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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fitting Tribute
Sir Terence's Centenary has been marked by high calibre theatrical revivals of FLARE PATH and CAUSE CELEBRE, and a BBC Radio season of both new and vintage productions.Now comes this Collection drawn from BBC Television Rattigans broadcast over forty years: it is both interesting and inconsistent,what is good being outstanding and where there are failings, they are...
Published on 23 July 2011 by Raphael

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old style entertainment
Whilst i enjoyed this very much, the content is of course dated and may not be for every one. Foor me five stars but others may not feel the same way about former styles of writing and acting.
Published 15 months ago by M. R. Wilson


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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fitting Tribute, 23 July 2011
By 
Raphael (London,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Terence Rattigan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Sir Terence's Centenary has been marked by high calibre theatrical revivals of FLARE PATH and CAUSE CELEBRE, and a BBC Radio season of both new and vintage productions.Now comes this Collection drawn from BBC Television Rattigans broadcast over forty years: it is both interesting and inconsistent,what is good being outstanding and where there are failings, they are surprisingly intriguing.
HEART TO HEART and ALL ON HER OWN were commissions, the latter a monologue for Rattigan's favourite actress Margaret Leighton, and demonstrate the esteem in which the single drama was once held.
ADVENTURE STORY appears to have been taped from a live performance, so the acting is somewhat stagy, but after a fashion that suits the material: Sean Connery as Alexander the Great, what more need be said?
In SEPARATE TABLES Eric Porter and Geraldine McEwan splendidly follow the tradition of adopting dual roles with excellent support from Pauline Jameson, Cathleen Nesbitt and Annette Crosbie.
FRENCH WITHOUT TEARS is beautifully played by a fine cast, but suffers rather in that it is a piece which needs a live audience.
Alan Badel's low-key interpretation of Sir Robert Morton in THE WINSLOW BOY lends it a rather strange atmosphere, some dynamic is lacking, but Eric Porter is most effective as Arthur Winslow.
AFTER THE DANCE authentically captures the demimondaines of the inter-war period, and is only slightly marred by the camera exposing the leading players as a tad too old for their parts.
The surprises, not altogether pleasant, begin with THE BROWNING VERSION. The essence of Mr Crocker-Harris eludes Ian Holm, and as his wife Judi Dench seems to have thought she was in an episode of MARPLE, playing the eventual murder victim, so egregiously unpleasant that she deserves what she gets.A rare but telling off-day for everyone's best-loved Dame.
Karel Reisz's take on THE DEEP BLUE SEA has the actors improvising around the original text, which destroys any nuance of class distinction and sensibility, and allows too much histrionic abandon;the penultimate scene loses its effect by being insensitively cut, spoiling the impact of the final moments, and it all goes to prove the disadvantage of being a deceased author when your play is being revived.
However, the value of this selection is its preservation of outstanding performances of first class writing.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rattigan On The Rise, 23 July 2011
By 
M. J. Nelson (Leeds) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Terence Rattigan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
This five-disc set of BBC TV productions of Terence Rattigan's plays, issued in the year of the centenary of his birth, is a timely tribute to a dramatist who suffered a serious neglect during the period when the New Wave in English drama was at its height. Recently, a number of professional revivals of his plays have restored his reputation. Arguably, his finest plays are the two on Disc 3 of this set : The Winslow Boy and The Browning Version. In the former Eric Porter excels as a family head who seeks to have his naval cadet son exonerated from the charge of stealing a postal order; in the latter Ian Holm is equally impressive as an ageing schoolmaster who has to come to terms with the failure of both his career and his marriage. These are plays in which Rattigan is at his best in laying bare deep emotional and psychological strains in his principal characters within a skilful dramatic framework. Also highly commendable is one of the two plays that make up Separate Tables, set in a genteel hotel in Bournemouth : a bogus Major (another fine performance by Eric Porter) has a guilty secret which becomes known to the other residents and prompts a campaign amongst some of them to have him evicted. Not all the plays reach this standard : French Without Tears, for example, which was Rattigan's first great West End success, now appears distinctly flimsy, its would-be sophisticated comedy exchanges no longer very compelling. There is much else of interest in the set (including a young Sean Connery as a splendidly virile Alexander the Great in the ambitious but flawed Adventure Story). Al Senter contributes an excellent introductory essay on the dramatist.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and welcome collection of plays, 17 Aug 2011
By 
Bluebell (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Terence Rattigan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Having seen only a few of the Rattigan's more famous plays: The Browning Version; The Winslow Boy and The Deep Blue Sea, I was pleased to get this comprehensive collection. The centenary of his birth will, I hope, trigger an renaissance of his popularity for, as this collection illustrates, he is a masterly and thought-provoking playwright. It's a salutary reminder of how TV schedules have changed in that most of the plays in this collection were broadcast by the BBC. Some of the plays were recorded over 40 years ago and, inevitably, the picture and sound quality are poor by today's standards but the content is so good you soon don't notice the technical inadequacies.

The cast lists are like the Who's Who of British film and theatre. The standard of acting is outstanding and several of the performances left me feeling deeply moved. Eric Porter stands out for me playing two very different parts in Separate Tables and as the father in The Winslow Boy. There's a short clip from a stage version of Separate Tables with John Mills in the same role as Eric Porter in the TV production and it's interesting to compare the different styles of performance. Penelope Wilton is heart-breaking as the wife in The Deep Blue Sea and Ian Holm is perfect as the buttoned-up school teacher in The Browning Version: stiff and formal, but one for whom one feels great sympathy.

The only play that I didn't think much of is Adventure Story Rattigan's play about Alexander the Great. I found the dialogue clunky and I'm sorry to say I couldn't take Sean Connery seriously as Alexander. He looked good but somehow his characteristic Scottish accent didn't chime with the part (as a Scot I'm not being xenophobic!). He played the part before he became Bond but I kept expecting him to say "The name's Bond, James Bond"!

French without Tears is the only light-hearted play in the set and even it has darker undertones of friction and disappointment in human relationships.

If you enjoy plays and the theatre then I'm sure you'll treasure this collection. I can also recommend a similar set of DVDs of plays by Noel Coward recorded by the BBC Noel Coward Collection [DVD] as, I suspect, TV won't return to the days when plays were regular features of the schedule.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, 23 July 2011
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This review is from: The Terence Rattigan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Very good - only one small gripe that the French without Tears has sound somewhat out of sinc. Rest of plays (and these are the more powerful in my opinion) are fine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great - Terence Rattigan Collection in one box, 17 Nov 2011
By 
Eric Lewis - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Terence Rattigan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
With the upsurge of popularity in Rattigan's work I was delighted to find this excellent boxed set. All the plays are excellently directed and, of course, the great casting makes it a must have for Terence Rattigan fans.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A less known movie by Colin Firth, 17 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Terence Rattigan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
One of the Movies in this Collection is "Deep Blue Sea", a Movie by Colin Firth from 1994. Since I enjoy this versatile actors performances I bought this Collection. The Movie in question is worth seeing I thought.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Drama, 4 Jan 2013
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Smashing to see these productions from the archives again. Wish the BBC would release more of their treasures on DVD.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The master at handling subtle feelings, 29 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Terence Rattigan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Quite simply, we'll treasure this set - a wonderful collection of Rattigan's best work and some lesser-known. It's good to see that his plays are back in London - but the recordings in this set are some of the best ever.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old style entertainment, 27 Jan 2013
By 
M. R. Wilson (Washington, Engalnd) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Terence Rattigan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Whilst i enjoyed this very much, the content is of course dated and may not be for every one. Foor me five stars but others may not feel the same way about former styles of writing and acting.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Terence Rattigan Collection, 10 Jan 2013
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This collection of 'essential viewing DVD's' arrived 5 days late via Royal Mail, which I found anoying, however the DVD's were in mint condition and were great viewing.
The 5 day delay I am afraid made me only give a 4 star rating, though had they arrived on time it would of been 5 stars all the way.
I thought that they were reasonably priced.
A big thank you to the supplier
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The Terence Rattigan Collection [DVD]
The Terence Rattigan Collection [DVD] by Karel Reisz (DVD - 2011)
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