3 used from $88.00

Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for up to $0.76
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Image Unavailable

Image not available for
Color:
  • Cousin Bette
  • Sorry, this item is not available in
  • Image not available
  • To view this video download Flash Player
      

Cousin Bette


Available from these sellers.
3 used from $88.00
Amazon Price New from Used from
DVD
"Please retry"
2-Disc Version
$88.00

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Product Details

  • Actors: Margaret Tyzack, Thorley Walters, Helen Mirren, Ursula Howells, John Bryans
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Dolby
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: January 30, 2007
  • Run Time: 250 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000K7UBVG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,159 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cousin Bette" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bio of Honore de Balzac
  • Cast filmographies

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The BBC dramatization of Honoré de Balzac’s novel about the fury of a woman scorned

In this acclaimed drama seen on Masterpiece Theatre in the 1970s, Margaret Tyzack (The Forsyte Saga) stars as Balzac’s furious spinster with Helen Mirren (Prime Suspect) as the beautiful young siren who helps her lure men to their ruin.

Born plain and poor, Bette Fischer endures her lot, until her wealthy cousin’s family steals her only treasure—the young sculptor she has taken under her wing. Joining forces with the ambitious, greedy, and alluring Valerie Marneffe, Bette vows to have her revenge and sets out to ruin the family by exploiting the sexual appetites of the men and the naiveté of the women.

Also starring Colin Baker (Doctor Who), Thorley Walters (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), and Ursula Howells (The Cazalets).

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE bio of Honoré de Balzac and cast filmographies.

Amazon.com

Helen Mirren's career may have reached a late peak with her acclaimed performance in The Queen, but her talent flourished just as powerfully in the 1971 British mini-series of Honore de Balzac's classic novel of revenge, Cousin Bette. When Bette (Margaret Tyzack, I, Claudius), the poor cousin of a wealthy family, finds her one passion betrayed by her relatives, she seeks a fierce and relentless revenge. Her instrument is the young and luscious Valerie (Mirren, Prime Suspect, Gosford Park), whose seductive ways bring the family to ruin. Both Mirren and Tyzack are phenomenal as the scheming pair, but fans of Mirren will particularly delight in her astonishing coifs, ample cleavage, and smoldering looks--Cousin Bette came during the height of Mirren's days as the sexpot of Stratford. The first episode (of five) lumbers as it lays out exposition, but with its second episode Cousin Bette plunges headlong into the dark side of human nature, the sinuous story full of dark humor, cunning twists, and truly ferocious performances. The British excel at literary adaptations and this is one of the juiciest. A must-see mini-series. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

The acting, script, costumes--everyting outstanding.
Ronald G. Koury
A fabulous, fabulous series, worth watching just for the last scene when "Bette", with the glance of an eye from her death bed, continues to destroy the family.
Rebecca B. Boone
He even has money to set her up in her own house, even though he did not have enough money for that for his previous mistress.
TawnTawn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By GEORGE RANNIE on November 30, 2006
Format: DVD
In the early 1970's I watched this Masterpiece Theater's presentation of "Cousin Bette" which is based on that wonderful novel "Cousin Bette" by the French author Balzac. I can remember that this Masterpiece Theater production was considered by many very controversial mainly due to the sexual nature of the story (in fact, there were those that tried to cut-off the government funding to PBS because of this show); however, now, as then, I find it just very engrossing as is the novel. Since the 1970's, I've desired for it to be released commercially. Now, the powers that be, have finally released it on DVD. I'm thrilled because it is a most wonderful presentation that is filled with fabulous performances by especially Margaret Tyzack as Cousin Bette and a very young Helen Mirren, as Valerie.

In a "tour de force" performance, Margaret Tyzack is simply fabulous as the vengeful and supposedly homely Cousin Bette who is the poor relative to her, sort of, snooty but stupid cousins Mariette Hulot (played wonderfully by Margaret Boyd) and Celestine Hulot. She always appears to appreciate her "better off" Cousins' tolerance (and "cast offs") towards her while, at the same time, she resents it like hell and wants to see them and the rest of her "better off" and stupid relatives in the preverbal gutter and in ruins. After suffering the extreme humiliation involving a handsome young art apprentice that she has rescued and has become very fond of and that her cousin Celestine, more or less, "steals" from her, she is out for their "blood" and wants to see them destroyed and by god she'll have her way no matter what or who is trampled on and/or killed.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mark Bracewell on February 9, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I remember watching this on TV in 1971 when I was about 15 ( I'm English ) and the thing I remember most about it was Helen Mirren getting her kit off. So when I saw it was finally out on DVD, I couldn't wait to buy it. What a disappointment, her nude scene has been cut! Why does this happen? Was the version shown on Masterpiece Theater censored for the American public? I would really like to know if there's the original version still knocking around showing Helen in all her naked glory. Does anyone know if it still exists? Anyway, apart from that, it's still great. Helen still plays the siren like only she can, and the rest of the cast are pretty good too. Some of the sets look a bit flimsy, but the costumes are superb. Worth the long, long wait.
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. W. Hickey on February 7, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The previous review anticipated all I wanted to express about this remarkable production. At times when it was first released, I found the plotting an annoyance. But the final thirty seconds of the title character's performance is absolutely priceless! I've been searching this program's availability in either delivery format for years, and am delighted to see it's ready at last.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Rasmussen on September 2, 2007
Format: DVD
Yes, I too have been waiting years for the DVD release of this fine adaptation of Balzac's "Cousin Bette."

A reviewer remarked about the 1970's production values, but do they really matter if the acting and the rhythm of the storytelling are first rate. Shakespeare's works needed very few props in the Globe Theatre, and I can only imagine how much better they were than today's melange of adaptations with their menagerie of props. Truth is, in these superficial, excessive times so akin to Bette's, production values have gone through the roof while adaptations with their intrusive, attention getting cinematography, grating music and modern colloquial language are in the cellar. It makes you wonder who let the children loose in the studio to do their class play.

Naturally there are exceptions, but I don't think it will ever be the same since the caliber of men like BBC's Sir Huw Wheldon are no longer with us and haven't been for some time. So those of us who literally grew up on the subtle literacy of these old productions and rarely articulate our disgust for the subordination of content to form in the current productions are pining for the next release.

As the saying goes, "From little acorns mighty oaks do grow." So Acorn, please take note and move right along on Henry James' "The Golden Bowl," Arthur Schnitzler's "Vienna 1900: Games With Love and Death," Lewis Grassic Gibbon's "Sunset Song" and Nevil Shute's "A Town Like Alice." We are waiting for another oak.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ronald G. Koury on September 14, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's wonderful finally to own this series. I've always wanted to. The acting, script, costumes--everyting outstanding. Margaret Tyzack of course shines, as does a young Helen Mirren. I'll watch this series over and over!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jondano on June 25, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The talent in this production, the adaptation to script of the story, and the simplicity of the sets produce a style never seen in productions anymore.. just simply a pleasure to watch, and very close to the story.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By sally tarbox on February 15, 2015
Format: DVD
What a fabulous evening's viewing! The 1971 TV production of Balzac's masterpiece in 5 episodes (2 discs), starring the utterly wonderful Margaret Tyzack as Bette.
Poor, plain and patronized by her rich relatives, Bette lives an independent - but wretched - life, sewing in a grotty room. Her existence suddenly takes on a whole new shade when she saves the life of a handsome young Polish emigre and sculptor in the adjoining room, and takes his career in hand. But after three years, she discovers he has been meeting her relatives and become engaged to pretty niece Hortense.
Feeling utterly betrayed, Bette masks her fury and works out a strategy to bring the whole family to its knees (ably assisted by her lovely and promiscuous neighbour, Valerie (Helen Mirren) ) .
Slightly dated in its production now - felt more like watching a play than the costume dramas we're used to - but wow, what a play!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Forums

Have something you'd like to share about this product?
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions