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25
4.8 out of 5 stars
Ken Loach at the BBC [DVD] [1965]
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2011
Much of the attention on the release of this boxset of wonderful plays has understandably centred on Days of Hope, the Ken Loach/Jim Allen masterpiece from 1975.It would , however, be a great pity if many of the other superb productions included in the set were overlooked.Cathy Come Home and Up the Junction are probably better remembered than most of the others because of the furore they created when first shown in the mid sixties. They retain their power to this day. Of particular interest are two other Loach/Allen collaborations from 1969 and 1971, The Big Flame and Rank and File. They are both about industrial disputes with the workforce being betrayed by their union. Shot in semi-documentary style and featuring superb performances from such stalwarts as Peter Kerigan and Bill Dean they stand as a testament to how important a medium television could be and once was. It is impossible to imagine BBC or any other company funding films such as these which are willing to engage in genuine political debate with scenes consisting of discussions with no gimmicky distractions. None of this should suggest there is a lack of warmth and humour to the films...but the humour is part of the realistic dialogue that further enhances the fly-on-the-wall feel.Although the days when a major company would make and show such productions are long gone at least we have this set to remind us of what was once possible...Days of Hope, indeed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2012
This boxed set contains amazing fictionalised radical working class history that appeared on British tv in teh 60s and 70s.

Days of Hope is a truly remarkable fictionalised document of the years leading from WWI to the general strike of 1926, and its ruthless suppression by the British establishment, and (a regular theme) the betrayal of working people by the union hierarchy.

The Price of Cole has an incredible sequence in which a real mining disaster search and rescue team go through a chillingly quiet and deliberate search-and-rescue for the injured and the dead. It is truly remarkable and memorable realism in this day of hyperbolic, shouty disaster movies.

Cathy Come Home is famous for its impact on British awareness of the subjects of families in distress.

There is excellent writing here by Jim Allen, David Mercer, Nell Dunn etc.

Can we imagine such critical, incisive and radical product getting onto the BBc now?

This Ken Loach at the BBC collection is truly remarkable.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2011
All the films on this box set are very good to excellent, but Days of Hope is a masterpiece of TV. The BBCs refusal to allow it to be reshown or released for so many years was a disgrace.
I'm sure Amazon will sell a few extra copies if they learn to to direct searches for Days of Hope to this box set, as of 3rd Sept 2011 its not happening.
For those who have not seen Days of Hope I'd describe it as superior in every department to The Wind That Shakes the Barley or Land and Freedom: both movies by the way which I think are fantastic.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
I vividly remember the 1970's as a decade of turbulence, social unrest and industrial disputes and the flavour of this decade is superbly captured by Ken Loach in the series of films he made for the BBC which are in this excellent package of DVD's. Loach's views of the events that occured in this decade are seen from a left wing perspective and people of a right wing persuasion or supporters of the British establishment and the status quo will probably not rush out to buy them. For my part, sharing as I do much of Loach's political opinions, I don't mind one bit as you rarely see the work of people with his passion, courage and willingness to question the status quo shown on our TV screens these days.

The saddest thing of all is that nothing fundamentally has changed in British society in the fourty years since he made these films - the power elites in society still abuse their power, the exploiters continue to exploit and the kind of people being exploited are much the same as they were four decades ago. In recent years we have seen just how corrupt people in power have become, whether they be politicians fiddling their expenses, newspaper moguls presiding over tabloids that hack into people's emails and ruin their lives, financiers who recklessly gamble with our money at our expense and senior policemen who engage in dodgy relationships with the press and criminals. In essence, the situations then and now are similar, only the names and faces have changed. The ultimate insult to our intelligence is when millionaire politicians in a cabinet mostly composed of millionaires who have no idea about how the majority of people in Britian live and what they are going through proclaim to people struggling to make ends meet because of a terrible situation not of their creation that "we are all in this together."

Loach's films concentrate on the lives of groups of working people who combat the oppression of employers, who engage in a struggle to improve their quality of life and on the work of their elected representatives to give them a voice in the corridors of power. The most impressive films for me are "Days of hope" about industrial unrest in the 1920's, "The price of coal" about a mining accident in the mid 1970's and "Cathy come home" about homelessness not many years later. They are full of passion and compassion, they show us the rampant injustice of their times and how people strive to find a place in the sun.

What a shame that so many film makers these days don't appear to have the courage or originality to tackle subjects that are a bit outside the box or want to make films about real people and real situations that appeal to the intellect. They just feed us a monotonous diet of serial killers, juvenile science fiction stories, films about the supernatural, films that are no more than a procession of computer generated images or are poor sequals of earlier successful films or frantic action films that are strictly for the brain dead. Do they think so little of us that we cannot manage to watch films that require a little intelligence and a degree of original thought?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2013
An excellent set of documentary style films which are so true to life. As they are now quite old, the quality of the films is not perfect but this almost adds to the atmosphere of the day. I can fully recommend these - and a good price too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2013
Really took me back in time, only issue was sound volume/quality wasn't great on laptop, tried on portable DVD player the same, haven't t tried on main DVD player might be okay there.
Really great classics, where are the modern Ken Loach films for today?
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
I watched Days of Hope in the mid seventies. There were hopes for a better society then based on a socialist vision of the future which was dashed by Thatcher and Blair.
This is the inspiring struggle of extraordinary working class people in the 1920's for bread and social justice. Watch it and be moved: a television masterpiece. I suspect the BBC have kept it under wraps for so long because it puts the case for socialism so powerfully.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2013
Superb in every detail excellent transfer to DVD an accurate account of modern social history I would recommend to anybody.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2013
Watch for example "In Two Minds" on Disc 4.

Ask yourself how often schizophrenia has been dealt with as a subject for drama on British television in the last 50 years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2013
My dad loved it, brings bk a lot of memories for him and he has thoroughly enjoyed watching these programmes again :-)
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