This collector's edition set includes a unique documentary feature, The Epic That Never Was (1965, 71 min.), a remarkable behind-the-scenes look at Alexander Korda's ill-fated 1937 screen adaptation of I, Claudius. Starring Merle Oberon and Charles Laughton, the chronicle of this uncompleted masterpieces is an unforgettable coda to one of the greatest stories ever told.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
What I didn't expect was that image-entertainment/CBS would (apparently) cut the DVD from a bad second(+) generation video tape - rather than the presumably superior BBC master.
The sound is muffled and the picture has noticeable ghosting. There are no sub-titles so the DVD has to be viewed with the sound on full blast. To be fair to IE/CBS this was true when I watched the series on BBC TV on its first broadcast.
Given the (unfortunately) limited market for quality drama in the US I wouldn't expect the full George Lucas treatment. However, why could not IE/CBS (a) get hold of a better master; (b) spend a little money on cleaning up the soundtrack/image; (c) provide sub-titles?
Buy it anyway because you'll forget the technical limitations within minutes as you become totally absorbed in this wonderful drama.
I note that "The 6 Wives of Henry VIII" (which I intend to purchase) is distributed by "BFS". I hope they've done a better job than IE/CBS and that they will be releasing "Elizabeth R" when the time comes.
Amazon should have separate content/technical ratings for DVDs.
I have no idea how many times I have watched this series. I have never grown tired of it. The story of the Caesars - of the competition, corruption, assassinations, intrigue, political and military turmoil, family tragedy and human comedy - never fails to entertain. This series has a little bit of everything that all good stories have, great plot, fascinating characters, multiple conflicts, moments of drama and moments of comedy - and it is all (mostly) true.
One doesn't have to be an enthusiast for historical drama to really enjoy this saga. These Romans are, in their feeling and ambitions, just like modern folk. Endlessly fascinating, I, Claudius deserves a place in the collection of anyone looking to preserve the best that BBC television has had to offer.
After watching the UK DVD, I can report that it is excellent. What a spectacular transfer. The series is a delight to watch again.
1. The heavily censored MASTERPIECE THEATRE edition as it aired originally on PBS (taped from a rerun in the early 90's on shown on PBS as part of MT 20th anniversary; Claudius being the only series that was rerun in it's entirety on MT so many years after the fact.)
2. The IMAGE Laser Disc release of the mid 90's (which I believe was the source of the first DVD release).
Originally CLAUDIUS aired on MT in 13 one hr episodes. This 13 episode format was left intact for the first LD release but the censored scenes were restored, including an extension of the African slave dance in episode one, and Caligula's abortion of his sisters baby in episode 9. While these scenes remained in the broadcast. version they were censored especially the one in ep 9. There might have been other cuts, but these are the ones that stand out.
The new DVD goes back to the BBC version (as far as I can tell) and preserves the format of the original presentation. Episode 1 was 2 hours in length on BBC, thus the new DVD has only 12 episodes instead of the 13 broadcast on American TV. This was due to the fact that episode 1 had to be split in two to accommodate for the 1 hr running time of MT. In this new DVD the african slave dance scene has been shortened by about a minute, and there is a "bridge" scene that unifies what was MT episodes 1&2.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Epic series . After buying first the DVD version and then the Bluray version, I see no improvement whatsoever in picture quality or resolution. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Mark
Great series. Keep in your collection, takes watching a few times to hear all they are saying, but sound quality is good and story is top rated.!Published 23 days ago by Mac
Advertised as playing in region A/1 but doesn't play. Great drama but doesn't play even though it's advertised otherwise right here on Amazon. : (Published 2 months ago by Lincoln
This may be old (done in the 70s) but I love it and can watch it again and again!! It is stage style rather than film quality but the acting is so superb (what else is new it is an... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lisa A. Dillon
Love it. It is, of course, fiction loosely based on history but great to watch.Published 6 months ago by Myrna S Branam
I need to return this. It's a European version and it won't play on my BlueRay.Published 6 months ago by Sam Singer
Magnificent series in spite of inaccuracies and departures from the historical record, it is only a novel after all, but is great to watch.Published 7 months ago by Ornofay
This series, about Claudian Emperorship of Rome, starring a younger Derek Jacobi, is popular history (DVD) at it's best.Published 7 months ago by John Turnbull
|Topic||From this Discussion|
Senõr Abuelitotono, I have searched ALL the sites seeking an answer for this question and in one site I have discovered that sadly this DVD has no closed-captions neither subtitles in Spanish or another language. My native language is not spanish, but portuguese, and I have the same problems that... Read More
Oct 27, 2007 by Deniza Futuro | See all 41 posts
|Remastered... but no new extras?||
Unfortunately the reviews all seem to have been ported over from the original release, so I'm waiting to hear if the picture quality has been improved significantly. This was a low-budget production and the original DVD does not look great, but I can live with it. However, if the new edition is... Read More
Dec 5, 2008 by Kindle Customer | See all 4 posts
The video card (connected to the TV and PC monitor) is a likely culprit. You see, when video cards get too old, or people speed (and heat) them up with overclocking to improve gaming or video editing, funny colors and maddening patterns may pop up in output--the video card has to meet many... Read More
Feb 21, 2009 by G. Morrison | See all 5 posts
Yes it does, in fact a few episodes contain scenes that are "mature" in nature. I would not let anyone under teenage see this series.
May 1, 2011 by Eric Pregosin | See all 3 posts