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  • The BBC TV Shakespeare Collection - 38 DVDs Set [Non-US Format, PAL, Region 2, Import]
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The BBC TV Shakespeare Collection - 38 DVDs Set [Non-US Format, PAL, Region 2, Import]


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Region 2 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)

Product Details

  • Format: PAL, Box set
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 38
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: NON-U.S.A. [PAL] FORMAT REGION 2 U.K. IMPORT
  • Run Time: 5948 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010EBGJO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,400 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

38 Disc Set containing thirty seven plays from the BBC television Shakespeare series from 1978 to 1985. 'Romeo and Juliet', is Shakespeare's tale of a doomed and tragic love between two young lovers from warring families, the 'Capulets' and the 'Montagues'. Also includes: 'Richard II', 'As You Like It', 'Julius Caesar','Measure For Measure', 'Henry VIII', 'Henry IV: Parts I & II', 'Henry V: Parts I & II', 'Twelfth Night', 'Tempest', 'The Taming Of The Shrew', 'The Merchant Of Venice', 'All's Well That Ends Well', 'Winter's Tale', 'Timon Of Athens', 'Antony And Cleopatra', 'Othello', 'Troilus And Cressada', 'The Merry Widow', 'Henry VI: Parts I, II & III', 'The Tragedy Of Richard III', 'Cymbeline', 'The Comedy Of Errors', 'Two Gentlemen Of Verona', 'Coriolanus', 'The Life And Death Of King John', 'Pericles: Prince Of Tyre', 'Much Ado About Nothing', 'Love's Labour's Lost', 'Titus Andronicus', 'Hamlet', 'King Lear', 'Macbeth' and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
A nuanced and well directed production.
The Conscience of Zeno
No surprises: exactly what I ordered, excellent quality, does require DVD region 2 player (well worth the purchase).
Counselor
When it comes to Shakespeare in general my favorite story is Hamlet.
bernie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By apt2full on March 29, 2008
This BBC project of the complete Shakespeare on DVD will never be done again - no one could afford it. Two plays were shot on location; the rest were all taped within a five year period in the BBC's studios, in a form of television drama that no longer exists. Not stage, not film, but staged for the camera at close quarters, so you concentrate on the character relationships and the language, not spectacle or computer graphics of casts of thousands.

The pre-eminent Shakespearean actors of the age were invited to perform. Those who responded included Sir John Gielgud, Claire Bloom, Anthony Quayle, Helen Mirren, Michael Hordern, Celia Johnson, Derek Jacobi, Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Wendy Hiller, Cyril Cusack, Jon Finch, Richard Pasco, Kate Nelligan, Charles Gray, Timothy West, Ben Kingsley, Anna Calder-Marshall, Alan Rickman, Alec McCowen, Jeremy Kemp, Margaret Tyzack, Robert Stephens, Nicol Williamson and Eileen Atkins.

We also get surprise performances by names American TV viewers associate with lighter fare, like Felicity Kendal, Donald Sinden, Robert Lindsay, Bob Hoskins, John Cleese, Penelope Wilton, Eric Porter, Ian Charleson, Richard Johnson, Zoe Wanamaker, Alan Bennett, Prunella Scales, John Thaw, Michael Gough, Jenny Agutter, Warren Mitchell, Keith Michell, Richard Griffiths, Leonard Rossiter, Maureen Lipman and Roger Daltrey.

When originally broadcast, there was a lot of critical nit-picking and carping about casting. Now it just seems like television splendor, and an invaluable enhancement to your home theater.

Don't buy it to learn "Romeo and Juliet," "Othello," "Hamlet" and "Macbeth." Those you can find elsewhere on single DVDs in performances that are probably better.
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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful By The Conscience of Zeno on February 21, 2009
The Complete Works of Shakespeare on DVD

I haven't added to this blog for some time--mostly because I've been extremely busy. Now, however, I have come up with a topic which can be added to regularly for several months without too much effort on my part: namely, the BBC's issuing of their late seventies and early eighties complete cycle of Shakespeare plays on DVD. A few days ago, I bought this complete collection for about $250 and have already watched 3 plays. I remember seeing some of the plays at the time they were first shown, but I was at university then and didn't pay too much attention. Some of the first thoughts that occur to me are:

1) Such a collection reminds us that Shakespeare was a superb user of language. This might seem an obvious point, but too often the "bard" is viewed as some kind of phenomenon of nature that transcended both time and place. Rather, he was the right person in the right place at the right time, able to fully word and express that lush flowering of the English tongue during the English renaissance.

2) Point one itself gives us food for thought. All the progress made by the human race has been through the use of differing linguistic codes, and it is sobering to realise that someone who lived around 400 years ago was able to use language better than we can ourselves. By association we assume that the England of that time was highly literate and happy and willing to listen to endless quips, puns on language, conceits and metaphors--as well as poetry of the highest order. I fear that today England has no such writers and no such audience. So much for the liberal argument of continuous progress! Perhaps we are in the process of using our languages to invest the future in advanced technological codes.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Paul L. McKaskle on March 16, 2009
Amazon.com.uk has the same set for about seventy pounds which works out to about $120 (including shipping) at current (March 2009) exchange rates. It takes about a week to arrive. Incidentally the listed price on the "uk" website includes V.A.T. which is not charged when the product is sent overseas. The shipping was under five pounds. I don't know why the two amazons don't coordinate prices. (I have obtained other items from amazon.uk at prices far below the U.S. price--but sometimes the uk prices are a lot higher.)

Keep in mind, however, that it is still a Region 2 product and one needs a region 2 (or all regions) player. I have a Phillips model (actually three of them--they are very inexpensive) similar to the one mentioned in another reader's review and it works just fine. Various websites have information on how to program it to play DVDs from any region.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Flick on May 23, 2008
I must save my pennies to buy this.

I did some research and this All Region DVD often comes up:

Philips DVP5140 Multiformat DVD Player with DivX, MP3, Windows Media Support

Update:
Caveat emptor.
Just be very careful to get a player that works. Brands vary over time it seems.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Filippo Secondo (aka AB) on January 5, 2010
This collection of Shakespeare's 37 plays (pity about the missing 'Two Noble Kinsmen') is perfect on account of the directors' successful attempt to evoke 'live' performances. Unlike Shakespeare on film, where the eye is disturbed through the endless use of cuts from one speaker to another, the BBC directors opted for a more natural treatment of the camera lens by simply rotating it from one speaker to another, cuts being kept to a minimum, as in a 'live' performance where the audience's eyes shift from one speaking actor to another. This technique is certainly harder and riskier, since a single error from any actor (awkward speech delivery or body movement) would result in re-shooting the entire scene (as opposed to the ease with which actors making a film version can re-shoot a scene whenever a fault occurs). Another asset is the strong Elizabethan-like actor-audience interaction: the characters share their inner thoughts and feelings with the viewers by facing the camera during soliloquies and asides. Though the cuts made in almost all the texts used are regrettable (the most lamentable being the many lines and scenes deleted from 'Coriolanus'), the whole series is (to my mind) the BBC's best and most ambitious undertaking, one that is hardly likely to be challenged anytime soon, perhaps never.
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