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Cider with Rosie (1971) - BBC [DVD]
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Helen Thornhill and Rosemary Leach star in this classic BBC drama, based on novel by Laurie Lee. Set in post-war Gloucestershire in a sleepy Cotswold village, dreamy days spent sampling Granny Wallon (Mary Merrall)'s homebrew gives way to a darker vision of country life. As a young boy suffers at the hands of a sadistic teacher, happiness soon arrives as he then experiences his first love with the precocious Rosie (Thornhill).
Based on a memoir of English writer Laurie Lee and featuring narration by Lee himself, this made-for-television adaptation begins in wartime 1918 with Lee's family moving to the Gloucestershire countryside. Juliet Stevenson (Truly, Madly, Deeply) shines as the matriarch of this large blended family, a compassionate and distracted woman who pines for the brood's missing father. The movie takes Lee from a young boy sleeping in his mother's bed through his girl-obsessed adolescence, fondly dealing with an assortment of relatives, schoolmates and villagers along the way. Lee doesn't actually have cider with girlfriend Rosie until a few minutes before the 82-minute movie ends, but in the meantime Charles Beeson, directing from an adaptation by John Mortimer, has offered up a gentle homage to long-passed era. --Kimberly Heinrichs, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
For release on DVD, the film has had a wash and brush up, and it's a stunner. This is pure telly magic. There is a joyousness in Hugh Whitemore's adaptation, which allows Laurie Lee's characters to fly off the page, and there is a naturalism about the children that takes some beating. As most of us can testify, naturalism in child actors was fairly uncommon in telly drama of the day, but in 'Cider with Rosie' it's here in abundance, beguiling, mischievous, charming, sometimes even menacing - but always utterly believable.
Believable too is the wonderful handling of the sets and props, the crowd scenes, and the costumes. Too often in period drama, we are aware of the resources lavished on a long skirt and a lace blouse. Here, though, the clothes have come straight out of the cupboard in the bedroom or out of the linen press, and tell their own part of the story, worn in places, ill-fitting in others, perfectly matched to the characters who wear them. A triumph of the wardrobe department's art.
There are many golden moments in this lovely piece, the crown going to Rosemary Leach's delicious portrayal of Laurie's Mother - and while 'Cider With Rosie' drips the right kind of nostalgia, it manages to avoid ever being mawkish or overly sentimental.Read more ›
The first half hour of this is extraordinary. The best evocation of being a very young child I have seen. Everthing is shot from a low level, and edited in flashes and bursts as though odd memories are strung together. This makes things confusing and frightening - as though you are the young Laurie. Once he is older, it settles to fairly standard period drama.
Rosemary Leach is fine as the scatty mother, and the rest of the cast is a fine ensemble of familiar faces especially in the smaller roles. Louise Jameson, Trevor Bannister, Michael Robbins.
Interestingly two of the children, Stephen Grendon and Sophie Neville went on to appear as Roger and Titty in the Swallows and Amazons film a couple of years later.
The Woolpack Inn, featured in the book and the film, was a local haunt of mine in my younger days, and I recall seeing Laurie Lee in there on several occassions - usually on his own, but sometimes with his wife, Cathy and once with his daughter, Jessy.
Those of you inspired by the film - or the book, should visit the beautiful Slad Valley, pay your respects at Laurie Lee's graveside and toast his memory in The Woolpack Inn opposite the church.
One gripe though. If you are lucky to find it, why is this magical film in DVD format so ridiculously expensive? Come on Beeb, get your act together. Re-release this masterpiece for everyone to enjoy and why isn't it repeated on television? .
history and extremely watchable. The production is superb. Congrats to all involved.
It is true to the book and used many of the buildings in Slad.
I have been searching for a DVD of the original but only the remake seems to be available.
The vhs itself had one or two marks which have to be expected with a pre-owned product.
This did not spoil the enjoyment and I have copied onto DVD for future personal use avoiding further deterioration.
The product was well packaged and arrived before expected delivery date.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had read the book recently and really enjoyed it. I decided to buy this DVD version of the book as it had so many good reviews. Read morePublished 4 months ago by vivienne chapman
This is the definitive DVD version of this classic book. My husband was over whelmed and thrilled that I had managed to find a copy for him as he loves this work in book form,... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Polly Wolly Doodle
Much better than the recent remake. Love Laurie Lee's voice over. My all time favourite book as well.Published 7 months ago by theresa
this is the third version of Cider with Rosie that I've watched having purchased it following the good reviews on Amazon. Read morePublished 9 months ago by penpusher
This was for a gift. DVD arrived safely, in good condition.Published 9 months ago by Miss J J Wootton