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126 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking story with great inner truth and superb performances
You have to have a heart of flint not to be in some way touched by this remarkable portrait of the sadness of very ordinary lives. Shot through with poignant 1930s popular song (but not intrusively so) and filmed in muted colours that add to the melancholy atmosphere; this is indeed faithful to Patrick's Hamilton trilogy. The dialogue is vividly naturalistic and is...
Published on 21 July 2010 by Minerva

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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Delicate, low key drama
Definitely not for those wanting a feelgood moment as this shows life as a harsh fight to overcome disappointments with everyone longing desperately for someone they can't have without having the luxury of time to think about it because they need to survive/work. This is a touching story mostly thanks to sally hawkins, as fragile and believable as ever. Interesting view...
Published on 9 Mar 2011 by Laurisis


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126 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking story with great inner truth and superb performances, 21 July 2010
This review is from: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky [DVD] (DVD)
You have to have a heart of flint not to be in some way touched by this remarkable portrait of the sadness of very ordinary lives. Shot through with poignant 1930s popular song (but not intrusively so) and filmed in muted colours that add to the melancholy atmosphere; this is indeed faithful to Patrick's Hamilton trilogy. The dialogue is vividly naturalistic and is supported by a wealth of subtle, insightful performances including Phil Davis' Mr. Eccles, whose thwarted courtship of Ella is itself a performance of searing loneliness, and Zoe Tapper as the feckless, easily led Jenny in drink fuelled free fall. Special mention must, however, be given to Sally Hawkins as Ella, enduring the agonies of living in close proximity to the subject of her unrequited love. Her remarkably expressive face captures psychological depth and turmoil to an extraordinary degree and the omission of this performance from the Baftas show that they have ceased to be anything more than marketing events.
This is a heartbreaking story but there is also a warmth and wonderful humour (as well as a sharp ear for ordinary dialogue)that makes this considerably more than a period piece. Quite wonderful - I would also recommend the book .
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115 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the saddest stories ever told!, 19 Jan 2009
By 
S. Väpnargård "Auburn Raven" (Skåne Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky [DVD] (DVD)
Bittersweet is the word that sums this lovely film up in one!
Unrequited love, hope and broken dreams all around for the three young characters in this wonderful film set in London between the two wars.
The waiter, the barmaid and the prostitute all tell their side of a very cleverly entwined story.
Sad and beautiful-heartbreaking and sweet, romantic yet so disturbing.
A film about life and how brittle circumstances can be as to wich direction a young life can take!
A must see-fantastic acting and the set is great too!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Delicate, low key drama, 9 Mar 2011
This review is from: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky [DVD] (DVD)
Definitely not for those wanting a feelgood moment as this shows life as a harsh fight to overcome disappointments with everyone longing desperately for someone they can't have without having the luxury of time to think about it because they need to survive/work. This is a touching story mostly thanks to sally hawkins, as fragile and believable as ever. Interesting view on the period as well but definitely character-based drama, not much on sets or outside views.
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky, 19 Jun 2009
By 
Marion L. Quarrell (Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this DVD based on the reviews I read on Amazon. I was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed the series which I had not seen before. I'm not sure if it has been shown here. I thought the characters were very believable and depicted true to the time the series was set in i.e. the Thirties. Ifelt sorry for Bob for the way Jenny used him , but also sorry for Jenny as she too was a victim of the time she lived in. Ella was not strong enough to tell Bob how she felt so lost out as well. The series was well written and left you wanting to know what happened. You really needed to sit and watch all three episodes at the one time. If you like period drama I would thoroughly recommend this one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, beautiful drama, 23 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky [DVD] (DVD)
I remember being hugely impressed by this when it was on TV a few years ago, and re-watching the DVD was not a disappointment. This is a beautifully acted and produced story of unrequited love, loneliness and melancholy. It poignantly conveys anguish, yearning and despair and is the darkest of dark dramas - there is no humour, no redemption, really no hope of any sort. Clearly not something to watch when depressed or for light relief, but it has extraordinary beauty and delicacy and is, along the way, very evocative of inter-war working class London. I haven't read the books it is based on, but I have read Hamilton's Hangover Square which touches on some similar themes and must be one of the bleakest books ever written.

There is hardly a false note in the drama except perhaps the rapidity of Jenny's fall in the second section. Despite her experience of being debauched whilst drunk by a heartless socialite it wasn't clear why she could not have resumed the threads of her life, instead descending into alcoholism, prostitution and her cruel treatment of Bob. So this moment in an otherwise immaculately paced drama felt rushed. I think we needed to see the next few days of her life to understand her - but whether this is a fault of the adaptation or of the original books I don't know. Otherwise, flawless.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative and powerful, 28 April 2012
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This review is from: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky [DVD] (DVD)
Two Thousand Streets under the Sky tells the story of three young people, who's lives collide in the Midnight Bell pub. Ella and Bob live and work there, Jenny occassionally drinks there. It is a sad tale indeed. Bob is an aspiring author, working as a waiter in the pub. He falls for Jenny, a prostitute with a fondness for drink, on sight, and expends all his savings on a relentless and fruitless attempt to rescue her from her existence. Ella is in love with Bob, but he either doesn't, or doesn't want to, notice. The story of each of the three main protagonists is told from each perspective; the first focusses on Bob's pursuit of Jenny. The second tells how, in the degradation of one fateful night, Jenny went from being a seemingly hardworking, decent girl, albeit in a lowly job, to life as a lush, a thief and a prostitute. The trilogy ends with Ella's story. I found this the most affecting of the three tales. Ella is a modest, unassuming girl who works as a barmaid at the Midnight Bell. Her quiet longing for Bob is painful to watch. She is, in turn, pursued by the wealthy, and much older, Ernest Eccles, who is a regular in the bar. Phil Davis gives a great performance in this role. Mr Eccles is vain, a bore and plain cringeworthy. Nevertheless, Phil Davis is so accomplished in the role that you do feel the odd stab of sympathy for this lonely man. Sally Hawkins as Ella, puts in a particularly moving performance as she attempts to avoid an engagement to Mr Eccles and tries to retain her dignity in a life which seems to consist of a series of chronic disappointments. The acting from all three main characters is impeccable.

These stories are set in a highly evocative context which conjures up the thirties beautifully, drab rooms, pubs and clothes capturing the daily grind of life for ordinary people just trying to get by. The only relief being the odd trip to the pictures or a Lyons tea room and the largely vain hope of something better.

This is a drama of outstanding quality. However, if you are a fan of happy ending, Downton Abbey type period dramas, this may not be for you. It is a real life, rather than, feel good drama.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant portrayal of 1930s working class lives, 14 July 2011
By 
Lynette Fox (Bedfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky [DVD] (DVD)
This series is the separate tale of three lives of young working class people in London in the Thirties and how they intertwine. I felt Bob's story which starts the drama was not the best part of it. I felt there was rather thin dialogue and a lot of repetition and that this part of the drama was being carried by some evocative filming and lovely period settings and the handsome Bob. Jenny's story - the second part was rather predictable, but again beautifully filmed and with its heavy focus on class made me aware of why many of my mothers generation (she is in her 80s) still carry so much class hatred today because of their own personal experiences of poverty and humiliation. For these reasons it was quite moving. The sex scenes in Jenny's tale are very explicit and made it slightly uncomfortable viewing with my teenage grandson.

The third part of the drama - Ella's story is by far the best. Beautifully acted, it was mesmerising, achingly beautiful and heartbreaking. The drama is worth buying for part 3 alone.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent drama., 8 Feb 2008
By 
M. P. OKeefe "martinphilipokeefe" (London, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky [DVD] (DVD)
This programme is based on three novels written by Patrick Hamilton in the 1930s and who would go on to write the Gorse Trilogy which the Nigel Havers drama The Charmer was based on.

The three episodes involve all the three main characters but with one being the main focus of each programme. Very well acted and nice to hear colloquial accents for a change in a BBC period drama. This is one series that is definately worth watching.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So, so, 7 Oct 2010
By 
R. C. Harris "Eden House" (New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky [DVD] (DVD)
This had a good ambience for the 1930s. Well acted but not a particularly strong story line. A little plodding at times and certainly not for those who like action and fast paced productions. For those who enjoy period pieces it is good viewing. Philip Davis, a face that you remember but a name you cannot recall was great! His character chills to the bone but at the same time has shades, unlike the US productions where you are either a goody or a badie, no shades in between.

The three different viewpoints of the same action was different and interesting but at the same time there was a bit of a tendency to think you were going over old ground.

For value for money it was a good buy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky, 15 Nov 2010
By 
Francis Parsons "FrankP" (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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The story was split into three parts, with each part concentrating on the individual character. However this did not detract from the storyline, just provided the individual perspective of their lifestyles. Throughly enjoyed the story and was well portrayed by the actors/actresses.
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Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky [DVD]
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