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Edward & Mrs. Simpson


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DVD 2-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: Edward Fox, Cynthia Harris, David Waller, Peggy Ashcroft, Nigel Hawthorne
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • 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: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 350 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000742G06
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,086 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Edward & Mrs. Simpson" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Wallis Simpson" Bonus Episode From A&E’s Award-Winning Series BIOGRAPHY
  • Interactive Menus
  • Scene Selection

Editorial Reviews

On the evening of December 11, 1936, England's King Edward VIII formally broadcast his farewell to a nation. Torn between duty and love, he had decided to follow his heart. A powerful fairytale made all the more compelling because it actually happened, EDWARD & MRS. SIMPSON captures the unforgettable romance that develops between the Prince of Wales and an extraordinary American woman named Wallis Simpson. That she is already married and believed to have had previous affairs ruffles more than a few feathers. The scandal heats up when the Prince becomes King and declares his intention to marry his mistress, who has since divorced and become quite available. A critically acclaimed British mini-series from 1978 finally available on DVD, EDWARD & MRS. SIMPSON features seven episodes shot in sumptuous period detail and stars Edward Fox (Gandhi, A Passage to India) and Cynthia Harris (Mad About You, Three Men and a Baby). DVD Features: "Wallis Simpson" Episode From A&E's Award-Winning Series BIOGRAPHY; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

Customer Reviews

Interesting story - good acting, great sets etc.
Madison
For a job such as that, anyone can follow the traditional protocols, but for a real love there are only the two individuals.
Randolph Bradley
Edward Fox, a fine actor, is wonderful in the part.
C. O. DeRiemer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 89 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 24, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This production, in my view, is one of the glories of Masterpiece Theater. The acting is excellent, from the leads to the extras. The story is fascinating, especially if you like peeking at the lives of royalty and the upper crust. Every pound Thames Television put into the show is visible; the settings are authentic or look it; the costumes appear bespoke, as they say; and everyone's manners are immaculate, even if what they do isn't.

It's the story of the affair between Edward, Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, and Wallis Warfield Simpson, an American twice-married divorcee. It starts just before he meets her and ends shortly after he abdicates the British throne to marry "the woman I love." He became the Duke of Windsor and she his Duchess. It was probably the biggest story of its time. The program runs for six 60 minute installments. Because of the style, the acting and the story of these two people, who are so self-indulgent and so obtuse (on his part) and so calculating and brittle (on her part), it never seems boring.

Edward, played by Edward Fox, is a man of great charm and handsome appearance, a man girls swoon over and men wish to be like. He's also privileged, unselfconsciously selfish and not really too bright. He's a man who seems most comfortable with older women, women who can cosset and coo over him. His mistresses have all been older and married. Edward Fox, a fine actor, is wonderful in the part. (For those who might not recognize his name, he was the Jackal in The Day of the Jackal). Wallis, played by Cynthia Harris, is a woman who can seem hard and even scheming, but who also has some vulnerability about her that makes her at least somewhat sympathetic.
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73 of 81 people found the following review helpful By F. Behrens HALL OF FAME on February 24, 2005
Format: DVD
"The King of England and the woman for whom he gave up a throne" has nearly passed into legend, as has the much re-recorded abdication speech give by Edward VIII in which he explained in his own voice (kings by tradition had no right to express personal opinions in public) that all he wanted was to be with the woman he loved. Whether or not she was a scheming Lady Macbeth who wanted to be a queen will never really be known, but it makes an interesting challenge for an actress who plays the part of the American, twice-divorced Mrs. Simpson.

I was delighted to learn that A&E has restored the 1978 mini-series, "Edward & Mrs. Simpson" in a boxed set of two DVDs (AAE 71753). In seven episodes of 50 minutes each, it tells the tale of how Edward (Edward Fox) first runs into Wallis Simpson (Cynthia Harris), becomes obsessed with her, drives all of the higher-ups in the British government half mad seeking ways to satisfy their master and at the same time stopping a marriage which could not constitutionally exist.

As scripted, Simpson is no sympathetic character but a woman used to getting what she wants, even if it is the next King of England. Unhappily, Edward (who is called David throughout the series) is shown to be a spoiled brat who often puts his pleasures before his duties; and by the time one might really feel sorry for him, some can only say, "What did you expect?" and "You got what you thoroughly deserved."

As fine as Fox and Harris are as actors, there is none of that special "chemistry" needed to convince us that these two were (or at least that he was) so madly obsessed with each other. And while there is much talk about how fascinating Wallis was to all who met her, the viewer hardly sees anything matching that description.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Joseph A. Franceski on October 16, 2006
Format: DVD
"Edward & Mrs. Simpson" is the best available dramatization of the events leading up to the abdication of King Edward VIII, but it could have been so much better. Part of the problem is that there was so more to the story that could have been told, but wasn't told here. The last few weeks just prior to the fateful event were filled with enormous tension-much more so than this production was able to present. Supporters took to the streets; Stanley Baldwin and the cabinet were in frequent session dealing with the momentous events that were transpiring; the air was charged; Wallis WAS in fact looking for a way out, she was in danger, and many in England held their breath. And there was the very provocative possibility that while these things were going on Wallis was "two-timing" Edward/David with a handsome young car salesman. At least she was seeing him behind his back. That "fact" probably could not have been added to this British production at the time it was made, as Wallis was still then alive. Still, a more complete picture would have made a gem of a film or series, but it would be an enormous challenge. The story is high drama befitting an opera as much as a mini-series. Nevertheless, this is the best we have and we should be more than happy to have it. Subsequent efforts have been pretty terrible. This is a gem but not a diamond, not quite. The characters of Bertie and Elizabeth are not well drawn and casting for those parts was not very good. But in the final analysis I would say: don't pass this up if you are interested Edward and Mrs. Simpson and the abdication crisis. Grab it while you can get it! The history, as far as it goes, is pretty accurate thank the Lord; the clothes and period details are near perfect and beautiful and worth the price of admission. Two final points should be made: Edward Fox is terrific as the Prince of Wales/King/Duke; and the addition of the A&E "Biography" series program on Wallis is a nice conclusion to the set.
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