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The Jewel in the Crown (25th Anniversary Edition) (2008)

Peggy Ashcroft , Charles Dance  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)

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The Jewel in the Crown (25th Anniversary Edition) + A Passage to India + The Far Pavilions
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Product Details

  • Actors: Peggy Ashcroft, Charles Dance, Art Malik
  • 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: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2008
  • Run Time: 778 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001AXL67W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,970 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Jewel in the Crown (25th Anniversary Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Adapted from Paul Scott's The Raj Quartet, The Jewel In The Crown focuses on the human and cultural entanglements of the men and women struggling to adjust to the drastic changes brought about by the end of the colonial regime. From Gandhi's call on the British to "Quit India" to the birth of an independent nation, this magnificent eight-part series is brought to life through intricate storylines and a sterling British cast including Academy Award-winning, legendary British actress Dame Peggy Ashcroft (A Passage to India) and Emmyr nominee Charles Dance (Alien).Filmed on location in England, Wales, and India, and rich in mid-twentieth-century historical detail, this best-selling series narrates a stirring finale to the British Empire in India.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
275 of 291 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Story, terrible transfer July 18, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD set is a real heartbreaker!
The Jewel in the Crown is absolutely one of historic the highlights of "quality" television. An absolutely arresting story. Wonderful script, wonderful acting, etc. I can't add anything on that count to the reviews already here.
That makes the TERRIBLE quality of the DVD transfer all the more disappointing. This set has literally the WORST video quality I have ever seen on a DVD! Murky, muddy picture with visible scratches and dirt on the film. The soundtrack is a little better. On my home theater setup it sounds like its coming over a half-decent clock radio. Seriously, the picture looks like they took an old VHS tape of the show and just ran it through a disc burner.
No, I don't expect blockbuster quality from an 30-year old BBC film, but I would have expected something more like the recent DVD set of Elizabeth R, which is quite watchable.
Sadly, this is almost surely the only DVD we'll ever see of this marvelous series. I'm going to rent the old tapes of this. They might easily be better. If not, I guess this is what we're all stuck with.
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98 of 103 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series - Appalling digital transfer May 16, 2003
Format:DVD
Heed Spoffo's warning.
While the series itself is wonderful and certainly worth owning, I have NEVER seen a worse DVD transfer. Even my seedy Madacy Entertainment copy of Fritz Lang's 1226 "Metropolis" is of higher quality. The visuals are fuzzy and grainy at the same time, and there are severe block artifacts everytime the screen gets even slightly dark. All scenes shot at night or in the darkness are almost unwatchable because of the visual noise.
The sound seemed alright to me at first, but then I turned the volume up a bit and found that there is a kind of low-pitch static, like machine noise underneath the vocals and music.
Please buy the VHS tapes - and let A&E know that this is simply unacceptable!
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119 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST SEE CINEMATIC GEM... January 1, 2002
Format:DVD
This powerful and moving eight part miniseries has lost none of its impact since it was first aired nearly twenty years ago. Highly acclaimed, it won numerous awards. Beautifully filmed on location in India, England, and Wales, it is a highly atmospheric and complex drama, redolent of the flavor of the turbulent years just before India gained its independence from British rule.
The story begins in 1942, and through its memorable characters, both British and Indian, it masterfully weaves a tapestry of events that explains the state of flux that India was in at the time and the collision between East and West that often occurred, as the old guard made way for the new. Pivotal events become symbolic of India's struggle for independence, and it is those events that impact on those living in India and struggling to survive through those turbulent years. This tumultuous and sumptuous saga ends with India's independence in 1947.
Masterfully acted, lushly filmed, and awash with period detail, it is so atmospheric as to make its viewers feel that they themselves are there during the decline and fall of the British Raj. It captures the essence of India and its ramparts of colonialism. Interspersed throughout the episodes are snippets of old newsreels that recount India's involvement in World War II and the threat of Japanese invasion through adjacent Burma. These serve to further move the story along and imbue it with an air of authenticity that stays with the viewer.
This multi-faceted series, based upon Paul Scott's literary gem, "The Raj Quartet", is a fine adaptation that should not be missed. The award calibre performances by the entire cast are stellar and will keep the viewer riveted to the screen.
Read more ›
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a quick comment about the picture and sound December 8, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A lot of other reviewers have said everything I could say to sketch the plot and setting of this superb series. I was a bit hesitant about buying this because some people thought the video and sound were awful. I took the plunge anyway. While this has obviously not been digitally remastered, it is still quite watchable. If you remember what watching color broadcast was like in the late 1970's, what the picture and sound quality was like, that is exactly what the DVD is like. Not the super sharp images and digital sound we have all gotten used to ( distant stuff can be a bit fuzzy and it is occasionally a little dark in spots), but the story is so good you quickly stop noticing.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Horrible transfer - just get the VHS format. July 3, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Great story and strong performances - but, ugh, what a lousy transfer to DVD. The images are grainy and the sound muddied. That said - the performances are uniformly excellent.
Pass on the DVD and get the somewhat superior VHS version.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new perspective July 27, 2007
By Cat
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Admittedly, I'm not a history buff and probably, like most Americans, what I do know about WWII is solely from the American perspective. The Jewel in the Crown was highly recommended, but I honestly wasn't enthused about getting a history lesson of the British occupation in India. I'm happy to report, however, that this series had me hooked. Not only was it brilliantly written and acted, but I came away with such respect for Paul Scott, the author of The Raj Quartet on which this series was based. A virtual lifetime of work went into this project, all gained from his experiences in India. There is so much detail, so many interesting, fully developed characters and intriguing, interwining plots, it's absolutely unbelievable how all of it blended so well. After watching 12 hours of these DVD's I had to read all four novels of The Raj Quartet. The DVDs were wonderfully satisfying, but getting more character background from the books was a treat. Like most A&E & BBC productions, there's always a wealth of remarkably trained British actors in this series. We get to see a very young Charles Dance-who was recently in "Bleak House" as the unmerciful Mr. Tulkinghorn. I do have to say though that I was most impressed with Tim Pigot-Smith as Ronald Merrick and Eric Porter as Count Bronowsky. Smith gives a very layered performance of Merrick who is so intensly disturbing. The payoff is finally understanding what makes him tick. This doesn't happen till the end, but all the pieces fall into place. Count Bronowsky is a very interesting character. He seems to be a delightful man and oddly seems to know everything about anybody. I've watched the series in full a few times and each time I hear or see something new from Bronowsky. Fortunately he's played by an actor who doesn't squander the time he's given. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling story; great acting
Really a 4.5
The first part of the series is more compelling--love story and turmoil; the last one half of the series set Mostly in Pankot is narratively less compelling. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Razorback Fan
3.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully executed very long story
A wonderfully executed very long story, full of loose ends that never tie up. It leads you through hours of sometimes tedious watching, which you endure just to see what happens at... Read more
Published 16 days ago by kelly mellars
1.0 out of 5 stars So I didn't enjoy it at all
sadly this series is NOT captioned for the deaf. So I didn't enjoy it at all. I fast forwarded it. Since this was a new anniversary edition it could have been captioned or... Read more
Published 18 days ago by John L. Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best.
Published 19 days ago by armada68
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Please please amazon-have a blu ray version issued. There will be many customers.
Published 20 days ago by A. RAJAN
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
This is my fault because I did not realize I was ordering VHS tapes.
Published 21 days ago by Janet Devlin
1.0 out of 5 stars Very slow
Slow. Couldn't get into it after an hour so gave it up.
Published 24 days ago by Pamela R. Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars A Jewel
What a challenge to condense "arguably the best novel ever written in English" into a series. They are just two different works of art. Both gorgeous... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Claire James
5.0 out of 5 stars What's the problem?
I don't see or hear what all the kvetchers are on about! The DVD's look and sound fine. Hold your peace and ENJOY, already!!!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alois Schick L. Gruber
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see for anyone who loves film craft
A beautifully adapted story of the problems, hopes, dreams, loves, losses and tragedy...personal, political, and cultural as told through the lives of deftly drawn characters... Read more
Published 1 month ago by W. Burnett
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Topic From this Discussion
The Jewel in the Crown 25th Anniversary Edition - Digitally Re-mastered?
The original US release was indeed quite terrible, its only saving grace was an easy to use menu. The later UK release had vastly better video with English subtitles but was blighted by an incomprehensible menu system. The current release has the same box as the UK release and if this is what is... Read More
Sep 23, 2008 by John Chandler |  See all 18 posts
The Jewel in the Crown - 25th Anniversary Edition - Digitally Remastered?
I called A&E, and it was news to their customer service representative that they had a new version being released. He didn't know anything about the new version. I also e-mailed A&E, but got no response. Am also curious if this edition is re-mastered from the disappointing versions previously... Read More
Aug 19, 2008 by Erin Campbell |  See all 3 posts
Full 13 Episodes?
The listing now says 750 minutes, so obviously someone corrected the mistake.
Aug 18, 2008 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 2 posts
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