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The House Of Eliott, set in Britian in the 1920s, follows the drama of
the two Eliott sisters in their journey from being poor relations with
no position or future in society to being amongst the most celebrated
fashion designers in London.
There is much motivating drama as the sisters are held back by the cruel legacy of their father and their condescending relatives. Through their determination and by meeting creative and Bohemian members of society they begin to express their creative talents and break free of the constrictive life they were intended to live.
The 1920s period setting is dressed up well and is played out as a time of change in attitude to clothing and the way women could express themselves. Of course the cruel English class system, as always, provides a good background to the drama, where the aristocracy are still ruling and putting others in their place. But the signs of the change in society, post World War I, are evident. The characters are bound by their reputation and many reputations are all ready established, newly made and destroyed during the series.
Stella Gonet plays Beatrice, the elder Eliott sister who suffered greatly under her fathers stern hand and who determinedly finds her lost freedom. Louise Lombard, plays Evagaline, younger by twelve years to Beatrice, who begins naively venturing into the world after her sheltered childhood and blossoms into a sophisticated, individual and unconventional women in society. Both actresses are well cast and develop their characters well as the series progresses.
Aden Gillet as Jack Maddox, the society photographer and eventual love interest in the show is another regular character. Barbara Jefford is a favourite as their snobby, stern but somehow sympathetic character of Aunt Lydia - constantly reminding the "girls" that reputation is everything. The sub-plots(particularly in series 1) are also very well developed. As well as Aunt Lydia, their is the charity worker Penelope Maddox and her attempts help the poor and bring justice and the some of the stories of the employees in the fashion house.Other characters develop as the series progresses and some are more effective than others.
Developed by the creators of Upstairs Downstairs(well known actresses Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins) The House Of Elliot has good writing mostly good direction and acting and the journey of the Eliott sisters is a rewarding one to watch and re-watch.
I absolutely loved this series, which was on too briefly on A&E in the
'90s and ended with kind of a cliffhanger. However, there is a book
available that actually goes forward from the series.
One of the posters commented on the French & Saunders skit which was hilarious, and yes, once you've seen them, it's hard to look at the actual characters in the show without giggling. Louise Lombard was so gorgeous, she reminded me of Louise Brooks and I was wishing a film about Brooks would happen so Lombard could play her. She and Stella Gonet were excellent in their roles, as were the handsome Aden Gillet as Jack and Cathy Murphy, who played Tilly.
This has been criticized for being a soap opera - I happen to love soap operas.
The House of Eliott is a gem of a series largely due to the wonderful characters, great acting and writing, fabulous settings and exquisite costumes. The characters of Evangeline and Beatrice are really wonderful foils for one another. Supporting characters such as Jack, Tilly, Madge and company are also highly entertaining. It is very hard to not become quickly addicted to the House of Eliott. Even though it is set largely among the beautiful people of the 1920s, the House of Eliott manages to show how the other half lives, particularly when dealing with the Miners' Strike and the consequences for so many families. Now that it is out on DVD all the wonderful characters live again.
You don't have to buy the DVD's anymore to watch this superb series. I rented them on NETFLIX three DVD's at a time. Best series show I've seen in a long long time. The story as well as the cast were first class. The womens clothing was something else. this show must have cost a fortune to film. the period automobiles, trains, sets were all something to see and added to the enjoyment of the film. Stella Gonet, Louise Lombard and Aden Gillett all gave marvelous performances. For that matter the the entire cast was wonderful. My wife and I looked forward to watching this show night after night and were sorry when it ended.
A show that i have fallen in love with! The clothes are gorgeous, the
characters are gorgeous and the storyline just grabs you in! I have a
love for historical fashion, and this film has added the 1920's to my
favorite era list.
Set in the 1920's in England, The House of Eliott is about the two Eliott sisters, who set up their own fashion house after there father dies. But it is not all easy, and trying to manage their new social life as well as start up a new business proves difficult. Will The House of Elliot survive the fashion industry?
An absolute favorite i would recommend to anyone! Especially if you have a love for history or fashion.
Completely addictive story of two sisters who start their own fashion
house in London in the 1920's. I rented the series because, like so
many girls, dreamed of being a fashion designer (along with ballerina,
president and actress). What I found however, was a solid story of
entrepreneurship that would be inspiring to any woman in business.
I love that the Eliot sisters are strong no nonsense business women, without falling into the stereotypes of women in power being unhappy man-eaters that we see in Hollywood portrayals. I love the mixing in of social issues, news events and subplots from all different bits of society. The side characters are developed well enough that you care about them as much as the main characters. I also appreciate the portrayal of the two sisters as loving and supporting each other instead of the trite sibling rivalry that is so often overdone.
The fashion is delightful, but Jack Maddox's career progression in photography and film is just as interesting.
The trip back in time to the 1920's is very well done. That aspect alone managed to hold the attention of my 11 year old son for the good part of an episode. (though I would not say this is a family show as the themes are of more interest to adults)
Rent or buy the complete set- you won't want to wait for the next disc!
I know people don't like negative reviews, but I bought the full series
at quite a price and I am becoming sorry I did so.
This show has many attractive elements. I thoroughly enjoyed watching season 1.
The writing in Season 2 is dreadful. It is as if the original idea proposed by Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins was all used up by the end of season 1. Every plot point is telegraphed; there are no surprises. The melodrama is cheesy without being delightfully so - the music is godawful. Many of the stories are disconnected from each other. One feels that the writers slammed their ideas together at high speed without reference to how real people would react were they part of these stories. Such a waste of such fine actors, such beautiful design and such a lovely concept. It is almost as though the writers don't believe in the characters and don't like them. I'm not sure I'm going to make it through to the end.
I remember when A&E aired this series on Sunday evenings. Oh how I envied being in London, anyway Stella Gonet and Louise Lombard are both stars of this series as two sisters who operate a fashion business in London, England. A terrific supporting cast like Victoria Alcock, Cathy Murphy, and others help support the leading actresses. Of course, the creators of the show was Dame Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh better known for Upstairs, Downstairs. Anyway, the story is quite soap opera at times but it is irresistible too. They are true to the time period as possible they can. They opened the doors much like other British series. Sadly, the show only lasted three seasons which is not that unusual in British programming. Unfortunately, a series season ranges from 6-10 episodes a season. Oh my, the British soaps air about four or five times a week.
Well scripted costume soap opera concerning a pair of sisters who build
a clothing empire during the roaring twenties, all the while being
misled by subterfuge and scandal by various nemeses in the ruthless
business of fashion. This series takes the viewer through a decade of
trials and tribulations, including births, deaths and marriages.
The largely unknown cast discharge their roles with consummate professionalism of stage actors. Louise Lombard became familiar to TV audiences a decade later in the original CSI series, but none of the other faces are recognisable save for noted stage actress Barbara Jefford who has a recurring role as the Elliott family matriarch in the first season. Eurasian actor Burt Kwouk will also be a familiar face (from the "Pink Panther" movies) in a couple of episodes.
Costumes and sets are the centrepiece of this series, which is understandable considering the fashion content and historical context. Despite an epic thirty-four episodes, the writers manage to build a coherent plot with regular climaxes and the usual soap opera intrigue. Despite probably not being for all tastes, it does represent a polished work, with intelligent script-writing and attention to detail, and should appeal to anyone interested in haute couture fashion or art deco dramas.
I recommend this dramatic series about two sisters who create a fashion business in 1920's London. My husband & I thoroughly enjoyed the cast of characters whose fortunes wax and wane against a believable backdrop of history. We were emotionally engaged with these characters in a really satisfying way, much like reading a favorite book. I can't believe it took us nearly 20 years to hear about this wonderful British TV series now available to rent on DVD. Excellent writing & acting, superb costuming and realistic sets make this an outstanding viewing experience. The only drawback is quality of dialog sound in some interior sets. Otherwise, its a totally top-notch production. Where did they find the old cars, trains, planes, street locations to provide such realistic recreation -- and how could they afford it? Though it was aired from 1991-1994, House of Elliott compares favorably to the best movies or series being produced on TV in 2010.
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