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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious travel back in time via DVD....
THE NOEL COWARD collection....is simply a treasure. Yes, we will each
have slightly different favorites...but...there is not a dud in the whole box. And, there is a monumental ammount of material...and all of it first rate. I becan with disc TWO and ran one dvd a night...and
THEN did disc ONE and watched "The Vortex" last...and indeed, it was not a personal...
Published on September 30, 2007 by Richard Dodge

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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Noel Coward Collection (BBC Video)
The plays and radio plays chosen were generally interesting -- even if more variety rather than sometimes the play and radio version of the same thing on the same disk. But the engineering and production was an abomination. The acts of "Private Lives" on radio were out of order, and the third act of "Blithe Spirit" was left out entirely. In addition, the disks were...
Published on July 23, 2008 by Susan M. Blackman


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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious travel back in time via DVD...., September 30, 2007
This review is from: The Noel Coward Collection (DVD)
THE NOEL COWARD collection....is simply a treasure. Yes, we will each
have slightly different favorites...but...there is not a dud in the whole box. And, there is a monumental ammount of material...and all of it first rate. I becan with disc TWO and ran one dvd a night...and
THEN did disc ONE and watched "The Vortex" last...and indeed, it was not a personal favorite...but it was well done and beautifully mounted like everything in this collection. Yes, there were nine plays in TONIGHT AT 8:30...and only EIGHT are included on this disc. Joan Collins is a total delight in all of them...and she plays a wide variety of roles
from glamourous through frumpy. All I can say...is...I have never bought a BOX so full of treasures and so entertaining throughout. I have
watched everything and still have all the audio only features to examine.
You will NOT get more BANG for your BUCH anywhere. THIS IS IT.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOEL COWARD CLASSICS. YES, EVEN JOAN COLLINS IS GOOD!, March 16, 2008
By 
Alan W. Petrucelli (THE ENTERTAINMENT REPORT (ALAN W. PETRUCELLI)) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Noel Coward Collection (DVD)
Throughout the years, the BBC has broadcast any number of Coward's immensely witty and wise works, and they are here, it what may be called a true embarrassment of riches. They have been cut and re-arranged for television, and some of the casts may leave a bit to be desired, but all in all it's a great collection of stuff by one of the masters of entertainment of the twentieth century.
Margaret Leighton plays the besotted mother in 1969 broadcast of Coward's 1924 smash The Vortex; Alec McCowen plays Elyot in a 1976 Private Lives; the ever lovely Rula Lenska essays Gilda, the female corner of a ménage in Design for Living; the magnificent Donald Sinden plays the narcissistic actor in Present Laughter and Geraldine McEwan, Deborah Kerr and Sir Paul Scofield are in Coward's last masterpiece, Suite in Two Keys. And, as someone once said, you ain't heard nothing yet. Coward wrote a number of short stories that were, with greater and lesser success, adapted for television. Since Coward, a master at play construction, chose to write these in prose should tell us something, and some of these programs have a weary sense of tediousness and lack of focus. However, with British stars such as Tom Courtney, Dame Judi Dench, Ian Holm and Susannah York, and each clocking in at less than an hour, they are curiosities worth investigating. The greatest curiosity is the Joan Collins Repertory Company doing eight of the one-act plays from Tonight at Eight-Thirty. The plays, their casts and production values are quite fantastic. Collins rises to the occasion brilliantly, giving a star turn in each---beautiful, warm, touching, hysterically funny and a far cry from the sex-ridden harridan she usually plays on this side of the pond. Added to this intoxicating mix are several radio adaptations of the plays, including Dame Judi in Hay Fever and Stephen Fry in Private Lives, a bizarre but fascinating 1978 variety television show called The Songwriters that features cabaret like performances of Coward's songs, and best of all, a couple of BBC interviews with Coward on acting and writing. This collection is a delight, and proves that Coward had vastly more than merely a talent to amuse.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MARVELLOUS PLAYING!, November 24, 2007
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This review is from: The Noel Coward Collection (DVD)
I HAVE NOT YET ENJOYED THE WHOLE SET BUT WHAT I'VE SEEN IS EXTRAORDINARILY NICE. I SUGGEST YOU IMMEDIATELY GO TO "HANDS ACROSS THE SEA": A LITTLE PLAY BUT THE FUN IS BIG BIG BIG. THE PLAYS (EVEN IF I DON'T LOVE "DESIGN FOR LIVING") ARE MARVELLOUSLY ACTED. FIVE STARS OUGHT TO BE GIVEN TO THIS SET, BUT I GIVE FOUR, OWING TO THE RADIO PLAYS WHICH ARE TAPED WITHOUT CHAPTERS AND YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GIVE A PAUSE TO YOUR LISTENING! WHAT A PITY.
E. G. OPPICELLI / GENOVA CERTOSA, ITALY
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Indispensible, November 16, 2008
By 
J. Lane (Sacramento, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Noel Coward Collection (DVD)
If you ever doubted that Noel Coward was a great writer, then buy this collection and be persuaded. Glittering productions of most of his masterpieces, with splendid casts. I missed BLITHE SPIRIT, but I guess you can't have everything (it is represented, however, in a radio production).

The collection as a whole is a rave, but I do want to single out a few of my personal favorites: Penelope Keith, who stars in both HAY FEVER and PRIVATE LIVES, is a particular standout; she has the Coward style absolutely to a "T." Rula Lenska (who achieved fame here in the 1970s when she did a series of commercials for Alberto VO5 hairspray) is lusciously luminous in DESIGN FOR LIVING. Joan Collins's anthology series TONIGHT AT 8:30 presents eight of Coward's famous (and not-so-famous but still worthy) one-acts, in perfect productions -- including fine, vanity-free performances from Collins herself that will give you a new respect for her. I could go on an on; suffice to say every item in this 7-disc collection is worth seeing, and many of them are unforgettable.

The package isn't flawless; some of the (audio only) radio productions are difficult to access, and the radio PRIVATE LIVES doesn't play in the proper order -- if you don't know the play you'll be awfully confused listening to it (better watch the superb production with Ms. Keith and Alec McCowen first, just to familiarize yourself).

All of these productions are British TV productions from the 1970s and '80s that, as far as I know, were never broadcast in the U.S., so every disc is a revelation. If you are a fan of Noel Coward, or theater, or great sophisticated comedy, you absolutely cannot be without this superb collection. It's an embarrassment of riches.

And best of all, as great as this set is, enough of Coward's career is left untouched to supply an equally lavish Volume Two. So how about it, BBC...?
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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Noel Coward Collection (BBC Video), July 23, 2008
This review is from: The Noel Coward Collection (DVD)
The plays and radio plays chosen were generally interesting -- even if more variety rather than sometimes the play and radio version of the same thing on the same disk. But the engineering and production was an abomination. The acts of "Private Lives" on radio were out of order, and the third act of "Blithe Spirit" was left out entirely. In addition, the disks were frequently flawed enough so that they stopped and skipped. It was a nice idea, but the production is bad enough to make us wary of purchasing any BBC Video productions.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeds all hopes and expectations, December 27, 2007
This review is from: The Noel Coward Collection (DVD)
Absolutely fabulous, to coin a phrase. "Hay Fever" alone makes this set worth the price. Best-buy entertainment of the year.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Noel Coward Collection, July 24, 2011
This review is from: The Noel Coward Collection (DVD)
A great idea, and most of the plays are excellently produced and acted. But the technical quality of the set is simply not acceptable, especially from a "brand" as prestigious as the BBC. In addition to those physical defects noted by the other reviewers, Act 1 of Design for Living on disc 3 is simply not viewable, too many skips-stops-halts- and finally complete failure. The play can only be watched by using the SELECT SCENES feature and selecting "Scene 3", thereby skipping the entirety of Act 1 and starting at the beginning of Act 2. I tried three different copies of the disc (one purchased, and two copies rented from each of the major video-rental chains) played on a dvd player and two different computers, and the problem existed on all three discs, obviously a manufacturing flaw rather than a random defect. That being said, if you're a committed Noel Coward fan, and can tolerate the frustrations of this seriously flawed set, it is and will be the only source for these plays as they are not likely to be produced and recorded for sale again in our lifetime.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Treat for Noel Coward Fans, February 13, 2008
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This review is from: The Noel Coward Collection (DVD)
This 7-disc album is a feast for Noel Coward devotees. You will find in this album his plays, dramatizations of his short stories, music and interviews. No matter that some items are somewhat dated. There are enough delicious treats so that you can choose your favorites among them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Present Laughter fabulous....the rest a BORE!!, May 12, 2011
By 
Operafilly (Fallbrook, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Noel Coward Collection (DVD)
After suffering thru several of these, poorly acted, laugh tracks inserted capriciously, etc. etc., I came to Present Laughter. This play is sooooo rich in various kinds of humour and satire. The actors and direction are a total delight. I cannot imagine an actor who comes anywhere near Donald Sinden. He is just incredible. I can watch this one over and over. It is so richly done I always find something new in it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Talent To Amuse, December 27, 2008
By 
M. J. O'Sullivan (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Noel Coward Collection (DVD)
The Coward Collection is a generous serving of the Master's works, principally culled from BBC production of the late 1970's and 1980's. If some of the productions are showing their age, there is still much to enjoy. Hay Fever, one of the earliest and funniest plays, received a curiously static and slow-moving treatment with a stellar cast valiantly battling the direction. Present Laughter is a filmed stage production with the redoubtable Donald Sinden in full mugging mode: but he nails the laughs.Cutaways to the audience are irritating, but possible were used as editing points. Ian Holm and Judi Dench in Mr. & Mrs. Edgehill, Tom Courtenay in Me And The Girls, Margaret Leighton in The Vortex (wildly melodramatic but undeniably powerful): there is much to treasure. Highly recommended.
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The Noel Coward Collection
The Noel Coward Collection by Noel Coward (DVD - 2007)
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