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At the Haunted End of the Day

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At the Haunted End of the Day + O Thou Transcendent: The Life of Ralph Vaughan Williams
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Product Details

  • Actors: Julian Bream, Yvonne Kenny, Yehudi Menuhin, William Walton, Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Directors: Tony Palmer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alliance
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,900 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Few composers have been more loved in their lifetime than William Walton. His capacity to astonish and profoundly move us remains undiminished. This Italia prize-winning film includes the only full-length interview ever recorded with Walton. It includes contributions from Laurence Olivier, Sacheverell Sitwell and Lady Susana Walton. Specially performed extracts of his music are conducted by Simon Rattle in his first substantial contribution to television when he was in his early 20s, with Simon Preston, Julian Bream, Yvonne Kenny, Yehudi Menuhin, Iona Brown, John Shirley-Quirk, Elgar Howarth & Ralph Kirshbaum, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford & Los Paraguayos.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ghost(Ghost(M)) on April 7, 2009
Format: DVD
This is a nice and respectful documentary about the man's life. The stress is on biography, not music (though a lot is mentioned, of course, and many fragments included (some disappointingly short), including one from a fiery performance of his First Symphony).

In addition to Walton himself (who comes across as a very likeable senior here) and his wife, you get to see and hear from people like Lawrence Olivier, Sacheverell and Edith Sitwells, Walton's elder brother, and Julian Bream (who plays one of the pieces written specifically for him). There's a bit of curious historical footage too.

All in all it's a decent documentary that would go well on TV, I think; something that will hold your attention and instruct, but something you will not revisit. The reason for that, I think, is that this film was made as an acknowledgment and in celebration of Walton's life when he was very old (a year or two before his death actually), and not as an objective and deep analysis of his creative history. There's nothing evil about it, but I'd prefer more about his music -- and more OF his music -- , than a fleeting, superficial account of where he was born, where he went for study, etc. Even that could be done in more depth. But OK, one can always find flaws, so I'll stop here and say once more: it's a decent documentary you want to watch once. Try to borrow or rent before buying. Solid four stars.
Revisited about a year later: I've learned quite a bit about the man since I posted this review, and I have to say now that this film presents an exceptionally whitewashed portrait of Sir William. I take back my "solid four stars", along with one star off the total I had given this film originally. This is not a good biography.
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