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Edward the King (1973)

Timothy West , Annette Crosbie  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

List Price: $59.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Timothy West, Annette Crosbie, Robert Hardy, John Gielgud
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2008
  • Run Time: 678 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001B1Q2UO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,886 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Edward the King" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Two featurettes
  • Introductions for selected episodes by Robert McNeal
  • Trailers
  • Photo gallery with commentary by stars and director

Editorial Reviews

Royal politics have rarely been given as engaging a portrait as in Edward the King. This 13-episode miniseries aspires to redeem the reputation of a British monarch often considered frivolous: Edward VII, the heir to Queen Victoria, whose lengthy reign left Edward waiting in the wings for decades. Though this was a source of frustration for the future king, it's a boon for the miniseries, as Annette Crosbie's interpretation of Victoria is a fascinating mixture of domineering will, petulance, and genuine grief. Equally fortunately, she's matched by Timothy West as Edward, who turns genial affability into a charismatic character trait. Edward the King follows Edward from his days as a young libertine (Edward had mistresses throughout his life) to his older days as a seasoned diplomat, struggling to make peace among the European heads of state--almost all of whom were relatives, thanks to the arranged marriages Victoria brokered for her children. Though his efforts led him to be known as "Peacemaker," Edward dies with the world on the brink of World War I. Thirteen hours of turn-of-the-century politics may seem daunting, but every episodes moves briskly, packed with personal detail and wily machinations, as well as a rich and thoughtful exploration of the period's social and cultural fabric. The supporting cast is packed with superb actors like John Gielgud, Francesca Annis, and Michael Holdern. Though Edward was only king for nine years, his reign was a crucial transition into the modern age, which would be marked by both democratic reform and horrific warfare. It's juicy material for a miniseries and Edward the King does it justice. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

"Engrossing and glittering" -- The Washington Post
"Superb performances" -- The New York Times

The award-winning drama about England’s first truly 20th century monarch

Though he waited nearly 60 years to become king and reigned for only nine, Edward VII changed the British monarchy forever. Derided by his mother, Queen Victoria, as frivolous and untrustworthy, Edward was in fact a skillful, determined diplomat who longed to be useful to his country. This classic 13-part British miniseries dramatizes his life from frustrated prince and inveterate philanderer to loving father and respected statesman. Firmly grounded in history, it intimately depicts the palace dynamics that reverberated in Parliament and beyond during the years preceding World War I.

Winner of an Emmy® and multiple BAFTA awards (including best drama series), this deluxe production boasts a star-studded cast, including Timothy West, Annette Crosbie, Robert Hardy, John Gielgud, Felicity Kendal, Charles Dance, and Francesca Annis. With richly detailed sets and costumes, Edward the King recreates England at the height of its empire and a monarchy on the verge of transformation.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE commentaries for selected episodes by Timothy West, Annette Crosbie, and director John Gorrie; two featurettes; introductions for selected episodes by Robert McNeal; trailers; and photo gallery with commentary by the stars and director.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
157 of 159 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Historical Biography! March 2, 2004
By Tiggah
Edward the King is a superb seventies' dramatisation of the life of Queen Victoria's son Bertie, the Prince of Wales, who went on to become King Edward VII in 1901. The series (which consists of thirteen 50-minute episodes) is actually entitled Edward the Seventh (the title was for some reason changed to Edward the King on the packaging). As for the dvd, there are no extras; and the quality of the picture/sound, although good, is not outstanding, and I don't think the series has been remastered. Unfortunate as this may be, please don't be deterred on that account; the quality is as good as one would expect from any video and it is, after all, the content and the quality of the performance that is most important.
The series covers the life of Bertie from his birth in 1841 through his coronation in 1901 and concludes with his death in 1910. Though extremely privileged, Bertie had a stiflingly sheltered youth dominated by strict, controlling parents, which culminated in an all-but-arranged marriage to the beautiful Princess Alexandra of Denmark. Because of their importance in shaping the character of the young prince, Victoria and Albert (played to absolute perfection by Annette Crosbie (One Foot in the Grave) and Robert Hardy (All Creatures)) are the primary focus of the first few episodes. Victoria did not like to share her power, and her marriage felt the strain of such an inability to delegate (a situation which was not improved by her many temper tantrums!). Ultimately, however, she was persuaded to share her power with her more-than-capable husband--something which, following Albert's death in 1861, she was sadly never to do with her son. Ironically, when he finally succeeded to the throne, Bertie proved himself a very capable and level-headed ruler.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER WINNER IN BRITISH DRAMA September 8, 2008
You do not have to be British or even knowledgeable in British History to enjoy this 13-episode (each being about 51 minutes) story of the making of King Edward the 7th. It was originally broadcast on British TV (as Edward the Seventh) in the 70s but is so well done that it appears to be a 21th century release.

Queen Victoria (Annette Crosbie) begins as a young lady who married Prince Albert but initially left him out of government and British leadership. Her love for the Prince brings her to full devotion, even after his death in 1841. The role of the queen could be played no better. Watching the change through the episodes as the Queen (who reigned 50+ years) brings the role even more reality. The acting brings out your own emotion as you begin to almost feel a part of the family.

Bertie, who would become King Edward VII, played by Timothy West, is equal to Crosbie's stellar performance. West does such a good job of playing Bertie, who eventually the King after a 60 year wait due to Queen Victoria's refusal to relinquish her role. The viewer empathizes with Bertie in his struggle to make a difference in British lives. Between his coronation in 1901 and his death in 1910, King Edward VII became even more beloved by the UK people and known for his peacemaking abilities.

This is a story of a monarchy, particularly the years of Queen Victoria and her son Bertie, but the story is written to make the viewer feel their humanness and experience their struggles with politics and family, joys and grief--also very familiar to common people. This is so much more than a British history lesson.

Lillie Langtry's (Francesca Annis) relationship with Bertie, is included as well as his mistress Alice Keppel.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He Created the "Edwardian" Era November 10, 2008
"Edward The King," a 1975 British television drama about the life of Edward VII of Great Britain, has just been released in a box set, consisting of four DVD's, that comprise the original thirteen episodes of the series. It was originally broadcast in the U.K. as "Edward the Seventh," and was aired in the U.S. on public television stations and major network affiliates in the late 1970s. Evidently, it dates from the great age of British TV series, and like many of them, was made for Britain's ITV, Independent Television; it bears the hallmarks of those classic 1970's series: an all-star cast, tremendous production values - a cast of hundreds if not thousands, richly detailed sets and costumes. It won an Emmy for Outstanding Costume Design and three BAFTA Awards, including Best Drama Series and Best Actress. The box set boasts several special features; but, unfortunately, does not offer subtitles.

Timothy West (Bleak House) stars as the title character, and does an extraordinary job of taking Edward from young adulthood through old age. Annette Crosbie (Calendar Girls) costars as his remarkable mother, Queen Victoria, and must be said to do an equally remarkable job of taking her character from child-bearing young woman through old age. Other stars include Felicity Kendal (Rosemary & Thyme - The Complete Series), Robert Hardy (
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
This was a wonderful series. Very accurate and well acted. Annette Crosbie is magnificent as Queen Victoria. Truly a masterpiece.
Published 8 days ago by Susan Snodgrass
5.0 out of 5 stars Long live the king!
When, towards the end of the series, Edward has finally succeeded his "dear Mama," and he notices the flag on the royal yacht is at half staff, he asks why. Read more
Published 17 days ago by GARY KAPLAN
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice rainy day viewing
Good British historical drama, suitable for a rainy afternoon. Although I found Queen Victoria to be screechingly annoying in parts.
Published 24 days ago by John Burnetski
5.0 out of 5 stars really fun to watch
great costumes, good acting, beautiful sets who could ask for more?
Published 1 month ago by Christine Poortenga
5.0 out of 5 stars Edward the King
BBC production, as usual very well done. Crosbie and West delivered outstanding performances. Sad to say, a century + later, Prince Charles parallels Edward VII in that both spent... Read more
Published 3 months ago by owlwise
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Historical Drama
The Edwardian era comes to life in this entertaining historical drama about King Edward VII. There's a lot about Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in this series too. Well acted!
Published 4 months ago by Carole Linda Gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars great production
Excellent British TV production series...a good follow up after reading the book "The Heir Apparent" by Jane Ridley... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Edward M. Mullins
5.0 out of 5 stars adore this series
A great glimpse into Queen Victoria's family and the life of this King. We really enjoyed this and watched the whole series 'binge-style' in one day.
Published 4 months ago by World Traveler
5.0 out of 5 stars Edward the King
An excellent series, and, as with most historical ones from Briatin, very well done, accurate and most interesting. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ann K Livingstone
5.0 out of 5 stars Edward The King
I found the service excellent and the product has more than exceeded my expectations which is great
Thankyou very much
Published 5 months ago by Michael Stevens
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Subtitles ?
Also, can we trust that the latest release of Lillie has captions? Amazon is not always reliable on this question.
Jan 11, 2011 by John H. Hancock |  See all 2 posts
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