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The Politician's Wife (1994)

 NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: June 4, 2013
  • Run Time: 195 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,162 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

BONUS Background essay by writer Paula Milne

SDH subtitles

Editorial Reviews

"Brilliant" —The Boston Globe
"Splendidly wicked" —The New York Times
"Terrifically entertaining" —USA Today
"Enticing" —The Wall Street Journal

When the tabloids catch Conservative family-values politician Duncan Matlock (Trevor Eve, Waking the Dead) in an affair with an escort (Minnie Driver, Good Will Hunting), no one is more stunned than his devoted wife, Flora (Juliet Stevenson, The Hour, Bend It Like Beckham). Pressured by her husband, the party machinery, and even her father, Flora maintains a loyal façade at first. But in private, her anguish hardens into rage after erotic telephone tapes reveal the extent of Duncan's duplicity.

Best drama winner at the International Emmys® and the BAFTA awards, The Politician's Wife is "one of the best dramas the Masterpiece Theatre series has ever produced" (The Boston Globe).

Contains coarse language, nudity, and sexual violence

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The politican's wife is a force to be reckoned with. August 31, 2004
The Politician's Wife plays out in three installments, each lasting a little over an hour. This playing time is needed to allow for the intricate plotting of this complex drama. In the first part Flora Matlock, wife of Tory minister and rising star Duncan Matlock, learns that her husband has been unfaithful to her. This infidelity is ironic given that Duncan represents the family in the conservative English government. At first Flora is surprised and angry. We watch as she packs her bags to leave her husband. Before she finishes her packing she gets pressure from all sides to support her husband. She gives in to the manipulations of the men who want to keep Duncan in power. A little later on Flora learns from Duncan's assistant that the affair with an escort girl, Jennifer Cairn, lasted for a year or so. She is given pictures and an audio tape documenting Duncan's infidelity.

In part two Flora, an exceptionally bright and capable woman, plots Duncan's downfall. Whenever she begins to question her motives, she listens to the audio tape to steel her in her resolve. Flora is as clever as Iago in Othello. We marvel at her political astuteness as she makes her plans and lays her traps for her husband, who deserves everything she does to him. In part three we hold our breath as she springs the trap and sets in motion a string of events that should keep all viewers watching closely to see what will happen next.

The Politican's Wife represents the best of television drama. The acting is first-rate by all participants, particularly Juliet Stepenson as Flora, Trevor Eve as Duncan, Ian Bannen, unfortunately now dead, as Sir Donald Frazier, confidant to Flora, and Minnie Driver as the escort girl. A large cast supports these principals superbly.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This is an enormously satisying British television program involving political hypocrisy, personal corruption and revenge. It's a mixture of cynical humor and serious political observations. And it features great acting all around.

Duncan Matlock (Trevor Eve) is an up-and-coming Tory politician who's specialities are family values and ambition. He's married to Flora Matlock (Juliet Stevenson), who loves him and who has supported his climb up the Tory ranks for years. She's the epitome of the perfect political, wealthy, loyal, socially adept but with a human touch, great at looking entranced at her husband on stage while he gives his speeches about values and family. When it's discovered he's had an affair with a former prostitute (Minnie Driver), she is devestated, but he pleads for forgiveness saying it was only a passing weakness. The Tory damage-control team, headed by Sir Donald Frazier (Ian Bannen), after weighing things for a bit, decides to swing behind Duncan and convices Flora that her husband is a changed man. She agrees to stay with him.

Then she learns Duncan's affairs go way back, that they are continuing, that he has a habit of using people, which includes her and the people who lead organizations trying to help battered women and familes, for his own ends. Flora sets out to seek her revenge...and does so with great subtlety. Duncan doesn't know what hit him until it's too late, and she gently forces Sir Donald and his inner-party big wigs to make some cynical choices. I'm not sure there's a male politician in the bunch who comes off very well -- they all seem to be self-satisfied, self-serving members of the same club. Flora beats them at their own game.

Juliet Stevenson is a first-rate acrtess, and she does a superb job.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Political Morality Tale for All Times June 1, 2004
This is one of the great revenge stories of all times. Paula Milne has written the script to a three-part miniseries seen not too long ago on Masterpiece Theatre called "The Politician's Wife." The Minister for Family (of all people) is caught in a love nest scandal. And like a certain President's wife of recent memory, his spouse is expected by The Party to stand behind him. Well, she does-and in the most original way possible. As all the Old Boys rally behind this despicable lowlife, the wife uses that very system of disinformation to get back a bit of her own. Just how she does it and with what results I refuse to say, because I want you to savor this jaundiced view of inner-party workings and how they destroy whatever traces of humanity those concerned might have had once.
Well, this show is now yours for the viewing on an Acorn Media DVD (AMP 7117), and I suggest you grab it. It is due to appear on July 6, 2004; but I wanted to give you lots of warning.
The disgusting conservative minister is played to perfection by Trevor Eve, while the equally evil (but just possibly unwitting bait in the trap) femme fatale is made very believable by Minnie Driver. But the show belongs to Juliet Stevenson as the wife who does what is considered (by men, of course) to be her duty in the most beautiful Iago-like way. My favorite part is the speech she gives to the wives of other conservative politicians, in which she thanks them sincerely for showing her that personal morality and feelings and family and true devotion must all be put aside for the sake of The Party. This Swiftian moment is nearly matched later when she tells someone about how her husband is such an accomplished liar that he has started to believe his own lies-as long as he is still speaking them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by N. Warren
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware a woman publically humiliated
This one may be fiction but we've seen true life philandering politicians and even hoped we'd see some retaliation from the wife. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Carolyn Sutter
5.0 out of 5 stars If you don't own it, you should!
I saw this film originally as a PBS release and totally fell in love with it. Recently, I was able to purchase the DVD version. I have to say.. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Darlene
5.0 out of 5 stars Tidy British drama!
The Brits do this type of drama so well. I enjoyed it immensely and watched the entire presentation in one sitting. Read more
Published 5 months ago by JayCee
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful.
How many times have news headlines featured sex scandals involving high level politicians? Exactly. Too many to count. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jon Wynne
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
We were very pleased with purchase.
Published 8 months ago by Charles Belew
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST of Masterpiece Theatre
Had two gatherings of friends to watch -- both groups agreed it was an excellent production -- timely, well written, produced and acted. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Florence M. Horn
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful political machinations
Typical British excellent presentation, with great actors and impeccable writing. Without spoiling too much, let me just say that if you like a little "revenge" theme, you... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Bun
5.0 out of 5 stars Political shenanigans
Typical politician playing away in his marriage and becomes an embarrastment for his party. but it is the wife who wins out in the end
All the actors in the roles top class.
Published 12 months ago by John G. Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent production!
I saw this on BBC America years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. For years I looked for it - (since, as far as I knew), it was never repeated on BBC America or anywhere. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Betty S. Troutwine
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