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The Up Series (Seven Up / 7 Plus Seven / 21 Up / 28 Up / 35 Up / 42 Up)


Price: $101.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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DVD 5-Disc Version
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The Up Series (Seven Up / 7 Plus Seven / 21 Up / 28 Up / 35 Up / 42 Up) + 56 Up + 49 Up
Price for all three: $141.26

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Balden, Jacqueline Bassett, Symon Basterfield, Andrew Brackfield, John Brisby
  • Directors: Michael Apted, Paul Almond
  • Writers: Michael Apted
  • Producers: Michael Apted, Bill Jones, Claire Lewis, Derek Granger, Margaret Bottomley
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Collector's Edition, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 576 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002S64SC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,117 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Up Series (Seven Up / 7 Plus Seven / 21 Up / 28 Up / 35 Up / 42 Up)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Exclusive interview: "Roger Ebert talks with Michael Apted"
  • Photo gallery for each film
  • Michael Apted biography

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Starting in 1964 with Seven Up, renowned director Michael Apted has explored this Jesuit maxim. The original concept was to interview 14 children from diverse backgrounds from all over England, asking them about their lives and their dreams for the future. Every seven years, Apted has been back to talk to the same subjects, examining the progression of their lives. From cab driver Tony to East End schoolmates Jackie, Lynn, and Susan and the heart-breaking Neil, we see, as they enter their 40's, how close these subjects are to realizing their ambitions. An extraordinary look at the structure of life in the 20th century, The Up Series is, according to Roger Ebert, "an inspired, almost noble use of the film medium. Apted penetrates to the central mystery of life."

Amazon.com

The premise behind the Up series is deceptively simple: take a cross-section of children at age 7, ask them about their hopes for the future, and then return every seven years to mark their progress. However, the results of these experiments, launched in 1963 by Britain's Granada Television, are anything but mundane, and their revelations about society, maturation, and the human condition were compiled into six extraordinary films, packaged together for the first time in this five-disc set. We meet the 14 children whose lives we will follow for the next 36 years in Seven Up, a episode of the television series The World in Action and directed by Paul Almond. What becomes evident almost immediately is that class and background will have an indelible effect on the kids for the rest of their lives; the upper-class boys and girls seem confident to the point of boorishness, while the middle- and working-class children seem resigned to a life of hard work or inevitable failure due to their backgrounds.

Fascinated by the footage, Almond's assistant, Michael Apted (later the director of The World Is Not Enough, among others, and president of the Directors' Guild), proposed to revisit the subjects every seven years, and in 1970, 7 Plus Seven was released, followed by 21 Up in '77, 28 Up in '84, 35 Up in '91, and the most recent entry, 42 Up, in '99 (Apted plans to continue the project). And the changes that occur to the original 14 (some of whom drop out of the project) are among the most fascinating and often tragic ever recorded on film. Success, failure, marriage and childbirth, poverty, illness--almost every possible element of the human experience passes before Apted's camera. And while each of the children's stories is riveting, the viewer will undoubtedly be gripped by that of Neil, a shy boy who endures incredible hardships. A one-of-a-kind series and sociological experiment, The Up Series is required viewing for not only documentary fans but any viewer with a curiosity about and concern for their fellow humans. The DVD set includes commentary by Apted on 42 Up. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews

I love having the whole series--I had never seen any of them--and being able to watch them.
Barbara Nelson Wright
It is a real incite into the human soul and the human experience as these people make their way through life and have to deal with whatever life throws at them.
Michael J. Oldfield
A wonderful examination of how the class structure in England has changed over decades and how people have matured, made choices and dealt with life.
Thalia Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

155 of 159 people found the following review helpful By The Rocketman on November 27, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Given one of the most sublime points of this series, that time is precious and fleeting, it's interesting to see that people ask why they should spend so much money on this series, rather than the more important question of why should they spend so much time.

I resisted seeing 42 UP in the theater because I knew that one day these films would be on DVD and I wanted the pure experience of watching them all. Well, here they are and I'm not disappointed.

While Apted is very skillful in using previous clips to make each work stand on it's own, it's far more valuable to see each new clip as it unspools in real-time. For one thing, Apted can't know the future when he makes each installment and so can't edit with an eye to the future (and he admits on the commentary track of 42 UP that the two times he tried, he got it completely wrong -- and in one of those cases lost a valuable participant). For another, much of the richness of each interview is necessarily lost when it's chopped down to a sentence or two in later editions. Some of the most telling and poignant moments are those when one of the subjects gives a look to the camera (or the loved one next to them) in silence. Even Apted comments that about 80% of a particular film is edited out when he makes the next one.

While it's true there is a bit of repetition if you watch all these movies back to back, the total sweep of the experience is awesome which more than makes up for it. Apted does an amazing job by not commenting at all on the subjects (except through editing), letting the individuals speak for themselves. Their statements are loaded in a way that only an outside observe can see.
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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful By GTinsdale on October 6, 2007
Format: DVD
***SPOILER ALERT***

There is no doubt that this series is one of the most interesting ever committed to film. Following the lives of a dozen Brits from the age of 7 through 49, the series is both fascinating and heartbreaking. It's impossible to watch the series without engaging in a guessing game, wondering where in life each will be when the next film in the series is released. It's also impossible to watch the series and not identify with the participants, seeing yourself in each of them. Few films have had the sociological impact of the Up Series.

However, while watching each of the films back-to-back, an uncomfortable feeling began to settle in. Despite director Michael Apted's insightful approach, at times he seems to ignore the fact that a documentarian's role is to serve as an impartial participant and that his opinion has no place in the telling of the story.

Apted often conducts his interviews with those from working-class backgrounds, and are still living in working-class environs, with the assumption that they must be miserable. Presumably, this is due to his own set of experiences. Though Apted was raised in a lower-income section of London, he managed to secure a scholarship to the City of London School and then studied law and history at Cambridge University. His attitude at times appears to say, "I succeeded, so why can't you?" Several times he asks these working-class participants if they aren't capable of more than what they are currently doing, not recognizing that several of them are either quite content with their lives or simply haven't had the opportunities or means to build better lives for themselves.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By thisisgibbie on April 23, 2005
Format: DVD
It was on a cold January day in 1988 that I first saw 28 Up on PBS in Central Indiana and later 35 Up in the theater in Seattle with 42 Up, like most people these days - on video at home. My point is that there is a personal history in this series that goes from the participants and producers to the public.

For all of its strengths and weaknesses, this is a very human documentation of English people as they grow up and mature. As I have written before, in agreement with Roger Ebert, this is one of the most important films (collective) of our time. It is a documentation of people in our times that takes us beyond the hyperbole and fabrication of media culture and gives us real people in their real settings. Also important is that it is an invited world and not one of voyerism. These peoples lives are uniquely important and the series shows how media and political presuppositions can't box people into class units, which is what was originally intended and I applaud Apted for continuing the series and allowing the series people to have their own voice. Some have dropped out for their own personal reasons.

This is one of the most important historical documents from our times.

A friend in the UK has emailed me and said that Apted is at work on the series (currently written in 2005) and that 49 Up should be ready by Christmas.

Looking forward to the next installment.

This should be in your library, if you value history and documentaries at their best.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By R. Cox on November 8, 2004
Format: DVD
I first became aware of this series when, at age 21, I saw "21 Up" in the theater. It was one of the most fascinating movies that I had ever seen. Until "28 Up". And, then, until "35 Up". (You get the idea here).

As each new chapter unspooled, the lessons about childhood, society, class and life in general become deeper and more profound. If this all sounds oh so very boring, it is not.

You will return to these films over and over again, and learn something new each time you view them.
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Similar series in other countries
I would love to know about buying all those other versions, too. I saw the US age 14 and 21(as well as Age 7) and USSR/Russia Age 7 & 14, on various cable & PBS channels. USSR/Russia was fantastic. It seems impossible to find these docs to watch, let alone to buy.
Jun 7, 2013 by City Dweller |  See all 2 posts
Unanswerable questions
You can find quite a bit on YouTube, for example here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IgtHyS1nVU
Feb 12, 2009 by Amazon Customer |  See all 4 posts
2 random Questions (Neil and Bruce) Be the first to reply
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