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72 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VIVAT REX - AT LONG LAST!, 11 May 2007
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This review is from: The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Complete Series [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
Long overdue, but worth the wait. This superb series of lengendary 90-minute plays is at last available on Region 2 DVD - re-mastered, and looking wonderful.

If you remember that television drama was never meant to be poor man's cinema, the series has a theatrical quality about it which works to its advantage and makes it all the more riveting.

The acting is superb, and there is a standard of English speech that has now virtually disappeared - especially from the small screen. This quality gives a required weight to the excellent and literate scripts.

(If you don't know what I mean, have a look at the frightful 'The Other Boleyn Girl' on the extra disc, and compare. The cast of this look and sound like estate agents in fancy dress.)

In the Henry plays, we can believe in this magnificent King and his world utterly - sharing in his triumphs, tragedies, and vulnerability - just as we can also believe in every one of the wives, and the machiavellian court that surrounds them.

So what if a microphone shows in one scene ? So what if there are occasional boom shadows ? Just enjoy the drama. They don't make 'em like this any more. Unfortunately.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 May 2009 10:30:17 BDT
Charlotte says:
I do so agree with you about English speech-I see this theme crops up in your other reviews, and I am relieved to find a fellow sufferer.Cockney, regional accents and very modern speech rythyms simply ruin a good historical drama.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jul 2009 16:13:59 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 Jul 2009 16:14:52 BDT
Green Knight says:
Hello kindred spirit!
To be pedantic, it's the 'very modern speech' that spoils things. I have no problem with regional accents - especially as 'English' until the 20th century would mostly (unless specifically taught otherwise) have consisted of a whole menagerie of sounds and dialects ... what I dislike is the 'twang' that we have acquired (hence my rude comment about estate agents.) I think we might call it 'suburban' rather than anything else - and SE England suburbs at that! And it has only really existed in about the last 25 years.
Unfortunately, in my experience (and I'm afraid I have quite a lot) a director no longer knows what he or she is listening to - and younger actors are mostly incapable of unlearning present-day bad habits. Whether they feel they will lose credibility, and consequently, a raft of younger fans, I know not, but the desire to 'learn' more traditional forms of 'Standard English' (whatever that may be!) seems virtually non-existent. More's the pity.
(I have to applaud Keira Knightley for her accent in 'Atonement' - I would NEVER have expected her to be able to pull that one off - or to want to have a go. But you must admit she managed it awfully well, sounding not unlike Celia Johnson! The fact that she got away with it is also tremendous. (Although I have heard people say 'Why did she put on that silly voice ?' Ummm ... because that's how somebody of that class might just have sounded in those days ....... No ?)
Enough rambling. It's so REFRESHING to hear from somebody who AGREES. And quite rare, too.
Much appreciated.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2010 12:24:42 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 1 Feb 2011 17:22:30 GMT]

Posted on 17 May 2010 01:10:29 BDT
at least it's not rap music.
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