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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2003
This is definitely not the type of film/series that I would usually watch but since I work at Castle Howard and was given a copy of the DVD to photograph for our website shop I thought I'd have a look. One episode later I was convert to this magical story. The acting is superb, the direction almost flawless and knowing Castle Howard as well as I do it was like knowing a member of the cast. Stunning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2008
I don't own this particular box but one of (sadly) inferior quality. And still the lousy quality of the images and sound does nothing to ruin the pleasure of watching this series again and again. It has become a form of escapism for me, the second I hear the opening tune a sense of calm comes washing over me, a sense that caries through the entire episode thanks to the music, the calm voice-over of Jeremy Irons and the more than sublime acting and beatiful settings.

The story revolves around Charles Ryder and his relation with the aristocratic Flyte family who inhabit the imposing baroque country house of Brideshead. Youngest son Sebastian is an excentric, a delicate soul, and gets on very well with Charles. It is never actually mentioned but we are lead to believe that it is a romantic relationship. Sebastian is however determined that Charles should not get involved with his family. When Charles eventually does get to know the family they seem absolutely charming, but along the way we begin to see an environment that is slowly shoking the excentric Sebastian and proves to be a threat to the relationship between him and Charles. Their times of bliss are at an end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
When Brideshead Revisited was first shown in the '80s it was compulsory viewing. It was watched, enjoyed and discussed by millions. Beautifully produced, with fabulous performances from all it's main actors particularly the extraordinary Sir Laurence Olivier. He doesn't feature much except perhaps in the last episode but what an actor.

There is a feature film being made and soon to hit the cinemas starring Emma Thompson and Michael Gambon - all I can say to them is good luck because the original TV series will be a tough nut to crack. It stands the test of time and the detail and atmosphere that is yours across 11 episodes will be almost impossible for a 2 hour feature film to match. Age has not withered this version, it's a treat and worth every penny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 February 2012
Maybe I was over-hyped. It's happened to me before (with "Citizen Kane" all I could think on 1st viewing
was "this is the greatest movie of all time?!?" 2nd time around, I realized it arguably was.)

So, while this received almost only ecstatic praise and rave reviews, my feelings on 1st viewing were
slightly more tempered.

There are some wonderful performances throughout, and the early episodes beautifully capture a world of
tenderly close relationships between collage aged boys that are so intimate that the unanswered question
of `is it sexual?' becomes almost moot.

The series is never boring, although each piece is separate enough that there isn't a conventional build up
of momentum. Not a complaint, I actually found that interesting and different.

The big fly in the ointment for me, was that, In the end, while I was always interested I was rarely moved.
In perhaps my own failing, I had a hard time with some of the overtly religious elements of the climax, with
characters making decisions and discoveries I found emotionally incomprehensible.

I was also bothered by the fact that Sebastian, so much the core of the first third is basically abandoned as
a character, with only occasional expository speeches to tell us what happened to him.

Further there is an obsessive infatuation with the upper class that borders on creepy. Waugh reportedly believed
in the natural superiority of upper class British society, and disliked "outsiders" like Americans and Jews. I felt
that attitude throughout, but was bothered that the film neither questioned or explored it.

Jeremy Irons is brilliant for half the series, but in the later half I felt him working at playing `older', indeed coming
off as older than the character is supposed to be, and more emotionally flat than needed.

But those complains aside, as a capturing of the sadness of life, how the joy of youth gives way to the confusion
and loss of middle age it is effective and intelligent. If I wasn't blown away I was still glad to have seen it.

I need to watch it again to see if I missed a masterpiece, or I'm just out of sync with the world on this one.

I also was sorry the DVD transfer was as weak as it was. I understand that the film was shot on 16mm, some
elements were damaged, etc. But there were times when, for example, the pulsing of the edges of the frame really
started to pull my concentration away from the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2008
In an age where we are constantly told that youth crime, teenage pregnancies, and general moral decay is going on, it is so very refreshing to be able to travel back to Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead and enjoy the good manners, grand traditions, and even grander passions and eccentricities of 1920s England. The top-quality acting and obscenely majestic vocabulary is evocative of a golden age. This truly is the "most glorious drama ever made" (in the words of, erm, the Daily Mail) and allows us to delve into the glamour and majesty of a bygone age to relieve us of our present-day cares. Truly outstanding; the best drama I have ever seen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2003
In the early 1980's the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel, Brideshead Revisited was a landmark in television drama.Watching this series again after more than twenty years reminds me that Brideshead is simply one of the most glorious and opulent pieces of television drama ever made. Every scene drips with the kind of production values which used to make British television the best on the planet; the script, the camera work and the wonderful ensemble acting (where is any one going to get a cast list to rival this one?)make this an absolute must for every one who wants to wallow in television bliss;it just has not dated at all.
However, the three DVD set, while handsomely packaged and beatufully presented has no extras or special features; not even a scene menu. You have the option of playing a DVD all the way through or selecting an individual episode. That is it!
Of course, the reason for buying this DVD is to be able to watch at one's leisure an extraordinary and unrivalled production. But it is a shame that the producers have not taken advantage of the medium of DVD to enhance the whole experience.
Nevertheless, this is an essential purchase; buy it, get some strawberrys, line up the Brandy Alexanders and watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2014
Not having grown up in the UK, I had never heard of the series (or the book) until my daughter started studying it for A Level. Purchased the book, the audio CD, the literary guide and the DVD in an attempt to help her understand the story. I must say I have never come across a story quite so moving and the TV series has done the book GREAT justice. Absolutely love it. Don't be put off upon receiving the DVD, as the whole front cover is in Dutch. The DVD inside is in English and the Dutch subtitles can be turned off... Has become one of my top programmes of all times.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 14 August 2006
Brideshead is a true classic. I don't think there can be any fault to find here. The casting of all the roles is exceptional even if some are against type. (hard to believe that Anthony Andrews played an army officer in Danger UXB and Jeremy Irons had presented Playaway!)Getting Gielgud and Olivier in the production too! The settings are great, bringing the book completely to life and it's sad that there isn't anything to match this on TV anymore!

Let's not see or hear any talk of a remake either.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2000
This is TV at its best. The film almost literally follows Waugh's original novel, thereby stressing the quality of the underlying story line. From a visual perspective, the settings are very well chosen... Oxford and Castle Howard, Venice... There's only one thing I regret... why isn't Brideshead Revisited available on DVD yet?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2014
Great DVD, iconic series and good quality mastering. It claims to be "digitally remastered". Shame it lacks subtitles. My copy was sold by World Cinema. A company with such a name must surely think subtitles are important? But the lack of subtitles was not mentioned anywhere in the product details.
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