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Mansfield Park [DVD]

3.6 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Anna Massey, Bernard Hepton, Nicholas Farrell, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Angela Pleasence
  • Directors: David Giles
  • Producers: Betty Willingale
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Nov. 2005
  • Run Time: 317 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AWKSUK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,365 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

“There are certainly not so many men of large fortune in the world, as there are pretty women to deserve them.”

Mansfield Park is the magnificent country residence of Sir Thomas Bertram and his family. It is here that their poor relation Fanny Price is brought up. Never allowed to forget her good fortune, Fanny is ignored by her cousins, with the exception of Edmund, who alone treats her with care and affection. But will she ever be able to win a valued place in the household and the heart of the man of her dreams?

From Amazon.co.uk

In 1983, the BBC made this 261-minute mini-series from Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park. Austen explores the well-trodden theme of class distinction and the triumph of love, but Fanny Price (Sylvestra Le Touzel) is an original Austen creation. Fanny, from a large and poor family, is taken into the home of her wealthy uncle and aunt, the stoic Sir Thomas Bertram (Bernard Hepton) and the childlike Lady Bertram (Angela Pleasence, daughter of actor Donald). Also residing at the posh Bertram mansion are the oldest son, irresponsible Tom (Christopher Villiers), distant Julia (Liz Crowther) and the kindly Edmund (Nicholas Farrell). If you can get past Le Touzel's odd mannerism of making little chopping movements with her open-palmed hand for emphasis, this is a faithful adaptation of the novel. It's much slower than Northanger Abbey and lacks some of the passionate drama of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, but it still depicts a strong yet very kind heroine who stands up for what she believes in. When popular philanderer Henry Crawford (Robert Burbage) actually falls for and proposes to Fanny, she rejects him, much to the surprise and disdain of the Bertrams--except, of course, for our hero Edmund. For trivia buffs: Jonny Lee Miller, who plays young Charles Price (one of Fanny's brothers), has the role of Edmund Bertram in the 1999 theatrical version of Mansfield Park. --N.F. Mendoza, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Forget the awful film and the doubtful 2007 ITV production - this is Mansfield Park for those who prefer the story as Jane Austen wrote it. Yes, I suppose it is old-fashioned, but then so is the book! The acting is excellent, perhaps with the exception of the rather stilted child actors in the opening scenes, and it sticks to the story like glue. Give me this any day rather than some unintelligent take on 'what a modern audience prefers'. I don't know what gives modern scriptwriters the idea they know how to write a story better than Jane Austen did! Please note that some of the commendatory reviews of the rubbish film are actually of THIS version - could Amazon sort that out?
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Fanny Price is often depicted as the least loveable heroine of Jane Austen's books. She is timid, shy, has low self esteem and no sense of wit or wickedness like Elizabeth Bennett, but a strong sense of right and wrong in shades of black and white, rather than grey forgiveness for past mistakes or follies.

The adaptations of 2000 and 2007 bear no resemblance to the character of Fanny Price from the book. The REAL Fanny is not tomboy-ish, or rebellious, she does not giggle or flirt. She is prim and prude, and steadfast in what she holds to be right.

It takes a little time to get to know Fanny Price, and perhaps a little longer to really appreciate her. I have watched all adapations several times, but by far my favourite is this version with Sylvestra Le Touzel. She understands Fanny and understands how to portray her. Her acting is impeccable, even if it seems stilted and wooden in parts. If it does, then only because Fanny Price, as I understand her from the book, behaves like this. Sylvestra makes Fanny Price believable, the other actresses (whilst good actresses) make Fanny Price appear like a stranger and their portrayal bears no resemblance to the heroine from the book.

The other actors are also excellent in this adaptation. Bernard Hepton is outstanding as Sir Thomas Bertram, Anna Massey the real nightmare as Aunt Norris, Jackie Smith-Wood sublime as Mary Crawford... the list goes on.
The more I watch this adapation the more it grows on me and the more I believe in the people.

My advice... if you want to watch a film that matches the book, then buy this adaptation and give the others a miss.
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I couldn't agree more with Booklover, the first reviewer. I am quite sick of everyone trying to make Fanny Price saucy and brash, which seem to be prerequisites for a female heroine these days. This film's Fanny - Austen's (and thus the real) Fanny - gives us another type of heroine: quiet, shy, insecure, like many of us, who in the end musters the strength to stand up for what she believes in when all around her fall. This film portrays her without cowtowing to modern sensibilities. Fanny is like the shy, quiet girl in the class that no-one can really figure out and some think must be uppity. Misunderstood, bearing secret dreams and passions, emotionally abused by her adoptive family, she represents the part of the population who is not Elizabeth Bennett or Emma Woodhouse and never will be - and doesn't necessarily want to be! She shows us that you can be strong without shouting and that you can stand your ground against your peers and society without standing on a soapbox - would that more people could learn to do this!

As for its length - since when has a real Jane Austen fan ever complained about an adaptation being too long!? (Rather the contrary)
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I am replacing all my favourite VHS films and programs, and this was a must-have because it is a Jane Austen. But I found that I actually enjoyed it more this time. Sylvestra Le Touzel as Fanny Price seemed less gawky and puppet-like than I remembered. And anyway, who, with Mrs Norris always on her back, would not turn out repressed and nervy! Lady Bertram still puzzled me, being portrayed as child-like to the point of oddity. But I rejoiced in witnessing the relationship between Fanny and her brother William, which is such an important element in the story, yet missed out in later productions. I did NOT miss the gratuitous sex of the 2000 production, and much as I like Billie Piper she was not Fanny Price. Fanny may seem insipid at first. Yet in the end she is the one who draws together the tattered remnants of the Bertram family and is their bedrock. This production was faithful to Jane Austen and also the period in which it is set, and I, for one, could immerse myself in it again without too many niggles.
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Format: DVD
Right. Firstly, let's be quite clear about just which version of MANSFIELD PARK we're reviewing here: it's the BBC's 1983 version - not the ghastly feature film, and definitely not the REMAKE of the telly one.

(Unfortunately, some reviewers aren't any too decided about which one they've been watching.)

It all seems to hinge on Fanny Price, played here by Sylvestra le Touzel (and you can't have a better name than that!) For me, you can't play this character better, either. Ms Le Touzel is a delight from start to finish, and captures to perfection the quietly determined strength that allows Fanny to triumph in the end.

Around her moves a weird and wonderful collection of Austen types, all beautifully portrayed: (an exception being the children - but they are out of the way soon enough for their mostly terrible performances to be forgiven and forgotten quite quickly); Anna Massey's Aunt Norris underplays her clipped and lethal bitching, complementing Angela Pleasence's loopy portrayal of Lady Bertram - surely one of the quirkiest performances on screen. Lead by Bernard Hepton, there are some fine stalwart actors here - and a pug dog whose innards produce a whole galaxy of interesting noises at various sensitive moments.

Although for me the visual quality is not as good as it might be, largely thanks to the fact that it was shot entirely on location in what seems to be mostly natural light, the series - complete with its creaking floorboards and very loud crunching gravel - casts a charming spell.

All in all, this version of an Austen classic is one for the collection.
Certainly, don't dismiss it on the strength of some of the more hysterical reviews. If you can't bear to fork out a few quid on your own copy, rent it first, and see how you feel when you've seen it.

I think it's a good 'un.
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