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Raffles: Complete Collection (2010)

Anthony Valentine , Christopher Strauli  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Raffles: Complete Collection + THE RIVALS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, SET 1 + Rivals of Sherlock Holmes: Set 2
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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Valentine, Christopher Strauli, Victor Brooks, Victor Carin, Trevor Ray
  • 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: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: June 15, 2010
  • Run Time: 840 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003BQ1HSY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,492 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Raffles: Complete Collection" on IMDb

Special Features

Biography of author E.W. Hornung
Production notes

Editorial Reviews

Imagine a cracking-good British whodunit, in the vein of Miss Marple or Cracker--but told from the point of view of the perp. In the case of Raffles, the hero is A. J. Raffles (the talented, seasoned TV actor Anthony Valentine), a British national cricket champion and gentleman of leisure--who just happens to be a master thief. Raffles features all 14 hour-long episodes of the 1977 series adapted from the stories by E. W. Hornung (brother-in-law of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle). Valentine plays Raffles as a man who can't wait to take the English aristocracy down a peg or two, diamond necklace by diamond necklace. His partner in crime is his old school chum Bunny (Christopher Strauli), who's often dragged into the muck of Raffles's capers before he realizes it's too late. Raffles is cleverly plotted and delightfully written, and the actors seem to be having the time of their lives. And while Raffles winks at the adventures of its hero, who clearly channels Cary Grant in It Takes a Thief, it also delivers a deft jab at stratified British society. It's OK to lift a few gems from the über-privileged, Raffles seems to suggest, since our hero has such a jolly good time getting away with it--and besides, there are ever so many more where those came from. The other part of the thrill is staying one step ahead of Scotland Yard's Inspector Mackenzie (Victor Carin), as situations become ever more dire, and wickets ever more sticky. The boxed set contains the series' pilot episode, which, oddly, was never broadcast, and which does an excellent job of setting up the personalities of Raffles and Bunny. It also includes an interesting bio of Hornung, and each episode begins with a text blurb that sets up the action without giving away any spoilers, so the viewer can decide just which caper suits the mood. Splendid! --A.T. Hurley

Product Description

Adventures of a gentleman thief in Victorian England

A dashing aristocrat turns criminal in this classic British drama

Meet A.J. Raffles (Anthony Valentine, Callan, The Commander), a gentleman of leisure and a first-class cricketer. But when he’s not dining at his club or taking wickets for England, he’s often engaged in his other favorite activity--relieving the wealthy of their riches.

A master of accents and disguise, Raffles is assisted by his old school chum "Bunny" Manders (Christopher Strauli, Only When I Laugh). Always eager but often bewildered, Bunny follows his friend into the most complex of predicaments and deadliest of situations, likely as not pursued by the dogged Inspector Mackenzie (Victor Carin, Sutherland’s Law) of Scotland Yard.

Anthony Valentine and a stellar cast of British actors deliver superb performances in these beautifully crafted adaptations of the work of E.W. Hornung, brother-in-law of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In each episode, the roguish Raffles and his intrepid companion set out to plunder the wealth of the aristocracy, stay out of the reach of the law, and revel in the thrill of the game.

Contains partial nudity

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
`Raffles' is a sophisticated, Victorian, aristocracy Robin Hood thief that robs from the rich and KEEPS IT. Such fun. A revolutionary form of a British crime series. Thievery is vulgar, Raffles admits, but he, when in need, feels justified. His lifestyle of the rich-&-famous makes him needy often. The London Victorian era crime is presented from the thief's point of view. Raffles considers himself a virtuous thief--only doing it to keep debts current and remain socially elite. Quite right-good show. You've never seen anything quite like it.

A.J.Raffles (Anthony Valentine-`Callan' 'Coronation Street' `The Commander') is cool, witty, and London's finest diamond thief, his favorite heist. He dresses impeccably, as does all the cast due to well earned Best Costume and Make-Up award nominations. Delightful & historical Victorian sets/props/costumes.
Costumes are lovely, from nightgowns to evening ware. Raffles has an old school chum, Bunny Manders (Christopher Strauli-`Only When I Laugh' `Full House') who is definitely not as `quick' as Raffles, a bit socially awkward, but helpful, especially when someone is needed to take a fall, or a bump or two. Poor Bunny, Raffles should treat him better. Bunny strives to do his share, make himself worthy.

This strikingly different British Crime Series is based on original writing by E.W. Hornung. His bio is included in the bonus material.
NO subtitles, but unnecessary for accent.
The 14 episodes begin with the PILOT, exclusively DVD available here.
A period series that already has a cult-like following and will live forever due to its unusual perspective to burglary.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Including the never-before-released pilot episode June 11, 2010
Raffles: The Complete Collection is the four-disc DVD set collecting the entire television adaptation of the roguish adventures of Raffles (a character originally created by E.W. Hornung, brother-in-law of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle). By day, A.J. Raffles (played by Anthony Valentine) is a championship cricketer and gentleman of leisure; but when he isn't in the public eye, he pursues is other passion - surreptitiously plundering the fortunes of the wealthy! In addition to his extraordinary expertise with accents and disguises, Raffles also has the assistance of his easily perplexed friend "Bunny" Manders (played by Christopher Strauli). Their weaving through oft-deadly predicaments between a rock, a hard place, and the persistently hostile efforts of Inspector Mackenzie (played by Victor Carin) makes for a grand adventure. Raffles consists of fourteen episodes, including the never-before-released pilot episode, as well as a biography of author E.W. Hornung and production notes. An absolute treat for anyone who loves British drama! 4 DVDs, 726 min., 4:3 full screen, color.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Victorian Robin Hood July 20, 2010
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Imaginative, witty, clever and chic, here is a series which can charm everyone, unless of course one happens to be a member of the British aristocracy who drip with diamonds, rubies or pearls (preferably diamonds). Anthony Valentine (a name not too well known in North America) lends his considerable acting talents to the character of RAFFLES, a superb high-class gentleman who maintains his place in society by robbing from the very rich. However, unlike the famous Robin Hood of a much earlier era, Raffles does not redistribute the fabulous wealth to the poor; rather, he keeps it for himself and shares it with his faithful side-kick, Mr. Bunny Manders (Christopher Strauli). "After all, good fellow, there are certain standards to maintain!"
In every episode there are faces with whom those who watch BBC, or Acorn, or Ecosse Films are very familiar. It is one thing about British actors: they will take any part, no matter how small, and do a superb job of it. So, the very fact that there are so many of them means we see them again and again. And, they continue to do wonderful jobs in any part.
The plots in this series are very convoluted and one often is asea as to how Raffles comes up with some of the things he assumes, but those are part of the total charm. There are a couple of murders, but nothing the least bit gory. In fact, there is no profanity, no sex, no mad=cap chases, no blood-baths...only good clean fun. Not only that, it is SO VERY ENGLISH in every respect. The writers seem to take particular care to poke fun at British mannerisms, and in fact, all of the British stereotypes.
If you have to see blood and gore, explosions, wild adventure and the like, forget RAFFLES. But if you like to be entertained and delighted at the impossible plot-lines, droll statements, clever assumptions and plain superb acting, then RAFFLES is exactly what you want.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Enjoyable February 2, 2011
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I'd forgotten how much I had enjoyed these on PBS. I am very happy to have them. No subtitles, but easy to understand the dialog.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raffles, the Master Cracksman December 22, 2010
By S. B.
Verified Purchase
Saw this years ago, most likely on PBS, and it's stuck with me ever since. It's a lovely production, the sets and dialogue really draw you in and make you feel like you're in another decade.

Unfortunately, my rating has to be 4 stars because ACORN didn't add subtitles, something that I thought all DVDs were supposed to have. I'm not hard-of-hearing, but sometimes the audio or a thick accent garbles a word and that takes away from the overall enjoyment of the experience.

Still...If you want to have a good time with a likable scoundrel and his sidekick, I recommend RAFFLES. It's a wonderful way to while-away an afternoon, sipping tea and laughing at upper class high-jinks and impecunious young men inadvertently saving the day.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Spend Some Time With Raffles-You Won't Regret It!
Charming Victorian villain that steals from the rich, and yet people keep inviting him back! They have an idea it is him, but he is so loveable and charming that they like him and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by LeChatsMeow
3.0 out of 5 stars Views like a play
Many English DVDs are done in a manner that reminds one of a play rather than a movie. Story is cute, not too bad. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Sandy Somerset
3.0 out of 5 stars very disppointeing
When comparing to other British mysteries this one does not come close. Bad story lines and hard to follow. Also very dated.
Published 12 months ago by Richard Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully Quirky
This is so typical for British shows in the 70s. No heavy plots, but delightful characters, and done oh, so tongue in cheek.
Published 16 months ago by Linda E. Hostnick
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic British Cat Burglar - Jewel Thief Stories
These stories were based on the novels of the brother-in-law of the author of Sherlock Holmes stories. The star of the show always has a twinkle in his eye. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Wise Owl
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Funfilled Ride!
Two gentleman, one from the ruling class and the other from the middle class, that become thieves as a means to have income to maintain themselves in the lifestyle they have become... Read more
Published on February 28, 2012 by C. Alford
3.0 out of 5 stars Mystery lover
If you love all things British, you'll probably enjoy these, but the series is dated and there are few subplots.
Published on October 15, 2010 by Sipper
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
I saw this series as a child growing up in England in the 70s. I love it still.
Published on October 10, 2010 by MITCH JOHNSON
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming Series Chronicles Charmed Life of a Gentleman Thief
"Raffles: The Complete Collection " gives us another classic British mysteries television series, made in the 1970's, but set in Victorian England. Read more
Published on September 17, 2010 by Stephanie De Pue
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring Brits
A lackluster production based on a great series. Hollywood did a much better job. In spite of some well known British actors, the series is boring and it appears that the director... Read more
Published on September 4, 2010 by Quinta42
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Topic From this Discussion
CC or Subtitles on Raffles
On they state no subtitles, no cc The UK version is supposed to have cc, (according to one reviewer) but does not include the first episode. It has 13 episodes, instead of 14.
I see we are still both searching for good series with subtitles... "sigh".
Sep 3, 2012 by B. Bennyhoff |  See all 2 posts
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