Brideshead Revisited, Collector's Edition [DVD]
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Based on Evelyn Waugh�s classic novel, Jeremy Irons stars as Charles Ryder, a disillusioned army captain who is moved to reflect on his languid days in the enchanted castle that was Brideshead, home of the aristocratic Marchmain family, whose acquaintance Charles made in the company of an Oxford classmate, the charming wild-child Sebastian.
Anthony Andrews co-stars as the doomed Sebastian. Sebastian takes Charles under his wing but vows early on that he is not going to let Charles get mixed up with his family. Bus mixed up Charles gets! He becomes a friend and confidante, not to mention a lover, to Sebastian�s sister Julia (Diane Quick). Meanwhile, the self-destructive Sebastian�s life spirals out of control.
Brideshead Revisited boasts a distinguished ensemble cast, including Laurence Olivier in his Emmy Award-winning role as the exiled Lord Marchmain, Claire Bloom as Lady Marchmain, and the magnificent John Gielgud as Charles� estranged father. Grand locations and a haunting musical score make this a memorable revisit of an irretrievable bygone era.
Includes all 11 episodes.
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Top Customer Reviews
The adaptation by the late, and much missed, John Mortimer is a work of true genius and should be required watching/reading for all aspiring adaptors for the screen - it is true to the original and captures just about every nuance of the book and the production values so perfect that I find it impossible to read the book now without the tone of Jeremy Iron's voice pervading the pages and the visuals of Castle Howard. The more recent movie adaptation by Andrew Davies is a pale travesty in comparison and far removed from this wonderful adaptation produced by Granada TV.
Now on to this 'product' ...
It proclaims itself the 30th Anniversary Edition and Digitally Remastered - well whoever did the remastering either worked from a very degraded tape or just did and truly awful job and should be sacked so they cannot be let near archive material again.
The colours in this release are truly dreadful being almost completely washed out. Every shot, especially outdoors, looks like the film was badly over exposed so the greens of the fields and trees have no depth (and no mid or low tones), the skies are almost universally washed out and white or, at best, a slightly bluish-grey. The worst is that skin tones are appalling - everyone looks seriously ill, even in the happy early episodes - they all share a grey pallor.
I couldn't quite believe what I was looking at so I dug out an old DVD copy (see ...Read more ›
Evelyn Waugh's novel is a heady evocation of time and place, as well as an exploration of spirituality, and the series captures all this with consummate skill, from the glorious period detail to the brilliant script by John Mortimer. The acting is simply faultless, to be expected when talent like Irons and Andrews stands alongside veteran greats like Olivier, Gielgud and Claire Bloom.
In sum, I enjoyed this series immensely. Craft and class like this don't come together very often, more's the pity.
The film I understand, leaves a lot to be desired, so better to buy this AND read the book. You will regret buying neither.
Granada decided to pull out all the stops when producing this adaptation of Waugh's masterly work, determined to show they could produce drama to rival the BBC's lavish productions. With Brideshead, they succeeded admirably.
This also stands alone as arguably the only example of a production where the script literally is the book. There are hardly any omissions, and because of this the 11-part story is able to breathe and the characters really come to life. The entire production was shot on location, at a number of sites from Yorkshire's stately Castle Howard to the canals of Venice.
The story is told through the eyes of Charles Ryder (Irons) who looks back on his youth at Oxford university from the Second World War. The story moves froms the decadence of the 1920s right through to the War, and shows Charles' relationship with the Flyte family, an enormously rich Catholic family. I'll say no more on the story, other than as a piece of entertaining escapism, this is without peer.
So, as I think you can gather, I highly recommend this - it's the DVD I have watched so much I've had to by another as my last one has literally fallen apart. The special features are excellent as well, with a making of documentary, commentaries on a couple of episodes by the actors and producer, as well as a great blooper reel.
I hate ending in a quote, but in this case I'll indulge myself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
quoted as being the best ever TV production - you need time to watch it slowly ....Published 12 days ago by Araminta P. Mackay
Stands the test of time and some beautiful cinematography. The tale is unsettling (particularly the nihilistic decline of the central characteristics) yet at the same time naive... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mr. P. H. Stanton
I sort of watched this back in 1981 when just a teenager but don't think I gave it the attention it deserved, so thought I'd watch it again now I'm older and wiser. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Androo
This was a most excellent series. Well worth a library copy. 10 hours of film, the set of 4 DVDs is good value.Published 3 months ago by Fennie Somerville