The Duchess of Duke Street 2 Seasons 1976

Amazon Instant Video

Season 1
Available on Prime
(1,299) IMDb 8.5/10
Available on Prime

1. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.1 TV-PG CC

Louisa Leyton applies for a post as a cook under Monsieur Alex, a leading chef. She proves an apt pupil and successfully deputizes for him at a dinner at which an important personage is present.

Starring:
Gemma Jones, Christopher Cazenove
Runtime:
52 minutes
Original air date:
September 4, 1976

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The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.1

Season 1
Available on Prime

Product Details

Genres Drama, International
Director Bill Bain
Starring Gemma Jones, Christopher Cazenove
Supporting actors Donald Burton, Bryan Coleman, Roger Hammond, Doreen Mantle, June Brown, George Pravda, Elizabeth Bennett, Victoria Plucknett, Susan Brown, Stephen Kemble
Network BBC America
Producers Richard Beynon, John Hawkesworth
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Watch one episode and you will be hooked.
Amazon Customer
It gives a window into what life was like in the early 20th century for the working class and the aristocracy of England.
Love to read
The story is well written and the acting by all the characters is very good.
Ksnurse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Tiggah on August 9, 2006
Format: DVD
Produced and co-written by John Hawkesworth (best known for his role as producer and co-writer of Upstairs Downstairs), The Duchess of Duke Street (which was produced between 1978 and 1980) tells the story of Louisa Leyton Trotter, a young Cockney woman from a working-class background with aspirations of becoming the finest cook in London. The series open in 1900, with Louisa landing a job as a cooking assistant to one of London's finest chefs. It's the chance of a lifetime for her, but her outspokenness threatens to be her downfall.

Nevertheless, she indeed rises to become a first-rate and much-sought-after cook and the proprietor of London's exclusive and very expensive Bentinck Hotel on Duke Street. Louisa owes much to Bertie, the Prince of Wales, with whom she has a brief affair. But she owes the bulk of her success to her own hard work and determination. The series spans some 30 years, throughout which we are privy to everything the hotel has to offer--from encounters involving aristocrats to the personal problems of the servants. Of course, it is Louisa's life that is at the forefront, and she must make some tough choices as she deals with crises of her own at both a professional and a personal level.

A feisty and independent young woman, Louisa is more than capable of taking care of herself, and she's played to absolute perfection by Gemma Jones. So convincing is she as Louisa Trotter that it's impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. As a point of interest, the character was based on a real-life individual named Rosa Lewis, a mistress of the Prince of Wales who set up a London hotel called the Cavendish. She died in 1952 and was personally known to John Hawkesworth.

Louisa is joined by a motley group at the hotel. The oldest servant, a butler named Mr.
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful By B. Margolis on March 9, 2006
Format: DVD
Shame that my favorite all-time BBC dramatic series wasn't (apparently) worthy of BBC video doing it up proper.

Although I'm really pleased to finally get this wonderful series on DVD (so far...only Series 1), Acorn Video's transfer quality is patchy to be sure. Episode 6 "For Love Or Money" is very burry.

When you put in a disc, you do not have the "play all" option, either.

You have to view each episode one at a time. That's a bad menu choice.

All in all, I'm happy to have the series, but the quality is not much better than the offical BBC VHS tapes.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Brian S on September 15, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This series is of the same story quality as Upstairs Doiwnstairs but of better technical quality. Enyoyed in our household for repeated viewing. Louisa is a gem of a character,fine details of the period are obvious in the sets and costumes.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By thornhillatthemovies.com VINE VOICE on February 21, 2006
Format: DVD
"The Duchess of Duke Street" is the first series I remember watching on Masterpiece Theater, on PBS. Considering I was 8 or 9 at the time it aired, I think that's pretty fantastic. My mom and step-dad regularly watched programs on PBS, but nothing up to that point interested me. Perhaps it was the budding Anglophile which drew me to the series. I think a large part of what kept me interested was the strong performance by Gemma Jones as Louisa Trotter, a woman in Victorian England, who works very hard to make a living, dealing with many difficulties as she builds an exclusive hotel from the ground up.

The series, originally shown in 1976, was recently released on DVD and it is a welcome addition. Involving stories, great acting, attention to period detail and a story spanning decades helped to create one of the most memorable British television series ever. Watching it again on DVD, I was struck by a number of things. The first is the series is very long. Long for British Television. When the creator of a British television series goes to work, they generally create 6 or 8, maybe 10, infrequently as many as 12 episodes at a time. Each time they go in front of the cameras, they are creating a new "Series"; British shows are measured in terms of series, some add new series every year, some do a couple of series, take some time off and then return a few years later, presumably after some fresh inspiration. Some shows, like "Fawlty Towers" run for 12 episodes and that's it. So watching "The Duchess of Duke Street" again, I was struck that the series includes 31 episodes, more than a traditional "season" on U. S. television. Also, they only did one series. Perhaps Gemma Jones was exhausted.

The series begins with Louisa interviewing with a famous French chef in a large household.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By --corinne-- on May 21, 2006
Format: DVD
After I spied this series on my local library's shelves & saw that it was about a female aspiring chef set in 1900-1910 London, I scooped up all the volumes.
This series really surprised me: It has strong writing and attention to setting. Louisa Trotter is a outspoken, cockney chef who works her way up in her profession and British society with lots of elbow grease, an understanding of human nature, and some luck. Gemma Jones is great as Louisa Trotter and the supporting cast is very solid as well.
I wasn't sure at first if this series was a miniseries or a TV series (It's TV), but it is rather Dickensian in that each episode builds on the previous. And I can pay a series no higher complement than to say that the conflict resolutions are neither trite nor perfunctory. Many allusions to historically accurate events, politicians, and contemporary culture are weaved into the storylines. I feel that I learned more about English classism and social mores from the "Duchess" & the Bentinck Hotel than from my semester abroad in London.
If you like period drama (and comedy) & strong, nuanced heroines with many battles to fight, then you will like "The Duchess of Duke Street." This series stands the test of time. My only complaint is that I did not learn much about the culinary arts, but the writing is so above standard that my complaint is rendered inconsequential.
Although this series began filming in 1976 the production values make it difficult to place. The Duchess of Duke Street is comparable in quality to BBC's 1979 Pride and Prejudice.
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