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"Master of the Game" More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Every bit as good as the Book!

Author: Shelagh McKibbon (
31 January 1999

From start to finish, this mini-series had me mesmerized. I have read the book, and this was one mini-series that actually stayed true to the book! Great acting by Dyan Canon in a role that followed her life for 80 years!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

My all-time favorite tv mini series

Author: jhsjr from Maitland, Florida
28 March 2000

I was captivated by this book made into a tv mini series. It is interesting not only because of the amazing story but the scenery in South Africa was so beautiful. There were so many interesting characters and their lives took many different paths, it was all very believable. I would love to own this movie if it ever became available.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Excellent piece of movie-making!

Author: Dorian Grey ( from New York, NY
1 July 2002

Saw this movie when it first aired on television and then a second time when it aired again. Excellent piece of movie-making, despite the fact it was "made-for-tv!"

I'd recommend it to anyone who has an opportunity to experience it. Terrific performances by Dyan Cannon and Harry Hamlin as mother & son.

I would really LOVE to own a copy of this movie, but know it is not available on VHS let alone DVD.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Much inferior to "Rhodes" and "Mountain of Diamonds"

Author: Corto Danzigese from Berlin, Germany
22 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After seeing BBC's wonderful "Rhodes" I thought it to be another decent series about South Africa and diamonds but it turned out to be just another soap opera - and to be frank, quite awful. The worst thing is, the first episode was great and contained everything a movie about diamonds and Africa should contain. We have solid British actors, good scenario that mixes thriller and adventure genres, and a wonderful south African scenery. I was completely thrilled and really enjoyed McGregor's path to power and reeneactment of the lawless colonial frontier. Then next episodes came and demolished what first episode established. Suddenly action moved completely to the US and storyline changed into another soap opera with unbelievable plots. American actors deepened the impression, as they clearly don't come close to their British counterparts (not that American actors are bad in general, only that in this series they are clearly of third-rate stock). Somehow producers achieved an amazing feat of making six episodes, of series about a south African diamond dynasty, with cutting out South Africa and diamonds. Instead we get a terrible mash of truly awful plot twists in a worst "guilty pleasure" manner (check storyline synopsis on wikipedia, it will give you good idea). The problem of movies like this one, is that they try to imitate life, while life beats them with own stories much more compelling - life of Africa's first diamond potentate Cecil Rhodes was more fascinating than any soap opera dummies. Thus, if you want to learn about south African diamond magnates I recommend watching opulent and well acted „Rhodes" or „Mountain of Diamonds" based on Wilbur Smith (very similar in storyline), instead of this catastrophe. Apparently only British can make a good TV mini-series these days...

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No Fun in This "Game"!

Author: JLRMovieReviews from United States
18 September 2013

Dyan Cannon, David Birney, and Donald Pleasance are some of the recognizable names in this TV adaptation of Sidney Sheldon's novel, Master of the Game. But many key players are actors the viewer has never heard of and never will again, some due to the fact they were British or international actors, such as Ian Charleson, Cherie Lunghi, Angharad Rees, and Fernando Allende, and some who never reached any kind of stardom, like Liane Langland. The miniseries had its moments, but, for the most part, it was boring. French actress Leslie Caron has a small but interesting role, and perhaps is the best thing about the production. The key plots of interest is Ian Charleson getting beat up and betrayed by Pleasance and his daughter and his quest for revenge. Then Dyan Cannon was born, was a young lady very briefly, and all of a sudden she was old, and then Liane Langland played twins. Liane was good, but all in all, the miniseries left a bad taste in my mouth with not-so-nice people, with no one to really root for. The viewer doesn't have anyone "to love to hate," like J.R. Ewing on Dallas. There was no fun to it, just meanness. If you like manipulation and deceit with a downbeat feeling to it (that about sums it up), then this miniseries is for you.

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Grand entertainment

Author: phd_travel from United States
30 May 2013

From the Golden Age of television miniseries this is one of the exceptional ones. If you haven't seen it yet - watch it! There is a grand historical sweep and a thrilling story with twists and turns, a moving score and theme, and good casting. Harry Hamlin was good. Angarhad Rees as his wife was quite memorable. Even the actress who played the twins Eve and Alexandra was good.

Dyan Cannon was quite memorable. The only problem with her role was that she was a bit old to play the earlier years of her character. She should have taken over slightly later.

They don't make them like they used to. Wish Hollywood would find some good stories like this to make into miniseries with A list actors and actresses.

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4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

I started watching this back in 1984 and changed channels...

Author: BaileySEA from Garner, NC
13 October 2009

I couldn't get through the first hour of this miniseries when it originally aired. Now 25 years later I'm watching it via netflix, and OMG! After Ian Charleson dies the thing goes quickly downhill, FAST! Dyan Cannon was 46 at that time, tring to play a young schoolgirl, OH PUH-LEASE. And the first episode with her in it skips at a very fast pace. This miniseries started off well, but got really bad, really fast. No wonder I switched channels back then. And it differed from the book. That never helps. This must have been a ratings disaster back then. BEWARE, STAY AWAY FROM THIS TURKEY! I hope they try to make it again, and do it right! This was so awful, so miscast.

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