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Brideshead Revisited


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeremy Irons, Diana Quick, Roger Milner, Phoebe Nicholls, Simon Jones
  • Writers: Charles Sturridge, Derek Granger
  • Format: Box set, 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: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: June 25, 2002
  • Run Time: 660 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JLG2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,065 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brideshead Revisited" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Digitally remastered presentation
  • Brideshead Revisited Companion Guide - includes director's introduction, episode descriptions, Evelyn Waugh biography and more
  • Location shots
  • Facts and photos from Castle Howard, the real Brideshead

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The "Washington Post" called it "the best series ever." The "New York Times" praised it as "incredibly lavish." This is the series that captivated PBS audiences from coast to coast. Spanning three decades, from the early 1920s to World War II, it brilliantly chronicles the turbulent relationship between an impressionable young man and the aristocratic Marchmain family. Starring Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Laurence Olivier, Claire Bloom, and John Gielgud. Nearly 10 hours on 4 cassettes or 3 DVDs. Boxed.

Amazon.com

Fill a bowl with alpine strawberries, break out the Château Lafite (1899, of course), and bask in this benchmark 1981 British miniseries based on Evelyn Waugh's classic novel. Adapted for the screen by John Mortimer (Rumpole of the Bailey), this impeccable, nearly 11-hour production mesmerized American viewers during the course of its PBS run in 1982. In his breakthrough role, Jeremy Irons stars as Charles Ryder, a disillusioned Army captain who is moved to reflect on his "languid days" in the "enchanted castle" that was Brideshead, home of the aristocratic Marchmain family, whose acquaintance Charles made in the company of an Oxford classmate, the charming wild child Sebastian. Anthony Andrews costars as the doomed Sebastian, whose beauty is "arresting" and "whose eccentricities and behavior seemed to know no bounds." The "entitled and enchanted" Sebastian takes Charles under his wing ("Charles, what a lot you have to learn"), but vows early on that he is "not going to let [Charles] get mixed up with [his] family." But mixed up Charles gets. He becomes a friend and confidante, not to mention a lover, to Sebastian's sister Julia (Diana Quick). Meanwhile, the self-destructive Sebastian's life spirals out of control. Brideshead Revisited boasts a distinguished ensemble, including Laurence Olivier in his Emmy Award-winning role as the exiled Lord Marchmain, Claire Bloom as Lady Marchmain, and the magnificent John Gielgud as Charles's estranged father. Grand locations and a haunting musical score make this a memorable revisit of an irretrievable bygone era. For those who scheduled their weeks around the original Monday-night broadcasts or those visiting Brideshead for the first time, this boxed set release will be, as Charles rhapsodizes at one point while strolling the castle grounds, "very near to heaven." --Donald Liebenson

Customer Reviews

The sound is clear and the picture quality is excellent.
Russell Fanelli
Waugh's own religious beliefs are rooted in that odd English Roman Catholicism that seems to delight in being intellectually counterintuitive and self-mortifying.
Robert Moore
Absolutely beautifully done: brilliant cast, writing, direction, photography, locations, sets, costumes, haunting music, everything.
Speedreader Karen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

332 of 349 people found the following review helpful By Russell Fanelli VINE VOICE on November 17, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Brideshead Revisited is the finest film made for television that I have ever seen. It is true to Evelyn Waugh's great novel. After watching this movie I bought the book and liked it as much as the videos. For those viewers who like to read, if you enjoyed the film you are almost certain to love the book.

After reading the novel, I viewed the tapes a second time and discovered that the movie was even better than I first thought.

What makes this video series great? The performances by a top flight cast are superb and the story is compelling. Jeremy Irons plays the part of Charles Ryder, an artist in search of his soul. His paintings are technially brilliant, but something is missing from them. An eccentric friend characterizes Ryder's work as full of "charm," and this evaluation is true -- the paintings are stylish, but soulless.

Anthony Andrews brings to life Ryder's Oxford college friend, Lord Sebastian Flyte, a spoiled aristocrat trying to break free from the influence of his dysfunctional family. Claire Bloom is his mother, Lady Marchmain, separated from his father, Sir Lawrence Olivier, Lord Marchmain. Bloom is cool, calculating, and condescending. When young Sebastian becomes an embarassing drunk, she seems pleased to attempt to reclaim him from social and spiritual destruction.

Somewhat later in the film Ryder realizes the destructive nature of Sebastian's relationship with his mother. Ryder subverts her wishes by giving Sebastian money for alcohol and then Ryder makes a break with the family when his gift of money to Sebastian is discovered by Lady Marchmain, who confronts Ryder with her muted, yet terrible anger.
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128 of 136 people found the following review helpful By E. S. Altman on October 30, 2006
Format: DVD
The only difference between this set and the original Acorn DVD release of 2002 (which was beautifully done) is the addition of the "Revisiting Brideshead" documentary and outtakes. The documentary is awful; the kind of thing that trivializes the work by superficial, self-inflated explanation from literary and media "experts" of things perfectly obvious to anyone who watches the series. I don't need a media critique telling me how perfect Anthony Andrews' performance was--I watched the series and saw so myself. I don't need to be instructed about the religious and sexual tension in the story--its there if you watch it. I was hoping the documentary would be conversation from the actors and crew about the filming, but I guess that would have been too simple. In fact, the several screens of text in the original DVD release that tell the story of the filming are much more interesting. This documentary is depressing, condescending and just stupid--I would skip it altogether.

As for the outtakes, not much there. The only real outtakes are Phoebe Nichols (Cordelia) dropping a couple of "f" bombs over missed cues, Anthony Andrews flubbing a line here and there and grainy footage of the cast and crew at horseplay. Again, not worth the purchase, but certainly more engaging than the documentary.

I see no reason for this anniversary edition--stick to the original Acorn release if you can find it. Much nicer packaging too.
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269 of 294 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2002
Format: DVD
Through my own connections, I was able to obtain this item a month before its street date so you all get to know what you're getting.
The Brideshead DVD Box Set, while not perfect, is indeed excellent and I'll explain why.
As is increasingly the case, the actual disc carriages are part of a three leaved slide-out assemblage which folds up and then is stored in a case, just like with the Godfather DVD Box Set.
These case formats are an excellent way to fight piracy and look great but are not the best in in terms of long term box preservation as cardboard and photo-printed cardboard will degrade.
This release of Brideshead is the 660 minute version of the mini-series and I believe this is the longest and most complete version ever released!
The episode menus and scene selection are pretty, functional and fairly rudimentary, nothing exceptional here.
A little booklet with some director's commentary and info on Evelyn Waugh and the episodes is included.
There are no real DVD Special Edition type extras save for a brief but comprehensive written film/DVD production summary, info on Castle Howard, a cast/production team bio (Aloysius has his own entry and a hysterically funny news interview with the director about him), and some photography taken while shooting.
There are regrettably no interviews with the cast or production team, no director's commentary, and no deleted/extended scenes, though since we've all been forced to endure the butchered Home Video verson this as full as full can be version is in a sense full of them. There are no theatrical trailers or television spots.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Drewry F. Wofford III on February 20, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Evelyn Waugh's book is a magnificent testament to the power of memory and language, and I doubt any more faithful an adadptation is possible. Jeremy Irons as the seemingly detached, but always emotionally involved friend (Charles Ryder) of Anthony Adrews (Sebastian), plays one of his finest roles. The cinematography is unparalleled, and after watching this numerous times, I was compelled to visit Castle Howard, which is the "Brideshead" home. This is a video (or series of videos) to curl up with on a long afternoon and evening (its about 13 hours long), but if at the end you haven't fallen in love with Julia as Charles had, if you haven't cried for Sebastian as he tends to the down trodden Kurt, then you are missing some of the basic emotional fabric of what makes us human. Sebastian says "it's a rather pleaseant change when all your life you've had people looking after you, to have someone to look after yourself". This is a book, a story and a video that deserves to be looked at many times and looked after as well.
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does it has English subtitle?
No, there are no English subtitles per se but it IS close-captioned (CC) in English. Hope this helps you.
Oct 31, 2006 by JGS |  See all 6 posts
Has this been newly restored & remastered?
Unfortunately, ITV are either too cheap and lazy to re-transfer the entire series from film elements with a modern telecine (true "remastering") or...even worse...those film elements might not have been preserved. Meaning there would be no hope of it ever looking better again. Sadly,... Read More
Mar 12, 2011 by RamblerSyndicate |  See all 7 posts
Is this new version worth buying?
This new 25th Anniversary box set looks exactly the same to me -- I've been comparing them side by side. If there is a difference -- I don't really see it -- minimal at best and that is just to be kind. Well, it is released by Acorn and their quality of remastering is "Boo! Hiss!!"... Read More
Oct 14, 2006 by JGS |  See all 12 posts
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