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Edward And Mrs Simpson [DVD] 
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A BAFTA and Emmy winning production in which Edward Fox stars as Edward VIII, the man who abdicated for love. The story begins with Edward meeting American divorcee Mrs Wallis Simpson in 1930. Upon Edward succeeding to the throne in 1936, the crisis of the pair's romance was heightened and Edward was forced to step down, making his farewell broadcast to the nation in December of that year.
Produced by Thames Television in 1981 (the video opens with that immortal logo), Edward & Mrs Simpson was made at a time when the "Royal Wedding" of Charles and Diana had revived interest in the monarchys past. As well as topicality, the series benefited greatly from the quality of the script and casting. Frances Donaldson's biography, with its many insights into a still-controversial period of recent British history, was sensitively adapted for the screen by Simon Raven.
As Edward VIII, Edward Fox gets to the heart of the urbane but emotionally vulnerable heir to the throne, unable to reconcile the callings of state with the promptings of his heart. Cynthia Harris is wholly plausible as the charming but scheming Wallis Simpson--part-femme fatale, part-social climber--who dupes herself into misjudging the protocol of the British aristocracy. The supporting cast, including Cherie Lunghi as the flirtatious Lady Thelma Furness, Peggy Ashcroft as the formidable Queen Mary and David Waller as the long-suffering Stanley Baldwin, uphold the highest standards of TV drama, while Ron Grainer's theme-song effortlessly evokes the glamour of the era.
Both videos in this boxed set contain three episodes and the credits are retained at the beginning and end of each episode, as--more surprisingly--are the mid-episode breaks. Considering its age, the picture quality of the series has survived remarkably well. As the winner of BAFTA and Emmy Awards, this series certainly does its subject justice, and the story is unlikely to ever be told more stylishly. --Richard Whitehouse --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
very selfish to lay the burden on his younger brother.
The list of actors in this made-for-tv series was top rate, as was the research on the historical background. Of course, there are shortcomings. In particular, the American accents by British accents have come in for criticism. However, in the 40s and 50s, I think Americans may well have had more "English" accents than we are used to hearing today - at least, if American movies of 40s and 40s are anything to go by. But for all the minor criticisms that can be made of this series, it is still a wonderful achievement should not be missed by any fan of good acting.
Because the quality of my VHS tapes was 'washed out' I wanted to update with a dvd, but was put off from doing so by the negative comments on the amazon web site. But when the price dropped to around £7 or so, I took the plunge, and I have to say I was pleasntly surprised - certainly the quality is a vast improvement on the old VHS.
It really is a pity that the originals have not been digitalised, or cleaned up - the series would justify it. But for anyone out there considering a purchase, I would not hesitate to recommend the series for some really wonderful acting, and some pretty sound background research. Some reviewers were disappointed that we did not get a "love story." Personally, I was more grateful NOT to have a romance, but a more considered story about Edward's background, the constitutional crisis, and the upheavals to british society.
David was always popular with the public and was quite sure that, as king, he could do as he pleased and marry whom he wished. Of course the Establishment had other ideas and made it clear that a divorcee, and an American one at that, with no royal blood, was a totally unacceptable choice for Queen.
As history has shown, the Establishment won and King Edward was forced to make a choice between the throne and Mrs Simpson, the latter won and Edward went into exile where he married the woman he loved. Never again would he be welcome either to his family or in England, and as a final insult his wife was refused the title HRH.
This is a production that has stood the test of time thanks to the fine acting from the entire cast. It has everything a drama could want, romance, intrigue, tension and is all the better because it is a true story. The downside of this DVD is the fact no effort has been made to clean up the picture or sound and there are no extras, not even sub-titles for the hard of hearing, unacceptable for a format known for clarity of picture/sound and opportunities for extra material. Having said that, the quality of acting and the all too human story make this a DVD well worth viewing, just be prepared for the quality being less than you may be used to.
This series is rather like the Titanic - you know full well how it is going to end and yet you just want to read on (or view on here) as the tension mounts - surely the proof of excellent drama.
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Most recent customer reviews
It was wonderful see and enjoy it again and have it in my own collection.Read more