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Barbara Taylor Bradford's A Woman of Substance

547 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Barbara Taylor Bradford's bestselling novel comes dramatically to life in this Emmy-nominated miniseries. It's the story of Emma Harte, a bright and ambitious servant girl who overcomes her impoverished Yorkshire beginnings in her quest to become an international retailing magnate and one of the richest women in the world. Propelled by a star-studded cast and dressed in rich period detail, A Woman of Substance is an unforgettable masterpiece of storytelling. This rags-to-riches tale stars Jenny Seagrove (Local Hero), Liam Neeson (Schindler's List), Deborah Kerr (An Affair to Remember), Barry Bostwick (Spin City) and Diane Baker (The Silence of the Lambs). DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE: an exclusive interview with executive producer and star Diane Baker, an exclusive interview with author Barbara Taylor Bradford, cast filmographies and more. "Sex, money, power, revenge and corruption - an entertaining tale of a woman imbued with drive and a will to succeed." - Los Angeles Magazine "It's a winner!" - Variety "I am thrilled that Acorn Media is releasing this video series." - Barbara Taylor Bradford

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jenny Seagrove, Barry Bostwick, Deborah Kerr, Diane Baker, Peter Chelsom
  • Writers: Tom Blomquist
  • Producers: Victor Glynn
  • Format: 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: April 9, 2002
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (547 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000639EM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,605 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Barbara Taylor Bradford's A Woman of Substance" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By K. Morgan on August 15, 2004
Format: DVD
A Woman of Substance is an excellent miniseries. The actors are great: Jenny Seagrove as young Emma and Deborah Kerr as the older Emma were wonderful. Liam Neeson as Blackie O'Neill was excellent as well. The location in which the miniseries was shot was great. It provided a great picture of the areas in which Emma lived throughout her life.

What I found most entertaining and just absolutely wonderful was the fact that this movie followed the book! I was completely thrilled while watching this movie that it so closely followed the book. I dislike watching a movie based on a book only to have things happen differently than the book. That is clearly not the case in this movie.

This DVD has a few extra features including an interview with Barbara Taylor Bradford and the filmographies of the actors. It also has an interview with Diane Baker who played Laura and was also the producer of the film. I found the interview with Barbara Taylor Bradford to be entertaining and informative. She seems to be a wonderful lady and it was great to hear her story and her writing history.

A Woman of Substance is an excellent movie based on an excellent book. Anyone who has read the book would love this movie. I think anyone who wants to read the book would just as well love the movie. It is a great movie to watch again and again!
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60 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Shaz on April 19, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Everybody has some miniseries they have to watch every now and then. "The Thornbirds" maybe? Or perhaps it's "The Manions of America". For me and my sister, it's Barbara Taylor Bradford's "A Woman of Substance". Emma Harte (the older version played by "The King and I"'s Deborah Kerr)is a multimillionare and head of her own corporation. Four of her 5 children are greedy little buggers, and Emma becomes aware of a plot they've hatched to render her incompitent and declare themselves the legal heirs of her massive fortune. As Emma contemplates this, she falls asleep in her armchair, and through her dreams, we're transported back in time when young Emma (Jenny Seagrove) is a scullery maid for the Fairley family in their posh mansion. Emma meets Blackie O'Neal (played by the yummy Liam Neeson, who alone is worth watching this)and strikes up a lifelong friendship with him. Blackie is the first person to help Emma see that she, too, can be the head of her own fortune with careful planning and saving. Meanwhile, Emma falls in love with Edwin, the youngest Fairely son, and he loves her as well. When Emma becomes pregnant with Edwin's child, however, he withdraws and offers no support. So, Emma packs her bags and, with Blackie's help, finds a woman to stay with until her baby is born. This is just the first in a series of difficult events that begin to shape the woman Emma is to become. Her hatred for the Fairley family evolves into a lifelong goal to ruin them. She eventually marries a man named Joe and opens her first store (in which she is confronted by Adam Fairley, Edwins bully older brother, who, unsuccessfully, attempts to rape her. It is here that we first hear Emma's designs: "Here this now", she says to Adam, "I mean to ruin you...Read more ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 18, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A Woman of Substance is an excellent story about the trials and triumphs of Emma Harte. I would highly recommend to anyone seeing this video and read the novels. I also enjoyed the sequel to the Woman of Substance saga ( Hold the Dream)in which the saga of Emma Harte continues through the live of her grandaughter Paula. I've seen this movie and I am going to purchase this video as soon as it becomes available.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 10, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
A truly overlooked and under-rated piece of drama that told an unforgettable story. This review combined with the others should make that statement clearly fact. There are many of us who saw this piece and never forgot it's impact! I can not express how glad I am that I will be able to view this tale again. My mother and I watched it together originally and neither of us has forgotten it. This story touches multiple generations. I HIGHLY recommend this mini-series to anyone who is even slightly interested.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By V. DUBREUIL on May 16, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
A truly heartfelt drama that you can't get enough of! Emma Harte shows passion and endurance thru many unexpected tragedies. Emma Harte shows what "A Woman of Substance" truly means. From poverty to power, Emma rises. Even thru the deception by her own children. There has never been a friendship more real than that of Emma and Blackie (Liam Neeson). See this movie! Buy this movie! You'll want to see it over and over again!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 1999
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I have watched these videos countless times to the point where I can practically recite them word for word, yet I will NEVER get tired of them. Emma Harte's strength and iron will pulled her out of a life of poverty to make it all the way to the top. She did it all by herself with help from no one. I admire her because once she made up her mind there was no stopping her. No matter what tragedy or misfortune she suffered, she ALWAYS conquered it and kept right on going. I LOVE THESE VIDEOS!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ana Tavares on April 24, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This rendering of an early work by Barbara Taylor Bradford is set in Yorkshire, lent authenticity by the regional dialect used by Jenny Seagrove and cast. This book was unquestionably Bradford's finest hour, later pieces degenerating into works long on sentimentality, short on literary substance (no pun intended). Casting Deborah Kerr in the role of the middle aged heroine seems distracting, incredible, but this segment lasts only a few minutes, so no harm done. Still the cinematic version of the story is compelling and definitely a worthwhile addition to this writer's film library.
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