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Sense & Sensibility / Persuasion Collector's Set (Includes Miss Austen Regrets) (2008)

 NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)

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Sense & Sensibility / Persuasion Collector's Set (Includes Miss Austen Regrets) + Masterpiece Theatre: Northanger Abbey + Mansfield Park (1999)
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Collector's Edition, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 269 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012Q3T6I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,192 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sense & Sensibility / Persuasion Collector's Set (Includes Miss Austen Regrets)" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sense & Sensibility / Persuasion Col (DVD)

Lush, dramatic, and beautifully acted, the BBC's three-part miniseries Sense & Sensibility captures the languid urgency that resonates throughout the Jane Austen novel on which it is based. The miniseries begins with a seduction scene: As a young girl cautiously gives herself to a man, she asks, "But when will you come back?" He answers ominously, "Soon... very soon," and gallops off into the night. We know what she does not--that he will not return for her. But viewers do not learn until the end who the couple are, and how their actions set off a chain of events. It is inevitable that this period piece will be compared to the 1995 big screen adaptation that starred Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant, and won Thompson an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. To its credit, this later version stands up incredibly well, with actors whose looks match Austen's written description. And due to a longer running time than the film version, there is more attention paid to detail and minor characters. Sense & Sensibility focuses on the longings of the Dashwood sisters Elinor (Hattie Morahan) and Marianne (Charity Wakefield). After their wealthy father dies, leaving his entire estate to their milquetoast half brother John (Mark Gatiss), Elinor, Marianne, their younger sister Margaret (Lucy Boynton), and their mother are left penniless. John and his shrew-like wife Fanny move into the manor, making the Dashwoods feel like unwanted guests. It is only after Fanny's handsome and kind brother Edward Ferrars (Dan Stevens) arrives for a visit that Elinor feels happy again. Marianne, too, has attracted the attention of two suitors: serious and shy Colonel Brandon (David Morrissey) and dashing Willoughby (Dominic Cooper). Learning that the 35-year-old colonel is interested in her, a stunned Marianne says, "You do realize that it will be impossible for me to speak to him again." Her actions are that of a little girl, running away and hiding when he comes to call on her. But her feelings for Willoughby are real: the kind of love a girl feels for the first time. The differences in the sisters' choices, actions, and secrets set the tone for an era when a perceived impropriety could ruin a woman's reputation and her family's standing in a community. Filmed in England with good use of aerial shots, the production has a sweeping feel that adds a distinct flavor to the drama. As with many Austen novels, the heroines in Sense & Sensibility go through many misunderstandings before their happily-ever-after ending. But that ending leaves viewers satisfied that things turned out just the way that they should.

Austen fans will be delighted with the second disc in this set: Miss Austen Regrets is a perfect companion to the miniseries, starring Olivia Williams stars as the author, and Greta Scacchi--who could easily pass as Williams' real-life sibling--as Austen's sister Cassandra. The film takes a bittersweet look at Austen's life and hints at what could have been had she married one of her suitors. Smart and headstrong, Austen refuses to cave into society's notions of what a proper woman should do. While her famous heroines all paired up with dashing gentlemen, Austen found that the loves of her life were her written creations. --Jae-Ha Kim

On the third disc of this set is the sumptuous production design and first-rate acting in the 2007 Masterpiece Theatre version of Persuasion. Sally Hawkins is controlled and moving as Anne Elliot, the quietly heartbroken but sensible heroine who was "persuaded" (read: forced) to turn away her true love but still carries an unseen torch for him. Hawkins's performance is genteel yet steely, and the quiet strength of the entire production. Hawkins looks alternately quietly lovely and sadly pinched--as one might expect the long frustrated Anne to look. Other highlights include a post-Buffy Anthony Head, as Anne's clueless, blustery father, Sir Walter. Head gets to turn on his deft comic talent here in ways most American audiences have not yet seen him; he's clearly enjoying himself immensely, blustering about "my shrubberies" and other trivial affairs. The cinematography is lush (several breathtaking tracking shots are used, especially early on), as are the period costumes. The production was filmed exclusively on location, and the reality of the sets enforces the story. Some fans may prefer the 1995 Amanda Root version, for the casting of Ciaran Hinds as Capt. Wentworth, but this later effort is a worthy entry in the Austen film oeuvre--and Rupert Penry-Jones is a dreamboat in his own right. As the wistful Anne says, on behalf of all women, "We do not forget you, so soon as you forget us." --A.T. Hurley

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
91 of 92 people found the following review helpful
For the purposes of my review here, I shall review Ms Austen Regrets, followed by Sense and Sensibility and lastly, Persuasion.


This perceptive and insightful new biopic focuses on the latter years of the famous author's life, and it makes for riveting viewing, though it is quite sad. Ms Austen's works continue to garner generations of new fans, yet she died at the age of 41 in 1817, unmarried and relatively poor [despite the positive reviews her works garnered].

I had often wondered if Mr Darcy of P&P had been modeled on a real-life character - here, that thought is put to rest as Ms Austen [played by a well-cast Olivia Williams] tells her niece Fanny Austen Knight "The only way to get a Mr Darcy is to make him up."

I much preferred this biopic to the movie "Becoming Jane" as in that movie, we are led to assume that Tom LeFroy was the great love of Jane's life and it all seems a bit melodramatic - here, the portrayal of Ms Austen's private life and thoughts on love is given a more realistic treatment. Tom LeFroy is viewed here as someone she was attracted to but once out of her life 'she didn't spend more than five minutes thinking about."

This has a ring of truth to it in my opinion as so little is really known about Jane Austen's love life - due in part to the fact that much of her personal letters were destroyed by her sister Cassandra after Jane's death. What is portrayed in this biopic [by screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes] is based on the surviving personal correspondence and family recollections.
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77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Miss Austen Regrets... February 4, 2008
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This three DVD set captures the latest and very adequate BBC versions of "Sense and Sensibility" (adapted by veteran Austen screenwriter Andrew Davies) and "Persuasion". It includes "Miss Austen Regrets", only just aired in February 2008, a nicely done biopic of romance writer Jane Austen.

Jane Austen left very little behind for her future biographers. Her family destroyed much of her correspondence at her death. This film is faithful to the known details of her life, and fills in some of the gaps with cautious but respectful speculation.

In "Miss Austen Regrets", a 40-ish but still feisty and flirtatious Jane Austen (in a sympathetic performance by Olivia Williams) is called upon to advise her young niece on a possible marriage. Jane enjoys a quiet notoriety for her romantic novels, which are a guilty pleasure of Regency England. She lives with an aging mother and loving older sister (nicely played by Greta Sacchi) in a rural cottage. Writing novels was not quite a respectable occupation in that day; Jane writes because she must and because she needs the money.

The conundrum for Jane's niece, as we discover was once true for a younger Jane, is whether to marry for love or money and safety. In Jane's fiction, her patient heroines all eventually managed to marry for both. In her own life, we learn that a younger Jane Austen was deterred by her parents from one agreeable but penniless suitor, then turned down a wealthier one whom she did not love.

The movie is studiously ambiguous about the impact of Jane's choices on her life. The straitened financial circumstances of her family are clearly a burden for her.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three movies worth owning May 24, 2008
This is my first Amazon review, but I felt moved to write one after seeing the criticism heaped on this version of Persuasion. I will admit to never having seen the 1995 version, but I've ordered it and I will update this review if it inspires me to!

That said, I think this version of Persuasion was really wonderful. To those who say that the ending is silly/makes no sense/offends them, I say - ok. Yes, it is silly. No, it is not what Jane Austen wrote. But that does not ruin the movie, at least not for me. Sally Hawkins's facial expressions are enough to make the movie worth watching with the sound off - not that I recommend doing this, because the music is one of the better features of this movie! Sense and Sensibility also has a very moving score, and the music in both of these adaptations is one of the things that differentiates them from earlier versions.

The cinematography is also much more modern, which works surprisingly well with the period setting. The locations are gorgeous, the camera work is good, and altogether these adaptations make you feel like you've watched a movie, and not a play on film.

The acting has already been accurately described in many other reviews - Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones are excellent in Persuasion. Hattie Morahan steals the show in Sense and Sensibility. Willoughby is miscast. But there are very few moments in either film to be disappointed by (the end of Persuasion notwithstanding).

If you are looking for the "definitive" adaptation of either of these novels, I cannot claim that one of these is definitely it - but I am glad to have them in my DVD library and I think I'll watch them often!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... purchased for a cousin in the US arrived in good time. It has not...
This item purchased for a cousin in the US arrived in good time. It has not yet been viewed but this is anticipated with great pleasure - we hope..
Published 21 days ago by G. Swain
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Persuasion
S & S- Very true to the book. Excellent!

Persuasion...Simply wonderful! ...This is my second copy, as one of my daughters loves this adaptation so much, that she has... Read more
Published 23 days ago by K L Selfe
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 24 days ago by Millie P. Singletary
5.0 out of 5 stars Three great movies in one package!
I really enjoyed all of these movies. No complaints :)
Published 29 days ago by Alyssa Friesen
5.0 out of 5 stars but still a great rendition. BBC is such a quality production
Not Emma Thompson, but still a great rendition. BBC is such a quality production, this flavor of the classic Jane is worth adding to the personal favorites.
Published 1 month ago by Lola B
2.0 out of 5 stars ... it back twice because the case was broken inside like it had been...
I had to send it back twice because the case was broken inside like it had been dropped, both of them and in the same spot.
Published 1 month ago by Chris Moss
5.0 out of 5 stars Another version of Sense and Sensibility beautifully performed
This is a longer version of this classic than the previous film. I enjoyed the setting, music, and the characters as they came to life and played out their part according to what... Read more
Published 3 months ago by TimCal
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Anne Elliot. Poor Dashwoods
This is for Persuasion. Poor Anne Elliot. Pushed aside, put upon, passed over, reviled, loser in love. Always expected to take care of others regardless of reason. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ronald Rossini
5.0 out of 5 stars Sense & Sensibility- make sure it's the correct region.
I LOVE this edition of Sense & Sensibility, it's my favorite. I prefer this version over the 1995 version of Sense & Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Absolutely love this did set!
Published 3 months ago by obsonographer
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Topic From this Discussion
Why did the price rise in the last few days?
i know how you feel dsky same on ebay the price of Sense and Sensiblity is up too and i was going to purchase it but i have waited and waited for long time for it come down to resonable price! It's the same price in the book stores like barnes and nobles and boarders. Keep in touch with me when... Read More
Jun 27, 2008 by Elizabeth A. Osborne |  See all 3 posts
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