The extended Forsyte family live a more than pleasant upper middle class life in Victorian and later Edwardian England. The two central characters are Soames Forsyte and his cousin Jolyon ...
See full summary »
Rumors abound that Irene Forsyte and Philip Bosinney are having an affair.Young Jolyon and Helene see Philip Bosinney and a beautiful woman meeting secretly. Young Jolyon had met Philip at his Aunt ...
The British Raj: though their position seems secure, thoughtful English men and women know that "their" time in India is coming to an end. The story begins with an unjust arrest for rape, ... See full summary »
James Onedin marries Anne Webster in order to get his hands on a ship. However the marriage turns out to be one of true love. James is ruthless in his attempt to get a shipping line started... See full summary »
Two young men meet at Oxford. Charles Ryder, though of no family or money, becomes friends with Sebastian Flyte when Sebastian throws up in his college room through an open window. He then ... See full summary »
Follows the novels of Anthony Trollope. Beginning with the forced Marriage of Susan Hampshire's character, Glencora, the lives of the friends and children of this couple are the subject of ... See full summary »
When a crusade against the Church of England's practice of self-enrichment misfires, scandal taints the cozy community of Barchester when their local church becomes the object of a scathing, investigative report.
A biography of the dancer Isadora Duncan, the 1920s dancer who forever changed people's ideas of ballet. Her nude, semi-nude, and pro-Soviet dance projects as well as her attitudes on free ... See full summary »
The extended Forsyte family live a more than pleasant upper middle class life in Victorian and later Edwardian England. The two central characters are Soames Forsyte and his cousin Jolyon Forsyte. Soames is a solicitor, all proper and straight-laced. His love for the beautiful Irene is his only weakness as is his beautiful daughter Fleur. Young Jolyon is the opposite, a free-thinking artist who abandons his wife to live with his children's nanny. Their lives and their children's lives will intersect over 30 years bringing happiness to some and tragedy to others. Written by
After several dropped hints, I was given the DVD collection of the Forsyte Saga for Christmas and have just finished watching it over a 3-day marathon, including the last 14 episodes in one sitting - it's that good.
I've already stated on this site that I think 'I Claudius' was the best miniseries ever created, but this one is a VERY close second. The sheer length of it allows all the major characters to be developed and grow on you, and the acting, as ever, is superb. The choice of Kenneth More for the part of Young Jolyon was inspired - any other actor would have had trouble bringing such a goody-goody character to life - but the bedrock of the series is Eric Porter's masterly portrayal of Soames, interestingly revealed as the 54%/39% winner in a nationwide Irene-Soames poll taken in the week of the last episode.
There are a few trifling criticisms - I'd agree with others that Nyree Dawn Porter is a little stiff, but one has to remember that she was one of the youngest members of the cast (2 years younger than Susan Hampshire), and I suspect her 'look' was more suited to those times; the American accents of Anne Wilmot and her brother Francis are unconvincing by today's standards, and there are also the low-budget sets, which move alarmingly at some moments, and a couple of gaffs not picked up by the grips - but they are are minor flaws, and the quality of the acting by all concerned, right down to the small roles of Smither and Gradman (who, I notice, is not even credited in the IMDb cast list), who share a touching mini-scene near the end, is so good that you quickly forget them .
These days budgets are bigger and presentations slicker, but you have to go a long way to beat this one. I haven't seen the 2002 version yet, but if 'Rome' is anything to go by, I'll stick with the originals.
As a final note, I have to mention that Margaret Tyzack is in both of my top picks. Either she has great judgement or a great agent. Probably both.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this