NORTH & SOUTH
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Starring Patrick Stewart
Independent-minded Margaret Hale (Rosalind Shanks, A Question of Guilt) moves with her parents to Milton, a manufacturing city in England’s north. Compared to the bucolic south where she was raised, Milton stifles Margaret with industrial smoke and soot—and she takes an instant dislike to John Thornton (Patrick Stewart, X-Men, Star Trek: The Next Generation), the ambitious and severe mill owner. But amid a workers’ strike and family misfortunes, Margaret begins to reconsider her sentiments.
Based on the celebrated novel by Elizabeth Gaskell (Cranford, Wives and Daughters), this classic BBC period drama depicts the tensions of the Victorian era, as traditional society clashes with the coming of the modern world. Both a slow-burn romance and a clear-eyed view of the Industrial Revolution, North & South captivates with a magnetic performance from future star Stewart.
Due to the age of these programs and the improved resolution that DVD provides, you may notice occasional flaws in the image and audio on this DVD presentation that were beyond our ability to correct from the original materials.
Top Customer Reviews
As expected, the stage acting dated this production unfavorably, often making the portrayal of strong emotions seem melodramatic and having the unfortunate effect of preventing the viewer from totally immersing themselves in the evolving plot. The more nuanced and subtle portrayal of emotions we are accustomed to from current film actors seems much more realistic.
Margaret was very proper and rather reserved throughout, although she seemed overly effusive in the opening scene. I didn't get the strong sense that she was going through the most trying years of her life or that she was often put upon the brink of endurance.
Thornton embodied the energetic entrepreneur of the era and was a bit too prone to rushing his speech and losing his self-control in argumentative outbursts. Thornton of the book did not lose his temper in this manner. Also, it wasn't always easy to read this Thornton's body language for clues of how he was truly feeling. There were no unmistakable signs of Thornton's anguish, which is a vital and rather unique element in Gaskell's prose.
I believe I enjoyed most the characterization of Mr. Hale and Higgins in this adaptation. Both of these characters were much like the characters depicted in the book.
I didn't detect much depth of character in Hannah Thornton. She was too stern with Fanny, and not very gentle with the son she was supposed to adore. There was little hint of the tender-hearted mother hidden beneath the crusty mannerisms that Gaskell indicates in her book.
Henry Lennox was a fleeting mystery man.Read more ›
The '04 adaptation will always hold a special place in my heart, for it was through this production that I found N&S and Elizabeth Gaskell. Still.. that being said, you can't adore Gaskell's work without acknowledging issues that are present. The '04 production team took liberties and made changes they felt were necessary to making the story more appealing to modern audiences. Determining whether they were correct in making these changes largely depends on each viewer.
I do believe that this same consideration needs to be given to this production ('75) as well. Yet saying that this earlier interpretation follows more closely to the book is overstated. Yes this production includes more direct lines and some settings of the scenes appear more accurate, yet it also took liberties and had some troubling omissions, as well. Omissions of events that prove essential to the shaping and forward development of our heroine and even our hero.
As to the characterizations, I found them lacking as well. Rosalind Shanks comes off much to old for Margaret, who at the opening of the story is an idealistic 18 year old. I did like that Rosalind portrays the more demure side of Margaret's character but she fails to show the intelligent spirited side. Margaret is a beautifully weaved character with both independent and self sacrificial traits. A friend describes this portrayal of Margaret in this fashion, "I kept waiting for Margaret to awaken from her sleeping beauty haze.Read more ›
This DVD set seems to hold a classic-like visual effect, having been done in a period of time when the BBC was excelling at converting fine literature into TV serials, as they were called then. Period costume drama never goes out of style.
SDH SUBTITLES have been added to all 4 episodes.
1- The love story unfolds in the countryside bliss of serene Victorian bliss. Margaret Hale (Rosalie Shanks), at age 19, hopes to commune with the common locals. Her Papa, clergyman Hale (Robin Bailey), determines to resign from the church. The Hales move in a fortnight to the industrial, dirty, Milton of the north. He'll serve as a private tutor to cotton-spinners. There they quickly meet the 1st pupil, Mr. J. Thornton (Stewart), a textile manufacturer.
2- A mill strike places workers, including the Higgins family in a desperate situation. Nicholas Higgins (Norman Jones- `South Riding') is a union man, against violence and lawlessness. Thornton intends to break the strike and union.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good service from supplier; not one of my favorite stories but OK.Published 18 months ago by Susie Crotts
Enjoyed this older version of one of my favorite BBC series ! Not as passionate as the newer one, but still enjoyable and worth a look !Published 18 months ago by M. Guerrero
Pretty good, but not on a par with the version starring RICHARD ARMITAGE! <sigh>Published 19 months ago by Mary Grace Dembeck
If you had to describe "North and South," it would probably be something like "Jane Austen with more sociopolitical content. Read morePublished 20 months ago by EA Solinas
This is a wonderful version of Elizabeth Gaskill's book North and South. The portrayal is a bit more true to the book than the newer version (which we also love). Read morePublished 22 months ago by Lucy
I have another version. Enjoyed it and interested in this version. This version is not up to the standards of the other one I have.Published 23 months ago by L. Craig