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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 26 September 2012
Let me start by stating that I am biased. I believe Freddie Mercury to be the greatest showman of the late 20th century. People talk about him being a one off, but that really is understating it. Michael Jackson was a one off too, but his style has been copied ad infinitum, whereas anybody foolish enough to try to copy what Freddie could do onstage would surely be laughed at. With seemingly sparse footage of him away from the stage and the band though, I wondered if this would be just the usual boring retread of the same well-worn anecdotes. When I saw the likes of Paul Gambaccini and Peter 'Phoebe' Freestone I became even more concerned. I shouldn't have been. Hearing them gleefully talking about Freddie in his heyday was fantastic.
So did the film live up to my expectations? No, in fact- it far succeeded them. I'd go as far as to say that this is actually superior to the Queen documentary, as a lot of this is unseen footage, and the story concentrates on certain aspects of Freddie's life that hasn't really been covered before. The Queen story is a fascinating one, but has been exhausted over the years, offering very little in the way of something new. This, on the other hand is full of fascinating material, and goes a long way towards humanising a great man. What it ultimately does though, is to make him seem more complicated, more complex and mysterious than ever before.
With lots of footage of Freddie offstage, and off-guard the film basically covers the solo years of the mid to late eighties, beginning with him discovering and falling in love with dance music in the gay clubs of New York and Munich. Based around an interview that Freddie gave to David Wiggs in which he talks about his love life, his career and his views on the future of the band at that point.
I could go on forever, but will wrap this up by saying that the pieces about his relationship with the risible Paul Prenter, his duets with Mosterrat Caballe and Michael Jackson, and his stint with the Royal Ballet are just some of the highlights here. The black and white footage of him on the set of the 'Days Of Our Lives' music video is what really seals it for me though. Close to the end of his life, but ever the showman- these few clips look wonderful and show a softer, more reflective side of his huge personality. Sterling stuff indeed.
The blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic. The HD footage of outtakes from the video for 'I Want To Break Free' was thrilling, and I'm looking forward to the blu-ray re-releases of all the old Queen videos that must be surely forthcoming. Now that Rhys Thomas (who has done a fantastic job piecing all of this together) has said that there will be no more documentaries I should imagine that a lot of that cut footage from those old video shoots will surface on some Greatest Flix package in the future. Here's hoping.
So, with stories of llamas in studios, band in-fighting and lavish excess all-around I must say that this has been a thrilling addition to the Mercury canon, and though it seems that all areas have been exhausted I am hopeful that other aspects of his career (the mid-to-late 70's period for a start) will be covered in the future. For now though- this is an exhaustive and thrilling look at an enigma.
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on 27 September 2012
In my opinion Freddie Mercury is the greatest rock singer/frontman ever. No one can get close to him and he is basically a legend, which he wanted/thought/knew he would always be.
This starts out with an audio of an interviewer talking to Freddie about his childhood, then kicks starts to around his solo project Mr.Bad Guy. Youll get to see new footage of Brian May, Roger Taylor and others and maybe not seen for some time interviews with Freddie himself. Next you'll get to Barcelona album and then the final part is about him with aids.
There are some bits I recognized but this is mainly towards the end and if you havent seen Queen-Days of our Lives then you wont know. There are some snipets of let me live with freddie and rod stewart as well There must be more to life than this with Michael Jackson
This is set out very similar to the Queen Doc, Days of our lives which features new and old interviews with his close friends.
if your a fan of Freddie Mercury then youll love this dvd/bluray set.
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on 28 September 2012
i am a huge queen fan and have bought many queen and freddie mercury DVD's over the years. i thought that this one would just be all the same old footage thrown together but i was wrong.this DVD contains alot of never before seen footage and brand new interviews with brian may, roger taylor, jim beach (their manager) and others.i was suprised by how intimate and personal some of the footage was,for example,the home video of freddie with his god son on christmas day 1990.this DVD is a must-have for all freddie fans and is the best documentary about freddie that has been released to date.
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on 26 September 2012
A very pleasent surprise to get something from the Queen stable which is genuinely new and exciting to watch. An awful lot of the footage most people will not have seen before. Okay there are snatches you will recognise but in these cases it will be extended beyond what was previously available. There is a lot also which gives us a great insight to the explosively busy 1980's period of Freddie's life.

The real skill in producing this release has been in avoiding labouring areas of Freddie's life which have been covered in detail before - his early years and his death. Also, quiet rightly, the emotional tears to camera of earlier releases, which at the time I am sure were genuine, are not duplicated here, rather a more reflective and no less respectful appreciation of the man that was both a fallible and normal human being and one of the world's biggest ever entertainers and which shows that almost 21 years have passed since his untimely death.

My only critisism of the content has to be the treatment of Paul Prenter, Freddie's personal assistant/runner of the eighties. He is squarely blamed by all and sundry as a bad influence on Freddie, the cause of many of the divisions in the band and the reason Freddie became so immersed in the gay club scene which ultimately led to Freddie cintracting AIDS.

Freddie's promiscuity is nobody's fault but Freddie's but its almost as if the band and others are saying "If Freddie had not got mixed up with Paul Prenter he would still be with us today". I have no doubt that Paul was bad news but Freddie was an adult who knew what he was doing. AIDS only came to light in the 80's but the rockstar lifestyle that Freddie led was never likely to end well.

I would highly recommend this to any fan and hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.
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on 8 June 2014
As for a FREDDIE fan, rather than Queen fan, for me it was nearly the first and definitely most precious thing ever officially published on DVD, concerning documentaries. Because it's about Freddie's SOLO. Even unusual - so much got used to hear the group's story. And so fresh to hear what you hear in this one. Only dear and very loyal people talking, adorable footage and so many funny, interesting, cute details here and there, that you never thought of thinking of Freddie. I LOVED this one!
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on 6 April 2013
We bought this DVD immediately after watching the latter part of the Great Pretender on TV. We love Queen and Freddie Mercury and this is a fabulous addition to any collection, especially since it contains a lot of footage of Freddie talking. We were captivated with it on TV and upset that we hadn't seen the whole programme, but then very happy to discover it for sale on Amazon! We haven't actually watched the DVD yet, but it arrived in new condition, so I am sure it is going to give us a very happy evening's viewing.
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on 30 January 2014
Britain's Greatest Musical Genius! Ultimately his search for love gave us epic, evocative songs and soulful, defining performances.Such a talented,witty, conscientious human being the likes of which i doubt planet earth will ever see again..Watch this and weep..
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on 16 November 2012
I purchased the dvd for my daughter's birthday (purchased 7th oct). It is only today 16th November I noticed she watches it on her x-box. She has only just told me it is black and white when played on the dvd player but colour on her xbox and laptop. Its a brilliant dvd of Queen but not sure why it isnt colour. The player isnt faulty (I have tested it with other dvds). I am really not happy but dont know who to contact (and it was purchased over a month ago). Just wished my daughter had told me sooner. I can see from other reviews that no one else seems to have this problem so I am obviously the only one.
Julie
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on 3 October 2012
It could have delved more into his childhood and early music with queen, but did love the section on Monsteret Caballe and all the footage of Freddie. Please watch the other doc, 'Lover of Love, Singer of Songs', even second hand. It's better in my opinion.
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on 16 April 2015
Came 2 days quicker than expected, very nicely presented package. As for the documentary itself it was a very impressive one. Saw it on BBC 4 and decided I have to buy it. Quite loud on DVD, but i don't mind that.
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