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Hotel du Lac [DVD] [1986]

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

Price: £18.99
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Product details

  • Actors: Anna Massey, Denholm Elliott, Googie Withers, Julia McKenzie, Patricia Hodge
  • Directors: Giles Foster
  • Writers: Anita Brookner, Christopher Hampton
  • Producers: Sue Birtwistle
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 26 May 2003
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000092WCF
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,730 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A romantic novelist travels to a lakeside hotel to recover from an unhappy affair. There she encounters a variety of interesting characters, and another tantalizing possibility of love.

Christopher Hampton's adaptation of Anita Brookner's novel was shot on location in London and Switzerland.

Running time: 75 minutes approx.

From Amazon.co.uk

Hotel du Lac is an impeccably produced BBC television adaptation of Anita Brookner's Booker Prize-winning novel. Middle-aged writer Edith Hope has fled London and romantic disappointment to find sanctuary at a luxury hotel on a Swiss Lake, but finding no escape from her loneliness must eventually face her past. Edith is played with compassion by Anna Massey, her intellect and wit acting as a defence against her own failings, and support comes from a superb cast including Denholm Elliott, Googie Withers, Julia McKenzie, Patricia Hodge, Irene Handl and Barry Foster.

Brookner's apparently slight but multi-layered tale is skilfully crafted by writer Christopher Hampton, who has with such films as Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and The Quiet American (2002) become a master of literary adaptation. Giles Foster's direction focuses on bringing the best from his cast, rather than attempting any sort of cinematic sweep, and Carl Davis' eloquent theme music makes the introspection all the more touching. Ultimately, though, it is Anna Massey's insightful central performance which makes Hotel du Lac such a memorable slice of television.

On the DVD: Hotel du Lac is presented in the original TV broadcast 4:3 ratio with a very poor, extremely grainy and soft picture. The sound is reasonable mono, clear and free from distortion though lacking in dynamic range. The only extra, though one well worth having, is a serious and highly informative commentary from Giles, Hampton and producer Sue Birtwistle. --Gary S Dalkin

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 5 Feb. 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you have ever had problems which needed to be sorted out this film shows you how to do it.
Anna Massey plays a romantic novelist. Although she creates characters for her books, she cant read real people and knows nothing about human nature.
The guests in the Hotel du Lac where she goes to escape, are anything but what she believes them to be...
All the characters are living un-real lives, Googie Withers as the overbearing mother, Denholm Elliot as the philandering wanderer, Patricia Hodge as the child longing wife and Irene Handel as the abandonded old lady are all brought to life by wonderful acting.
The location of the film, the Swiss Lakes in Autumn, gives the film a luminous quality that gradually overtakes everthing else.
This gentle film probes the depths of the human condition and over the course of her stay she learns what means the most in her life.
A wonderful film to curl up with on a Winters Evening......
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By A Customer on 22 Oct. 2003
Format: DVD
This, I consider to be a classic film, which each and every time I view, brings enourmous pleasure. The casting is impeccable. Irene Handl is remembered by her many comedy roles and this, I believe, was her first rerious role which she executes with aplomb. Denholm Elliot is excellent as a calculating divorcee, Googie Withers is superb as a wealthy widow and Julie McKenkie as her over indulged daughter. Patricia Hodge comes up with a performance quintessentially British upper class. Not only are we treated to this superb drama, but it is set partly in the most beautiful backdrop of lakeland Switzerland in the autumn in a luxury hotel.
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Format: DVD
Lovely slow production, and very typical of mid-80's British TV. The "very poor" picture quality spoken of by another reviewer is a little misleading. At the time of production it was quite normal for BBC drama to be made on basically 16mm news film stock. This is what we have here in Hotel Du Lac. This DVD is the best quality that could exist, even striking a new print would not produce better results. If you are a British viewer you will recognise this "look" instantly, its not too bad and for me adds something.
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This is a beautifully written story of love and betrayal by friends or so called.
I stayed at the real Hotel du Lac in switzerland, which is a beautiful place full of style and grace. It is also right on the banks of Lake Geneva. I read the book first and could see all the author was writing about.
The dvd was wonderful and stuck mostly to the book.
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I read the book before I bought the DVD and thoroughly enjoyed it so sent for the DVD. It tells an old fashioned story about a woman who is sent away to a hotel on the continent by her friends, to let the dust settle after ditching her 'boyfriend' at the altar. The scenery and acting are wonderful with great performances from Denholm Elliot, Anna Massey and Patricia Hodge. I would recommend reading the book first as it is beautifully written and there is a very unexpected ending. A wonderful film to watch on a Sunday afternoon.
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Hotel du Lac is a gem! The quality in all departments of the creative process shines through. The casting is perfect at all levels. The locations both in London and Switzerland are spot on. The clever intercutting of past and present are nicely judged and reveal the run-up to the present situation with an admirable deftness. My wife and I have watched it several times and we both feel that the plot, which is, after all, character driven, moves at its gentle pace to excellent effect. It is a marvellous film, and a lot of credit is due to the vision and enterprise of Su Birtwistle, the producer, in seeing the merits of Anita Brookner's fine novel and securing the film rights so quickly.
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What Eddie Izzard called the "Room with a view and a staircase and a pond-type movie". Actually that's not really fair because this isn't really a film of meaningful silences and romantic hesitancies. Anna Massey's romantic novelist, in self-imposed exile after shocking her London friends with a 'crime', tends to accept anything and volunteer herself for everything that happens at the well-named Hotel Du Lac(k). I suppose the real question is whether the viewer can believe in the novelist who claims a poor perception of human nature but who sells lots of books.

A slight film but intelligent and also rather sad. The ex-pats in the hotel are all suffocating under the weight of their own disappointments. The scenery doesn't add much but the Swiss setting, the land where nothing much ever happens, serenely, is well chosen. If you like books about mousey women who observe well and dress badly, where lots of people misbehave in the politest possible way, this is for you. It would be nice to think her character later learned how to smoke a joint, cut loose, do the samba. Fingers-crossed.
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I could not believe the melancholy pensive atmospheres of Brookner's books
could be conveyed through a film. This film does the trick.
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