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Brideshead Revisited 1981

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4.4 out of 5 stars (81) IMDb 6.7/10
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Epic adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's classic novel. During World War Two, Charles Rider (Jeremy Irons) is stationed at the now deserted stately home, Brideshead Manor, formerly the residence of the Flyte family. He recalls how, as a Cambridge undergraduate, he first visited Brideshead after befriending Lord Sebastian Flyte (Anthony Andrews). Charles then became caught up with the Flytes and their problems, most notably Sebastian's burgeoning alcoholism.

Starring:
John Gielgud, Mona Washbourne
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Brideshead Revisited - Disc 1 ages_15_and_over
  • Brideshead Revisited - Disc 2 ages_15_and_over
  • Brideshead Revisited - Disc 3 ages_15_and_over
  • Brideshead Revisited - Disc 4 ages_15_and_over
Runtime 11 hours 3 minutes
Starring John Gielgud, Mona Washbourne, John Le Mesurier, Jeremy Irons, Stephane Audran, Anthony Andrews, Claire Bloom, Laurence Olivier
Director Charles Sturridge, Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Genres Drama
Studio ITV STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 19 September 2005
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I have come to adore the writings of Evelyn Waugh, and watched this for the first time when I was 17 and loved every second of it. I was thrilled to find the DVD set on here for such a reasonal price (at about £1.20 per hour...) and snapped it up immediately.

Of huge benefit is the extra documentary, where the cast explain how they all went away during the production hiatus, read the books and then brought back particular lines to the scriptwriters to be included. This, I feel, adds to the success of this production.

Charles Ryder's narration is imperative, and Jeremy Irons' seductive tones carry us through the story as he meets the Marchmains and how influential they become in his life. I doubt whether there are many people who would watch this, having read the book, and find it unfaithful or very different to how they imagine Brideshead to be.

For me, Charles and Sebastian are perfect, Antony Blanche's stuttering a true gem, Jane Asher is particularly annoying as Charles' wife (as she ought to be) - in essence, the cast are all phenomenal, especially when put against John Gielgud (delicious as Charles' father) and Laurence Olivier.

The best television production I have ever had the pleasure to watch. Buy it whilst you can - the production value of this box set is stunning, both on screen and the box case itself.
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Format: VHS Tape
When 'Brideshead Revisited' first came onto the nations screens back in the early 80's, it had a huge weight of expectation resting on its lofty shoulders. Adapted from one of Evelyn Waugh's finest novels by the brilliant John Mortimer, with an all star cast and a very large budget, the country expected greatness and they were not disapointed.
This is simply from start to finish, the finest British television drama ever. The stellar cast from Laurence Olivier down, seem to sense throughout that they are involved in something special and momentous and most give life time best performances. (The late John Gielgud's vague, but mischievous father is worth the admission price alone). The sets are sumptious and authentic and the tragic and intriguing story never fails to engage throughout. Words can never hope to sum up how wonderful this production is. It is almost twenty years since I first saw it and I still can vividly recall most scenes. Give yourself a treat and see what quality televsion can really be like. In this age of digital multi-channel programming, where quantity over quality is the new maxim, we will probably never ever see its like again, but thank heavens we still have it to treasure and wonder at today.
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Format: DVD
It is pretty exasperating to find that while so many TV-productions inferior to this one (and most are) reach us on DVD in mint condition, it is apparently impossible to do the same favour to this, one of the three best things ever made for television (the other two being the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice, and ABC's Angels in America). It took ridiculously long for Brideshead to appear on DVD at all. When it did, it was crammed onto three discs in an otherwise featureless set. Image and sound were appalling throughout. So what a relief to find there is now a 'collectors edition' on 4 discs, presumably to correct the initial errors. But don't get your hopes up too high. On this reissue the sound is as bad as on the old version; listen to the opening tune - whatever happened to CD quality sound? The picture quality has improved somewhat: less grain, some gain in clarity. Yet, unbelievably, this reissue again shows up tape artefacts, unsteady backgrounds, and occasional fuzzy images.The main improvement is in the presentation: there now are several interesting extra's, and even a booklet! But that, of course, is not what it is all about. Worst of all every disc begins with a noisy, non-skippable anti-piracy add that is an insult to buyers of this set, and is so infuriatingly irritating that it would turn you into a movie pirate on the spot. Unfortunately there is little choice but to make do with this, as any serious lover of great television will not want to be without this monumentally impressive series. Of the available options (including the Region 1 'collector's edition' - what's in a name...), this one is the best, though that is not saying much.
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Format: DVD
After acquiring a DVD player just over a year ago, this was about the first thing I went looking for. And guess what: it wasn’t there! Whereas every last B-movie and sitcom-futility seemed available on disc, nobody had thought of issuing this towering monument of TV-history on DVD. Imagine my euphoria when, on a visit to Hong Kong six months later, I nevertheless found it! Fortunately the lady at the counter was kind enough to point out that it would be useless in Europe, as it was coded Region 1. As it turned out, Brideshead has been available on DVD for years in the US – but not in Europe! (The same, by the way, seems to be happening to another masterly TV-adaptation of a classis English novel, Vanity Fair).
Well, finally the waiting is over, and here it is. After opening the package, it still struck me as somewhat of a rushed job (an impression not helped by the fact that the first copy I got was faulty): the three discs come in a flimsy cardboard slipcase, and there is no additional material either in a booklet or on any of the discs, not even an index for the scene-tracks per episode. It is just the series, and nothing more (though the architectural drawing of Castle Howard from Campbell's Vitruvius Brittanicus, on the reverse of the fold-out containing the discs, IS gorgeous).
But well – who needs more, really? For anybody with a little sense of nostalgia, with a taste for the Twenties or for the English country house, or with even the slightest symptoms of Anglophilia, this is irresistible – and when you have two or more of these, be prepared to be blown away. Waugh's slow-paced, multi-faceted baroque tragedy is reproduced faithfully on screen from its exuberant start to its bitter-sweet ending.
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