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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughter and Tears
I'm not a sentimental person. I hate cuddly toys and felt physically sick during 'Truly, Madly Deeply', but I can't watch 'To Serve Them All My Days' without feeling rather emotional. Perhaps that's because it is such a perfect television drama. The adaptation is, dare I say, even better than the original novel and the I can't imagine a better cast. John Duttine, Frank...
Published on 10 Aug 2004 by The Man from the Ministry

versus
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars TV drama v Book
I loved this when it was out but was slightly disappointed in watching this again having read and re-read the book several times in the interim. The TV series is good, well cast and acted and John Duttine is brilliant. I also didn't remember a young Nicholas Lyndhurst in it previously, but leaving a whole very important character out of the story, namely daughter Grace,...
Published on 10 Nov 2011 by JHM


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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughter and Tears, 10 Aug 2004
By 
The Man from the Ministry (Sussex) - See all my reviews
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I'm not a sentimental person. I hate cuddly toys and felt physically sick during 'Truly, Madly Deeply', but I can't watch 'To Serve Them All My Days' without feeling rather emotional. Perhaps that's because it is such a perfect television drama. The adaptation is, dare I say, even better than the original novel and the I can't imagine a better cast. John Duttine, Frank Middlemass and the lovely Belinda Lang are superb, but so are the other actors.
This DVD collection is sheer, unadulterated pleasure and I would warmly recommend it to everyone. If anyone involved with the production of the series ever reads this review - thank you!
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 26 Nov 2004
By 
Wilz "wilson9hb" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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What a delight to watch a well acted, pleasant rich story with plenty of drama. This can't date as it is set in the period between the wars, but rather benefits from a non modern approach where people can be understood, the plot can be followed, the story is interesting and the characters are well presented.
A must for anyone looking to watch TV but can't find a good Drama worth bothering with.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth waiting for, 16 Mar 2004
By 
H. B. Brown "helbrown" (Northampton United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I am so excited that this is finally available on DVD after years of waiting.
This truly is one of the greatest TV dramas ever made. Not just a chronicle of life at the time, but of one man's emotional journey and of his development both as a man as a schoolmaster.
The writing, production and performances are superb. A tour de force from John Duttine who has never done anything better, excellent support from his fellow schoolmasters (particularly Alan MacNaughton) and the women in his life - and Frank Middlemass is just wonderful.
After years of searching the shelves in vain for this gem to appear, I am ready to wallow. Pure joy.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars TV drama v Book, 10 Nov 2011
This review is from: To Serve Them All My Days [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
I loved this when it was out but was slightly disappointed in watching this again having read and re-read the book several times in the interim. The TV series is good, well cast and acted and John Duttine is brilliant. I also didn't remember a young Nicholas Lyndhurst in it previously, but leaving a whole very important character out of the story, namely daughter Grace, did slightly dampen it for me. It's made me want to read the book again though.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars to serve them all my days, 8 April 2005
Like other reviewers I saw this in the 80s as a teenager and just loved it. For years i had looked in vain for its release on video or dvd...i even contacted the bbc and asked were they going to release it. NO.
Anyway having finally obtained a copy I watched it with some trepidation fearing that it could never live up to my memories of it and that it would seem dated. It did and it isnt. My only reservation is that the colour seems a little faded so that everything is a bit sepia hued. When I went back onto TV everybody was tomato coloured as i had all the settings so high to get a bit of colour in the picture. Its a minor gripe however.
Having read the novel (a fabulous book.....if you havent read any R.F Delderfield.... you should, he is a glorious story teller), the highest accolade i can give is to say that this film really is the novel jumping from the page. Casting is perfect from the brooding fragile Powlet Jones to the shrewd eccentric adorable headmaster. Being a bit of a lefty ,like Powlet Jones it would be easy to take offense at the glorifying privilege represented in the public school system. However like the novel..the DVD celebrates human spirit in all its guises. Forget Goodbye Mister Chips, this has it all..romance,tragedy,triumph, politics, class stuggle, snobbery, inverted snobbery.......I could go on, but I wont!
Why did the bbc make us wait so long?
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old-Fashioned Heartwarming Drama, 14 Dec 2011
By 
F. S. L'hoir (Irvine, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: To Serve Them All My Days [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
I enjoyed "To Serve them All My Days" immensely. Each hour-long episode is riveting with dramatic suspense. There are three episodes per disc, on four discs--and it was all I could do to wait until the next evening to watch the next--except the last disc, which, to my disappointment, had only two episodes (I did not want the story to end!).

This film, made in 1980, is one of the old-fashioned BBC dramas, which emphasised quality in production, costume, and setting. It goes without saying that the characters are superbly acted [I especially liked Algie, the first Headmaster]. The story is heartwarming; in fact, one may want to keep a box of tissues handy for the weepy bits. Set in a venerable but minor British Public School, the production, which was filmed at Milton Abbey in Dorset, focuses on the lives of the Masters and their charges from 1916 to approximately 1931.

Although the cinematography is excellent, the color has, unfortunately, deteriorated, especially the skies, which have become pale, and if characters are standing with the sky at their backs, haloes hover slightly over their heads. This, however, is only an occasional problem, and the story is so interesting that I did not let it bother me.

I did notice significant changes in the story, which I first heard as a BBC radio series, based on the novel, but the series is strong enough to stand on its own.

If you like action-packed adventure, "To Serve Them All My Days" is not for you, but if you like quality drama, about an England that has largely vanished, this film will indubitably be your cup of quality tea!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite of all time, 30 Nov 2004
How long have I waited for this? Since video was first invented. I watched this as a teenager and again when BBC re ran it in 1983 I have read the book so many times I had to buy another copy. I'm in love with David Powlett- Jones right from the first scene. I rationed myself to one or two episodes at a time when I got the DVD. The story gives us an insight into life in boarding school for both pupils and teachers in the early 20th Century and makes you so sorry for PJ that you're routing for him all the way through to the end.I'll watch it over and over.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patience Rewarded., 4 July 2004
By 
Graham Brant (Bincombe, Dorset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This was a wonderful serial when it was first released twenty four years ago and I thought that I was never going to be able to see it again. As soon as the video release was announced I ordered a copy. Having now watched all thirteen episodes I can say that my memories had not become rose-tinted by the passage of time. R.F. Delderfield's excellent story, superbly adapted, the ambience of Milton Abbey school, aka Bamfylde, and the inspired casting have more than stood the test of time. First class performances abound from the likes of John Duttine, Frank Middlemass, Susan Jameson, et al. If you like a good story without crass vulgarity and obscenities, then this is the one. I enjoyed every minute of it and will certainly watch it again and again.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To Serve Them All My Days revisited, 24 Jun 2004
By 
Dr. M. Turner (Sherborne, Dorset) - See all my reviews
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AT LAST! Like many others who fondly remember the initial televising of 'To Serve Them All My Days',I had,after many years of searching,given up hope of its ever being released on Video or DVD,assuming that the original recordings had been wiped or that legal wranglings had prevented its re-emergence. How wonderful,then,to be able to re-live those memories once more. The enterprise was,and still is,an example of TV Drama at its very best. The casting,unlike that for the woeful and ill-judged re-make of 'The Forsyte Saga' -why try to duplicate perfection already attained in 1967?- was spot on in every department. Acting of the highest calibre was achieved by the entire cast,none better than the magnificent Alan MacNaughtan who brought the perfect blend of dry,world-weary cynicism and wise humanity to the character of Howarth. The lesser parts were also executed with aplomb,my namesake as the Brigadier included! The location was an added bonus,close as it is to my home town.
A much welcome and long overdue record of a superb production.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just superb truly a pleasure, 11 Aug 2004
It really does not seem like Twenty four years since this adaptation of To Serve Them all my days was aired. This is a timeless piece of drama based upon the book of the same title by R.F.Delderfield. It follows the life of David Powlett- Jones ,a young soldier who returns shell shocked and emotionally vulnerable from the trenches of the Somme at the end of the Great war. On his return he finds himself a school master at an English public school. The beauty of this story and of the dramatisation is we watch him grow and develop into a wonderful man helped through his life by his devotion to his work. We share the highs and the lows of his life and we share in the relationships he forms over the years. This series is as good now as it was over twenty years ago. It has been transferred to dvd well. The acting is superb. It is an absolute must for anyone who watched it fisrt time round and for those of you who appreciate good strong costume drama .
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To Serve Them All My Days [DVD] [1980]
To Serve Them All My Days [DVD] [1980] by Ronald Wilson (DVD - 2011)
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