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The Oscar Wilde Collection (The Importance of Being Earnest / The Picture of Dorian Gray / An Ideal Husband / Lady Windermere's Fan) (2008)

Gemma Jones , Joan Plowright  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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The Oscar Wilde Collection (The Importance of Being Earnest / The Picture of Dorian Gray / An Ideal Husband / Lady Windermere's Fan) + The Shaw Collection (Pygmalion / The Millionairess / Arms and the Man / The Devil's Disciple / Mrs. Warren's Profession / Heartbreak House) + Anton Chekhov Collection (Platonov/The Wood Demon/The Proposal/The Wedding/The Seagull/An Artist's Story/Uncle Vanya [1970 and 1991 versions]/Three Sisters/The Cherry Orchard [1962 and 1981 versions])
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gemma Jones, Joan Plowright, Sir John Gielgud, Jeremy Brett, Susan Hampshire
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Closed-captioned
  • 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: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
  • Run Time: 500 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019BI1FA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,541 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Oscar Wilde Collection (Dbl DVD)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
160 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JEREMY BRETT SHINES IN 2 OSCAR WILDE PLAYS May 30, 2002
By GenV
Bless the BBC for making those gems from their PLAY OF THE MONTH series finally available to the public. I hope this is only the beginning, since one can only imagine what treasures lie in that noble institution's archives!
This collection includes four of Wilde's plays: AN IDEAL HUSBAND (1969), THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (1976), LADY WINDEMERE'S FAN (1985) and THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (1988). These insightful adaptations of Oscar Wilde's masterpieces featuring wonderful performances by top British thespians (John Gielgud, Joan Plowright, Jeremy Brett, Susan Hampshire, Margaret Leighton, Peter Firth, Judy Bowker and Dinah Sheridan to name but a few) are a delight to watch, and call for repeat viewing.
A great deal of effort clearly went into this box set, so you're not just getting a pixillated transfer from video to DVD. The plays have been digitally remastered so the DVD version is visually stunning and the sound is crystal-clear, allowing us to savour every line of Wilde's witty dialogue. Each play comes with chapterisation and notes on cast members. An interesting 60-minutes documentary of Oscar Wilde's life and loves has been added as a bonus. Fans of Jeremy Brett should know he has major parts in THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY and AN IDEAL HUSBAND. Those who fell in love with his rendition of Sherlock Holmes will not want to miss this opportunity to see him brilliantly handle the intricacies of Wilde's works. His superb performances alone are reason enough to buy the set. 408 Minutes of joy.
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95 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating set, not for the Brett fan alone...... September 27, 2008
I bought this set because it contains two performances by the much beloved late Jeremy Brett. Though I'm happy to say that all four plays, and the fascinating biography on Oscar Wilde are exceptionally well done! The other reviewer summerized the four productions excellently, so I just wanted to add my two cents.

The two Brett plays-The Picture of Dorian Grey, and The Ideal Husband, showcase Mr. Bretts superb acting ability. He's wonderfully dark and morose in Dorian, but equally light, witty and charming in Ideal. This set should be in the Library of any Brett aficionado.

The other two productions-The Importance of Being Ernest and Lady Windermere's fan, are in many ways even surperior to the other two productions. Joan Plowright is exceptional in Ernest and proves why she's a Grand Dame of British threatre. The BBC should be applauded for putting these productions on TV as it enables the everyday person, like myself, to see quality theatrical productions when most would not have the means or ability to do so in person. I hope the BBC brings more plays like these to TV for modern viewers.

All in all, I highly recommend this inexpensive, quality set to any period piece fan. 5 stars!
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101 of 104 people found the following review helpful
Best remembered for his countless poignantly witty epigrams, Oscar Wilde was a leading representative of Aestheticism, a movement espousing the notion that art exists for no other purpose than its existence itself. Born in Dublin and a graduate of Oxford's Magdalen College, he worked as a journalist, editor and lecturer before turning to dramatic writing, and produced his most acclaimed works in the six-year span from 1890 to 1895, roughly coinciding with his romantic involvement with sixteen years younger Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas. "Bosie's" strained relationship with his father, the Marquees of Queensberry, eventually caused a series of confrontations between Wilde and the Marquees, in turn resulting in three trials, Wilde's conviction for "gross indecencies" under a law interpreted to prohibit homosexual relationships, and a two-year prison sentence of "hard labor." Wilde emerged from prison a broken man and, after three years' wanderings throughout Europe, died in 1900 of cerebral meningitis, barely 46 years old.

This marvelous collection brings together four of his best-known works in productions from the BBC's long-running "Play of the Month" series, starring an array of Britain's finest actors; plus a biography with contributions by, inter alia, renowned scholar Isobel Murray, Wilde's grandson Merlin Holland and "Bosie's" great-grandniece Lady Alice Douglas, as well as many well-chosen excerpts from Wilde's works and the trial transcripts, visits to the locations of his life's key stations, and a wealth of photographs.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Positive Recommendation February 20, 2004
This collection offers four performances and a bonus biography of Wilde. That is a good thing. Unfortunately quantity does not always equal quality."The Picture of Dorian Gray", in my opinion (aside from Gielgud's stunning Harry Wotton) did not do a great justice to the book. The "Importance of Being Earnest" is better when Dame Edith Evans plays the monster who is, unfairly, not a myth. Joan Plowright is an incredibly stunning actress, but she is not a Lady Bracknell. Oh my, no! (To be fair, neither is Judi Dench). "An Ideal Husband" will never again be the same after Cate Blanchett, Minnie Driver, and Rupert Everett. They have all the playfulness, youth, and fun, of Oscar Wilde. This rendition is too dated. That leaves "Lady Windermere's Fan". Astounding!! Helena Little is superb in this character. She has that shy, gentile, sweetness that is essential for the role. Sara Kestelman will have you on the floor laughing. She is over the top!! She actually changes a line in the play. The Duchess of Berwick is supposed to say "Agatha darling, will you go out on the terrace and look at the sunset?". Instead she asks poor, sweet, dear, darling Agatha to look "for" a sunset...the effect is hilarious and it is all Kestelman's own brilliant work. Her performance alone rates her right up there! Right beside Dame Edith Packer in my opinion. Aside from Maggie Smith, I have never seen an actress who can play the part of an "English" Lady quite like Kestelman. It is worth the price of the DVD alone.

That leaves the biography. A tour de force!! Alan Sinfield, Isobel Murray, Merlin Holland, and Bosie's great-grandniece (Lady Alice Douglas) all appear in this wonderful docu-drama. The music begins with a mellow cello that is very touching. There is the recording of Wilde (pseudo?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent actors! Fabulous plays.
Published 15 days ago by AAA
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of plays
Great collection of plays. the only disappointment was sorting out the DVD regions. Had to borrow someone else's DVD player to view it.
Published 1 month ago by Zuni Steer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wilde and Wonderful
It is wonderful to have a complete collection of Wilde's plays -- well acted, funny and always a go-to when there's nothing good to watch on TV!
Published 1 month ago by Irma Gurman
4.0 out of 5 stars Wilde Collections -- CLOSED CAPTIONS???
The case containing the 2 DVDs says 'Closed Captioned'. However after MUCH effort I was not able to get them on. Read more
Published 1 month ago by R. Larson
1.0 out of 5 stars Not true to Wilde's plays
The acting, costumes, and photography are great. Unfortunately, these are not Oscar Wilde's plays as he wrote them. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Monroe Freedman
4.0 out of 5 stars The Importance of Being Earnest Review
The Importance of Being Earnest is a clever little play that’s bound to cause more than a few laughs. It does, however, sacrifice depth to stay light and charming. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Imran Lorgat
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical Genius
Oscar Wilde was a genius. From the almost slapstick humor in The Importance of Being Earnest to the macabre Picture of Dorian Gray, he keeps the tale moving. Read more
Published 11 months ago by S. Axelroth
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED THE MOVIE HAD TO HAVE IT
Published 11 months ago by bkbaker
3.0 out of 5 stars The stories are fabulous and so are the actors/actresses
I am not giving this 3 stars based on the works, or the actors and actresses, which are superb. The 3 stars are based solely on the video needing to be updated, it needs to be... Read more
Published 17 months ago by bas bleu
3.0 out of 5 stars The importance of being honest
Perhaps I didn't read the product description carefully enough - these were apparently the filmed versions of stage plays done in England. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mark Pendleton
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