IMDb > "Civilisation" (1969)
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"Civilisation" (1969) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1969-


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8.9/10   413 votes »
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Release Date:
23 February 1969 (UK) See more »
3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Greatest of All Art History Series See more (7 total) »


 (Series Cast [1])
Kenneth Clark ... Narrator (13 episodes, 1969)

Series Directed by
Michael Gill (7 episodes, 1969)
Peter Montagnon (5 episodes, 1969)
Ann Turner (3 episodes, 1969)
Series Writing credits
Kenneth Clark (2 episodes, 1969)

Series Produced by
Ann Turner .... assistant producer (13 episodes, 1969)
Michael Gill .... producer (2 episodes, 1969)
Peter Montagnon .... producer (2 episodes, 1969)
Series Original Music by
Edwin Astley (1 episode, 1969)
Series Cinematography by
A.A. Englander (unknown episodes)
Kenneth MacMillan (unknown episodes)
Series Film Editing by
Allan Tyrer (2 episodes, 1969)

Roger Crittenden (unknown episodes)
Peter Heelas (unknown episodes)
Jesse Palmer (unknown episodes)
Series Sound Department
Alan Dykes .... sound (2 episodes, 1969)
Basil Harris .... sound (2 episodes, 1969)

Malcolm Webberley .... sound assistant (unknown episodes)
Series Visual Effects by
Roynon Raikes .... stills photographer (2 episodes, 1969)
Phil Summers .... stills filming (2 episodes, 1969)
Ann Turner .... stills photography director (2 episodes, 1969)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
A.A. Englander .... lighting cameraman (2 episodes, 1969)
Kenneth MacMillan .... camera operator (2 episodes, 1969)

Joe Cooksey .... lighting technician (unknown episodes)
Colin Deehan .... assistant camera (unknown episodes)
Jack Probert .... lighting technician (unknown episodes)
Series Editorial Department
Allan Tyrer .... supervising editor (unknown episodes)
Series Music Department
Edwin Astley .... conductor (1 episode, 1969)
Series Other crew
June Leech .... research assistant (2 episodes, 1969)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

50 min (13 episodes)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »

Did You Know?

Narrator:And later Baroque artists, like Bernini, delighted in the emotive close-up, the tears and open lips and restless movement - all those devices that were to be rediscovered in the movies. The extraordinary thing is that Baroque artists did it in bronze and marble, and not on celluloid. Of course, in a way, it's a frivolous comparison, because however much one admires the films, one must admit that they are often vulgar, always ephemeral, whereas the work of Bernini is ideal and eternal.See more »
Concerto GrossoSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
35 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
The Greatest of All Art History Series, 6 April 2004
Author: jacksflicks from Hollywood

There have been many fine video lecture series by prominent cultural figures, from Joseph Campbell to Robert Hughes, but for me, the finest is still the first, Kenneth Clark's landmark, "Civilization, A Personal View". The sub-title is important, for Clark's survey of western civilization through its art and architecture is certainly opinionated. And this gives the series a wonderful intimacy that previous televised surveys never approached.

Not only is there a wealth of information and insight in this beautiful production, but there is Kenneth Clark himself. A scholar of culture and art, admirer of Ruskin and student of Bernard Berenson, he was director of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and the National Galley in London, as well as pioneering arts commentator for radio and television in the UK. Kenneth, Lord Clark, raised to the peerage for his achievements, is perhaps the greatest impresario of art of the 20th century.

"Civilization, a Personal View" has been criticized by some art critics as being a bit "facile". I disagree. Clark's argumentation is always reasoned, never arbitrary. It certainly is facile for pop commentators to repeat the old tourist-pleasing but phony assertion that Michelangelo designed and built St. Peter's dome. It is Clark who points out that St. Peter's dome is the work of Giacomo della Porta, not Michelangelo. Is it facile for Clark to confess that when he was young he scorned Frans Hals out of snobbery, but later, "as I grew older," began to appreciate Hals's "convivial" figures? Facile indeed. Everything Clark says carries weight.

Aside from questions about Clark's personal views - he ends Civilization at the beginning of the modern era, not because he ran out of film but because he didn't care for modernism - it cannot be denied that he delivers them in such a lucid, congenial and engaging manner, that only the pedantic and churlish could fail to be delighted with a dapper, eloquent, beautifully spoken gentleman's tour through western history. Where else do pronunciations like caPITalism and usages such as "lie of the land" sound so wonderful than from the lips of this erudite Scotsman?

"And please allow me two minute's digression on the subject of tulips." I love it!

Clark's series is by far the best televised course in Western Civilization ever created. I doubt if it will ever be surpassed. There are two men I dearly miss having met before they died - Joseph Campbell and Kenneth Clark. Upon meeting Clark in "Civilization, a Personal View," I think you'll understand why.

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