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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated but still good
I agree that this is dated but I didn't find the quality of film too bad. The story is slow and gentle but that's the story! It still makes a great change from the American "cops and robbers" rubbish and if you want to watch a well told tale with no violence, sex or swearing this is well worth viewing. One for a quiet evening in with nothing on the telly!

I...
Published on 11 April 2007 by Wilz

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Look-See for Old Africa Hands
"The Flame Trees of Thika"(1981), a British television series that is based on the beloved series of autobiographical books of the same name, THE FLAME TREES OF THIKA, by Elspeth Huxley, is a set-in-Africa biography/drama/coming of age film that recounts Huxley's African childhood. It was made, undoubtedly at notable expense, onsite in Africa, by Thames Television, which...
Published on 5 April 2013 by Stephanie De Pue


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated but still good, 11 April 2007
By 
Wilz "wilson9hb" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Flame Trees of Thika [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
I agree that this is dated but I didn't find the quality of film too bad. The story is slow and gentle but that's the story! It still makes a great change from the American "cops and robbers" rubbish and if you want to watch a well told tale with no violence, sex or swearing this is well worth viewing. One for a quiet evening in with nothing on the telly!

I have never seen it before so I'm free from the bias of childhood memories.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, full of charm, 25 Jun. 2007
This review is from: The Flame Trees of Thika [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
I was 15 when I first watched this back in the early 80's. Having just watched it again I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a gentle drama, full of charm as it's partially seen through the eyes of 11 year old Elspeth, and the backdrop of Kenya is breathtaking. The performances are strong and an excellent production overall.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FLAME TREES OF THIKA, 23 April 2008
By 
Dr S. S. Nagi "Nyrobe" (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Flame Trees of Thika [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
Having born in Kenya I recently watched this double DVD (1981 and 2005, 350 minutes) about Elspeth Huxley and her childhood story of her family moving to Thika in Kenya. Some say the story is slow. But if you read the book, it just follows the story and the hardships of starting fresh in Kenya at that time. All settlers and Indians had hard time there and they with the help of native Kenyans made the country what it is now. In 1913, Robin (David Robb) and Tilly Grant (Hayley Mills) arrive in Northern Kenya to start a coffee farm. But torrential rain and relentless insects and murderous animals along with the natives and other settlers challenge their ambitions. Will England call them back? Or the young Elspeth (Holly Aird) unlock the mysteries of a foreign land and open the doors to a new home?
I found the DVD very charming with beautiful countryside of Kenya and excellent makeups of everybody in the series. Excellent music too.
At the end of the DVD Elspeth and family move back to England. The last few minutes are on the train to Mombasa as it used to be showing beautiful wildlife of the nyika (wilderness).
ELSPETH JOSCELIN HUXLEY (CBE 1962) was born on 23.7.1907. She was educated in a white school in Nairobi. She left Kenya in 1925, but returned periodically. She married GERVAS HUXLEY in 1931. She wrote 30 books. She died in a nursing home at the age of 89 on 10.1.1997 at Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England.
Read 'The Flame Trees of Thika' (1959 and 2000) and the follow up book 'the Mottled Lizard' (1962 and 1999), in which Elspeth returns to Kenya. Nzuri sana (very good).
Having born in Kenya, I enjoyed watching the DVD's.
Watch, read and ENJOY.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nostalgic View, 1 Feb. 2009
By 
J. Castle "Chowlady" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Flame Trees of Thika [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
I watched this TV series the first time round, approx, 30 years ago.
It stars Haley Mills and Ben Cross as one of the pioneering upper class British families who move to a new life in Africa in 1913. It is seen through the eyes of their daughter, Elspeth Huxley, whom I met once, at the latter end of her life, on a coach trip, visiting several European Zoos. She had a deep passion for wildlife even then.
Although this is dated I enjoyed this much better than 'Wild at Heart' which is on TV at the moment, which has a similar thread to Flame Trees.
Therefore, if you remember this series or like Haley or Ben in their younger days this is the DVD for you.
If you are a 'Wild at Heart' fan I would still give it a go if only to see how this compares, taking into consideration it's age.
Every episode leaves you with a feel good factor and we all need some of that ;o)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Blue Posts of Thika, 21 Jan. 2010
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Dr. J. M. Kinuthia (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Flame Trees of Thika [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
Excellent viewing. Very good setting and the soundtrack is great. To the keener eye, especially for those with a fair knowledge of the historical background, there are times when the film is at a significant variance with the written version in the book or with expectations. Some of the swahili-speaking characters do not quite reflect reality. For example, use of excellent swahili by the locals/natives around Thika, especially during those days of reference (and to some extent even today) is quite out of context. Other characters like Elspeth are spot on. The subdivision of the film into various series/scenes is good, especially for family entertainment on various seatings. Excellent value for time and money.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars delightful, 4 Feb. 2008
This review is from: The Flame Trees of Thika [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
I had not seen the tv series or even heard about it. Thought it was absolutely delightful. Gentle, entertaining and an insight into life in Kenya at that time. Maybe everyone looked a bit too clean but then that is an error that film makers often still make. Could not beleive how good the animal photography was considering it was make at least 25 years ago. Some of the acting might have been a bit week but the child who plays Elspeth was terrific.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nostalgia perfectly played, 20 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: The Flame Trees of Thika [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
I grew up on a farm in Kenya in the 1950s. The heroine of this lovely film (based on the book by Elspeth Huxley) also grew up on a farm in the highlands of Kenya, north of Nairobi, in the rich red volcanic soil of the Rift Valley. Times gone by. A long and lingering, loving re-telling of the white settlers' stories, their encounters with the Kikuyu and other tribes, their romances, tragedies, triumphs, attitudes, prejudices. The film does not overly-glorify the colonial settler period, at least to my taste. It is portrayed fairly accurately, for good and bad.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a lovely tale of life in africa, 23 Jun. 2008
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This review is from: The Flame Trees of Thika [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
This story is superb,i had first had experience of the film as my dad went to kenya for 6 months to work on it,i was then 12,i missed my dad terribley but the tales he told us of such a wonderful place i shall never forget,they had to build all of the buildings and used local people to help,none of the houses were there in the beginning,the cast were lovely people and holly aird was the same age as me around that time,what a truly fantastic experience for her.I know all of the words and love to watch them over and over again,if you want something easy to watch sit back and relax with flame trees of thika.
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5.0 out of 5 stars satisfying, 3 May 2012
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WSH (NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Flame Trees of Thika [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
A multi-dimensional, seven-part series about life on a farm in British colonial Kenya just prior to World War 1. The story follows the fortunes of the heroine, young Elspeth Grant, played with extraordinary sensitivity by Holly Aird. But this is much more than a 'Girls Own' adventure. It is what is going on around Elspeth that really holds centre-stage, if that is not a contradiction... The producers manage to convey, without cliches or melodrama, the purposes and contradictions, tribulations and elations, of colonial life in the East African frontier. The Europeans, in their pith helmets and crinoline, are in exotic orbit, revolving within a larger obit of the native Kikuyu, who themselves live within the orbit of the natural world. Roy Ward Baker directs with pitch-perfect feel for the subject matter and the setting. Almost everything is shot outdoors; the wildlife are ever-present and magnificent, and the many, varied and charming (or irritating) characters which populate the story keep it brimming with life. Hayley Mills, as Elspeth's mother, gives a terrific performance, as do Ben Cross and Sharon Maughan as the star-crossed lovers. David Robb (Elsbeth's father) and Nicholas Jones (his neighbour, Palmer) are also excellent, representing two contrasting, white male. colonial responses to Kenya. But nothing about this production is a let down. Thirty years on since it was made, the colour may have faded a little, but the emotional colours are as vivid as ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better this time around, 4 April 2014
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This review is from: The Flame Trees of Thika [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
I remember this from the 1970s/1980s(?) but I was too young at the time to appreciate it. I'm so glad I decided to have a second look at it. The scenery is rich and beautiful, the relationships between the local people and the little girl are very touching and the story very interesting.
How lovely to be able to watch something that you know WON"T contain scenes of extreme violence (it's hinted at sometimes, though) or graphic sex scenes. A refreshing watch that's suitable for the whole family.
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The Flame Trees of Thika [DVD] [1981]
The Flame Trees of Thika [DVD] [1981] by Roy Ward Baker (DVD - 2005)
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