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Cadfael: The Complete Collection (2010)

Derek Jacobi , Terrence Hardiman , Graham Theakston , Herbert Wise  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (539 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Derek Jacobi, Terrence Hardiman, Michael Culver, Julian Firth, Mark Charnock
  • Directors: Graham Theakston, Herbert Wise, Ken Grieve, Malcolm Mowbray, Mary McMurray
  • Writers: Ben Rostul
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 13
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010
  • Run Time: 975 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (539 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003YCI1UC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,989 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cadfael: The Complete Collection" on IMDb

Special Features

Exclusive audio comments by Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi essay
Ellis Peters materials, production scrapbooks, and historical background notes

Editorial Reviews

"Enchanting" --The Washington Post

Once a Crusader, now a man of the cloth, the worldly but humble Brother Cadfael uses his keen intuition to protect the innocent and bring the guilty to account in war-torn medieval England. Sir Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius; Gladiator) gives a captivating performance as the crime-solving monk in this award-winning series. Seen on PBS’s Mystery! and based on the bestselling books by Ellis Peters, these 13 dramas offer a riveting glimpse into the past.

Also starring Julian Firth and Michael Culver, with guest stars including Julian Glover (By the Sword Divided), Sean Pertwee (Cold Feet), Hugh Bonneville (Lost in Austen), Tara Fitzgerald (Brassed Off), Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting), Toby Jones (Infamous), Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies), and Stephen Moyer (True Blood).

THE MYSTERIES
One Corpse Too Many
The Sanctuary Sparrow
The Leper of St. Giles
Monk’s Hood
The Virgin in the Ice
The Devil’s Novice
St. Peter’s Fair
A Morbid Taste for Bones
The Raven in the Foregate
The Rose Rent
The Pilgrim of Hate
The Potter’s Field
The Holy Thief


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
141 of 147 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rare Benedictine August 5, 2010
Format:DVD
Brother Cadfael is not the sort of person you would immediately peg as a brilliant detective -- a crusader-turned-monk who specializes in herbology and medicine.

But he is a brilliant detective. And "Cadfael: Complete Collection" brings together all of the BBC's adaptation of Ellis Peters' classic mysteries, which intertwine murder mysteries and medieval history. These stories are well-written, clever and full of unexpected twists -- and they're filmed with a gritty, grimy realistic flavor.

Cadfael (Derek Jacobi) is a monk at the abbey of Shrewsbury in the first half of the twelfth century. At this time, England was being ripped in half by a civil war (now called The Anarchy) between King Stephen and Empress Maud, which was dividing the populace and turning the English people against each other.

And as the war rages on, Cadfael is confronted by many different murders -- murdered nobles, framed acrobats, a corpse is hidden amongst executed "traitors," a raped nun frozen in the river, a saint's bones that inspire murder and greed, a body found in a potter's field, a vast Shrewsbury Fair leads to a string of cruel murders, a cruel priest is found dead after he drives a pregnant girl to suicide, and political conflicts lead to brutal deaths.

"Cadfael: The Complete Collection" is the sort of authentic historical series that the BBC has sadly stopped making -- it has all the blood, grime and sweat of the 12th century, and accurately depicts the strong presence of religion and politicial strife in medieval life.

For the most part, the writers accurately adapt Peters' novels -- every mystery has lots of suspects, moral dilemmas, religious strife, civil war, a murder that only Cadfael can solve, and a bit of cute romance as well.
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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Series I-IV complete, not just Series 1 April 10, 2011
By TCM
Brother Cadfael (1080-_?_) is the central character in this series of historical murder mysteries adapted from the novels written by Ellis Peters; aka Edith Pargenter, (1913-1995) a self-educated scholar and award-winning author of non-fiction and historical fiction.

The novels are set at Shrewsbury Abbey in Shrewsbury, the county town of the English county of Shropshire during a period referred to in the novels as The English Civil War (The Anarchy 1135-1145/50, sources differ,) where King Stephen and Empress Maud are in a bloody contest vying for the crown. Against the backdrop of this dangerous chaos, Brother Cadfael practices his Arts of herbology, healing, and deduction.

Brother Cadfael's background is constantly in the foreground as he goes about counseling his brothers, his patients and the Under-Sheriff, Hugh Beringar, whom he often serves not only as friend and counselor but also as medical examiner, forensics department, mentor and fellow detective. Cadfael, a Welshman, began his education young as an adventurer, crusade soldier and sailor. He spent much time in the mid-east both as soldier and sailor, which is where he picked up his Arts.

Retiring to the life of a Benedictine Brother rather late in life, he occasionally chafes at the strictures of The Rule as imposed upon him mostly by the Brother Prior of the abbey even as he obviously resigns himself to his chosen Vocation. He is held in more respect by the Abbot and also by the Sheriff both of whom he often serves to uncover the truth and thereby keep the peace. He is served in turn by penetrating observational skills, a finely honed intuition and intellect, as well as unerring internal moral compass pointing towards compassion informed by his long life's education in the secular world.
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORICAL MYSTERY AT IT'S FINEST October 5, 2010
Format:DVD
Truly a wonderful series. A Medieval England warrior converted to a monk. But in the waring times of England, there were dastardly crimes that needed solving and Brother Cadfael (masterfully played by Sir Derek Jacobi; "I, Claudius") is the man to solve the mysteries. The mystery, crime-solving, drama is as good as modern settings like Midsomer Murder. The sets are to-die-for if you are a historical story fan, and I am. These are complex cases and the period costuming and props as well as the filming settings are just whipped topping to delicious suspense and mystery.

There are plenty of guest stars including "Julian Glover, Sean Pertwee, Tara Fitzgerald, Toby Jones, Stephen Moyer, Anna Friel, Hugh Boneville, to name a few. There is also Bonus stuff: audio comments by Jacobi, an essay, Ellis Peters info, production scrapbooks, background notes, and more. The stories originated from "PBS Mystery" and were based on best-selling books by Ellis Peters.

YES, there are SUBTITLES. Each of the 13 episodes are 75 minutes, almost a feature-length story, and every bit as good as theater films. When films typically go for a higher single price, this collection is VERY AFFORDABLE, a value, for all that you get. Each episode is on it's own disc.

16 1/2 hours of delightful mystery to spend watching, but you will likely want to watch them one right after another. They are addictive. The only negative aspect of this collection is the fact that only 13 episodes were produced.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection October 19, 2010
Format:DVD
If you are a fan of really good detective historic mysteries and enjoy superb acting, this collection of the 13, of a total of 20, of the Brother Cadfael (a Benedictine monk in medieval England) books that were made into movies, is for you. (The books, by Ellis Peters, are also an excellent read.) Derek Jacobi is a terrific actor and is supported by great casts. The series is historically accurate and shows what life was really like in the twelveth century. Each story has been condensed into a movie of less that 1 1/2 hours but are throughly enjoyable and little of the books has been omitted so that there is no difficulty in enjoying the full story - unlike many books that are "condensed" to be made into movies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Stories
All that expected. Mysteries from 1100-1200 monesteries.....Makes one glad to be living in the 21st century.... Read more
Published 1 hour ago by Blinky Palermo
5.0 out of 5 stars Cadfael is a window to the past
We visited Shrewsbury to see the church of St. Peter and Paul. Too bad they didn't make more of the series since it covers a period in English history during a civil war. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Always delightful.
We have read all the books and find this series so "right on". I think Ellis Peters would be proud. Can't wait to share with my Son who is also a Cadfael fan.
Published 1 day ago by Ken Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Cadfael series
Seems a little slow at first but you get into it quickly. Very well done period piece. Medieval detective story
Published 1 day ago by Michael C. Shannon
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery with a twist
I watched Cadfael on BBC years ago, and then read the books. I was not unhappy with either. Usually either the books or the shows are a disappointment. Not so these.
Published 1 day ago by Dutch
5.0 out of 5 stars Cadfael collection
Enjoyed every DVD. Worth every cent. Shipment was timely. Amazon products exceed my expectation . I will plan on buyiong other DVD's in the future.
Published 2 days ago by Joe Pich
5.0 out of 5 stars great. just great
there is really nothing that compares to a medieval whodunit (except for maybe a Victorian whodunit). great cast and the syntax is mostly close to the book.
Published 3 days ago by j.m. buchanan
5.0 out of 5 stars Brother Cadfael
Well, Derek Jacobi is an excellent actor and also, the pictures of medieval villages and people is very good as well .
Published 4 days ago by Valdepenas
5.0 out of 5 stars Amen!!
I watch and enjoy any movie starring Derek Jacobi, aside from that, I loved Brother Cadfael ,He put a new version of a detective into being. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars Great show
This was an excellent series. Characters were well developed. Acting was great. Period and costumes were believable I wish there was more
Published 7 days ago by Duncan Hastings
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