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The Rector's Wife

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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(Feb 27, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the most memorable British dramas of the 1990's stars Lindsay Duncan (Rome, Under the Tuscan Sun) as a spirited woman caught in a dying marriage. Also staring Joyce Redman, Pam Ferris, and Prunella Scales. Based on the bestselling novel by Joanna Trollope. As seen on Masterpiece Theatre

Amazon.com

Lindsay Duncan's lean yet luminous face will draw you in to the story of The Rector's Wife. Anna Bouverie (Duncan, Rome) chafes at her limited life as a vicar's wife in a small English town. When her husband Peter (Jonathan Coy, from the Horatio Hornblower series) is passed over for a promotion and her daughter is bullied at school, Anna gets a job at a supermarket in another town--a small act of independence that sets off gossip, domestic fights, and worse. When Anna meets another man who seems to understand her frustrations, she stumbles into an affair. The Rector's Wife, in its broad outlines, combines a romance novel plot with feminist themes, but its real strength is the richness of the characters, both in the writing and the performances. Duncan's performance is wonderfully three-dimensional and seemingly background character keep popping out with vivid details (Prunella Scales, Fawlty Towers, and Pam Farris, Rosemary & Thyme, have great scenes). This four-episode mini-series is sort of a British version of An Unmarried Woman--less concerned with psychology and more attuned to the social pressures of a small town, but nonetheless an engaging portrait of a woman struggling towards independence. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Joanna Trollope bio
  • Cast filmographies

Product Details

  • Actors: Lindsay Duncan, Jonathan Coy, Miles Anderson, Lucy Dawson, Simon Fenton
  • Directors: Giles Foster
  • Writers: Joanna Trollope
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ACORN MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: February 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 203 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000L2128Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,975 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Rector's Wife" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
THE RECTOR'S WIFE is one the most memorable British television productions from the 1990s. The lovely and accomplished Lindsay Duncan's understated, yet powerful performance as Anna Bouverie captures all the character's frustrations, disappointments and, finally, flowering in the wake of new love and the potential of a new life away from a loveless marriage and oppressive community. The film offers insightful comment about the nature of marriage and of the role of religion in modern society without being preachy or judgmental; if one chooses to ignore these themes, the film can just be enjoyed as fine, compelling drama. With Miss Duncan, there is fine support from the wonderful Stephen Dillane and from Ronald Pickup and, as always, Prunella Scales. Well worth repeated viewings.
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Format: DVD
On my copy of this DVD set the first DVD had the first and second episodes reversed. Make sure if you watch this that the episode identified as #2 is the one you watch first. Episode # 1 should begin with The Rector's wife doing some office work. Episode #2 begins with a sort of pastoral country village scene. The second DVD doesn't have any problem.
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Format: VHS Tape
A classic story of a woman's efforts to remain a good wife while taking new risks. Anna Bouverie has spent the last 20 years of her life struggling to keep her family financially afloat, in spite of her husband's less than lavish salary in the parish.
The last straw occurs when he is passed over for a promotion and Anna has to face the fact that she will have to take things into her own hands as well. But how does she do this without tipping the balance? Unfortunately, her efforts brings about the disapproval of those in the parish as well as the anger of her husband.
Anna is forced to form a new identity for herself, not an easy task after all the time she's spent within the protection (and confines) of her marriage. A very believable look at the challenges faced by one woman trying to break out of her shell.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had no preconceived notions about this series and was not familiar with most of the actors so I had kind of low expectations to begin with. I was surprised at the depth of emotions expressed by the characters. Lindsay Duncan is so realistic as the put upon wife. And make no mistake, she is in an unenviable situation with the demands of family and everyone in the village. She has almost no life of her own, as is the case with anyone married to the church, so to speak. Fortunately she gains a little freedom when she takes a job to earn money for the education of one of her children. Then comes more freedom as she slowly loosens the bonds of being responsible for everything in her orbit. You can see how she blossoms as time moves forward. The supporting actors do a wonderful job with their roles but Stephen Dillane shines as the confidant and lover. Every role was realistic and I will watch the series again to catch what I missed the first go-around. Thumbs up!
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Format: VHS Tape
I was pleasently surprised by this mini series. A very well written story about a woman's (Muriel Pavlow) life as a rectors wife and how it isn't really her life at all. Every move she makes and everything she says is controlled by her husband and the congregation. When she begins to feel overwhelmed by this, her husband is so self-absorbed with the church that he forgets his duties as a husband. So, she turns to the outside world and discovers a whole new refreshing life. She finds a job as a stocker to raise money for her daughter to attend a private school and she loves it. Now, the church and her husband are very upset that she is disgracing the church which makes her drift even farther away from them. I was very impressed with the acting and characters. I could feel the frustration she was feeling and wanted to scream with her. Stephen Dillane plays the brother of one of the heads of the church. He's a rebel and wins the heart of the rectors wife. His acting is wonderful, as usual. Apparently, some of the scenes were edited out. I would have liked to have seen them. I don't know if it was for content or to keep the length to a minimum but, I would have enjoyed the whole thing even more. What I liked about this story is the realism of people and the church. A must see to appreciate.
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