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The Lost Prince [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
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Stephen Poliakoff's BBC drama telling the story of Prince John, the autistic and epileptic son of Queen Mary and King George V who spent his whole life hidden away from public view. Covering the period leading up to and including the First World War, the programme bears witness to many major historic events through the eyes of the young prince, and dramatises such important royal occasions as Edward VII's funeral and the visitation of the nine Kings of Europe in 1910. Stars Tom Hollander and Miranda Richardson as the King and Queen, Gina McKee as the prince's nanny, and Michael Gambon as Edward VII.
A marvellous reinvention of the costume epic, The Lost Prince is Stephen Poliakoff's absorbing study of the turbulent years leading up to and during the First World War, seen through the percipient eyes of a scarcely remembered royal child. Extensively researched, impeccably cast, beautifully filmed, written and directed by Poliakoff himself with masterly economy and restraint, this is a timely reminder that original, intelligent drama can work as prime time entertainment while appealing on multiple levels; and there isn't an escaped soap star in sight.
Johnnie, the prince kept hidden away by his parents Queen Mary and George V for fear that his epileptic fits and idiosyncratic ways might draw unwelcome attention, is not presented as a tragic figure. His view of the great events which shatter his family and change the world forever is direct and uncluttered. Poliakoff celebrates his apartness--and that of all children who are different--as a force for good, without judging the standards, protocols and contemporary medical theories which kept him on the periphery of society. The series makes the most of its well-chosen locations, and from Johnnie's garden at Sandringham to the assassination of the Russian imperial family, it maintains a hypnotic and elegiac quality The acting is first-rate, too. Gina McKee is profoundly moving as Johnnie's devoted nurse Lalla; and Miranda Richardson's Mary is an extraordinary performance, the controlled façade of single-minded focus occasionally fracturing to reveal a flash of humanity. This production is exquisite in every respect.
On the DVD: The Lost Prince is presented in its original transmission format of 16:9. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, enhanced by Adrian Johnston's haunting score is crystal clear. Extras include Poliakoff's revealing commentary, with occasional input from Johnston and designer John-Paul Kelly, and a couple of documentary fragments which show the production in progress and place it in context with the rest of Poliakoff's work. --Piers Ford --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first is the tale of how the splendid monarchies and Empires of the Edwardian age - with all their privileges and wealth, their gloriously Ruritanian uniforms and lavish banquets - were destroyed by the slaughter that was World War 1. All except the British Empire, that is, and that by the skin of its teeth. The momentous events of that time are seen through the eyes of Prince John, the Lost Prince of the title.
The second is the sad story of Prince John himself (Matthew Thomas), youngest son of King George V (Tom Hollander)and Queen Mary (Miranda Richardson). Epileptic, probably mildly autistic and suffering from what a modern psychologist or social worker would refer to as "learning difficulties",Prince John is a charming, simple soul with a flair for gardening and a very direct way with words "That man's got a big head" he says of Asquith (Frank Finlay), the Prime Minister. Gradually Prince John's behaviour and propensity to epileptic fits lead to him being kept(in the eyes of the King and Queen, for the very best of reasons) in deeper and deeper isolation. When he dies - tragically young - he is living in a remote farmhouse on the Sandringham estate.
In part, then, a story of the great events of the first two decdaes of the twentieth century and in part a biography of an almost-unknown royal. If Poliakoff had left it there it would have been a good, interesting bit of television. But where "The Lost Prince" moves into the category of great television, is with the relationships that we witness here.Read more ›
This film touched me on a number of levels and I felt myself connecting to many of the characters and relating them, which I'm sure everyone is likely to find. Every character was very well acted, if not necessarily accurately portrayed in every case.
Also it is true that a very important part of history is included (World War One) and this will definitely interest many historians who I'm sure will be able to point out numerous inacuracies but to me this does not matter a bit. In many ways it will always be fiction like almost every other movie we've seen because it was only a movie... second hand evidence and about a Prince who was clearly hidden so well that the exact true story of his life is something we'll never really know. What touched me was the stories, which are (I hope) true... About a loving brother and a devoted maid and the Prince who just happened to be "different". There was so much love in that story, it's unbelievable... Also, Prince John's brother's last words about him at the end of the film really sum up his life as it was portrayed in The Lost Prince... Again, I won't spoil it but to find out those words you'll have to watch it! And you definitely should as soon as you can...
The teleplay shows an interplay of the private life of Prince John and his caregivers, particularly the deeply devoted servant and nanny, Lalla, and the public life of the royal family, as their lives became increasingly complex and involved in public duties due to the outbreak of the first world war. The private life concentrates both on John and Lalla, as well as John and George, another of the younger royal children, close in age to John. George went through the typical royal upbringing of boarding schools with a military emphasis; he was as out-of-place in that world as John was in the stuffy, rigidly-controlled royal world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great but very sad film showing how the monarchy 'deleted' their son from historyPublished 1 month ago by Mrs M.
Very happy with product. Would be happy to buy from you again. Thank you.Published 4 months ago by Heather Ranger
I will not add anymore to what has already been said except to say this is an exceptional DVD.
If you are interested in History this is a must and answered many of my... Read more
Very Dissapointed in this film that hardly had any good content at allPublished 7 months ago by H. Hewitt
Great! Fantastic! Brilliant! Can't think of enough words to describe this! I love history and am pro-monarchy! Watched this first on TV and liked in enough to buy it. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amibovered