Buy Used
$24.99
FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Midwest Nomad
Condition: Used: Very Good
Trade in your item
Get up to a $0.69
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Country Matters

3.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
Price
New from Used from
DVD
(Apr 01, 2008)
"Please retry"
2
$60.94 $2.99

Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime
Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime Start your 30-day free trial to stream thousands of movies & TV shows included with Prime. Start your free trial

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the most widely acclaimed drama series television has ever produced, these adaptations of short stories by A.E. Coppard and H.E. Bates present provocative and heartwarming tales set against the vast English countryside during the post-World War I period. Featuring stunning locations and star-studded casts that include Ian McKellen, Peter Firth, Pauline Collins, Rosalind Ayres and Prunella Scales, these eight lavish dramas reveal the timeless and constant qualities of the British landscape and its people.

2 DVD set includes:
Craven Arms - The Mill - The Sullens Sisters - The Watercress Girl
The Little Farm - The Black Dog - The Higgler - The Ring of Truth

Amazon.com

Based on short stories by A.E. Coppard and H.E. Bates, this Country Matters collection includes eight of the 50-minute episodes that helped form Masterpiece Theater's hybrid theater/television identity as go-to programming for understanding Great Britain. Country Matters portrays mostly tragic romance, set in rural England just after the first World War. Each episode provides accurate and fascinating costume and set design to illustrate the class differences, living habits, and manners of Brits in various regions, giving viewers a deeper knowledge of the culture clash that has occurred within this tradition-bound society. "Craven Arms" stars Ian McKellen as David, a figure-drawing teacher in love with three of his beauteous students, Kate, Nancy, and Julia. Suffering from what he calls his lack of "constancy," David's inability to commit takes him nowhere except on a lonely journey. Alice in "The Mill," a 17-year-old ditched by her parents to earn her keep on a nearby farm, also suffers through lonely sexual exploration. The first disc, also including "The Sullen Sisters" about two sisters, Lindy and Rachel, feuding over Tommy, an extremely young boy, offers little in the way of cheerful love.

"The Little Farm" on disc two provides the first glimpse of short-term romantic success, as Edna Johnson (Barbara Ewing) moves onto Tom Richards' (Brian Marshall) farm, transforming his veritable pigsty with her woman's touch. "The Higgler" also hints at fleeting emotional uplift as higgler, Harvey (Keith Krinkel) is invited to befriend an educated lady, Mary (Sheila Rusgrove). Each story unravels slowly, quietly, and in dark rooms oft lit by lantern to show what life's pace used to be. While some episodes are more riveting than others, slight action is well compensated for by meticulous script and acting. Like the best in British drama, these short story adaptations rely on dialogue to enliven characters rather than showy special effects or bawdy sex. Country Matters certainly opens a window into the past, which feels like respite from today's cinematic overload. --Trinie Dalton


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ian McKellan, Peter Firth, Joss Ackland, Pauline Collins, Trevor Bannister
  • Directors: Barry Davis, John Mackenzie, Richard Martin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, 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:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Koch Vision
  • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 411 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00124SNJS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,953 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Country Matters" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. J Terry on September 9, 2008
Verified Purchase
Despite the term "heartwarming" in the descriptive copy on the back of the "Country Matters" DVD case, most of the episodes are reminiscent of Thomas Hardy. They are slow, brooding, and mostly focus on rural life as it really was for the poorer classes: Isolated locations; dark, dirty cottages; bare economic survival; few acquaintances; poor verbal communication; and extremely limited options in life. In most episodes, the central character is offered one chance at a better life, usually economic improvement and/or love and/or escape from a bad family. And usually, fails to get it due to either poor choices or bad luck, and then is made to realize how dreary things will be for the rest of his or her life. It's a good series, but don't watch more than one or two episodes in an evening if you want cheerful dreams.

The rural locations are beautiful, the costumes are pretty good, the acting is excellent, in short the production values of this series are high. Except--and it's a big except--for the music. British folk music would have accented the series extremely well. Instead, the music for every single episode consists of a little-varied, much-repeated, rinky-dinky, incongruously upbeat, rather electronic tune which, if memory serves, is also the theme for the BBC "Lovejoy" detective series. If BBC couldn't shell out enough for decent music at the time the series was filmed, they ought to have done it before issuing this DVD.
2 Comments 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
Can I please correct the error that several reviews here have made. Country Matters was NOT made by the BBC, but by Granada Television. American viewers often make the mistake of thinking that all Masterpiece Theater presentations come from the BBC. They do not.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
I had seen this collection included in several lists of Jeremy Brett's TV films (including Amazon's). I ordered it only to find that Brett's episode, "An Aspidistra in Babylon," was not included. Beware! Only eight of the original 13 episodes are in this set. My request for a refund was accepted, but I note the collection is still listed on Amazon under Jeremy Brett's films.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
Th first story was a little slow, but on the whole I thoroughly enjoyed the DVD
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
These dramatizations of short stories by British writers A. E. Coppard and H. E. Bates, dealing with love affairs set in the English countryside just after WW I, display excellent direction, meticulous and convincing period setting, and an almost astonishingly high level of acting in every role, major and minor, from beginning to end. Their view of life is a tragically bleak one -- don't come to them for the sort of heartwarming family stories you might have been prepared for by something like Lark Rise to Candleford -- but they do have what I consider the mark of great cinema: their impact on you is almost more like something in real life. The series abounds in the sort of unforgettable moments that great film can leave you with: for instance, the long closeup of the face of the placid, innocent ruined girl at the end of The Mill is something Thomas Hardy couldn't have bettered. The Koch Vision DVD is a good transfer, but since the series comes from the early 1970s, the image isn't as clear as we've gotten to expect from quality television shows.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
The Mill is the one gem in the collection, and what a rare gem it is. One hour of movie-making brilliance.
A rough promise carefully sifted from the human sands; separated; graded; properly dopped; beautifully faceted, polished and set.
It is one of the most psychologically brutal pieces ever filmed. Its immediate after-taste left me ashamed of my culture, gender and biological family. This gustatory sensation lingers still, after one viewing and the lapse of some 36+ years.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Country Matters - A two DVD set containing 8 short stories (50 min each) from post WWI. The stories are quite believable which is very refreshing in these days when all that matters is violence and sex. The people are all involved in real life situations (except for The Ring of Truth which should have been dropped from the collection) and the endings are also quite real - not always for the best. I only wish that I could buy all of the episodes that were made having missed them when originally broadcast. Buy this collection - you'll want to watch most of these stories again. By the way - don't expect high quality video or sound. The quality is all in the stories and the actors.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
what is this doing as a region 1 dvd, the only format avalible to the british public? country matters is a british made series and so should be avalible to the british public first on region 2! i hope this is going to be eventually rectified! i give 5 stars for it being a good seventies british drama, i cant rate the dvd quality because i cant buy it!
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Forums



What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customers Also Watched on Amazon Video