Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never to be bettered....., 16 July 2009
This review is from: The Forsyte Saga - Complete Series 1-7 Box Set [DVD] [1967] (DVD)
Its no wonder the nation were gripped when this first burst onto the tv screens - churches emptied and pubs complained no-one went whilst it was on...and over a total of 26 weeks, it was a soap-opera par excellence. With immaculate casting of believable characters, it was never less than a must-see week in week out. Copies of the books flew off the shelves in Smiths, and the newspapers discussed each episode, such as the rape of Irene, with great relish...

It shows, only too obviously, the value of actors trained in rep, rather than just tv, that they are heavyweight and three dimensional, and you really do care 'what happens next'. Eric Porter especially, playing Soames with a sympathetic edge, managed to 'age' from being a youngish Soames at the beginning to the old Soames, dying in his '80's, entirely convincingly, and was in every episode. And the redoubtable Margaret Tysack, playing Winifred, still gathering awards as we speak, in the theatre, shows her wonderful diction off to a tee...

The sets, being 1960's BBC, do appear rather shaky at times, with the occasional wobbling wall, and boom mike shadows on actors faces, a product, no doubt of financial constraints of the time. Being filmed in black and white, it fits the whole Victorian atmosphere.

A big bonus of the box-set is the extras - fascinating interviews with the main actors at the time of filming the last episodes, documentarys made at the time, out-takes, and filmed vox-pops - asking the man and woman in the street whether they were a 'Soames suporter' or an 'Irene supporter' ! Having had the video set for years, I noticed that on he DVD version, episodes are edited to cut in different scenes....

However, as one of the servants to the Forsytes might have said, "Its worth every flippin' penny, Maam" !
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Location: London, UK

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