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The Road to Coronation Street

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Apr 12, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

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)


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: David Dawson, Steven Berkoff
  • Directors: Charles Sturridge
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • 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: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BFS Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 12, 2011
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004PHE9JC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,279 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was a very interesting DVD about how Coronation Street began as just an idea and has been going on since the 1960's. I have watched Coronation Street for about 30 yrs on the Canadian TV channel & I tape the episodes & send them to my son who moved to FL & can't watch it on TV there. We both love this program very much. I thought this DVD would be more like a documentary but was very pleased it was more like a movie. I think people would find it a pleasant surprise.
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This film is a first rate dramatic documentation about how a young man named Tony Warren took the British television world by storm in 1960. With an idea about reflecting the reality of Northern British street life, he created unforgettable characters like Annie Walker, Ena Sharples, Elsie Tanner, Kenneth Barlow, and Albert Tatlock to name a few. Their portrayers were ordinary Northern people.

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.
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Format: DVD
Tony Warren (David Dawson) was a struggling twenty-three old actor with limited radio experience, who responded to another casting rejection by transforming himself into a writer. Through a combination of sheer persistence and chutzpah, he managed to convince producer Harry Elton (Christian McKay) to back the idea for a new drama series set in a Manchester terrace, with the emphasis on real people's lives. After a shaky start, when the idea was rejected by Granada Television's chief executive Sidney Bernstein (Steven Berkoff), Warren was eventually commissioned to write thirteen episodes. The rest, as they say, is history.

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.
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