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All Passion Spent

48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The acclaimed BBC adaptation of Vita Sackville-West’s beloved novel starring Dame Wendy Hille.

Dame Wendy Hiller delivers a delicately nuanced performance in Vita Sackville-West’s classic story of emerging feminist identity in post-Victorian England.

"When can one please oneself if not in old age?" asks 85-year-old Lady Slane (Hiller), who frees herself from society’s expectations upon the death of her politically prominent husband. To the shock of her children, who seem more concerned with the disposition of the estate than with their mother’s happiness, the widow retreats to a cottage in the Hampstead countryside to rediscover herself.

Nominated for four BAFTA Awards (including best drama series and best actress), this BBC production brings Sackville-West’s best-known novel to the screen with all its emotional complexity, intellectual vigor, and profound feeling.


Special Features

  • Via Sackville-West biography
  • Cast filmographies

Product Details

  • Actors: Wendy Hiller, Harry Andrews, Maurice Denham, Phyllis Calvert, Graham Crowden
  • Directors: Martyn Friend
  • Writers: Peter Buckman, Vita Sackville-West
  • Producers: Colin Rogers
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: May 30, 2006
  • Run Time: 158 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F4RHC0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,598 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "All Passion Spent" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

241 of 249 people found the following review helpful By bernie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 26, 2006
Format: DVD
Lady Slane (Wendy Hiller) spent all her life being an et ux. She enjoyed being the wife of the viceroy, a mother, and a leader of charities. However when her husband died she finally, against her children's wishes, had time to contemplate her life, what it could have been and what it will be.

She moves into a smaller house that she had seen 30 years before. Now she strikes up a friend ship with people as the house owner, the craftsman repairing the house and others.

Unknown to her is a friend of one of her sons, who knew her 60 years ago in India. He reliving the time and she realizing that they both had great depth that was not required of them at the time, form a unique friendship.

We get the privilege of watching Lady Slane make her discoveries and the reaction to this by the family. Of particular interest is her great grand daughter is now on the cusp of making the same life choice that Lady Slane succumbed to.

Based on the novel by Vita Sackville-West, "All Passion Spent" we see a lot of Vita's real life parallels. The screen adaptation is by Peter Buckman. This film has that BBC quality.
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125 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Pamela F. Benbow on September 18, 2007
Format: DVD
Wendy Hiller and Harry Andrews deliver haunting and very, very beautiful performances in this, one of the best films I have ever seen. It is all--every bit of it--utterly charming, provocative, true, beautiful, and brimming with life in every scene.

And the reviews that speak of Vita's feminism, though true, miss entirely the point that this film is as completely relevant socially, emotionally, and spiritually now as it was in Vita's 1930's.

The film is not glitzy, or fast, or loud, but it is one of my few all-time favorite films. Like the rest of them, it seeps into one's soul like wine falling slowing through water, eventually coloring one's whole view of life. You will not be quite the same once you have given yourself the gift of All Passion Spent.
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76 of 77 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle VINE VOICE on September 3, 2008
Format: DVD
This film is a three-part BBC special based on Vita Sackville-West's tale of the state of femininity in post-Victorian England.

We open with the death of Lady Slane's (Hiller) husband, a former viceroy of India. We see more from the aged children than the recent widow. And what we see of the children isn't pretty. Most of them are more worried about the money than their Mum, who they deem impractical and very amenable to do what they want with her.

Turns out, she isn't. Lady Slane decides to take a cottage in the Hampsteads, a home she'd seen thirty years prior that turns out to still be available for rent.

Instead of the society the family expects her to keep, she has tea mostly with the landlord and handyman. The only family member who visits often is great-granddaughter Deborah (Snowden) who is about to wed a Duke and isn't particularly happy about the situation.

It's fascinating to watch how these two generations of the family evolve and change as they have decisions to make about their lives and futures. The story's lovely and strongly emotional. Dame Wendy Hiller is an amazing actress and a beautiful woman herself.

On a personal note, it reminds me of what a treasure it was to have known my own great-grandmother. I miss her every day.

Rebecca Kyle, August 2008
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Elliott C. Metcalfe Jr. on November 2, 2006
Format: DVD
This is an exceptional piece on a woman finally exercising her own thoughts and desires at a time when women didn't have these choices.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By WSH on November 17, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a pitch-perfect dramatisation of a quiet, almost contemplative story that, nevertheless, asks profound questions of life: What is substance, what vanity? How much freedom do duty and love permit any person? The writing is wonderful, the staging unfussy and utterly convincing, and the cast - led by the superb Wendy Hiller - completely winning. This three-part adaptation of the Vita Sackville-West novel, made in 1986, looks and sounds as fresh as new paint and is a treasurable addition to any collection.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tom Miller on April 14, 2011
Format: DVD
My wife and I watched this a couple of nights ago and loved it. We've seen all the BBC Dickens films and virtually anything else we can find in that vein. This one definitely ranks up there with the best. The story is gently acerbic and the character development is truly fine. Wendy Hiller gives a terrific performance, portraying the dowager with a light but very firm hand on the helm of her life. once her public/familial duty is done, her duty is to herself, despite the arrogance and assumptions of her children and their spouses. Rent this when life has worn you down and you need a respite.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By 1st-Class-Muser on September 12, 2007
Format: DVD
Seniors are usually viewed as weak and fragile people, or eccentric if they are strong in our youth-oriented society. The fabulous Wendy Hiller portrays a strong-minded elderly Lady in this excellent TV mini-series, breaking the stereotype and showing that seniors have aspirations of their own like any other age groups. Enjoy her other Oscar winning films--Separate Tables and Pygmalion - Criterion Collection
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dana Stabenow on November 25, 2010
Format: DVD
Perfect script, perfect cast, you'll get up from the couch smiling and that feeling will stay with you for a long time. Great little movie and Wendy Hiller (everyone in it, really) is perfect.
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