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Affairs of the Heart, Series 1


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Affairs of the Heart, Series 1 + AFFAIRS OF THE HEART, SERIES 2 + William & Mary: Complete Collection
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Product Details

  • Actors: Diana Rigg, Margaret Tyzack, Pamela Brown
  • Format: Full Screen, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
  • Run Time: 351 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CR49HK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,935 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Henry James biography
  • Cast filmographies

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Classic tales of love and loss based on the fiction of Henry James

All the dramas and desires of late Victorian high society are on display in these vintage adaptations of the writings of Henry James. Romantic tales of love and loss unfold from the country houses of England to the drawing rooms of New York, from the palazzos of Venice to the art studios of London. Scoundrels and schemers collide with ingénues and admirers in the terribly intricate affairs of the heart.

This enchanting anthology features a treasure trove of British actors, including Diana Rigg (The Avengers), Margaret Tyzack (Cousin Bette), Pamela Brown (Becket), Patricia Routledge (Hetty Wainthropp Investigates), Ian Ogilvy (I, Claudius), Anton Rodgers (Scrooge), and Jeremy Brett (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes). The hour-long dramas plumb the exquisite tensions of Henry James’s best-loved stories, including Washington Square, The Aspern Papers, and The Wings of the Dove, with a subtlety and nuance unmatched by more recent adaptations.

DVD FEATURES INCLUDE Henry James biography and cast filmographies.

Review

Addictive episodes. -- Blogcritics Magazine

Enchantingly good... Sumptuous and not to be missed. -- MemorableTV.com

None of these works have received better treatment cinematically. -- Video Librarian

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on October 8, 2008
Five stars for American born (1843), turned British subject prior to death, author Henry James and his tales of romantic conquest in an English setting. Stories are primarily Victorian era, as Henry James himself died in 1916. He left behind many very interesting stories and in this DVD set, seven of them have been brought to life in a fun way.

Each of the episodes is based on a separate book. Author James has a way of leaving the ending a surprise. Not always does boy get girl, or girl get boy, or all's-well-that-ends-well. You CAN expect the unexpected. That is the delight of this set. Some are romantic tragedy, some comedy, some suspense, a full smorgasbord of high living played out with a wide range of accomplished British actors and actresses.

Episode 1: "Catherine" based on "Washington Square"
Episode 2: "Adela" based on "The Marriages"
Episode 3: "Miss Tita" based on "The Aspern Papers"
Episode 4: "Grace" based on "Covering End"
Episode 5: "Milly" based on The Wings of the Dove"
Episode 6: "Flora" based on "Glasses"
Episode 7: "Mary and Louisa" based on "The Tone of Time" and "The Real Thing"

If you don't know of Henry James and his writing, the included biography on the DVD set will help. After seeing this group of his stories, you'll be looking for more from his books. With "Affairs of the Heart" you could enjoy him for a week, one DVD segment per day. More likely, however, you'll not be able to put 23 hours between watching each episode.

With Henry James having written over 50 published works, let us hope there will be an "Affairs of the Heart Series Two" in the future.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Little Dorrit on April 8, 2009
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I can't add much to the previous review, I agree completely with the excellence of this set. I can only say that I contacted the company that put this out and they tell me the Second series will be out in September 09 and I'll definitely have it on preorder!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bretfan on May 5, 2010
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I bought this series, at first for Jeremy Brett, who plays in the episode "Grace", a witty and charming one. Brett is, as usual, a dashing and perfect performer. (people who wish to provide this unfairly underrated actor with a posthumous Bafta may go to facebook:"posthumous BAFTA for Jeremy Brett). But in fact, I enjoyed very much all the episodes. The stories are enthralling, deep, behind a light appearance. The actors are very good and their delivery is perfect. Moreover there are english subtitles, very helpful for people who can't hear...and for foreigners. I'm delighted with this series.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Frances Di Pasqua on November 30, 2010
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Like most British literary series of the 70's, these stagings are short on dazzling set design & cinematography, but are very well-costumed and have plenty of period costume eye-candy.

The scripts are tight and, judging from what I remember about the original James books, faithful to the stories' basic themes. When you condense a novel down to a 50-minute play, as they do here with "The Wings of the Dove", some finer points will get lost but the gist of the story is expressed well.

A great part of the satisfaction of a series like this is to see actors as they were back in the day. Diana Rigg, Jeremy Brett, Patricia Routledge, Margaret Tyzack and Anton Rodgers are a few of the actors who are better known for other work. If you know Routledge only from her work on "Keeping Up Appearances", her younger self here will be a nice surprise.

For some people, the pace of these episodes may feel slow (I felt that as well) but I would say that you should just accept that and relax into the different pace of story-telling. This series is a nice way to spend a couple of hours.

Fran
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Gough on November 16, 2012
Henry James brought to life by ITV
I am staggered that this (and the second series) is a Region 1 USA import, but I can only guess that Americans count Henry James as an AMERICAN writer, despite the fact that his literary career was almost exclusively based in London and Europe.
This series was devised by Terence Feely, and produced by ITV in 1974.
Other (Amazon USA) reviews list the sources of each of the seven story, by Henry James, concealed behind the episode-titles of women's names: e.g. "Miss Tita" for Episode 3 based on "The Aspern Papers", or "Catherine" for Episode 1, based on "Washington Square" (also filmed as "The Heiress"), or "Milly" for Episode 5 based on "The Wings of a Dove", itself based on the life and tubercular death of Henry James' neice.
The production values are TV-only, not "film", being pre-"Brideshead" or "Jewel in the Crown", or Jeremy Brett's incomparable "Sherlock Holmes". (Brett has a leading role in one of the stories!)
But as the chosen stories are mainly "chamber music", played indoors, the theatre-like sets are not a serious issue.
The costumes are fine.
The script is eloquent.
The casting is generally excellent, although when Gayle Hunnicut's beautiful face says she has "excellent teeth" (as part of the vain charms of the impoverished and tragically blighted beauty in Episode 6, "Flora", based on James' story "Glasses") this is unfortunate, as Hunnicutt has strikingly unusual dentures.
Her face, however, is ravishing, of course.
As a whole, the seven stories range across subtle drama, tragedy, light comedy, and even a light-handed farce, in the final story of two women who had each loved, and been jilted by, a roguish Italian musician.
Read more ›
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