to after the first viewing.

My advice: don't start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality TV, 27 Mar. 2012
By 
UK Scribe (Bromley Kent) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
I thought this series might have dated but it is as good as I remember first time round. It takes a fairly objective view of the Abdication crisis and doesn't fall into the trap of other dramatisations of the events of sensationalisation. But Mrs Simpson doesn't come out of the story too well and Edward is shown as charming, personable and quite unfitted for the throne. A really strong performance by Edward Fox, who inhabits the role, and solid support from a number of actors including Nigel Hawthorne and Peggy Ashcroft. Ok so the DVD presentation might leave something to be desired but the entertainment value is high.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "What is Love Compared to Duty?", 5 Jun. 2015
By 
Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
Thanks to the Lady Georgiana books by Rhys Bowen (starting with Her Royal Spyness), I've gotten interested in the British royalty of the 1930's and especially the scandal involving Prince and then King Edward and the American Mrs. Simpson. I decided it was time to learn a bit more about them, so I checked the 7 part mini-series Edward & Mrs. Simpson out of the library. I almost gave up part way through the first episode, but despite some weaknesses, I'm glad I stuck it out.

As the first episode opens, we are introduced to the future King Edward the VIII (Edward Fox) as he plans a trip to Africa. His biggest concern is which of his mistresses to take with him. Even though he's in his 30's, he hasn't found a woman to settle down with, and continues his relationships with usually married women.

But then he meets American Wallis Simpson (Cynthia Harris). Already divorced once, she is on her second husband, Ernest (Charles Keating). The two quickly become part of Edward's inner circle of friends and are even invited to his country estate for weekend trips.

As the two grow closer, Edward's father dies and Edward becomes king. But now Edward has to make a choice. Will he remain king or marry Wallis? Or is there another option where he can marry a twice divorced woman? Would the country and the laws permit it if he did?

As I said, I almost quit in the middle of the first episode. It was the production style that just got to me. It involves many quick scenes with hardly any set up or explanation, and I spent forever trying to figure out just exactly who some of the people were and what was going on. Even now, I don't quite get who a few people in that episode were. Once Wallis arrived, I was able to follow things better, although the next episode was again hard to get into and follow. By the third episode, I was fully on board and began to really enjoy the piece.

Not to say that things ever truly got better, but once you knew to expect some abruptness and got to know the key players, it did get much easier to follow. It also helped that I got to know both of the leads and really did feel for them as they fell in love. Edward becomes king at the end of the second episode, so much of it is spent on the almost year long efforts to reconcile the law with Edward's desire. Contrast that with the 3 or 4 years that pass in the first two episodes, and you can see another reason the show gets better.

Maybe it's just that I'm the wrong audience. This was a show made for British TV back in the 1970's, so maybe I just don't get the style they used. It also shows in other ways, like the incidental music used in a scene but rarely between scenes and some of the scenes that seemed pointless to me.

But I did get into it as the story unfolded. Once they slow down time, as it were, and start really focusing on the politics of what happened, it's hard to stop watching because you get drawn into the people and events depicted.

One thing that really helped me get into the story was the acting. I liked all the players, and it made me root for all the characters to wind up happy (even though I already knew the outcome). While I have heard that Wallis was not at all happy with how she was portrayed here, I thought the series did a good job of making both her and Edward sympathetic characters. This was especially true when the scandal hit the press. You gain a new appreciation for what celebrities face.

I also couldn't help but look at how far we've come. Here was a scandal that lost someone his throne over divorce. Now, people rarely blink at it, even for the British royalty. Frankly, I think that's a sad commentary on our culture.

The mini-series consisted of seven 50 minute episodes, and they are included on this two disc set. The picture could be a little better and sharper, but it is certainly watchable. The set was released here in America by A&E, so the only extra we get is their Biography of the two principle players. I watched that last, and it really helped fill in the gaps I still had from the show itself. In fact, I almost wished I had watched that first.

Because of my interest in the people and time period, I am glad I watched Edward & Mrs. Simpson. If I hadn't been already interested, I probably would have passed. I recommend it, but only for those who want to learn more about this story. The show won't survive casual interest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Edward & Simpson dvd, 25 Aug. 2010
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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For all those intrigued by the Edward & Mrs Simpson affair., 7 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
It is such an intriguing love affair and this serialisation goes a long way to explain Edward's infatuation.
The story is told slowly in a detailed way which painstakingly tells how they met and how the affair progressed.

Edward Fox is a disarming prince with a charm and flashing smile which helps explain the Prince of Wales popularity with thoe he met.......harder to understand from newsreels of the real man. He also shows us the spoilt brat who insisted on his selfish demands whatever the cost.
Cynthia Harris' portrayal of Mrs Simpson shows a totally coniving woman who doesn't let anything stand in the way of her getting her prince/king.
Did they not really understand what would happen if he abdicated? Possiblly not, as everyone finds it so difficult to communicate with each other.

Did Edward know that he would never be able to return to England? Did he really believe that he & Mrs Simpson could just sit back in the Fort entertaining his friends while his brother did all the work?

It is interesting how the British press was so reluctant to tell the public what was happening.....could this happen today?
I was intrigued to see this series again after watching Madonna's WE....an excellent film for all those who like to know more about this love story.
I really enjoyed the DVD and would recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh The English!, 5 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
With great anticipation I opened the DVD and placed the first disc into the player....sat back and right from the first roll of the camera I was hooked. No worm was needed on the beginning or end (whichever way you look at it) to entice me into this great artistic workmanship. The acting is just so devine, it makes you want to actually be there to enjoy the full monty. Well worth the buy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The woman he loved, 3 Jun. 2010
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] (DVD)
The scandal that brought down a King is examined in detail in this 1978 English miniseries. We meet Edward, Prince of Wales (Edward Fox), who eschews royal responsibilities and propriety in favor of a rather hedonistic life style. He'd had a string of affairs before he met Wallis Simpson (Cynthia Harris), a once-divorced, married American woman in 1931. She is shown to be a calculating spider, he the willing fly. When he becomes King and insists upon marrying her, his actions threaten to destroy the monarchy.

Edward Fox is perfectly cast as the spoiled and boyish Prince; it is a pleasure to watch him completely inhabit the character. Cynthia Harris, on the other hand, is never believable as Mrs Simpson; none of her lines sound spontaneous and her stiff acting weakens the show. The supporting cast, including Peggy Ashcroft as Queen Mary, is wonderful, but the scenes where Edward's advisors endlessly debate the sticky situation are tedious.

Still, it's a fascinating story despite its faults and it's fun to watch the Royals' private lives. 3.5 stars.
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Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD]
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