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The Evelyn Waugh Collection (A Handful of Dust / Scoop)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Maloney
  • Writers: Evelyn Waugh
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: February 2, 2010
  • Run Time: 233 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002V3AM6G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,176 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

With a keen eye for the absurd, Evelyn Waugh took unerring aim at the foibles of British society. This collection brings together faithful adaptations of two of his most brilliant--and biting--satires.

A Handful of Dust In this Oscar®-nominated, grimly comic tale set among the idle rich, Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient) and James Wilby (Howard’s End) portray Brenda and Tony Last, a couple whose lives slowly unravel after Brenda takes a lover to relieve her boredom. Also starring Rupert Graves (A Room with a View), Anjelica Huston, Alec Guinness, Stephen Fry, and Judi Dench in a BAFTA-winning role.

Scoop A naïve newspaper reporter tries to cover "a promising little war" in a tiny, remote African republic. Timelessly relevant, this pitch-perfect farce mercilessly skewers politicians, the press, and a gullible public. Starring Michael Maloney (Truly, Madly, Deeply), Denholm Elliott (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), and Donald Pleasence (Halloween).

DVD FEATURES INCLUDE biography of Evelyn Waugh and cast filmographies.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
No attempt is made in this review to compare book and film versions.
Harold Wolf
Mostly, these are supplied by the collection of caricatured editors, politicians, and mysterious strangers who wander through our hero's adventures.
Alan W. Petrucelli
While absurd it times, it is a nicely done parody of circumstances that could actually happen.
Bruce Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Alan W. Petrucelli on March 28, 2010
The venomous tongue of Evelyn Waugh translates uncomfortably to film. Although the BBC scored a hit with its miniseries "Brideshead Revisited" some decades ago, a movie of that novel failed to find an audience a year or so back, and the Tony Richardson version of "The Loved One" is a storied flop. Waugh's obvious loathing of humanity is best taken in the slow, controlled doses offered by his many novels and short stores.
However, Acorn Media has released two of the (somewhat) more successful films based on his writings, "A Handful of Dust" and "Scoop." Both films have their charms and attractiveness, and both have their hurtful, venal, and mean underside. This is not to suggest that Waugh, or the movies, are at all overblown or inaccurate. However, both pose aspects of humanity that are sometimes far more painful than funny to watch.
"A Handful of Dust" seems to present itself as a straightforward, somewhat dull, drama of an unfaithful spouse in the dreary post WWI British class. Kristin Scott Thomas from "The English Patient" and James Wilby from "Howards End" are the bored married couple, and the seemingly predictable drama takes a violent swerve to the bizarrely macabre when their son dies in a tragic accident, and follows with one of the most painful and tortuous endings ever filmed. Thomas' reaction to her son's death will be seared into an audience's memory, and the finale of the film will produce nightmares for years. Judi Dench, Rupert Graves and Alec Guinness (in a shattering performance) add to the festivities.
"Scoop" is somewhat less trenchant and glamorous, but this BBC outing about a journalist in search of a war that may or may not be happening has some very, very funny moments.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Olivier Comte on January 21, 2010
(I must send you back to the Amazon.co.uk reviews for A Handful of Dust)
SCOOP was one of the best Waugh novels (rather brief as usual) published in 1938.
The novelist William Boyd wrote this superior adaptation for London Weekend Television (ITV during the weekends) directed by Gavin Millar, with a dazzling reunion of great British actors.
Michael Maloney (cf his equally naive character in LOVE ON A BRANCH LINE) as the contributor of Lush places, a bi-weekly
half-column devoted to Nature (by Boot,Countryman)is mistaken by the fierce magnate (Donald Pleasence) of THE DAILY BEAST
with an international reporter. The Foreign Affairs editor (Denholm Elliott, outstanding as always) must obey his master
("up to a point, Lord Copper!) And Boot is extracted from his rural retreat and sent with huge equipment to Ishmaelia., as a war correspondent.
The subtitle of the novel: A NOVEL ABOUT JOURNALISTS is well chosen.
I won't spoil the rest. The great building of the former Daily Express (1933), with black Victrolite, was used for shooting
(cf The Buildings of England, vol 1, The City of London, 2002, Yale and Penguin.)
Waugh had been sent to Abyssinia (the real Ishmaelia of course) by the Times in 1930 for the coronation of the emperor Haile Selassie.(REMOTE PEOPLE, 1931, Penguin 1985). He was sent again in 1935 by the Daily Mail(WAUGH IN ABYSSINIA,1936, 1985 Penguin) to cover the "war" (i.e. the fascist Italian invasion to create an Empire with bordering Somalia colony). Waugh speaks of the Abyssinians as an "inferior race" and, as a loudly professed catholic, doesn't condemn the savage bombings. He declares himself as a kind of neutral.
But his visit to the new Italian Vice Roy show his sympathies. We must remember that the League of Nations soon abandoned
the sanctions against Italy.
It's just background information.
Both the novel and TV adaptation are superior and very funny.
Enjoy!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on December 27, 2009
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh's best known book, follows this set of DVDs from Mr. Waugh's other books delightfully done into film. "Scoop" is a marvelous comedy in the true British humor style, jolly good, bloody good cheer, frightfully jovial, & spot on. "A Handful of Dust" balances this paired genius of Waugh, by presenting a dark 1930's period romance drama. Top British stars permeate the casts of these stories creating an upper-4 to 5-star rating for each 2-hr DVD. Exceptional film achievement at turning classic books to entertaining films.

"SCOOP" is an unusual comic story from Waugh. Wm Boot, (Michael Maloney--"Bonekickers" "Painted Lady"; see my reviews) is a nature columnist who writes "Lush Places" for "The Daily Beast" of London. He is mistakenly sent to Jacksonburg, capitol of Ismaelia, Africa, by the paper chief, Lord Copper (Donald Pleasence--"Centennial" "Halloween") to cover Ismaelia's civil war. Mr. Salter (Denholm Elliott--"A Child's Christmas in Wales")the newspaper's foreign editor is Boot's London contact. Boot's Uncle Theodore Boot (Michael Hordern) is just one of Boot's quirky country family members who get involved in this farce. In Ismaelia, Boot meets lovely blond Garbo-like Katchen (Renee Soutendijk) who's alluring but beguiling.

Scoop is from Waugh's 1938 novel, bonus includes a Waugh bio, filmographies of top cast members, and SUBTITLES.

"A HANDFUL OF DUST" a 1930s period drama (Waugh book released in 1934) stars Kristen Scott Thomas as Lady Brenda Last and her husband Tony (James Wilby) who are at work on refurbishing the family home, Hetton, to Brenda's boredom. She takes a flat in London for entertainment, which includes a gentleman friend, John Beaver (Rupert Graves--"Forsyte Saga").
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