The Road to Coronation Street
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The Road to Coronation Street is the dramatized story of how Coronation Street, Britain's best-loved series, was created - and how it almost never made it on air. Set in Manchester's Granada TV Studios circa 1960, passionate young scriptwriter Tony Warren had a vision of bringing to life a program about real people and everyday situations on the streets of working-class Manchester. Portraying Tony's boardroom battles to convince network executives that his idea for a dramatic series would be both popular and commercially successful - and the gamble executives took to bring this show to the screen - this film marks the milestone 50 Year Anniversary of Coronation Street.
Bonus Disc: Coronation Street - The Beginning: The very first episode of Coronation Street as broadcast on December 9, 1960. REMASTERED (approx. 25 mins. B&W)
Top Customer Reviews
Doris Speed was a cast member on a radio show called Children's Hour with a then known Tony Simpson. He wrote Annie Walker especially for her. Celia Imrie does a fantastic job in portraying her so well.
Violet Carson's character, Ena Sharples, was the last cast member to join the show. What a character! She was a real battle axe of a woman--fearless and intimidating. They had originally cast Nita Valerie for the character but she was all wrong because she was so likable. When Tony had mentioned Violet Carson's name as a possible Ena Sharples, he remembered her for trying to spank his bottom as a child. Lynda Baron is incredible in the performance of Violet Carson and Ena Sharples all at once.
Then there is the incredible and beautiful Pat Phoenix's character, Elsie Tanner, who shows up late for the audition and is on the verge of quitting the business. Thank God, she didn't!
William Roache's Kenneth Barlow is still going strong after 5 decades on television. In 2016, he will be the longest running character played by a single actor in Guinness Book of World History Record surpassing American actress Helen Wagner's Nancy Hughes on "As The World Turns" who only had 54 years.
While the casting process was difficult, Tony wanted Northern actors and actresses for the parts.Read more ›
Charles Sturridge's production is not without its anachronisms. The sets are too chintzy, their bright colors creating a never-never land of early Sixties Manchester. Some of the dialogue is resolutely contemporary; and the relationship between Tony and Harry is far closer than would have been tolerated at a time when homosexuality was still illegal.
Daran Little's script favors cardboard characterization: brothers Sidney and Cecil Bernstein (Henry Goodman) are the archetypal studio heads sitting behind desks in their expensive three-piece suits. All they need is a cigar in their mouths and they could pass for the old studio heads in classical Hollywood. Dawson's Tony Warren has the camp manners of a youthful Kenneth Williams; he develops a close relationship with Patricia Phoenix (Jessie Wallace) that acts a substitute for that of his real mother (Phoebe Nicholls).
The drama is redeemed to some extent by the quality of individual performances. Celia Imrie's Doris Speed captures some of the actress's faux gentility; but the script does not really allow her to develop her performance.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great to see the effort behind this program, a true icon of English TelevisionPublished 16 months ago by Carol
I've been a fan of "Coronation Street" for years and am fortunate enough to live close to the Canadian border so I can watch it on TV. Read morePublished on August 13, 2013 by Barb