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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars57
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 7 June 2010
This is a wonderful piece of social history brought to life. Don't be put off by thinking it is just another lesbian drama made for cheap thrills. Whatever your sexual preferences this is a touching and thought provoking film.

It is the true story of Miss Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, Yorkshire, who thwarted the pre-Victorian ideal of marrying a wealthy man and providing an heir. I think she must have been one gutsy lady to live her life true to her heart despite knowing that people were sniggering behind her back and even calling her "gentleman Jack". She was also a learned lady and had a head for business. Very interesting from a historical point of view. I've no doubt many women at that time must have lived together as a couple, but in denial and with an excuse of some kind. Anne Lister was ahead of her time in thinking that she could live openly with her female lover as a married couple and be accepted by society. I thought Maxine Peake's performance was amazing.
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on 18 May 2010
This film dramatises a little piece of lesbian history - the extraordinarily explicit diaries of Halifax lesbian Anne Lister, which she wrote in a complicated code. If you are a lesbian and you don't know about Anne, you're in for a real treat, and if you do know about her, this is a great realisation of her story on screen. Anne is fairly wealthy, totally unabashed in pursuing her alliances and yet also has a yearning restlessness about her which is perfectly brought out in the film. The objects of her affections are often more susceptible to societal pressure and the film turns on her search for a woman who will be her 'one true companion'a quest with several false leads, including her best friend who loves her but who isn't loved in return.

It's heartwarming rather than sexy (although there are some charged love scenes) but this film shouldn't be dismissed as a worthy curiosity. There's some great performances, a real sense of connection between the actresses and a great story, which just happens to be true. Who knew Halifax was so exciting?
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on 17 October 2015
I was initially unsure about this when I bought this DVD and did so on the strength of Maxine Peake playing the lead role, but I was quickly reassured, it is a well acted and moving story of lesbian life in the upper echelons of nineteenth century Yorkshire society. It is steeped in the atmosphere and prejudices of the time and is a joy to watch. The film is based on the original secretly coded diaries of Anne Lister which were discovered in her home, Shibden Hall in the 1930s. The diaries, detailing her romantic affairs were encoded in a combination of algebra and ancient Greek. The film was shot on location in several places including Shibden Hall and the North York Moors. Moving performances by Maxine Peake (Anne Lister), Anne’s lover Mariana Belcombe (Anna Madeley) and Anne’s ex Isabella ‘Tib’ (Susan Lynch). There is jealousy, possessiveness, bitchiness and wild romps behind the closed doors of Anne’s Shibden Hall all adding to the mix. Such fun to watch, will watch it again sometime soon.
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on 11 January 2014
It's not a bad film, but I was expecting more from it...I didn't like the main character of Anne Lister at all while watching the film...she's a bit of a "predator" when she's trying to seduce women and I didn't find her at all interesting. Sometimes she's even mean and tactless. But she was very brave and wasn't afraid of being a lesbian at the time, so I do admire her for that.
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on 15 November 2015
Ace.. I come from Halifax and fond memories of Shibden Park ( I would visit frequently as young child). The story is of great interest to me as a lesbian and Anne Lister is brought vividly to life by Maxine Peake. She is joined by several other talented actors who will be recognisable to most . Well worth several viewings!
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on 18 August 2010
A BELOVED AND BEAUTIFULL TALE BROUGHT TO SCREEN. ONE WOMAN'S POWERFULL STORY OF THE SEARCH FOR TRUE LOVE, ANN, OFTEN DESPAIRING AT THE ATTITUDE'S, AND OFTEN SNOBBISH BEHAVIOUR OF HER SO CALLED SOCIAL CIRCLE.
I HAVE READ THE BOOK ( IT TAKE'S A WHILE TO ADAPT TO THE WAY PEOPLE SPOKE, CIRCA 1800'S ) BUT IF YOU FIND THE BOOK " HEAVY GOING " THIS DVD FROM AMAZON EXPLAIN'S ALL.
A TRUE TALE OF LESBIAN LOVE IN A " MAN'S WORLD "
HEARTILY RECOMMENDED. 4****
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on 20 April 2014
the secret diaries of miss anne lister is a lovely and exciting story about a woman who suffered so much for her real love and struggled against society in those years. I really love this film, it really worth to watch it
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on 27 May 2014
Interesting storyline and good acting. Reminded me of 'Tipping the Velvet'. Well worth watching if you like lesbian period dramas.
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on 28 October 2015
Beautiful photography and spirit combined depicted through Anne Lister and her calm and evocative nature.., beautifully made....
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on 24 July 2014
Great story, great acting, Maxine peak is one of my favourite thespians.
My only gripe would be that it was to short!!!
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