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The Buccaneers

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Buccaneers, The (DVD)

Deemed nouveau riche and shunned by elitist New York society, sisters Nan and Virginia St. George, along with their friends Lizzy Elmsworth and Conchita Closson (Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino), try their luck in London. The girls' New World spontaneity and impertinence constitute nothing less than a social invasion of Old World society and they soon find themselves courted by a coterie of fascinated admirers. But as the old and new worlds come to clash, something has to give.

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As four young American women find their way through the labyrinthine social world of 1870s England, their fortunes rise--and sometimes, with brutal abruptness, fall. Based on Edith Wharton's unfinished novel, The Buccaneers, this lavish BBC production follows Nan and Virginia St. George (Carla Gugino, Spy Kids, and Alison Elliott, The Spitfire Grill), two American sisters who follow their friend Conchita Closson (Mira Sorvino, Mighty Aphrodite), a Brazilian bad girl who marries a dissolute British lord, to England in search of aristocratic husbands--partly due to the influence of their canny governess, Laura Testvalley (Cherie Lunghi, Excalibur). The Buccaneers has a good dose of the delicious satirical wit to be found in many BBC dramas, but tempered by the presence of the naive American girls, who find themselves trapped by the very things they thought they wanted. Though mocked by some critics for its heaving bosoms and towering hairdos, the five-part series stealthily paints a sometimes devastating portrait of women's lives. When Idina Hatton (Jenny Agutter, Logan's Run), the older lover of the aimless Lord Seadown (Mark Tandy, Shackleton), learns that Seadown is going to marry the young and lovely Virginia, it's a heartbreaking moment, yet one that isn't overdone. The Buccaneers is full of such gracefulness--Wharton observes the fickle turns of life in society with a judicious eye, empathizing with the pain but never losing sight of the hard realities of money and marriage. In a strong cast, Gugino particularly shines; with her round, rosy cheeks and expressive eyes, she makes a smart yet vulnerable heroine. --Bret Fetzer


Special Features

Interviews: On the Set of The Buccaneers - Interviews with cast and crew as well as social background for the novel. Interviews: On the Set of The Buccaneers - Interviews with cast and crew as well as social background for the novel. Interviews: On the Set of The Buccaneers - Interviews with cast and crew as well as social background for the novel. Interviews: On the Set of The Buccaneers - Interviews with cast and crew as well as social background for the novel.

Product Details

  • Actors: Mira Sorvino, Carla Gugino, Alison Elliott, Rya Kihlstedt, Cherie Lunghi
  • Directors: Philip Saville
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 18, 2006
  • Run Time: 302 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (494 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E0ODZE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,298 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Buccaneers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

226 of 231 people found the following review helpful By Marcy G. on July 10, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
My sister and I adore this mini-series which was shown in Masterpiece Theater many years ago. Anyone who enjoys turn-of-the-century films such as The Age of Innocence, House of Mirth, The Golden Bowl, A Room With A View and Howard's End or stories of the Astors and Vanderbilts will find themselves enraptured with this tale of 4 beautiful American women who find themselves being courted by sons of the British nobility.
In the center of the story are Nan (Carla Gugino) and Virginia St. George (Alison Eliott), and their friends Conchita Closson (Mira Sorvino) and Lizzy Elmsworth (Rya Kihlstedt) - four young women living in turn-of-the-century America, when social status and wealth were the most important considerations in a woman's life (these were the days of the Astors and Vanderbilts, after all). Early in the story we find Conchita married to Lord Marable and begins her new life with the English nobility. Spurned in Newport and New York social circles because they are considered "new money," Nan, Virginia and Lizzy travel to England to visit Conchita and hopefully try their luck there. With the help of 2 enterprising older women, they soon become the toast of the town and are courted by many handsome, wealthy young men. Virginia and Lizzy vie for the attentions of Lord Seadown (Mark Tandy) who is not quite what he seems. Nan is pursued by the humble but ambitious Guy Thwaite (Greg Wise from "Sense and Sensibility") and the wealthy and reserved Julius, the Duke of Trevenick (James Frain).
The mini-series offers beautiful scenery and costumes, great acting from members of the cast (including veterans Cherie Lunghi, Jenny Agutter, Michael Kitchen and Rosemary Leach) and a thoroughly engaging story.
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154 of 164 people found the following review helpful By dooby on May 17, 2006
Format: DVD
This is a version of Edith Wharton's last unfinished novel as completed by the BBC screenwriter Maggie Wadey. It was filmed barely 2 years after the first complete version of the novel was published in 1993 (Completed by Marion Mainwaring). It chronicles a very different time (1870s) when class distinctions were clearly marked and the nouveau riche found themselves curtly excluded from the "old money" aristocracy of 19th century America. The story traces the lives of 4 girls from such families who finding themselves rejected in the land of their birth, travel to England to try their charms and new found wealth on the titled aristocracy of the old country. How they fare and the breaking of their illusions form the meat of the story. One reviewer commented on the shallowness and blandness of the characters, of not being able to tell the girls apart. Some viewers may even look at these girls as twittering airheads. This is in part Wharton's doing. Edith Wharton was no admirer of the American upper class. She belonged to it, she experienced it first hand and she despised it and made it evident in her books. Wharton constantly pointed out her society's ignorance, provincialism and prissy narrow-mindedness. None of the girls here really ends up living happily ever after. One of the reviewers here stated that in the absence of Wharton's own ending, the BBC screenwriter has let one of the girls off at the end. But I tend to disagree. Even the heroine Annabelle's running away with the man she loves (supposedly a happy ending) is tinged with the public scandal of adultery, the loss of her titles and privileges, and exile to the other side of the world (Durban, South Africa). This is definitely not what any of the girls would have wanted. Everybody just ends up making compromises and settling for second best.Read more ›
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143 of 154 people found the following review helpful By Marcy G. on January 21, 2006
Format: DVD
Finally!! After many years of waiting and writing letters to PBS and the BBC to have this dvd released, it is finally coming. I am sure many others out there are breathing a sigh of relief as one of the most engaging costume dramas ever made is finally coming to dvd.

My sister and I adore this mini-series which was shown in Masterpiece Theater many years ago. Anyone who enjoys turn-of-the-century films such as The Age of Innocence, House of Mirth, A Room With A View and Howard's End or stories of the Astors and Vanderbilts will find themselves enraptured with this tale of 4 beautiful American women who find themselves being courted by sons of the British nobility.

At the center of the story are Nan (Carla Gugino) and Virginia St. George (Alison Eliott), and their friends Conchita Closson (Mira Sorvino) and Lizzy Elmsworth (Rya Kihlstedt) - four young women living in turn-of-the-century America, when social status and wealth were the most important considerations in a woman's life (these were the days of the Astors and Vanderbilts, after all). Early in the story we find Conchita married to Lord Marable (Ronan Vibert) and begins her new life with the English nobility. Spurned in Newport and New York social circles because they are considered "new money," Nan, Virginia and Lizzy travel to England to visit Conchita and hopefully try their luck there. With the help of two enterprising older women, they soon become the toast of the town and are courted by several handsome and eligible young men. Virginia and Lizzy vie for the attentions of Lord Seadown (Mark Tandy), an enigmatic nobleman who is entangled in a scandalous relationship with an older woman (Jenny Agutter).
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