It was generally believed that the central character in this mini-series, a brilliant Jewish student at Cambridge who becomes a novelist and film writer, was an autobiographical portrait of Frederic Raphael, the scriptwriter of the series. See more »
One would think that the BBC and ITV would be out to milk every last penny from the great TV programmes of the past. The Glittering Prizes ranked along with such greats as I Claudius, Fall of Eagles and Days of Hope. I doubt that the tapes have been lost or discarded. If the BBC could produce the old blotchy 50's recording of George Orwell's 1984 for its anniversary, they have got this one tucked away in their vaults.
The plot reminded me of the Up series, where a group of children are visited every 7 years to examine how they are faring in life. The Glittering Prizes was a work of fiction, but obviously based on real life characters who attended Cambridge in the 1950's and went on to careers, some successful, some not. I will never forget the scene with Tom Conti in his cheap rooms, with "Oh Mein Papa" playing on the radio, or the young boy when asked what kind of car the family had, replied that they had feet. The evocation of the 50's and 60's brought back so many memories. The script was sparkling, the acting superb and the concept predated all the ensemble films and reality shows.
TV has really gone downhill since programmes like this were made. We may have more channels, but the result in mediocrity. Best of all, they were able to get the message across without resorting to gutter language. Like others, I would like to see this on DVD.
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