Customer Reviews


54 Reviews
5 star:
 (39)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dirty Politics
A gripping turn-of-events political drama from the 90s when Channel 4 seemed to be churning out quality drama series. Superb performances from Trevor Eve and Juliet Stevenson who, even with an incredible script, just add a whole other dimension to the show. Bonus points for casting Minnie Driver in the pivotal supporting role - one of my favourite actresses. If you dont...
Published on 4 July 2011 by J. D. White

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Best left in the 90's
This 90's series does not unfortunately stand the test of time. The sexual aspects were torrid, gratuitous and more explicit than we see in the the more recent, acclaimed series. The ending was rushed and unexplained.
Published 1 month ago by Glenys Cooper


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dirty Politics, 4 July 2011
By 
J. D. White "Jdawg" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Politician's Wife [DVD] (DVD)
A gripping turn-of-events political drama from the 90s when Channel 4 seemed to be churning out quality drama series. Superb performances from Trevor Eve and Juliet Stevenson who, even with an incredible script, just add a whole other dimension to the show. Bonus points for casting Minnie Driver in the pivotal supporting role - one of my favourite actresses. If you dont believe me when I say how cool this show is, the DVD itself plugs the awards it won at the time
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Errant husbands beware !, 5 April 2005
By 
Ms. H. Sinton "dragondrums" (Ingleby Barwick. U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Politician's Wife [DVD] (DVD)
Flora is happily married to Duncan (Trevor Eve), or so she thinks. Duncan is a government minister and away in London all week leaving Flora in their country home, bringing up their two children and playing the role of a typical Conservative housewife. Her illusions are shattered when the tabloids get hold of a story linking her husband with a glamorous younger woman. Initially she is talked into forgiving what her husband told her was a 'one night stand' but as the truth is revealed and she realises this was a long standing affair, Flora decides to get her revenge.
Making good use of her air of naivety and innocence, Flora (brilliantly played by Juliet Stevenson) uses the contacts she has in parliament, and her husbands constituents, to systematically decimate her husbands reputation and career. The look on Duncan's face when he realises who was behind his downfall is priceless. This 'made for TV' production should put the fear of God into any husband thinking of straying....as the saying goes; Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale of revenge, 8 May 2007
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Politician's Wife [DVD] (DVD)
`The Politician's Wife' is a fascinating drama, a revenge story of the first order, and a good rendition of post-Thatcher politics shortly before the fall of the Conservative Party, in part due to charges of corruption from being so long in office. This is a Channel Four production, also shown on the PBS series (heavily edited) `Masterpiece Theatre' in the United States.

This is a drama as a triptych. The first part is discovery, the second part failed reconciliation and aftermath, with the third part revenge. Flora Matlock is a perfect politician's wife - dutiful, full of charm and good works, reasonably stylish without being ostentatious, and definitely one not to outshine her rising-star ministerial husband. Coming from a family with a political background (her father is himself an almost-has-been in the Party, hoping to hitch himself to the rising Duncan Matlock), she was the `right sort' who could be counted on to act in such a way as was `meet and right so to do'. But Duncan has a secret that has just been revealed.

Flora discovers her husband's affair first from the media onslaught that occurs as a result of the press getting hold of the story. Duncan Matlock enlists the aid of the various party members, including Flora's own father, to pressure her to forgive him, not just for the sake of their marriage, but for the sake of the party; they hope that her party-political upbringing will help her to `see reason' in this process.

However, there is one party functionary who does not like what is going on (Mark Hollister, a middle-weight player in the party, who perhaps sees the fall of Duncan Matlock as his opportunity to rise in the party). Duncan Matlock had described his affair with Jennifer Caird in very generic, disarming terms to Flora. Hollister provides very graphic tape recordings of phone sex and other very prurient details that show Flora just how much Duncan was concealing. Flora decides to take on her husband, her husband's mistress Jennifer (who seems to thrive on the continuing attention both of Duncan and the media), and the whole party apparatus to get justice, a kind of justice she decides for herself.

The party functionaries are Machiavellian, but it turns out they are rank amateurs compared to Hollister (in the beginning) and what Flora Matlock becomes. She uses her history and their constant underestimation of her to good advantage, and soon has the upper hand in all dealings. Her revenge is indeed sweet in the end.

Acting and Directing

Juliet Stevenson does a remarkable acting job, going from the somewhat mousy to dramatically tough Flora Duncan in the space of three episodes. To play the two different characters would be acting ability enough; to carry forward both characters as a believable combination of both into one is great. Trevor Eve plays a great villain as Duncan Matlock, condescending and ambitious, deceitful and emotionally usurious. Indeed, one might wonder at the mismatch between Flora and Duncan given their different characters, save for one conversation between Flora and her father, where he claims that she had to know what he was like when she picked him for a husband, and she responds that she didn't pick him, he picked her. Another stand-out performance is by Minnie Driver, in her pre-Hollywood days, as Jennifer Caird, the outspoken mistress of Duncan Matlock. Anton Lesser also does a good job as Mark Hollister, playing the one who seems to care both what happens to Flora as well as to his own career.

This is definitely one of Graham Theakston's best - he has directed episodes in a lot of dramatic series (Cadfael, A Touch of Frost, Taggart, Dempsey & Makepeace) as well as a few other stand-alone projects (Sherlock, The Mill on the Floss). The pacing is good throughout, and the overall tone of the production is a good one, befitting its political theme.

The production won the BAFTA TV award, the International Emmy for drama, the Peabody Award, and the Writer's Guild of Great Britain award for dramatic writing, all in 1995 or 1996.

Spoiler Alert * * * Spoiler Alert * * * Spoiler Alert

Read no further if you don't want to know the nature and outcome of Flora's revenge.

My favourite scene has to be at the conclusion, while Duncan is sitting in the airport lobby seats, waiting for a flight to take him to a do-nothing graveyard post in the European Parliament (I recall the words of Jim Hacker, from `Yes, Minister', who described taking a European Parliament job as a dead-end for a political career - `You're reduced to having to start your own party if you ever want to make it back,' he said). On the television in the airport lobby is a broadcast of the election results for the parliamentary seat vacated by Duncan, and there is the victor, the radiant Flora Matlock, who has beaten her husband and the whole of the party machine at their own game. Indeed, she was by that point another Iron Lady in the making.

It is not unusual in politics for a widow to take the place of a politician who dies in office. This was true even before women began to regularly elected in their own right - it also speaks to the skill and lack of appreciation that politician's wives tend to get in general. In the United States, with Hillary Clinton now running for the same officer her husband (who had his own brush with infidelity), this drama seems like the right kind of piece. All things old are new again.
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 A brilliant film, 11 Dec 2012
By 
M. Monette (France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Politician's Wife [DVD] (DVD)
As The Politican's Wife, Juliet Stevenson is nothing short of brilliant. Married to a handsome, ambitious TomCat politician (Trevor Eve), the quiet, reserved and rather plain wife ever so subtly uses her knowledge of the political world's workings to exact revenge and make her own life. The supporting cast is excellent and the script is brilliant. Like any really good drama, it keeps the viewer hooked with twists and turns and wondering what will happen next.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The missus could've given Machiavelli lessons, 25 Jan 2005
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Politician's Wife [DVD] (DVD)
THE POLITICIAN'S WIFE is further evidence that even talented men are ruled by gonadal impulses and should leave the heavy mental lifting to the ladies.
Flora (Juliet Stevenson) is married to a junior Cabinet minister in Her Majesty's Government, Duncan Matlock (Trevor Eve). Duncan gets caught up in a scandal, which, because he's a Tory in a Conservative administration, is sexual in nature - he's linked to an escort babe (Minnie Driver). Though Duncan declares to Flora that it was a one-off affair, it becomes apparent to the latter and the audience during the first installment of this three-episode telly miniseries that the trysts continue. Indeed, Flora has her nose rubbed in it when she comes into possession of tapes of Duncan and his tart having phone sex. It's devastating stuff. So, while pretending to be the loyal wife standing at her husband's side during damage control efforts by the local Conservative organization, and while Duncan himself strives to get a piece of controversial legislation through Parliament, Flora stage-manages his political downfall with the unwitting aid of a powerful Tory Mr. Fixit, smoothly played by Ian Bannen (the schemer of WAKING NED DEVINE), since deceased.
The performances by all actors involved are top drawer. Indeed, Duncan is the male pig you love to hate, and he's a politician besides. Eeeuw! But THE POLITICIAN'S WIFE is a one-woman show, and Juliet Stevenson is the one you pay to watch as her Flora persona picks herself off the floor - kicked while down - and gives hubby his just desserts. There are times when, as Flora gazes at her spouse as if he's an interesting lab specimen, you can almost hear the wheels in her head turning, turning, turning, and you know the man is doomed. In a final scene, it appears that even Duncan admires his wife's Machiavellian talent.
My only criticism - a trivial one - is that Duncan's Whitehall department, the Ministry for the Family (or some such), didn't project the grandiosity that warranted the attention provided by a juicy sex scandal. I mean, if the U.S. Secretary of HUD was caught flagrante delicto with a bimbo, who would care?
THE POLITICIAN'S WIFE is perfect small-screen entertainment for those nights when the spouse is off at ... work?
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the Politician's Husband, 27 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Politician's Wife [DVD] (DVD)
Great acting and excellent writing have stood the test of time and this could have been written today rather than 10 years ago.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars good dvd., 7 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Politician's Wife [DVD] (DVD)
i really enjoyed this dvd fine acting by a very strong cast will definately watch it again in the future.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars An American's view, 16 Mar 2008
This review is from: The Politician's Wife [DVD] (DVD)
We watched the entire three part (though only 187 minutes, I think) movie last night and woke up to the newest political scandal with Eliot Spitzer. How timely!

This is a very good film about Flora, married to the Minister of Family whom espouses family values. Sure enough, the movie starts with Duncan, her husband, coming home with his entourage and having to let his wife know about his one-night stand with another woman, since the press has found out and they are about to be hounded.

Flora is absolutely broken-hearted. And, to make matters worse, nobody seems to show true sympathy to her for her heartbreak-- instead, everybody is concerned about Duncan keeping his position and about the "Party" (suffice it to say this has a definite liberal bias, but it's really not too bad).

Her father is even a creep. Flora comes down in the middle of the night and sees her father (one of the "party's" cronies) and when he begins to let her know how upset he is about Duncan's infidelity, Flora assumes she will be shown some concern. However, the dad is only concerned about himself and his upset is due to his fear that Duncan will go down and that his own future will be ruined. Despicable characters-- all of them!

Anyways, soon Flora receives an anonymous tape with very explicit recordings of some phone sex her husband took part in with the woman he was having an affair with. She soon recognizes that this was no "one-time" fling, but a serious affair that took place over the better part of a year and was very very serious. She begins to really despise her husband, while at the same time hanging on to the bit of love she once had for him. This part of the movie is interesting. It's obvious (to us) that she begins to really hate him-- hate his character and lack thereof. His flaws are completely noticeable-- maybe for the first time to Flora. He lies. He hates gays. He hates the needy. He says what he needs to say for political expediency, and then whispers to Flora how he will get away with breaking the promises he just made a moment before. He's definitely unlikeable.

However, rather than this being a "Let's bash the Conservatives" movie, one of Duncan's staff begins to help Flora plan Duncan's revenge. And, it soon turns out that more of the "Party" start to see the error of Duncan's ways, as well. So, there are definitely a few "honorable" people here, except, really, who is really honorable when the methods are so despicable, even if those methods are the absolute only way to achieve the necessary goals?

So, this becomes a film about morality, too. And, it is confusing, because we've grown to empathize with Flora but even she is capable of deceit. But, her methods are definitely underhanded even though her heart (for everyone but Duncan) is in the right place.

The acting is absolutely superb. Juliet Stevenson is extremely talented and I'm glad to see her in a lead role. Minnie Driver plays the mistress with a perfect British accent. Everyone else was good and the story moved along well, although had it gone a bit faster, I wouldn't have been disappointed.

Part of what is interesting here is the perceived necessity for the politicians' wives to stand by their men after their husbands' infidelities are exposed. We saw it with Hillary Clinton, we've seen it with Jim McGreevey and his wife, we've seen it with Larry Craig and his wife, and now we're seeing it with Elliot Spitzer and his sad-looking wife. These poor women (except for Hillary, I guess, who has her own reasons I suppose for staying)! They are paraded out in public to stand by their men and show support and smile and hold hands, etc., even while the pain is probably still profuse. Personally, I think the women would gain so much more respect by leaving. And, with Hillary, specifically (since she herself is in the public eye), I think her likeability would have gone way up had she left her chronically unfaithful husband behind.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A strong, satisfying and amusing story of political revenge, 15 July 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Politician's Wife [DVD] (DVD)
This is an enormously satisying British television program involving political hypocrisy, personal corruption and revenge. It's a mixture of cynical humor and serious political observations. And it features great acting all around.

Duncan Matlock (Trevor Eve) is an up-and-coming Tory politician who's specialities are family values and ambition. He's married to Flora Matlock (Juliet Stevenson), who loves him and who has supported his climb up the Tory ranks for years. She's the epitome of the perfect political wife...smart, wealthy, loyal, socially adept but with a human touch, great at looking entranced at her husband on stage while he gives his speeches about values and family. When it's discovered he's had an affair with a former prostitute (Minnie Driver), she is devestated, but he pleads for forgiveness saying it was only a passing weakness. The Tory damage-control team, headed by Sir Donald Frazier (Ian Bannen), after weighing things for a bit, decides to swing behind Duncan and convices Flora that her husband is a changed man. She agrees to stay with him.

Then she learns Duncan's affairs go way back, that they are continuing, that he has a habit of using people, which includes her and the people who lead organizations trying to help battered women and familes, for his own ends. Flora sets out to seek her revenge...and does so with great subtlety. Duncan doesn't know what hit him until it's too late, and she gently forces Sir Donald and his inner-party big wigs to make some cynical choices. I'm not sure there's a male politician in the bunch who comes off very well -- they all seem to be self-satisfied, self-serving members of the same club. Flora beats them at their own game.

Juliet Stevenson is a first-rate actress, and she does a superb job. She moves from devotion to hurt to forgiveness to a strong, smart woman setting up hidden revenge with immense believeabilty. Her short speech before a group of Tory wives who call themselves The Conservative Christian Wives Club (this is after she has discovered the truth about her husband but is playing the loyal wife) is a funny, ironic piece of subversion. Trevor Eve is just about as good as the charming, believable, ambitious, hypocritical politician on the make.

"The Politican's Wife" was shown in three installments and runs just over three hours. There's not a dull moment.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Production, 14 Mar 2012
By 
H. A. Weedon "Mouser" (North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Politician's Wife [DVD] (DVD)
This is an outstanding production. I first saw it on TV and am now delighted to have my own DVD of it. An added bonus is that, since Trevor Eaves is one of my least favourite actors, it was inspiring to see him getting bested by the brilliant Juliet Stevenson at every turn. One gets the impression that the storyline is very close to how politics actually operates. Indeed, we have only to reflect on the misdemeanours of real life politicians to realise how realistic this production is. All the acting is of a high standard and I thoroughly recommend this dvd.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Politician's Wife [DVD]
The Politician's Wife [DVD] by Graham Theakston (DVD - 2011)
£4.70
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews