Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited is a moving tragic story which chronicles the tempestuous journey of Charles Ryder through the tangled and stormy world of the aristocratic Marchmain family. It is an epic tale of his love - for his closest friend Sebastian Flyte for Sebastian's sister Julia Flyte and for an entire way of life. This classic visually stunning TV drama directed by Charles Sturridge and Michale Lindsay-Hogg was adapted for the screen by John Mortimer (Rumpole Of The Bailey /b%3E) and is here presented in its entirity. Brideshead Revisited collected... together the absolute cream of British acting talent at the time including Lord Laurence Olivier in his Emmy Award-winning role as the exiled Lord Marchmain Claire Bloom as Lady Marchmain and Sir John Gielgud as Charles' estranged father. Brideshead Revisited won two Golden Globe Awards seven BAFTAs and an Emmy for Lord Olivier. [show more]
With Evelyn Waugh's epic novel about to come out as a movie it is great timing that ITV DVD have decided to release this boxset of the original ITV series, first seen in about 1981 and remembered by many as a piece that did much to break the BBCs longstanding stranglehold on truly quality drama productions. How the makers of the new film can hope to do justice to this massively complex eulogy to an entire way of life in the little time Hollywood backers will usually tolerate, who can say? And that's not to mention the book's forays into such trivial side issues as the decline of Catholicism, its role in British society, the evolution of 20th century universities, the effects wrought on Britain by the second world war, and the role of America in that change! What we can say is that this ITV series is as true to the book as its makers could make it. The screenplay by John Mortimer has the touch of a true lover of the original, in much the same way Peter Jackson and wife did for Tolkein. Here, with literally sumptuous performances from all, this is classic stuff from a cast led by Sir Lawrence Olivier in one of his last great performances. Anthony Andrews as Sebastian Flyte and Jeremy Irons as Charles Ryder also produce exceptional work that neither have ever really equalled. Even so, two of the main settings for the story - Oxford in the interwar years, and Yorkshire's glorious Castle Howard (standing in for the Marchmain family 'pile' Brideshead) - almost steal the show, as does the perfectly adept musical score. Whether or not you're a fan of Waugh and the way of life he depicts, if you love British dramatisation at its best, this is an almost 'must have' for your collection, one to savour like an old favourite book - which, when you've seen this, it probably will become!
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