- Actors: Ian McDiarmid, Tim Piggott-Smith, Nicholas Farrell, Kenneth Cranham, Sinead Cusack
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Spirit Entertainment Limited
- DVD Release Date: 9 Jun. 2014
- Run Time: 177 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B00JDATWUW
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,028 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
37 Days: The Countdown To World War 1 (BBC) [DVD]
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A stellar cast, led by Ian McDiarmid and Tim Piggott-Smith, reveal the complex behind-closed-doors story of the countdown to World War One. In this political thriller, we follow the catastrophic chain of events that led from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28th June 1914, to the declaration of war between Britain and Germany on 4th August. Written by Mark Hayhurst, this tense and gripping serial, set within the corridors of power in both Whitehall and Berlin, tracks the crisis through the eyes of leading politicians struggling to prevent the world's first global war. With scripts crafted from primary source research, 37 Days also stars Sinead Cusack, Bill Paterson, Nicholas Farrell and James McArdle, plus leading actors from Germany and France.
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Top Customer Reviews
Informative, well written and acted with aplomb; this is the BBC at it's very best.
Beautifully acted by a collection of well known actors.
After watching each episode recently on BBC you were counting down the hours to see the next episode!!
This DVD is an ABSOLUTE MUST for anyone interested in contemporary history or for anyone who simply likes well acted BBC costume drama.
There is an answer of sorts here. Actually there are 2 answers: there's the usual guff about the perfect storm of events, personalities and ideas. And then there is the compelling fact that most of the individual countries of Europe were run, in effect, by a single royal family whose intertwined member's lives were too far removed from reality for them to be able to adequately distinguish between truth and falsehood, right and wrong. On top of that, of course, they were also all losing their grip on their respective monarchies and were manipulating events in an attempt to shore up their grasp on power and wealth. There is a telling scene between the British monarch, Sir Edward Grey and the Prime Minister, Henry Asquith, in which the King bullies and blames his ministers just as his cousin, the Keiser, was doing to his lot in Berlin.
This is brilliantly written with stand-out performances from Kenneth Cranham, Sinead Cusack, Tim Piggott-Smith, Nicholas Farrell and above all, Ian McDiarmid as Sir Edward Grey, the foreign secretary. One little niggly problem is the Northern Ireland shooting locations which might double at a pinch for the poorer sections of Scotland, but are unconvincing as London, Berlin and Vienna; as are the appalling stills of those grand cities used in place of proper establishing shots. Nevertheless, a giant 5 stars from me.
Of the major belligerents — Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France and Britain — the film focuses mainly on diplomatic relations between Britain and Germany. Therefore, only a thin (but important) slice of what happened that summer is presented. Key individuals (among several others on both sides) follow here.
Sir Edward Grey — Foreign Secretary
Herbert Henry Asquith — Prime Minister
David Lloyd George — Chancellor of the Exchequer
Winston Churchill — Minister of Munitions
Kaiser Wilhelm II — Emperor
Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg — Chancellor
Helmuth Moltke — General and Chief of Military Staff
Prince Karl Max Lichnowsky — Ambassador to Britain
~ Episode One: One Month in Summer ~
Warmth has come early this year. June is bright and beautiful. If a storm is massing somewhere, it must be far away on some distant horizon. Here in Britain it’s unfelt by the people, including the politicians, diplomats and statesmen.Read more ›
Highlighted is the almost complacent attitude of Edward Grey, the British foreign secretary, that diplomacy will enable peace to be maintained. This is contrasted with the belligerent and determined attitude of Wilhelm II and Field Marshall Count Moltke that Prussia and the German Empire will go to war, whether with Russia or France, or both. Wilhelm II is fully prepared to use the military might of the German Empire to intimidate the Austro-Hungarian Empire of Franz Joseph and confidently dismiss a treaty which guaranteed Belgium neutrality (and therefore possible peace in Europe).
Although this is a valuable account of the subject matter, there are parallels here with contemporary international politics. The resulting war led to the deaths of over 8 million people. Surely we must periodically remind ourselves of the mistakes of the past in order that we are not doomed to repeat them. This is a brilliant piece of work which serves as such a reminder.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gripping, even though you know the horrible end result. A wonderful team of actors giving some of their best performances. A must-see for TV drama and/or history buffs.Published 3 months ago by Peter Merritt
3 stars = 5 stars for the series but 1 star for not having the promised subtitles which were the reason why I ordered this dvd, after having much difficulty in following it (once... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Maria Teresa Canelhas
Wonderful! Truly wonderful!! I can recommend it highly to all history and drama buffs.Published 4 months ago by Kenneth Mortimer
Drama documentary about the events to leading of the start of the great war
Events that got out of control so fast that they couldn't be stopped . Read more
This is a fascinating drama on the countdown to the word war 1.It gives one a detailed insight into the events that led to WW1 with some superb acting by a stellar cast that... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Uenna
To some it may seem boring but this is History and this is the manner with which people acted during the days before the Technology explosion IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Leila