Customer Reviews


66 Reviews
5 star:
 (33)
4 star:
 (16)
3 star:
 (9)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (6)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very uncivil war with a view!
I first saw this series when it was first shown on Channel 4 and was overwhelmed by the production design. Although the story is a variation on "Forever Amber" and showcases plenty of bodice-ripping interludes, it is overshadowed by the quite magnificent scenery, restricted colour palettes and costume design, possibly the most authentically impressive of any I have seen...
Published on 5 Mar 2010 by A. Luddite

versus
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Category romance with an epic background
A Ménage à Quatre Drama with brilliant costumes and an impressive assembly of characters. We follow the turmoil of the times of Oliver Cromwell and Charles I through the experiences of Angelica Fanshawe, played by a convincing and beautiful Andrea Riseborough. Through her we get to see many persons and events. From the land owning gentry to the very poor as...
Published on 4 Aug 2009 by Gisli Jokull Gislason


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very uncivil war with a view!, 5 Mar 2010
By 
A. Luddite (Gloucestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I first saw this series when it was first shown on Channel 4 and was overwhelmed by the production design. Although the story is a variation on "Forever Amber" and showcases plenty of bodice-ripping interludes, it is overshadowed by the quite magnificent scenery, restricted colour palettes and costume design, possibly the most authentically impressive of any I have seen in a television drama. The set pieces of Charles I's court, trial and execution are astounding and Peter Capaldi must have really immersed himself in research to have achieved the perfect mirror image of the monarch himself, somehow juxtaposing the regal arrogance of God's annointed with the trembling humanity of the condemned man and achieving what Bernini is said to have remarked upon receiving Van Dyke's portrait; "He hath the most unfortunate face I have ever looked upon".
There are weaknesses, of course. Historical facts have been twisted to accomodate the plotline and there is little evidence of Oliver Cromwell being the devout family man of his private life, as his own family are never seen. There is a confusion in direction, with Sexby changing sides in almost every episode but then this is essentially a story of love in war.
Story aside, this is an extrordinary visual event; put away the text books and enjoy the view. Fantastic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


114 of 122 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling, lavish and gritty drama, 15 Jan 2009
By 
S. Hammond "bidders86" (Oxfordshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
As with many 'period' dramas, The Devil's Whore is guilty of bending the truth somewhat. The best way to approach this sort of drama is to take it for what it is, a very entertaining series that, admittedly, would have probably been given 5 stars had it been longer, but the condensing of what was originally intended to be a ten episode drama into 4 episodes was the consequence of the BBC's decision to bump the drama to Channel 4.

Andrea Riseborough is a huge success as the intoxicatingly unconventional Van Dyck-esque Angelica Fanshawe, the central (fictional) character who unites the important people and events of the Civil War and Interregnum. But this political upheaval provides more or less the background to her life.

Starting out as a doll-like debutant courtier, she is troubled by having seen the Devil during certain instances in her life (a little bit of an unnecessary inclusion to an otherwise excellent story-line in my view).
Angelica is married with the encouragement of her guardian, King Charles, to her cousin and childhood friend, Harry Fanshawe. At this time,she comes into contact with hardened mercenery Edward Sexby, and is initially both repelled and intrigued by his thirst for battle and his drifting way of life. As the grimness of the Civil War unfolds, Angelica's boyish husband finds himself in deep water in command of Roylist troops. Demonstrating his military inexperience, he suffers an ebarassing defeat by Cromwell's troops, and King Charles is less than forgiving to the unfortunate pair.

Widowed and helpless, Angelica attracts unwanted advances from a chauvenistic merchant and accidentally gets embroiled in a murder scandal that won't seem to leave her alone. She crosses paths with Edward Sexby, and the pair, world-weary from their shoddy treatment at the hands of the royalists, change alliegence. Angelica is still in constant danger though, and Sexby, who harbours a secret love for her, is her only protector.

By this time, Angelica meets the charismatic political idealist Thomas Rainsborough, and they almost instantly fall in love, but in a time of such treacherous political instabilty, their happiness cannot last.

The action is gritty and suspenseful, even if large chunks of history are left out and Oliver Cromwell is shown in a somewhat lenient light. Michael Fassbender deserves credit for his strong performance as the principled but passionate Raisnborough. But it is John Simm that, for me, steals the show. Standing with quiet but passionate devotion on the sidelines of Angelica's life for so long, his masculinity and mystery is genuinely compelling, and he is the true swashbuckling hero of the drama as he wades in to defend Angelica and save the day and win her love, in uncertain times, danger, betrayal and retributution constantly lie around the corner and Angelica finds she has to take the law into her own hands and rely on her wits for her survival and happiness.

All in all, a thrilling, quality drama that just deserved to be longer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 17 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
a brilliant film. historically inaccurate but fun. great cast. the real sexby always fought for parliament so the film is inaccurate there, but that is scriptwriters for you.
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 Engaging and well-written historical drama, 18 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
As other reviewers have noted, it's not all historically accurate, but this four-part TV series has a gritty sensuality that conjures up a very convincing 17th-century world. Helped along by an intelligent and lyrical script, and by a talented cast, this is one of the best historical dramas of recent years. Its focus is the wealthy heiress Angelica Fanshawe, cast adrift in the changing factions of the Civil War, who finds sanctuary first in Cromwell's inner circle and then among the Levellers and Diggers, whose dreams of a better world stray even further from the world in which she grew up.

Intelligently shot, the series doesn't suffer overmuch from its small budget and the cinematography revels in its handful of opportunities to show larger vistas of grassland or sea. Much of the drama comes from a more intimate focus on human relationships, and on the conflicting demands of duty, desire, trust and principle. Blending political history with religious fervour, the series presents a very nuanced window onto the Civil War, where no one is entirely wicked or entirely blameless.

The luminous Andrea Riseborough shows both Angelica's steel and her vulnerability, while Dominic West turns Cromwell into a bluff, blunt, sympathetic figure: a man who has unwittingly enabled a revolution that he suddenly realises could spiral out of control. Michael Fassbender, Peter Capaldi and Maxine Peake provide able support; and John Simm turns in a compelling performance as the cynical, tough but troubled mercenary Edward Sexby. Compelling enough, in fact, to make him an entirely unlikely heartthrob.

It's a brave and original series, a cut above much of what has been on TV in the last few years, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. For a longer review, please visit my blog via my profile.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable achievement, 14 Oct 2009
By 
H. Lacroix (France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I loved watching this series when it was shown on Channel four. Both leading actors, Simm and Riseborough, were excellent and the supporting cast didn't let them down.John Simm on his own would have made watching this worth while.His character is so full of contradictions that he is fascinating. A blood-thirsty mercenary, fiercely loyal,capable of dealing with unrequited love without taking advantage when it would have been so easy for him, his silent, brooding presence is mesmerising. Capaldi made a very convincing king Charles the first, showing facets of his personality that enabled us both to understand him and sometimes pity him. Dominic West is a first quality actor and his portrayal of Cromwell was interesting in all its ambiguities.Difficult to like and difficult to loathe! I am no historian so I won't give an opinion on accuracy. Visually, this series was striking and I must congratulate the make up artists who managed to age Riseborough in a very convincing manner. This is so rarely the case it deserves to be mentioned.
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyably depressing :), 24 Jun 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
A good series, just wish they had kept the original idea of 10 episodes rather than shortening it all into 4 and maybe cut back on the sex scenes. There's lots of flaws here as to the historical events and the CGI is a little too obvious, so if you're the kind of the person who likes realism and true to facts then this probably isn't for you. But for people generally interested in British history, definitely would recommend. Definitely left me feeling a little depressed but I still love it :)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Viewing for History Buffs, 23 Nov 2009
By 
Mr. Michel Syrett "history buff" (Helensburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
It is a tragedy that The Devil's Whore was never made as it was originally intended, in its full extended version. As it is, it is a flawed masterpiece.

The irritating signs of violent editing, to squeeze the story into four paltry episodes (events jump by as much a 3-4 years at a time) is more than made up for by the vivid characterisation of one woman's rite of passage to emancipation and graphic portrayal on the only full-blown revolution the UK has ever experienced.

Gratifyingly absent is the saccarine overlay of Cavalier romanticism of previous TV series like By The Sword Divided.

The characters portrayed on the Parliamentary side - Cromwell, Rainsborough, 'Free-born' John Lilburne - are terrifying and admirable at the same time, advocating ideas centuries ahead of their time (universal sufferage, equal rights for women) and attempting to yank the conservative population of England into the modern age, whether it wanted to or not. Who'd have ever thought a popular TV series would make popular characters of The Levellers and The Diggers?

This is absolutely required viewing for anyone who wants the real story of the English Civil War, free of the naive simplicities of 1066 and all that!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Close, but still Hollywood!, 13 Nov 2009
This review is from: The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Firstly let me say I really enjoyed this production. It had the feel for the period which is so often lost in big productions. The storyline is excellent and thw whole thing very watchable. If you are into historical drama I would say this is a must.

What was missing was the real sense that England was going through one of the bloodiest periods of it's history with a nation torn to pieces and brother set against brother. Clearly something was going on but to the uninitiated you would not really guess what and why? The story came over as several seperate jeopardies our herione had to pass through.

I was left with the feeling that this was a bigger production cut down to fit four episodes. As an amatuer historian I had to ask where was Tom Fairfax? What happened to the glamourous Prince Rupert who appeared then simply disapppeared? Marston Moor? Naseby?

Having said all of that, a damn good ripping yarn and I guess that is what the BBC wanted!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Devil's Whore, 27 Oct 2009
By 
A. KING - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Excellent, understated and intense performances from John Simm and Dominic West. A gripping tale of England's turbulent civil war years, the politics of which is under-explained. The Levellers get plenty of 'air-time' via Free-Born John Milburn. The Ranters are pretty shabilly depicted (disappointing and ironic given the drama's central female role) and the Putney Debates are totally ignored. There's a hint of 'unpleasantness' in Ireland, which falls a long, long way short of the actual genoicide inflicted upon the Irish people. West's convincing portrayal of Cromwell's guilt and shame being far more effective that one soft-focus shot of a smoking field. An entertaining romp, rather than a history lesson - which is ok. Some beautiful photography - but above all it is the acting - particularly from Simm and West - which raise this a notch above average costume drama.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Category romance with an epic background, 4 Aug 2009
By 
Gisli Jokull Gislason "Jokull" (Iceland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
A Ménage à Quatre Drama with brilliant costumes and an impressive assembly of characters. We follow the turmoil of the times of Oliver Cromwell and Charles I through the experiences of Angelica Fanshawe, played by a convincing and beautiful Andrea Riseborough. Through her we get to see many persons and events. From the land owning gentry to the very poor as her fortunes turn. We also get to meet visonaries who look to a better world for all men. Cromwell isn't seen in an admireable light nor is his judgement a positive one, yet neither is he demonised.

The thing about the whole affair is it is rather shallow and underneath everything it has the feel of a decent Category Romance with a high production value for TV but still no masterpiece.

One has the feeling it could have been something more.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008]
The Devil's Whore [DVD] [2008] by Andrea Riseborough (DVD - 2009)
7.75
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews