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4.2 out of 5 stars
Clayhanger - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2014
Having read the trilogy, I am somewhat disappointed with this. The casting is like the curate's egg, good in parts. Janet Suzman is completely wrong for Hilda - too old, for a start, and to me doesn't portray the Hilda from the book at all. Old Clayhanger is very good, though. Haven't watched it all yet, but can't help comparing with The Pallisers of a similar TV era - done so much better and anything but a disappointment even after having read all 6 of the novels.
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on 14 January 2013
This first came out in the late seventies and I never got into it. More recently I have become a Bennett afficienado and decided to give it another shot. Loved the story, loved the grittiness of it. Arnold would have been very happy with Janet Suzman as the perfect Hilda. The one criticism as I remember is that the characters didn't sound anything like Stokies, as no one would have understood what they were saying! But this is excellently faithful to the book; Big James' glee club, Florence Simcox the champion clog dancer, poor Mr Shushions the oldest Sunday School teacher. I laughed at the end: Hilda has finally persuaded Edwin to buy Ladderedge Hall, and he reasons, he can still get to Bursley in 20 minutes in the dogcart. These days it takes you twice as long with a motor car. That's progress for you! Anyone who enjoys period dramas will devour this.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2010
hurray! i have been waiting years for this series to come out on dvd since as far as i know it never even came out on vhs and i was beginning to think it was one of those productions that had been completely lost, but now i can heave a sigh of relief and wait for it to arrive. i loved it years ago when it was on the television and look forward to seeing it again,a brilliant production.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2010
I bought the boxset as a birthday present for my mum who loved the series in it's one and only showing on TV.She never thought she would see it again so when she received this she was totally made up.I received the item within 2 days of ordering so all in all I was completely happy with every aspects of this order.
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on 6 March 2013
i give it 5 stars considering that the old filmakers didnot enjoy todays very much advances in everything including the film
m aking industry.the only complaint beinng the first reel which is so dark that in much of the chapter is almost very dark and is by far the worst pictu themselvesr that i have seen and i have over 3000 disks the stars give remarkable performances in spite of the conditions that they have to overcome .one of these is to speak their thoughts peter mcemory proves that this practice was copied ln later films.janet suzman would give alexis colby competition in bitching when her selfishness shows through .harry andrews really enjoyed himself as the vile temperede darius and denholm elliott gives the great acting that anyone will epect in tis fim as he continued to do througout his career ,
making
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2012
Excellent production. Have read the trilogy twice (5 years between readings). I have seen no film or play (including many Dickens interpretations) which conveys the story and characters more closely to my impression than this production does!
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on 25 September 2013
In spite of 1976 TV technology this series is unsurpassed in sustained interest. The dramatization entailed a 'cut and paste' of the chronological narrative of the first two volumes of the trilogy (Clayhanger & Hilda Lessways) and the narrative content of the third volume (these Twain).
It is difficult to imagine more convincing a performance from a recasting and restructuring here and now. It may be of interest to Arnold Bennett enthusiasts to note that the sequel to the trilogy 'The Roll Call' is not ventured upon.
*
E M W Tillyard had high praise for Bennett's ability to be enraptured by the greatness of small everyday things. See 'The Epic Strain in the English Novel'.
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on 25 February 2015
First time i have watched the series since the original TV broadcast in the 1970's. 26 episodes on 7 dvd's. I like Victorian dramas but this won't suit everyone. At times , the story is slow and some of the characters could drive you to drink! The second episode is very dark ; shot indoors in poor light, and very difficult to see the actors.Could be a fault in the original production or in the more recent copying process. Also a minute or two of damaged recording later on in one episode. Nonetheless, i enjoyed seeing it all again.
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on 7 July 2013
The series was well acted. Harry Andrew's as the family patriarch was exceptional. I have not read the Arnold Bennet novels on which the story is based and can't say how accurately the series reflected them. My main criticism is that the story is rather slow in parts -perhaps 13 rather than 26 episodes would have been better. Nevertheless the story held its interest and for fans of late 19th century family dramas it is reasonable.
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on 5 May 2014
A fantastic series that I don't recall ever repeated on ITV (as it was then). Watching it now is just as good when I first saw the series in 1976.

Maybe not for everyone, but I've always loved period dramas which this is. Some great scenes, great episodes and of course great acting (especially by old man CLayhanger).

Very good value for money and highly recommended.
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