Nicol Williamson takes the lead role in this star-studded 1969 version of William Shakespeare's tragedy. Prince Hamlet mourns both his father's death and his mother's remarriage to Claudius... See full summary »
Based on the novel of the same name by Graham Greene, this is a story of a French advocate Chavel who, while imprisoned by the Germans during the occupation, trades his material possessions... See full summary »
Kristin Scott Thomas,
I heartily second the opinions regarding the superbness of this epic series
I don't have much to say in addition to the adulations given by, especially, those who watched this amazing series at a young age. I was 23 when it first broadcast on public television, a co production of the BBC and Time-Life. I disagree with the verbose UK reviewer above, who felt the episodes boring until about halfway. I was intrigued with episodes 1 and 2, and utterly engrossed by 3, waiting impatiently for the following week to bring the next episode. My only problematic observation from the 1st episode was that it seemed a little stagy, as if I were watching a stage play. Small criticism. Watching it again 37-odd years later ( have finished the 2nd DVD as I write this) I was again engrossed, with the advantage of not having to wait a week for the next episode! The only proper and accurate adaptation to the great novel.
Considering this a television production, I was again impressed (and surprised) by the ambition and quality of the battle scenes. It was refreshing not see an exaggerated CGI army battling another CGI army. My favorite actors were Alan Dobie and a young Anthony Hopkins. Every time I see Hopkins in a movie, I immediately remember his outstanding performance as Pierre. The one scene I always remember is Alan Dobie ad Prince Andre, lying in the battlefield after being wounded while leading a futile charge at Austerlitz, lying on the ground, staring up at the sky and remarking about it, that all is vanity, illusion.
Finally, how can one forget Fiona Gaunt as Helene? Wow, those low-cut empire-style gowns. I kept fearing (if that is the word) that she wouldn't be able to "contain" herself. (Sorry for the moment of male levity).
My all-time favorite British TV production, even slightly ahead of the wonderful Upstairs, Downstairs.
P.S. Thanks to the viewer who pointed out that it was not shown on Masterpiece Theater. I always remembered that it was, and was regretting that Alistair Cooke's introductions and final comments were missing from the DVD. Now I know that they were not! But how I wish they were!
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