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The Strauss Family

38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Two generations of genius are brought to life in this lavish, eight-part British miniseries about one of the most talented musical families in history. THE STRAUSS FAMILY spans 85 years and chronicles the rise of Johann Strauss, Sr. from his humble beginnings to becoming one of the most famous musicians in Europe. But at the height of his success, a series of scandalous love affairs estrange him from his wife and prodigiously talented son Johann, Jr. Father and son soon become fierce rivals in the musical and political worlds of nineteenth-century Austria. THE STRAUSS FAMILY follows the advancing career of the younger Strauss as he achieves even greater fame as Vienna s Waltz King, celebrated even today for the Blue Danube waltz and Die Fledermaus.

With a superb cast including Emmy-award winner actors Derek Jacobi (Anastezsi) and Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman), and glorious renditions of the Strauss s works by the London Symphony Orchestra, THE STRAUSS FAMILY is a dramatic family saga of tragedy and triumph.

DVD Features: Cast Biographies; Selected List of Compositions

Amazon.com

British teledrama and miniseries fans--and classical music lovers--will love 1972's The Strauss Family, a soapy, well-acted look at the life of the Strauss musical dynasty in Vienna. The Strauss Family is as compulsively watchable as any dysfunctional family drama, from Dallas to Arrested Development--but the power mongering happening in 19th-century Vienna was far more subtle in the musical world. The miniseries focuses on Johann, played with equal parts passion and lazy excess by the talented young actor Eric Woofe, whose last performance this series would be. Johann's brother, Josef (Nicolas Simmonds), was the disciplined half of the brother act, though ultimately not nearly as talented as Johann. The Strauss Family traces the beginnings of the popularity of the Strauss waltz and shows just how proletarian the three-quarter time dance was in 19th-century Vienna--it almost looks like a pogo mosh pit in the local pubs where the Strauss brothers play to be barely heard above the beery din. Another treat in The Strauss Family is seeing talented young British actors just before their mega stardom, including Derek Jacobi, who has a small role as Johann's confidante, Josef Lanner. Jacobi steals every scene he's in, in a precursor to his career-changing role just four years later in I, Claudius. Also making appearances are the comely young Jane Seymour and the very talented Georgina Hale, in smaller roles. The set includes cast biographies and a handy list of compositions, though even non-classical music fans will recognize the strains of "The Blue Danube" and arias from Die Fledermaus. The Strauss Family is equally a rich tribute to a dynasty of talent and an entertaining bodice-ripper--one that can double as a music-appreciation class. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

Eight episodes
Cast biographies
Selected list of compositions

Product Details

  • Actors: Derek Jacobi, Jane Seymour
  • Directors: David Giles, Peter Potter, David Reid
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • 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: A&E Home Video (New REleaset)
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 408 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0016OKQNU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,177 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Strauss Family" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Glenn O. Radtke on September 26, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The story is a little soapy, the acting just okay, but this mini-series has the most glorious renditions of the Strauss family's music you will find. It should be a CD so you might as well buy the video.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Gridley VINE VOICE on December 7, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Writing a movie script about a family can be problematic unless the script writer knows someone has to be the central character, as did the writers of The Strauss Family. Constructed about the life of Johann Junior, this series depicts the highs and lows of the creative life.
The acting seems a bit like summer stock at times, but good writing and directorial pacing minimizes this weak link.
All in all, good history, good writing, and good acting.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A. Braswell on March 26, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Strauss family" made for TV miniseries is an interesting view of this multi-talented family. However, it shows how a dramatist can use factual material and twist it for the good of telling a story. If one knows much about this illustrious family, one knows that much is left out and much is fabricated to make an entertaining afternoon. I recommend it to those who know nothing about the family. Actually one could make a wonderful series out of the experiences of these musicians, but it would take many hours to do so. It is disappointing that this movie makes such little use of the many beautiful compositions from the several Strauss men.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on March 11, 2011
Format: DVD
Never before has the Strauss family story been told better. As accurate as any historic documentary could be, but it is presented as a period drama, and well done.
A TV mini-series (7 episodes) tells the story from when Johann Strauss I marries wife Anna., 1825. This saga ends with the death of Johann Jr., 1899. 74 years of history and music from the entire Strauss family. Members of the London Symphony Orchestra provided the music. Aesthetically appealing to the eyes and ears. And the heart. Very emotional loves and confrontations in this family saga.

It is a 1972 production so expect something slightly less than 21st century, like make-up, but the costumes and sets of this period series makes this a visual/audio extravaganza taking on new life with every generation, just like the Strauss music. You'll fall in and out of love with many of the characters, so well played, just like the Strauss family members experienced it.

Cast is wonderful with some doing little beyond this series and others just beginning like Johann Jr (Stuart Wilson-`Zorro'); Anna )Anne Stallybrass-`Heartbeat'); and Lili (Georgina Hale-`Affairs of the Heart' `T-Bag'). Superstars in their film infancy include Karoline (Jane Seymour-"Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman" and tons more) as well as Josef Lanner (Derek Jacobi-`Cadfael' `I, Claudius' `The King's Speech' and the list goes on and on.) Those two's works are now more famous than some of the Strauss musical pieces, perhaps.

Episode details (unfortunately without subtitles or CC):
1-ANNA marries Johann Strauss after becoming pregnant. Roommate/friend, Josef Lanner, soon turns to musical opponent. Johann forbids his own son Johann Jr (nick-named Schanni) a music future. Johann meets Emilie.
Read more ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dave on September 12, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was very enjoyable and about the right length to cover the subject. Wonderful music.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Josephine N. Hood on December 15, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was one of the best movie I have watch in a longtime. The music was wonderful so was the story line. I love biographies and this was one of the best.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wetvet on March 13, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great series...some episodes are a little grainy presumably from the transfer of the old BBC masters, but others are fine. Enjoyed the history and performances immensely.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By vmw on August 3, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
You'll like it if you enjoy period films and the music of Strauss. I'm not familiar with the cast, but I enjoyed it. This movie seems more like a play than a film.
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