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To Serve Them All My Days [DVD] [1980]

4.5 out of 5 stars 146 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: John Duttine, Frank Middlemass, Allan MacNaughton, Neil Stacy, David King
  • Directors: Terence Dudley, Peter Jefferies, Ronald Wilson
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Full Screen, HiFi Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Acorn Media UK
  • DVD Release Date: 9 May 2011
  • Run Time: 672 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004MAZ4UK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,607 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Invalided out of the army during the First World War, David Powlett-Jones attends an interview for a position at a large public school in Devon. He has serious doubts about his ability to cope with the rigors of teaching but the affable headmaster, Algy Herries, has other ideas. This 13 part series adapted from RF Delderfield s novel by Andrew Davies unveils the heartache and joy of life at Bamfylde School its masters, boys and their lives.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Captain Pike TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Aug. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm not a sentimental person. I hate cuddly toys and felt physically sick during 'Truly, Madly Deeply', but I can't watch 'To Serve Them All My Days' without feeling rather emotional. Perhaps that's because it is such a perfect television drama. The adaptation is, dare I say, even better than the original novel and the I can't imagine a better cast. John Duttine, Frank Middlemass and the lovely Belinda Lang are superb, but so are the other actors.
This DVD collection is sheer, unadulterated pleasure and I would warmly recommend it to everyone. If anyone involved with the production of the series ever reads this review - thank you!
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By Wilz VINE VOICE on 26 Nov. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a delight to watch a well acted, pleasant rich story with plenty of drama. This can't date as it is set in the period between the wars, but rather benefits from a non modern approach where people can be understood, the plot can be followed, the story is interesting and the characters are well presented.
A must for anyone looking to watch TV but can't find a good Drama worth bothering with.
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Format: DVD
Like other reviewers I saw this in the 80s as a teenager and just loved it. For years i had looked in vain for its release on video or dvd...i even contacted the bbc and asked were they going to release it. NO.
Anyway having finally obtained a copy I watched it with some trepidation fearing that it could never live up to my memories of it and that it would seem dated. It did and it isnt. My only reservation is that the colour seems a little faded so that everything is a bit sepia hued. When I went back onto TV everybody was tomato coloured as i had all the settings so high to get a bit of colour in the picture. Its a minor gripe however.
Having read the novel (a fabulous book.....if you havent read any R.F Delderfield.... you should, he is a glorious story teller), the highest accolade i can give is to say that this film really is the novel jumping from the page. Casting is perfect from the brooding fragile Powlet Jones to the shrewd eccentric adorable headmaster. Being a bit of a lefty ,like Powlet Jones it would be easy to take offense at the glorifying privilege represented in the public school system. However like the novel..the DVD celebrates human spirit in all its guises. Forget Goodbye Mister Chips, this has it all..romance,tragedy,triumph, politics, class stuggle, snobbery, inverted snobbery.......I could go on, but I wont!
Why did the bbc make us wait so long?
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am so excited that this is finally available on DVD after years of waiting.
This truly is one of the greatest TV dramas ever made. Not just a chronicle of life at the time, but of one man's emotional journey and of his development both as a man as a schoolmaster.
The writing, production and performances are superb. A tour de force from John Duttine who has never done anything better, excellent support from his fellow schoolmasters (particularly Alan MacNaughton) and the women in his life - and Frank Middlemass is just wonderful.
After years of searching the shelves in vain for this gem to appear, I am ready to wallow. Pure joy.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I note that 7 out of 8 people found the 1 star warning that the DVD is in Dutch with English subtitles "Helpful". Apparently 7 out of 8 people did not bother to read the comment another reviewers submitted correcting this, so I am writing a separate review. Please don't be frightened. The DVD is in ENGLISH, and there are Dutch subtitles which can be turned off. What would be most "helpful" to potential buyers would be to have the review removed.

I suspect that the same thing happened to this reviewer as happened to us when we ordered Father Brown, which is only available from a Dutch company, for some odd reason: the BOX is in Dutch. I think the reviewer got upset at that and didn't play it, and never bothered to see how all these English actors could possibly have managed to carry off an entire series in Dutch. Rest easy. It's just the box.
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Format: DVD
I enjoyed "To Serve them All My Days" immensely. Each hour-long episode is riveting with dramatic suspense. There are three episodes per disc, on four discs--and it was all I could do to wait until the next evening to watch the next--except the last disc, which, to my disappointment, had only two episodes (I did not want the story to end!).

This film, made in 1980, is one of the old-fashioned BBC dramas, which emphasised quality in production, costume, and setting. It goes without saying that the characters are superbly acted [I especially liked Algie, the first Headmaster]. The story is heartwarming; in fact, one may want to keep a box of tissues handy for the weepy bits. Set in a venerable but minor British Public School, the production, which was filmed at Milton Abbey in Dorset, focuses on the lives of the Masters and their charges from 1916 to approximately 1931.

Although the cinematography is excellent, the color has, unfortunately, deteriorated, especially the skies, which have become pale, and if characters are standing with the sky at their backs, haloes hover slightly over their heads. This, however, is only an occasional problem, and the story is so interesting that I did not let it bother me.

I did notice significant changes in the story, which I first heard as a BBC radio series, based on the novel, but the series is strong enough to stand on its own.

If you like action-packed adventure, "To Serve Them All My Days" is not for you, but if you like quality drama, about an England that has largely vanished, this film will indubitably be your cup of quality tea!
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