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Love In a Cold Climate (the first version, not the 2001 remake) is the
best Masterpiece Theater series ever. The actors were perfectly cast
and the dialogue was extremely well-written. I'm sure Nancy Mitford was
I have looked for this on video for years with no success. I'd give up every video in my collection to be able to see this one again. I went out and bought the book after seeing the series and have gone through several copies of it as my teenaged daughters read it, lost it, went to college with it.
These characters have gone around in my mind over and over for years and have never lost their charm. I would recommend this movie highly to anyone.
2010 - I read from another reviewer that the DVD series was available from a company in Canada. I ordered it and have since watched the series several times. It is every bit as good as I remembered from when I first saw it on PBS!
Are there just a handful of people who love and remember this
mini-series? The story is so engaging and this production is a
wonderful dramatization of the book.I love Nancy Mitford's books and so
does my teenage daughter who unfortunately hasn't seen this miniseries.
Does the story appeal only to women? I think that Nancy Mitford is
comparable to Jane Austen as a novelist whose writings make great
movies. Is the cost of producing the series on DVD thought to be
greater than the potential market? Who controls the right to reissue
I thought this miniseries was absolutely delightful and one of the best I've ever seen on TV. Why isn't it available on DVD?
I have been so heartened to read that other viewers all over the world feel the way that I do about this treasure of a television series. I knew from the previews on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (then it was Commission) that this was going to be something extra special. That was during 1981. It was repeated in 1986 but I did not see it then as it was newly arrived in another city and had no TV. I contacted the ABC some time in the intervening years and asked if they could repeat it but they said they no longer had the rights. However, it was repeated eventually (in a late night time slot) during 1998. I have done internet searches trying to find out if it has ever been released to VHS (and now DVD) and found nothing. The problem may be that whereas Thames Television was releasing some of their programmes to video in the 1980s (and 1990s) eg The Naked Civil Servant (which I have on video) they lost their license to broadcast television in the 1980s and at some stage were taken over by Fremantle Media (a European company). It is all very complex as some of the old Thames television shows that appear on cable in Australia are branded with Pearson (which I think took over Thames and was absorbed in turn by Fremantle Media). It is really important that anyone reading this contacts Fremantle Media and I suggest you use the email address to contact for video and DVD releases which is to be found on the Fremantle Media homepage>About Us>Contact Us. You have to express as much interest as possible from all over the world and urge Fremantle Media to realize that there is enormous love and interest in this series (and also others). We just have to get it released in Britain, US, Canada, Australia and NZ and countries between. I will buy two copies for starters and like all of you are prepared to pay a premium for it! It did create a magical world that you (and I) could inhabit with the characters. I saw it in 1998 and it is absolutely as held in my memory. I feel so very sorry for all you American viewers who have not seen it since 1981. Please get everyone you know to contact Fremantle Media!
My husband and I remember seeing the 1980 version of Love in a cold
climate when it first hit PBS in probably 1982. Would that I had a
handy dandy VCR recorder at that time, because that series is a keeper!
I totally agree that it is a far more entertaining version than the
2001 one now running on TVO(Ontario).
I don't believe we have ever laughed so hard in our lives at the hilarious antics of Mitford's semi-autobiographical family members. PBS has given us many enjoyable moments in the past, but this series was a true gem.
Like the rest of the reviewers, I would give a king's ransom to obtain a copy of this truly delightful min-series.
I agree with all the previous comments. This is one of the best Mini
series of all time. Superbly cast. Accurate in every detail. Judy Dench
wonderful. A true reflection of the books. I too spent a lot of time
trying to track it down. I could not watch the new version, Jeremy
The original version is now owned by the company that took over Thames Television but they say they have no plans to release it. There must be some reason why. I miss the bolter, Linda, Fannie, Uncle Mathew, would give anything to see it again. Maybe there should be a write in campaign.
I just rented the original version of Love in Cold Climate on DVD. Having never seen the broadcast, I was a bit taken aback at first because it clearly belies its age (1980), but after I got into the second episode I was hooked. All commentators who have bemoaned its absence should run to their favourite source and get the DVD. The DVD is well made and has subtitles for those of us who are hard of hearing or have trouble with the accents. It was interesting to see the younger Judi Dench and a set of excellent actors that have not had immense careers afterwards. Seeing the DVD has made me want to go and read the books on which the series was based just as seeing Brideshead Revisited (to me still the best book adaptation that I have seen on TV) sent me to read the novel.
At last. In September this year (2011) this masterful adaptation of
Nancy Mitford's semi-autobiographical family saga is being released on
DVD in all its eight-part glory. I'm not sure if it's slated for
release in the States, but British buyers can advance-order now. This
is one of the finest literary adaptations ever, ranking with Andrew
Davies' 'Pride and Prejudice' and with the BBC adaptation of Evelyn
Waugh's 'Brideshead Revisited'. It is witty, but also moving and at
times tragic. The story inspires its cast (including Judy Dench, Vivian
Pickles, Michael Williams and Michael Aldridge) to turn in some of
their finest performances. I had often wondered why Thames Television
was resolutely ignoring such a gem in its back-catalogue; thankfully,
someone in that organisation has finally woken up.
Anthony, in Woodend, Victoria, Australia
This series was the apex of Masterpiece Theatre presentations. The late 70's through the mid 80's saw some of the best programming. The original Love In A Cold Climate had it all. Outstanding acting, excellent writing and great subtlety. It captured the mood of the intra war period with a brilliant plot. Whoever owns the rights should get this series to DVD. It will sell. I never understood the purpose of the remake. And why give it the sole stage for this story? Bring back the original with Alistair Cooke's introduction. Who can forget his tweed jackets, wry wit, carefully explaining anglo terms and concepts to an American audience. All Masterpiece Theatre DVD releases should include his introductions. It was a wonderful period where the erudite looked forward to Sunday evenings.
To me, this is the Holy Grail of Masterpiece Theatre presentations. I'd
trade all of the ones in existence for this one - why Thames won't (or
can't) make it commercially available, I don't understand. I'm sure
somebody somewhere has a bootleg copy (this being shown first time
'round - and to my knowledge, only time around) in the fall of 1981.
This was broadcast in the days when VCR's were available (at great
cost, but available nonetheless). Wish I were friends with Dame Dench -
both she and her late husband had featured roles. Somehow I'd bet she
has some footage (or could get her hands on some).
In my recollection, this production was pitch perfect. True to the books (unlike the recent Moggach adaptation - true to the concept, but these were works to savor, not condense, and that's what Moggach did, just like in the new "Pride and Prejudice") and perfectly cast. Sheila Gish was a good Lady Montdore, but Vivian Pickles was even better - no introspection whatsoever. Boy (in the original) was somehow a little more "lapdog" than Jeremy Irons (who nonetheless steals a number of scenes)and John Hurt was the definitive Cedric. The narrator in the original was perfect (unlike in the recent remake, where Rosalind Pike's beauty eclipses both Polly and Linda, which skews the story somewhat). There was balance in the original between the older characters and the younger characters; in the newer version, I thought the elders stole all the scenes, which is problematic. The original version is definitive, superlative - but unavailable. A sad state of affairs.
If anyone ever gets their hands on it, please let me know!
I agree with all the previous comments and more. Anyone that lives
nearer than I to Thames TV (the makers, I think) please approach them.
I cant get any further away than i am unfortunately. Ask them if it
possible to make copies, I will gladly fund any costs; as long as I can
distribute the copies freely.
I have sent many a communication to Thames but have never heard back. Please contact me if anyone has any luck. There must be an original copy on video in the archives inn the dungeons of Thames.
I am going to try and contact Thames again and put this proposition to them as I gave up on this a couple of years ago.
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