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Borgia: Season 1 (2012)

 NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012
  • Run Time: 675 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,850 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Click on episode selection on the Episode selection page, On the next screen, click on the arrow besides the main menu to see these episodes. Episodes 4 and 5 are on disc 1, episodes 9 and 10 are on disc 2.

It was the age of Da Vinci and Michelangelo, of enlightened creativity and unparalleled intellectual achievement. But it was also the age of Machiavelli, or rampant lawlessness, incessant war and unspeakable depravity. At the heart of the world order was the Vatican, and at the center of the Vatican was Rodrigo Borgia, a man whose quest for power would propel him to seek the ultimate prize, the Chair of Saint Peter. His name would become synonymous with ruthlessness, and his reign as pope would be remembered as the most infamous chapter in the history of the Catholic Church.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
166 of 181 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Canal+ "Borgias" vs. Showtime's "The Borgias". January 14, 2012
By Miim
As you must already know, there's two shows about the Borgia family currently running. One from Showtime, and this one here done by Canal +, an European TV channel. Ironically, both were filmed in the same country at the same time, but are completely independent productions.

People inevitably compare them both, and many often mistakenly claim the Canal + one is historically more accurate than the Showtime one, something that isn't true.

As a history aficionado focusing on the Renaissance era and the Borgias in particular, I can assure you that when it comes to historical accuracy the Canal + show is just as bad as the Showtime one.
Furthermore, the characterization isn't always credible in the Canal + version (and occasionally seems to change randomly and suddenly), while the Showtime version lacks in background details and in the people who should be surrounding the Borgias. So they each have their flaws.

Both of them have excellent points and are very entertaining as well though, even if every so often they both butcher the historical accuracy to quite amazing levels.

The Showtime version has a tendency to do shortcuts and to focus on character development (thus it succeeds in making you interested in the main characters), while the Canal + version tries to show more of the people surrounding them but fails to establish as good of a connection for the watchers, and also frequently veers off into bizarre tangents that are as bad or worse than the ones done by the Showtime version.
(A little list of some of the odd things in the Canal + version [SPOILER WARNING]: Cesare involved with witchcraft?? The whole sub-arc with Cesare trying to kill his baby??
Read more ›
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71 of 79 people found the following review helpful
I love Jeremy Irons. I would listen to him read the phone book. But this version of the Borgias story is quite compelling. It's written by the creative team behind The Wire" (Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana), and is a pan-European effort. It's available now on Netflix streaming.

This means that the costumes are stunning, the sets accurate, but the dialects a bit jarring, It's in english, but some actors have a German accent (Lucrezia), most are British, some are Italian (Giulia Farnese) and so on. The most jarring accent is from the American, John Dorman, who plays Pope Alexander VI. I took me several episodes to get over the fact that the nasty Police Colonel in "The Wire" was Rodrigo Borgia. But once you get over the accent thing, you realize that Rodrigo was a very virile, late-in-life man, and Dorman is actually a very good choice. Like "The Wire" the evil or criminal acts and personalities are presented "as-is" - there is no moralizing here - these are men of their own times.

I'd like to say this version is also more accurate, but what we know is from sources hostile to the Borgias, and accuracy is a nebulous goal. However, the degeneration of Rome at the time is well depicted, and the dresses are gorgeous! The actor who plays the king of France looks as though he stepped from a late medieval painting.

For lovers of period pieces such as myself, this is well worth the time. A real delight, and I'm grateful I didn't have to buy a region 2 DVD version of this!
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57 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding...I will "pray" for a second season. February 1, 2012
I enjoyed the Showtime series "the Borgias" enough to buy a copy of the season one DVD of that series, and I suppose I will watch season two of that show with interest.

However, I'm very glad to have stumbled across "Borgia: Faith and Fear." The storyline was much better and to say it was jam-packed with compelling and shocking moments (in contrast with the Showtime series) is an understatement:

1. John Doman as Alexander VI surpasses Jeremy Irons who comes across as too languid and "English" and laid back in comparison. Doman's Pope strikes me as a more authentic version of what Alexander VI might have been like...a complex mix of corruption, passion, political genius, moral blindness, and sometimes even piety.

2. The series spends much more time than the Showtime series on the conclave that put Rodrigo Borgia into the Papacy. Watching this political intrigue whirling at a dizzying pace is fascinating and compelling to watch.

3. The production values are great and are not outshone by the Showtime series. Battle scenes look real and the faux-Vatican created for the series looks real.

4. I have the impression that "Borgia: Faith and Fear" takes fewer liberties with the historical record than the Showtime series (although I did not a few such things).

I would recommend against letting young children watch the show. It is at times extremely violent (brutal torture, public executions) and it has explicit sex scenes (more so than the Showtime series) but with that said, it was not "gratuitous" (the story is set in a bloodsoaked time in a place swirling with vendetta, violence, lust, and all the other dark passions that move people).

I agree that sometimes the vast cast of characters does get confusing (telling who belongs to what factions. I'm looking for a good book about the Borgia clan, so I can better appreciate both series.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than Showtime's version! May 11, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video
This version of the story of the Borgias is even more riveting and captivating than the Showtime version. At first I was put off by John Doman's American accent, which of course didn't fit the character of Rodrigo Borgia, a Catalan who spent much of his life in Italy. But the story line in this version, while completely fictionalized (just as Showtime's is), accurately depicted the tension between the desire to be faithful to God and to surrender to one's desires, which afflicts the entire Borgia family. I found the story of Cesare, and the character as played by Mark Ryder, to be particularly heart-stopping, as Cesare's desire to win Rodrigo's favor, and his constant rejection in favor of Juan, is a big part of this version! Overall, this is a wonderful and very dark version of the story of the Borgias, a real must watch for fans of stories about the Borgias and dark dramas! The acting, even Doman's, is quite excellent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars love the series
pay attention, a lot is happening
Published 2 days ago by Regina R. Kirkpatrick
5.0 out of 5 stars A million times better than The Borgia
A million times better than The Borgia. Darker, rawer, historically more accurate, infinitely more clever,
Passion, life, faith, death. It feels real. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Miss Lou
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Watching
I have watched both versions of Borgia's, this version and the Showtime version. I will say that I liked this version, but I loved the Showtime version. Read more
Published 1 month ago by ChelsieWorl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great series.
Published 1 month ago by Dora
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It's ok
Published 2 months ago by Jenny
1.0 out of 5 stars I hate it
Too fake...
Published 5 months ago by Alma R. Fox
4.0 out of 5 stars good product
I really Like this product. the cover is amazing and inside has many options to see the movie and new material
Published 6 months ago by Andres Castro
2.0 out of 5 stars No pretense to accuracy can mitigate the terrible casting...
I know I'm never going to be fully happy with the veracity of these historical shows; occasionally they (some more often than not) throw in some historical analysis that is... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Trinity L. Hall
1.0 out of 5 stars If your the type that never questions the plot then you'll love this
If your the kind of person that needs a director to go to great lengths to show you why you should respect the characters, love them, hate them, etc etc, then you'll hate this... Read more
Published 6 months ago by U-God
3.0 out of 5 stars Simply Falls Short of the Borgias
After watching every episode of The Borgias and being disappointed to find out it was canceled, I thought I would give this European production a try. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jericho J.
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3 Disc U.S. DVD Version, 7 Disc European DVD Version, 4 Disc European...
When will season 2, and season 3, to be released in US? Borgias series is excellent.
Nov 8, 2013 by Richie |  See all 2 posts
This Lions Gate product appears to have no subtitles whatsoever. If you go to (the French Amazon, you can shop there too), you will find the original Canal+ production which has only French subtitles for the French-speaking hearing-impaired.
Jun 1, 2013 by R. Avital |  See all 5 posts
there is nudity and yes full-frontal, men and women. The nudity is not limited to sex scenes which are very believable. There are many torture and execution scenes with nudity as well.
May 22, 2013 by RsMom |  See all 2 posts
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