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The Moonstone (1972)

Vivien Heilbron , Robin Ellis  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Vivien Heilbron, Robin Ellis, Basil Dignam, Martin Jarvis, Anna Cropper
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2006
  • Run Time: 221 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GAKFI6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,316 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Moonstone" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A priceless exotic jewel disappears, sending the beautiful young woman who inherited it into turmoil as misfortune follows misfortune. Stolen from a Hindu shrine by a plundering ancestor, the jewel dazzles Rachel Verinder when she receives it on her 18th birthday. But its disappearance robs her of something she values even more.

In a twisting plot that unfolds with dramatic surprises, the solution to this Victorian mystery requires the services of London detective Sergeant Cuff, whose incisive investigative work is matched only by his love of roses. Based on the 1868 novel by Wilkie Collins and starring Robin Ellis (Poldark), John Welsh (The Duchess of Duke Street), and Basil Dignam (The Pallisers). As seen on Masterpiece Theatre.

Based on the 1868 classic British detective novel The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, this 1972 BBC drama is a 221-minute, five-part period piece that seems almost theatrical thanks to its thespian delivery, scarcity of background music, and intent focus on character development. While the pace is leisurely and the dialogue sometimes difficult to discern, the story is most intriguing: A stolen Indian jewel makes its way to England and its curse threatens to destroy Rachel Verinder and her entire family even after it is stolen from the Verinder home. The best detectives fail to resolve the case and the repercussions ripple for many years as the plot twists and turns, love ebbs and flows, anger and deceit roil, and mysticism and science vie for supremacy. Featured talents are Robin Ellis, John Welsh, Basil Dignam, Vivien Heilbron and Peter Sallis and DVD extras include a Wilkie Collins biography and cast filmographies. --Tami Horiuchi

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still luminous after all these years November 9, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What a pleasure to see the original production of Collins' The Moonstone at last! The recent version was good, but this one seemed far more satisfying. I've always been a sucker for John Welsh, who was splendid as the detective. I've always been a Robin Ellis fan, so his presence was a bonus. The production held up well for its 30-odd years. I would recommend this production to those who love great British drama.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yorkshire landscape is absolutely chilling! January 12, 2007
At long last! I first viewed the multi-episode "Moonstone" on PBS after being captivated by "Upstairs, Downstairs" and the "Mystery" series. I recognized various actors who seemed to move in and out of other series "The Pallisers," etc. John Welsh -- Sgt. Cuff here, was the dotty old retainer in "Duchess of Duke Street," and Peter Sallis, Mr. Bluff in the Moonstone, shone as Mr. Bonteen in the aforementioned Pallisers, and continues to shine in "Last of the Summer Wine." The production values of the Moonstone is high; the costumes are downright rich and elegant. Clothes do tell a story -- at a glance you discerned different stations in life, occupations, values. However, the sound wavered from soft to softer, and I had to remember to turn the volume down on my TV after using the DVD player before switching back to regular TV. Hint: buy this series for yourself and after viewing, if you don't want to keep it, donate the DVD to your public library so others can enjoy it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant film to watch on a rainy day June 5, 2010
As a period piece, this BBC adaptation of Wilkie Collin's "The Moonstone" kept my attention quite well and was a pleasure to watch. For individuals who are unaware of the solution to the 'mystery,' I believe the adaptation will be even more enjoyable, although some people may have a difficult time accepting the solution to the mystery in turns of its improbable nature.

The acting in this adaptation, as well as the picture quality, are quite adequate to watch. Of course, as is true for any miniseries from the 1970s, the picture quality (4:3 aspect ratio) and style (ex: long shots rather than short 5 second clips edited together) might leave some people born in the age of high-definition, fast-paced television a bit disappointed.

However, I would certainly recommend this BBC adaptation, especially since I detested the late 1990s Masterpiece Theatre adaptation, which modernized the dialogue and behavior of the characters and could hardly be said to follow Wilkie Collin's intent.

As a final point, this BBC film adaptation released by Acorn Media does NOT contain subtitles, which was a disappointment.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth the wait January 3, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for the BBC to reissue this excellent Masterpiece Theatre production -- much superior to the shorter version released several years ago. It was worth the wait!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An enjoyable story, full of suspense, mystery, and all the trappings of period (mid 19th century) drama done well. It is BBC 1972, and has the film impression of theater style miniseries done at that time. Not normal by 21st century standards, but for those who enjoy an occasional theater performance, this Masterpiece Theatre DVD set is almost as good as live. So expect little background music, as typical in modern TV, and don't expect the sudden nano-second change of view, so typical of today's filming. Younger generations want speed, not time for thought.

This filming allows for the best to come from the actors expressions and movements, and several very accomplished actors appear in this version of the Moonstone, considered by many to be the best, even better than more recent attempts. This set stars Basis Dignam (The Pallisers- excellent series); Robin Ellis (Poldark: Series 2- a must own set); Martin Jarvis (Lorna Doone, Pallisers); John Welsh (The Duchess of Duke Street- such a delightful & long lasting series); and Peter Sallis (Last of Summer Wine, and also a major voice in Wallace & Gromit- gotta love that.) Oh there is more...

The story is unique and comes from Wilkie Collins, a long friend and colleague of Charles Dickens. Thus you get the Dickens flavor in this story, one of Collins' best known works, the other being "The Woman in White." This is partially why my belief that the theater style of filming of The Moonstone is truer to the story, since only theater, not TV, existed at the time of the writing. I'd bet the author would be pleased. A realistic adaptation. 5 episodes, 221 min, no CC.

At the date of this review, you can buy it at half the original retail cost, like I did. That is a huge plus. My wife and I agree, a keeper, one to watch again. Or share with family and friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie November 9, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love all British movies, this was well worth buying, good story line, all the acting was top notch, loved it.
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