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Masterpiece Theatre - The Cazalets (2001)

Hugh Bonneville , Stephen Dillane , Suri Krishnamma  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Hugh Bonneville, Stephen Dillane, Paul Rhys, Lesley Manville, Joanna Page
  • Directors: Suri Krishnamma
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, 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: Unrated
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: November 23, 2004
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002XVS6A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,267 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Masterpiece Theatre - The Cazalets" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In the shadows of WWII, one family is blessed with privilege, prestige and unspeakable secrets.

It’s 1937 and the storm clouds of World War II gather across Europe. Tensions also simmer beneath the seemingly charmed lives of the Cazalet family. While this grand family saga commences during an idyllic summer at the Cazalet’s Sussex country estate, the years that follow will see birth, death, marriage, adultery, dementia, intrigue, and war play significant roles.

Acclaimed for its richly detailed production, talented cast and brilliant character depictions, this vivid and poignant family portrait revolves around the wives, lovers, and children of the four Cazalet siblings: hard-working Hugh, womanizing Edward, spinster Rachel, and the artistic Rupert.

Soon after Hitler enters Poland and England enters the war, the lives of three generations intertwine as devastating secrets explode like a blitzkrieg. Hardships invade with brutal reality, and slowly, the Cazalet’s decorum can no longer mask their problems. As both the country and family are splintered by war, the Cazalets must prove they have the strength to endure.

Based on Elizabeth Jane Howard’s captivating family epic, The Cazalets stars Tony Award®-winner Stephen Dillane (The Real Thing), Hugh Bonneville (Madame Bovary), Paul Rhys (From Hell) and Emma Griffiths Malin (Mary Reilly)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
151 of 153 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a really superb World War II period piece! December 9, 2004
This is the story of a large extended, relatively well-off British family from just before WWII up through the early years of the war. The film breaks off about half way through the war while the novels continue through until the end of the war. The way the film ends it feels as if the people making this intended to continue in another season, so it finishes with a lot of loose ends. Despite that fairly serious flaw, the superb character development and the rich range of very real individuals who range from young children to very elderly, from sleazy to incredibly noble and self-sacrificing, makes this something not to be missed. This is about the home front and is a bit more about the women than the men, but the male characters, I thought, were as well developed as the females. In the interest of not offending those who are more puritanical than I, I should mention that there is a very tender, very closeted lesbian relationship involving one family member. In addition, there is a male family member who is less than faithful to his wife. In neither case does much happen on camera. The Cazalet's are in the main generous and loving people. You will be glad you met them. If they had continued with the rest of the story line from the novels, I would have given this 5 stars as a first installment.
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cliffhanger of massive proportions! February 17, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
After gleefully investing six hours in the fabulous and riveting "The Cazelets", I was woefully disappointed that the video ends mid-story (let alone in the middle of WWII!), with so many plotlines in full throttle: will Rupert make it home from the war; will the Brig make it THROUGH the war; will Zoe and Roddy...? Well, I don't want to spoil it for you, dear viewer. Acting and production values are full-on, in the best Masterpiece Theatre traditions. The camera lingers on those details ( i.e. a bucket catching drips from a leaky skylight in the cozy-but-grand family compound) that add so much to believing you are a fly on the wall as the drama unfolds. I wish I knew whether there is a Part 2 that PBS just neglected to import or whether I will, of necessity, read the last two books. I HAVE to find out what happens!
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully photographed and acted! August 2, 2006
This mini-series certainly helped to pass the long days of summer vacation for me! Usually anything from Masterpiece Theatre is excellent--but this one surpassed many other mini-series they've done. The intertwining stories of all the members of the Cazalet family are artfully put together in such a way that it keeps the viewer constantly interested. The costumes were very true to the era and the jazzy theme music sounded like a real tune right out of the 1940's. Among the engrossing characters there were two who stood out the most. Louise, one of the young Cazalet daughters, had to struggle with a perverted father while trying to move up in the theatre. The other was Christopher, a Cazalet counsin who objected to the war. His father wanted him to join up, but he eventually has a breakdown because of it. If you love character sketches and period pieces, this one is for you!
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An unfinished symphony April 20, 2011
The acting is great, the period drama done so well, as only the British can do. It is a great story, and you are really getting into the whole thing, and wham bam in the middle of the war the series is over. Clearly there was meant to be more, there was a great deal more written in the books, but you are left hanging, with no conclusion and no ending. What happened to this mini-series, do they run out of money? Very, very disappointing.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for the next installment... July 27, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I agree with the other reviewers. it is a great story. I have read all the books twice and although the DVD is worth buying it is disappointing not to see the end of the Saga.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
I have always loved the cazalets, but this American release was rather annoying.

From the constant "brought to you by ExxonMobil" voice overs to the fireside-feel basic WW2 history blurbs delivered after each episode, there are additions in this version which are unnecessary and spoil the 'BBC Englishness' which I reasonably expected. (It seems odd that the history blurbs were not made into a separate added-feature, instead of being embedded in the episodes)

The Cazalets appears to be unavailable on, so any non-American buyers should be aware of the changes. If it weren't for them, this would be five stars - the sound and picture are great!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why Lord Why? July 21, 2005
I would have given this five stars if they had FINISHED THE DARN STORY!!! I fast forwarded after Louises wedding, Because it was obviously not the end right? but much to my chagrin,,,there was nothing else to be had! What happens to this family? where is Rupert? is he alive? what happens with christopher, and Zoe with the injured soldier? I cannot get the books easily, why make such a great series and NOT FINISH IT?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This film was absolutely fabulous! A great depiction of life for a privileged family during WWII. The characters were 3 dimensional and the actors did a great job of carrying that out. I am a HUGE Stephen Dillane fan and was actually shocked that this film had gotten past me for so long! The story centers around 3 brothers and their families and the struggles each one deals with. The director did a great job with this film. However, I have only one issue-the tremendous cliffhanger the viewer is left with! I want to know what happens with Rupert. Is he rescued to reunite with his family?? And I want to know how the marriage between Michael and Edward's daughter turns out (she was warned that he was "a breaker of hearts"). I'd also like to know what ends up happening with Edward himself, does he acknowledge the illegitimate child he sired with his mistress? Does his mistress even decide to keep the baby? Does his daughter finally tell her mother (his wife) about her father's inappropriate behavior with her (I honestly feel that Edward was truly sorry and realized the error of his ways the second time he came on to his daughter)? Does a relationship finally occur for the two women who found themselves in love? So many unanswered questions. Makes you wonder if there could possibly, one day, be a sequel?? Sure would be nice!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
it came quickly and I am so enjoying this good saga. thanks so much
Published 2 months ago by mom
3.0 out of 5 stars The Cazalets
Unable to pass comment on this series as I purchased it for a friend who enjoyed it as far as I know.
Published 5 months ago by Annette Radocaj
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Miniseries and Beautifully Done
My husband and I LOVE this program. It has fantastic acting,great characters,a lovely setting in England, and a storyline that moves swiftly. I hated for it to end! Read more
Published 16 months ago by stcroix
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying
This is a very good product and most entertaining. I enjoy British productions and this one does not disappoint. It was well worth buying and watching.
Published 17 months ago by Reynaldo S. Palustre
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent production but unfinished
I thoroughly enjoyed this series, but like so many others, was also thoroughly disappointed that it was never completed. That is the only reason I did not give it 5 stars. Read more
Published 19 months ago by maryodo
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love English family dramas, you'll like this.
Set just before and during the Second World War, this offers a fix to Downton Abbey lovers, except it's the Cazalets family and not the Crowleys. Much fun.
Published 19 months ago by Yvart
4.0 out of 5 stars Read the books, too
I enjoyed the TV series based on The Cazalet Chronicles, but I would advise reading the books, too. The script for the series modified the tone and seriousness of some aspects of... Read more
Published 20 months ago by L2B2
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece Theatre m- The Cazalets
The series was very interesting even though the last episode was a great dissappointment -- so many topics were left unanswered. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Blanca DePriest
4.0 out of 5 stars The Cazalets
This is an interesting story set in England at the time of WW1. It has many varied characters and is well done. Read more
Published 21 months ago by JRP
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Historical Drama I've Seen So Far
This series could be re-named The Sex Lives and Scandals of the Cazalets. I only managed to watch an episode or two during which there were a few bits of fairly normal family life,... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Emma
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