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Daniel Deronda (2003)

Hugh Dancy , Romola Garai  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Hugh Dancy, Romola Garai, Hugh Bonneville, Jodhi May, Edward Fox
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2003
  • Run Time: 210 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000897EC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,234 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Daniel Deronda" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes photo gallery

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

George Eliot's accomplished but underrated last novel is effectively, often stirringly, adapted for this 2002 BBC production, which was scripted by old pro Andrew Davies (Middlemarch) and directed with wit and subtlety by Tom Hooper (Cold Feet). Set in the 1870s, Eliot's story concerns two strong-willed young people whose self-determination is under attack by legal constraints on their rights to an inheritance. The noble Daniel (Hugh Dancy) is of dubious birth; the fiery Gwendolen (Romola Garai) can't possess her late father's estate because she's a woman. They are sympathetic to one another, but not lovers: Gwendolen is obliged to marry into wealth and becomes an unhappy bride of the scoundrel Grandcourt (Hugh Bonneville), while Daniel must sort out his feelings about the much-maligned "Jewess," the beautiful Mirah. Despite Garai's somewhat questionable casting, this lengthy drama--evenly divided between the two leads--never lags in insight or passion. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

Daniel Deronda is a sensitive, intelligent young man, the illegitimate son of an aristocrat, haunted by the secrets that shroud his birth. Beautiful, vivacious Gwendolen Harleth is a gambler and short on cash. When they meet at the roulette table, sparks fly. But Gwendolen needs money more than passion, and the self-centered aristocrat Henleigh Grandcourt is happy to provide. As her situation becomes more and more oppressive, she turns to Daniel for help, only to discover his involvement with the young Jewish singer Mirah Lapidoth.Torn between his devotion to Gwendolen and his passion for Mirah and the plight of her people, Daniel is forced to look at his own mysterious past and find out who he really is...and who he wants to be.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
194 of 200 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "That's not what this is about, Lush." April 19, 2003
Format:DVD
Having a familiarity with the field of psychology, I have always found morality plays fascinating. If you delight in thought-provoking films with careful layers of morality and virtue, Daniel Deronda will be just your cup of tea. In addition to being a magnificent piece from a purely artistic perspective (the gowns, horse-drawn carriages, and exquisite English countryside will stir the hearts of even the most ardent modernist), it also offers a magnitude of ideal conversation starters.
The miniseries is based on the classic novel by George Eliot, and is essentially two plots woven into one. The first is an utterly heartless and wretched marriage for a spoiled young Gwendolyn in the form of the evil Grandcourt, a landowner whose sole pleasure lies in torment. Be it his wife or dogs, our heartless villain never takes greater pleasure than in dangling something before them and tearing it away again, only to feed it to someone else. We see a kind of barbarism in this act, be it with the family spaniel or his impoverished, abandoned mistress.
The second plot line is about the film's lead, Daniel Deronda, a presumed illigitimate boy who has been raised a country gentleman. One day while out boating he saves a Jewish singer from drowning herself, and sets out to discover his own true identity through finding her family.
The acting is very stellar. There's not a weak link in the cast, although I have to say seeing Barbara Hershey seemed a little out of place in this Victorian paradox. The film makes numerous contrasts between good and evil, selfishness and humility, lies and deception. It's actually quite an achievement, and I was pleased at the amount of restraint showed by the filmmakers. The sexual tension between man and wife will go over most younger viewer's heads.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great mini-series based on a great book! December 22, 2003
By Kate C.
Format:DVD
i am not a huge fan or British Literature, for that matter i have a particular dislike for VICTORIAN British Lit. i had to read DANIEL DERONDA for a class many moons ago and loved, loved, loved the book (which i highly recommend to anyone-- it's 800 pages, a bit of a commitment, but well worth it).
the movie version of George Eliot's last novel is one of the fairest productions which is based on a book i have ever seen; the characters are presented as brilliantly here as they are in the book (with the small exception of Jodhi May as Mirah-- she was far too old to play her!). The sections of the novel which seem long-winded are presented fluently and gracefully, and the iterations which are wonderful to read are an even bigger joy to watch. Hugh Dancy as the title character does not overplay Deronda's inward contemplation nor does he downplay the spurts of emotion. Romala Garai as the beautiful Gwendolen Harleth-Grandcourt portrays her complex and difficult with ease and candor; a true triumph!
I would definately recommend this movie to anyone whose got a rainy afternoon to spare and fans of BBC productions to boot! You will not be disappointed!
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Masterpiece Theater's brilliant production of George Eliot's "Daniel Deronda," was adapted by Andrew Davies from George Eliot's last and, perhaps, most ambitious novel. (although certainly not her best). Essentially, both the novel and the film are composed of two separate stories, linked by protagonist, Daniel Deronda, (Hugh Dancy).

Set in England in the 1870's, the viewer is given a glimpse into the lives of British Jews, a society-within-a-society, though Daniel Deronda. Interestingly enough, most of Miss Eliot's contemporaries were oblivious to the Jews, who lived totally outside their frame of reference. Through her heroine, Gwendolyn Harleth, (Romola Garai), who marries for money and power rather than love, Eliot and the film explore a side of human relations that leads only to despair.

Daniel sees Gwendolyn, for the first time, at a roulette table. He is fascinated by her classical, blonde English beauty, and vivacious, self-assured manner. When Miss Harleth is forced to sell her necklace to pay gambling debts, Deronda, a disapproving observer, buys back the jewelry, anonymously, and returns it to her. This is not the last time the deeply spiritual and altruistic Deronda will feel a need to rescue Gwendolyn.

Daniel was adopted as a young boy by Sir Hugo, (Edward Fox), an English gentleman. He has received affection, a good education, and to some extent, position, from his guardian. However, Deronda has never been told the story of his true parentage, and sorely feels this lack of roots and his own identity. Not content to play the gentleman, he always appears to be searching for a purpose in life, and a spiritual center.

Daniel's and Gwendolyn's lives intersect throughout the novel.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fans of the book rejoice October 12, 2004
Format:DVD
I read Daniel Deronda recently and decided to watch the film to acquaint myself with some of the fuzzier details. I was impressed by the BBC version of George Eliot's book from the word go. Well casted and beautifully filmed this is a lush story of Daniel Deronda, Gwendolen Harleth, and all of the other players in George Eliot's novel of subtle prejudice and self discovery.

I found that the film did in fact crystalize all of the details from the book that I had somehow missed, and for me this was one of those rare cases where I found myself enjoying the film much greater than I had the book. The pacing is different and one or two events are rearranged to heighten the story telling, but I do not believe this hinders the original story. I found myself completely taken in by this superb adaptation and I believe that any of Eliot's admirers, or any period movie fan for that matter, would revel in this wonderful retelling of a classic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This was great except the one scene.
Published 8 days ago by jerie
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely and mesmerizing in many ways
I hadn't read this novel, so had no basis for comparison to start; but the actors are all wonderful, so I decided to give it a try. It was quite good for the most part. Read more
Published 14 days ago by RB
5.0 out of 5 stars George Elliot's best
A beautifully acted story of identity, love, and loss and love redound. A classic, classically filmed drama. Don't ignore this one.
Published 1 month ago by W. Burnett
5.0 out of 5 stars A young man in love with a woman untouchable, torn between his...
I wish I could make the title of my comment shorter, but this is such a gripping tale, it seems impossible to make it clear,This handsome young dashing, charming ,charitable man,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lois Metlika
5.0 out of 5 stars When I saw the preview from another dvd, I just had to purchase. Hugh...
I had no idea there would be so many surprises from the actors to the script. I love the entire story.
Published 2 months ago by Jeanette laramore
4.0 out of 5 stars Daniel Daronda worth the watch.
Hugh Bonneville plays his role with so much nastiness, lol, you can't help but want someone to give him his 'just' rewards, Edward Fox and Hugh DeLancy were a delight, and Roma G. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mao
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancestry movie
I Love this Movie,It's main theme is about Lost Heritage,Daniel Deronda, Hugh Dancy, finds true Love and his hidden Jewish ancestry. Read more
Published 3 months ago by james maglinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series
One of the better English TV series. Could not stop watching it till the end. Would recommend it to all
Published 4 months ago by John Hogan-Doran
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately....
I did not discover until after I had ordered the item that it was available a part of a larger package of Elliot's works at a better overall price. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Donald E. Davis
3.0 out of 5 stars Average
The DVD was scratched in areas preventing it to play, not the quality that was advertised. Should have been under more than used.
Published 5 months ago by Julia Owen
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