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The Moonstone [DVD]

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Vivien Heilbron, Robin Ellis, Martin Jarvis, Anna Cropper, Basil Dignam
  • Directors: Paddy Russell
  • Format: PAL, Closed-captioned
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Acorn
  • DVD Release Date: 8 May 2006
  • Run Time: 250 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EZ7VWG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,739 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Originally broadcast in 1971 this detective drama series is based on the hugely popular novel by Wilkie Collins. Starring Robin Ellis and Colin Baker, the plot centres around The Moonstone, an Indian treasure given to Rachel Verrinder (Kathleen Byron) as an 18th birthday present. It has been stolen from a temple in colonial India and a number of misfortunes have followed it into the hands of Rachel. The Moonstone goes missing and the plot follows the various attempts to secure its return to the rightful owners.

From Amazon.co.uk

Based on the 1868 classic British detective novel The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, this 1972 BBC drama is a period piece that seems almost theatrical thanks to its thespian delivery, scarcity of background music, and intent focus on character development. While the pace is leisurely and the dialogue sometimes difficult to discern, the story is most intriguing: A stolen Indian jewel makes its way to England and its curse threatens to destroy Rachel Verinder and her entire family even after it is stolen from the Verinder home. The best detectives fail to resolve the case and the repercussions ripple for many years as the plot twists and turns, love ebbs and flows, anger and deceit roil, and mysticism and science vie for supremacy. Featured talents are Robin Ellis, John Welsh, Basil Dignam, Vivien Heilbron and Peter Sallis and DVD extras include a Wilkie Collins biography and cast filmographies. --Tami Horiuchi

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
These days, they would probably have hired a real diamond and blown the production budget on insurance.

In the good old days of Sunday Teatime Classic serials, a piece of yellow cut glass was more than sufficient to play the title role of 'The Moonstone'.

Remember that these things were usually in five or six episodes, a week apart. That meant they had to have something about them to pull the audience back after a whole seven days' distractions. And back we flocked.

'The Moonstone' is a good corking yarn with an intricate plot and some excellent characters. Vivien Heilbron, Robin Ellis, and Martin Jarvis turn up trumps - with a lovely supporting cast of familiar faces: I have always liked the late Anna Cropper as an actress. There was something mysterious about her, and she is perfect as Roseanna Spearman, the hump-backed servant with a dark secret.

This studio-based '70s production has the usual hallmarks of good design and lighting, and the whole has a great sense of atmosphere, aided by the sometimes grainy 16mm footage of the exteriors.

Have this and enjoy it. It offends nobody, and it's good spooky family viewing. It's a reminder that not everything has to be condensed into a rapid-fire 90-minute lavish 'special' to make excellent telly.

A gem.
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The problem with 'The Moonstone' by Wilkie Collins lies not in this BBC version of it but in the original story, which lacks the concise plotting and character development found in the works of some of his well known contemporaries. With this in mind, it's hard to see how the BBC could have made a better job of staging it than in this version. Since, when we read a novel or listen to a radio play we use our imagination to create the environment in which the action is taking place, stage plays, operas etc. present us with a kind of halfway house with the staging suggesting a real life context. Making a film of a book can ruin our enjoyment of the story because it might well destroy a wonderful picture which our imaginations have built up around the story. Often it happens that we think the film or TV version is not true to the original story. My view is that this version of 'The Moonstone' is as true to the original as one can expect in a TV adaptation.

Sometimes when a work is described as 'dated' it is a great compliment because some of the old productions produced with older technology are much better than more recent versions. It reminds me of the story of two men who were standing near the base of the Great Pyramid in Egypt. 'I don't see the point of it,' said one. 'Go back a few hundred yards and look up,' retorted the other, 'And you'll be able to see point of it well enough. It's right at the very top.' Lots of viewers will love this version of Wilkie Collins famous yarn. Not only has it not spoiled the written version, if anything, it has improved upon it. It's a good buy and I thoroughly recommend it.
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An excellent telling of Wilkie Collins' story with the settings and dialogue lifted direct from the book. A joy to watch, with all characters sensitively and realistically portrayed. Also a good feel for the period in which the book is set, rather than, as in more modern costume drama, a sense of taking 21st century characters and placing them in costume.
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This DVD brought back memories of the old style 70's drama that had the family crowded round the TV set on a Sunday night. The costumes and wigs look quite comical now. But despite that a much better version than the later one with Keeley Hawes and Greg Wise. Who could ever to do a better job at the romantic lead than Ross Poldark?
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Jan. 2015
Format: DVD
Before there was Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot, there was a tale of drugs, suicide, a stolen Indian diamond and a reported curse.

Specifically, there was "The Moonstone," Wilkie Collins' long and twisting Victorian tale that is considered the first mystery novel in the English language. And the 1972 miniseries adaptation is a pretty faithful one, interlacing a love quadrangle with a mystery about a stolen diamond said to be cursed -- while it slows down somewhat in the middle, it's a pretty suspenseful little story.

After ten years in continental Europe, Franklin Blake (Robin Ellis) returns to England to bring his cousin Rachel Verinder (Vivien Heilbron) her eighteenth birthday present: a massive diamond called the Moonstone. It was left to her by her vile uncle, possibly as a malicious act -- three Hindu priests are lurking nearby, hoping to reclaim the sacred gem stolen from them long ago. Everyone except Rachel really wants the diamond split up, so it will no longer be a danger.

At the same time, Rachel is being wooed by two men -- the somewhat irresponsible young Franklin, and the prosperous but less attractive Godfrey Ablewhite (Martin Jarvis). And a timid, lame young maid named Rosanna (Anna Cropper) has fallen desperately in love with Franklin (though he's completely oblivious to this).

Then after a dinner party, the Moonstone vanishes, leaving a smudge on a newly-painted door as the only clue. It seems that only someone in the house could have stolen it. But it doesn't turn up in any police sweeps, the priests have alibis, and Rachel flatly refuses to let Sergeant Cuff (John Welsh) investigate further. She also refuses to speak to Franklin again.
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