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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (2008)

Toby Stephens , Tara Fitzgerald  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Toby Stephens, Tara Fitzgerald, Rupert Graves, Sarah Badel, Jackson Leach
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2008
  • Run Time: 159 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JOA0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,149 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Rupert Graves, Toby Stephens and Tara Fitzgerald star in this Peabody Award and BAFTA winning BBC Adaptation of the Anne Brontë novel. Powerful, haunting and disturbing, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is as powerful a story as those of Brontë’s more famous sisters. In a remote village on the Yorkshire moors, a beautiful widow and her son move into the near-derelict Wildfell Hall. Befriended by a handsome young farmer, she remains mysteriously silent about her past and why she is afraid – until she becomes the focus of malicious village gossip.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
299 of 303 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER POLISHED PERIOD PIECE... February 10, 2002
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
While not wholly faithful to Anne Bronte's novel of the same name, this adaptation has much to commend it. Excellent cinematography, as well as strong performances by the entire cast, makes this a must see production for all lovers of period pieces.

An intriguing widow woman of mystery, Helen Graham (Tara Fitzgerald), moves into a crumbling residence known as Wildfell Hall. There, she sets up house with her very young son. Plain spoken, independent, and seeming to lack charm, she rebuffs the initial friendly overtures of the local townsfolk and manages to alienate most of them. Gilbert Markham (Toby Stephens), a young and handsome yeoman farmer, is not put off by her manner, however, and being smitten by her, pursues her, hoping to gain her affections. Soon, however, the townsfolk begin gossiping about her supposed assignations with a wealthy, local gentleman, Mr. Lawrence (James Purefoy), the owner of Wildfell Hall. There comes a point where even the steadfast Mr. Markham wavers in his belief in her. It is then that Mrs. Graham tells him the true nature of her relationship with Mr. Lawrence and reveals her dark past.

Rupert Graves steals the show as Arthur Huntingdon, the charming rake who captures and seduces Helen's young, romantic heart. Once married to her, however, he reveals himself to be a brutish, dissolute, and depraved philanderer, who causes her to flee their home with their young son. The role of Huntingdon is, undoubtedly, the juiciest. The film uses the narrative contrivance of flashbacks in order to explain the events that led Helen to take the extraordinary measures that she did. It tells the viewer of the sad story that brought Helen and her son to this sorry pass.
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155 of 158 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite video! April 22, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This video (which runs for 160 mins) follows rather closely to the classic novel by Anne Bronte (except for the ending - nevertheless, it will still please you).
The production is lavish, the costumes beautiful and very correct to the period of time. The cast very capably brought to life the characters of the suffering Helen Graham, the scoundrel Arthur Huntington and the love-struck Gilbert Markham.
Tara Fitzgerald appeared a little miscast, owing to her often unnecessarly harsh displays of emotions and an unsuitable gruffy voice. But because she played the role of Helen Graham (who's an exceedingly likable heroine), I grew to ignore all that and found myself rooting for Helen to find all the happiness she deserves.
I simply love Toby Stephens whom I think, is just perfect as Gilbert, the handsome, young gentleman farmer who sees the goodness in Helen and seeks to protect her from the hypocrisy and prejudice shown by his unkind relatives and neighbours.
The cinematography is lush and breathtaking. It's obvious that this is a well-planned production with no expense spared.
I have only 1 minor complaint - that the romantic scenes involving Helen and Gilbert weren't made more passionate (the way it should be). Instead, we see more displays of love and affection between Helen and Lord Huntington (during their courtship days and early marriage). And to what purpose do they serve? - Since we know just what a brute Huntington turns out to be later!
If you love this video, please pick up the book (ie. if you haven't already) - the book fleshes out the thoughts, emotions and agonies of the love-lorn Gilbert much more effectively than could be captured on film.
Nevertheless, I love this video. It's great to have in one's collection for repeated viewings.
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101 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing and captivating! Highly recommended. April 5, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" is based on the Victorian novel by Anne Bronte. It tells the story of secretive, passionate and outspoken Helen Graham who lives quietly with her young son in Wildfell Hall. She befriends a young neighborhood farmer, Gilbert Markham, and he falls in love with her, despite her objections. It soon unfolds that Helen is "on the run" from her privileged life and her cruel, alcoholic husband - Arthur Huntingdon - and a series of flashbacks tell the story of her life with him. The story itself is engrossing and, like Jane Eyre, it's ultimately a story of a strong woman overcoming the odds and coming out triumphant in the end.
The BBC has done a great job with this production. Tara Fitzgerald ("The Woman in White," "Brassed Off") is perfectly cast as the downtrodden but feisty Helen. Handsome actors Toby Stephens ("The Great Gatsby") and Rupert Graves ("Room with a View," "Mrs. Dalloway") are excellent as the devoted Gilbert and the detestable Huntingdon. Tara Fitzgerald and Toby Stephens have a chemistry that most would find irresistible. The performances from the principal actors are excellent and Rupert Graves does such a good job that I found myself hating and pitying him at the same time. I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys Bronte's work or first-rate British drama.
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It Has Its Virtues, But It Won't Be to Everyone's Taste September 11, 2008
Format:DVD
"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall," a feature-length 1996 television costume drama produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation, was seen here on broadcast TV in 1997. It was based upon the little-known book of the same name, published in 1848, by the Victorian-era British author Anne Bronte. She is the least-known of the three famous Bronte sisters, all of whom specialized in moody works set on England's scenic moors, upon which they were raised. Emily Bronte, of course, gave us Wuthering Heights ; Charlotte,Jane Eyre. And some of us probably can't help thinking that were Anne not a Bronte, this work would neither have survived, nor have been adapted for television, as it's rather heavy going.

It concerns Helen Huntingdon, in flight from an alcoholic, brutal, but wealthy and high-status husband, Arthur Huntington. She has taken her young son Arthur, and taken up residence, as the dour and mysterious Mrs. Helen Graham, in a rundown Hall on the moors. It's not long before a handsome young yeoman farmer of the vicinity, Gilbert Markham, takes an interest in her, and her son. It's also not long before malicious gossip about her begins to circulate around the isolated village to which she has moved.

Much of the movie is set on the moors, and it has received the typical lush BBC treatment in the matters of location shooting, costumes, set decoration, carriages, etc. Unfortunately, while the camera whirls around and around, it doesn't succeed in making the production any less static.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the BRITS
I pretty much love anything British and I liked this movie. I didn't love it but like it alot so it will stay in my collection
Published 9 days ago by C. Conley
4.0 out of 5 stars it was good
it took me till the the third part to really figure out what was going on and it loaded very slow but all in all a pretty decent movie but not worth 1.99 more like .50
Published 23 days ago by kristy norwood
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected
It's always hard to cram a great read into a film, but this was pretty good. I like the book itself tremendously and one of the main reasons is for the persevering faith of not... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jennifer Jones
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and almost boring (spoiler alert)
I admit that this novel is more difficult to be turned into a film than e.g. "Jane Eyre", which was written by Anne Brontës sister Charlotte and already turned into films as well... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Skywalker
1.0 out of 5 stars The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
What was the director thinking of? Or, was it even directored? Seemed the actors were totally out of sync with each other
and just as confused as I as to what the plot was... Read more
Published 2 months ago by momma
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good!
Very well done, Moody, Mysterious with great acting.
A rather odd piece, somewhat like many of Dicken's
stories, but this one is about a woman.
Published 2 months ago by Pat
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tenant of Wildfell Hall DVD
I love the movie (and the book). I enjoy reading the Bronte sisters' works and seeing those works turned into movies, seeing the different interpretations and adaptations. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nancy D. Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Wildfell Hall good story
I liked this story very much. Did not know about this dvd until friend told me to purchase it. I am glad I did. Recommend to all who like this type of story
Published 2 months ago by nan
5.0 out of 5 stars Anne Bronte story
Read the book first and you will enjoy this DVD more. It does follow the book very closely, but can't give you all the insight that the book provides for each of the characters.
Published 2 months ago by Pamela R. Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Bronte sister fans
As a young woman I enjoyed Wuthering Heights (Charlotte Bronte) - read the book and saw every version of the book imaginable on DVD. Read more
Published 2 months ago by tn
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