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From Time To Time [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 258 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Timothy Spall, Dominic West
  • Directors: Julian Fellowes
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Spirit Entertainment Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Feb. 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004CFH9F8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,456 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Based on Lucy M Boston s best selling novel The Chimneys of Green Knowe and directed by Oscar Winner & Writer of Gosford Park and Downton Abbey Julian Fellowes. Starring the inimitable Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville (both of Downton Abbey), Timothy Spall (Secrets & Lies) and Dominic West (The Wire) comes an engrossing family ghost story. In times of war two centuries apart, two distinct worlds are linked by a single family and the house in which they live. It is 1944 and thirteen year-old Tolly Oldknow (Alex Etel, Cranford) is sent to spend Christmas with his grandmother (Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey), whilst his mother searches for news of his father in wartime London. Spending his days exploring the sprawling ancestral estate, he begins to uncover family secrets and ghosts from the past as he becomes a witness to events during the Napoleonic wars and finds himself slowly drawn into participating in the drama. Invisible to most people in the past, yet able to move amongst them, he begins to unravel the mystery which has bewildered his family for two centuries. The solution to the puzzle leads him into his greatest adventure yet... A wonderful heart-warming story of a young boy learning the value of his family and its history.

About the Director

Downton Abbey, Gosford Park

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Another stellar cast assembled to do justice to the pen of one of the best screenwriters to have emerged in this country in recent years. Although this is not an original screenplay such as Downton Abbey, Victoria or Gosford Park it is none the less a superb adaptation of an existing story by Lucy Boston. Many of the cast assembled here make their appearance again in the superb Edwardian drama, Downton Abbey. Julian Fellowes succeeds brilliantly in putting to shame the very best screen writers which Hollywood has to offer. The story here is somewhat complex one, moving as it does between two distinct periods in English history held together by the story of one house and it's occupants. One group centred in the Napoleonic wars and the other in wartime England in 1944. For me the glory of this film lies in it's superb dialogue deftly woven from the pen of the redoubtable Julian Fellowes. I thoroughly enjoyed the contrast between the 19th and 20th century social milieu expressed here. Well worth watching.
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Loved this when it was on over Christmas so have just put my order in. With Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville in it what's not to like? However, be warned - those of you expecting an adaptation of The Children of Green Knowe will be disappointed. This film is based on The Chimneys of Green Knowe, a later book in the series. The Children of Green Knowe is the first book and was made by the BBC into a wonderful children's series in around 1988 but which, for reasons best known to the them, has never been released on video or DVD (I read somewhere they wiped the tape!). The series starred Daphne Oxenford and Alec Christie and it was actually filmed in Lucy M Boston's Manor house at Hemingford Grey. In the Children of Green Knowe series Tolly goes to live with his great grandmother in her old manor house and gradually encounters the ghosts of the three children who lived in the house many years before (Toby, Alexander and Linnet). I wonder if the confusion over the books is why one reviewer thought it such a poor adaptation? In any event, this is an excellent and moving film, one to watch again and again. Such a pity about the BBC series though as I think The Children of Green Knowe is the better story.
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This film was superb. One of the best I have seen for a long time and on a par with The Railway children. I thought it would be mainly a children's film but it is much more than that. It has it all, hope, fear, humour and sadness all woven around a great story and portrayed brilliantly in film. A true British classic.
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Format: DVD
Having contributed to Jetpug's discussion below I thought I ought to review this film now I've seen it.

In its favour, there's a strong cast, full of "national treasures" and the young members of the cast also do well. It's attractively filmed too, at Athelhampton House in Dorset, although I could be picky and point out that Green Knowe really should have a moat!

Yet despite the excellent Julian Fellowes writing the screen play, there is something lacking. There are references back to the original Green Knowe books - for instance the statue of St Christopher - but unless you recognise them, these hints are a bit superfluous! After a while, I began to feel that Julian Fellowes would have been better either sticking much closer to the original "Chimmneys of Green Knowe" plot or ditching the Lucy M Boston source completely and just acknowledging it as the inspiration for a good ghost story! My last reservation is the ending - too simple and rather sad - but judge for yourself on that one!

However, I'm an adult, remembering the Green Knowe books with nostalgic affection. In the days of good BBC adaptations this film would have been broadcast in episodes at tea time on Sunday for the family audience who would have really enjoyed it. And if you watch the film with that attitude, it's fine!
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Format: DVD
You may not recognise the names of all the cast members, but you'll know them when you see them and they all deliver excellent performances, precisely what you'd expect.

The story is set in 1944 and 1809-1811 and Tolly, a young boy who's father is missing in Europe in 1944, finds he has the ability to see ghosts. Specifically, he can see the ghosts of children in 1809, ancestors of his. Slowly the story of 1809 is told with Tolly being able to time-travel to help the good people against his nasty ancestor and his wicked servant. You don't really need to know the plot, just looking at the cast members tells you you're watching a period drama with a happy ending (sort of) and the baddies don't win in the end.

True, the cast members play to typecasting, but that's exactly what this children's story needs. You have to know who are the best people, who might be good and who is really horrible. As such, the emotions are perfectly portrayed, there are no surprises and you can focus on the storyline as it unfolds. This helps tremendously as the story unfolds. Tolly begins to slip seamlessly between 1944 and 1809, so following the story is made infinitely easier knowing the actors portraying the main characters. You won't be trying to work out which time period you're watching, who is who, who did what, and how can all this be happening 'simultaneously'. With perfect casting and great acting, the story is clearly told, involving and engrossing.

The ending isn't entirely happy, which lifts this film above the sentimental norm, and there are enough 'odd' moments to add unease to the atmosphere of the film.

If you're looking for a family film with a perfectly pitched British tone, look no further, this film is as good as it gets.
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