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Upstairs Downstairs: Series One, 40th Anniversary Edition (1971)

David Langton , Rachel Gurney , Bill Bain , Brian Parker  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Upstairs Downstairs: Series One, 40th Anniversary Edition + Upstairs, Downstairs: Series Two + UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS, SERIES 4
Price for all three: $100.25

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Langton, Rachel Gurney, Angela Baddeley, Jean Marsh, Gordon Jackson
  • Directors: Bill Bain, Brian Parker, Christopher Hodson, Derek Bennett, Herbert Wise
  • Writers: Alfred Shaughnessy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 650 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004H0ZH20
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,683 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Upstairs Downstairs: Series One, 40th Anniversary Edition" on IMDb

Special Features

The Making of Upstairs, Downstairs, Part 1 (16:9 widescreen and stereo)
episode commentaries
alternate pilot episode

Editorial Reviews

"Charmingly seductive" --The New York Times

6+ hours of new bonus material

Iconic British series seen on Masterpiece Theatre and A&E

Upstairs: the wealthy, aristocratic Bellamys. Downstairs: their loyal and lively servants. For nearly 30 years, they share a fashionable townhouse at 165 Eaton Place in London’s posh Belgravia neighborhood, surviving social change, political upheaval, scandals, and the horrors of the First World War.

Set between 1903 and 1909, Series One introduces Sir Richard Bellamy and his elegant wife, Marjorie, who reside upstairs with their dissolute son, James, and headstrong daughter, Elizabeth. Living and working downstairs are Hudson, the proper butler; Mrs. Bridges, the garrulous cook; the calm and watchful maid Rose; and many more. In this Emmy® winner for outstanding drama series, love blooms, tragedy strikes, scandals are avoided, and wedding bells sound.

Starring Jean Marsh (Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse), David Langton (The Spoils of War), Simon Williams (Sword of Honour), Nicola Pagett (A Bit of a Do), Gordon Jackson (The Professionals), Angela Baddeley (Martin Chuzzlewit), Christopher Beeny (Last of the Summer Wine), and Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine).

color/b&w (episodes 2–5 & 7)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Stunning in costume & set detail. Shows life of the working class (Downstairs) as they serve the aristocratic (Upstairs) Bellamy family. Led by butler Hudson (Gordon Jackson) the classic Edwardian masterful plots in this funny and dramatic back time-travel for years 1903 to 1909. Series Two, also available, is 1904-1910.
Series 1 has 13 episodes introducing cast, Bellamy house trials, scandal, love, and the delight of seeing the wonderfully differences between classes. Great plots in every episode. Always sub-plots, upstairs and downstairs. Some topics were quite daring in the 70s. This is huge Emmy earner drama that went on for 5 series. The 40th anniversary Edition, "Upstairs Downstairs Series 1-5", is now available and the economical way to buy the saga.

Sir Richard Bellamy MP (David Langton) and Lady Marjorie (Rachel Gurney) with heir Lt James (Simon Williams) and Miss Elizabeth (Nicola Pagett-`A Bit of a Do') who need quite a crew downstairs to keep their house in order. Mrs. Bridges (Angela Brddeley) cooks up a storm, while maid Rose (Jean Marsh, co-creator) helps keep linens and affairs tidy. The pilot introduces new servant Sarah (Pauline Collins), who adds saucy spice to the house on both ends of the stairs. Footman Alfred (George Innes) who quotes Bible, Perce (Brian Osborne) is lady's-man coachman, times being yet horse and carriage. They seem to become your family.

ALL episodes have SUBTITLES and a very sturdy, compact case for the 4 discs. Bonus of 56 min "Making Of." The pilot was remade after a 70s technician strike, and in color. An alternate pilot episode is also included. Of the 13 episodes, 2,3,4,5, &7 are B/W due to the strike. All others in color, including pilot.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WORTH EVERY CENT I PAID FOR IT!!!! April 10, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Other reviewers have thoroughly described how wonderful this series I will not need to do that. Let me just say that, after reading that PBS would be airing a new, follow-up series to the original Upstairs, Downstairs, I decided that I needed to refresh my memory of the original. I was a bit shocked to see how much it would cost to purchase the full series, so I decided to start out by purchasing this DVD of season One. Believe me, it was a wise decision. Viewing this wonderful first year of the series was enough to bring back all my memories of the two wonderful groups of people chronicled in this timeless drama. And there are 6 hours of bonus materials! If, like me, you are on a somewhat limited budget, I suggest you purchase this DVD before watching the new was worth every cent!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Television Classic" January 19, 2011
Probably the greatest TV series ever to be made in England, "Upstairs, Downstairs" takes place in the early 1900's and follows the lives of the rich Bellamy family living in a posh area in London. The drama unfolds as the Bellamy's lives are intertwined by their servants who live "downstairs" in an elegant and beautiful mansion.

Like most soap opera the writer's of "Upstairs, Downstairs" realized that if you pit the working class against the jet-set drama will unfold and great television viewing will ensue.

In "Upstairs, Downstairs: Series 1" 13 episodes are included and run approximately 50 minutes. The first six episodes were shot in black and white with subsequent shows filmed in color. However, it is believed the first show (the pilot) has been wiped, so an episode shot in color was made.

Debuting October 30, 1971 on England's ITV channel, most North Americans discovered the serial through airings on local PBS channels and cable's A&E netowrk during the late '70's and 1980's while viewers north of the border in Canada watched via the CBC.

This box set is also available with the entire series housed in "Upstairs, Downstairs: The Complete Series-40th Anniversary Collection" that contains over 25 hours of addition new bonus material.

The series has been revived on the BBC as of late 2010.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mini-series November 27, 2013
By kevin
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best British television series of early 20th century British life and joys. I strongly recommend that others need to buy the complete series. We have access to all five seasons and we are on our seconding viewing of all five seasons. Outstanding acting from the entire cast and fine writing and directing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Have the entire collection May 13, 2014
Just Love it! Have one more season to's great, worth the $200. The first few shows were black and white because of a strike, but the following shows were great...Love both the upstairs and downstairs families and it was a joy watching them go through their the happy and sad times..Love the characters! One season does not tell their story..give them a chance...
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1.0 out of 5 stars snore April 1, 2014
By bklyn
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I missed Doenton Abbey since it was over so soon. I remember the big talk about thid show back when it was on so i took a chance with one season. Just watched two episodes and it just seems boring. MAybe i have to wait and get more involved with the characters.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Does not come close to Downton Abbey January 18, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My wife did not want to watch more than 20 mins of this as she has been spoiled by Downton Abbey and this does not hold a candle to that !
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1.0 out of 5 stars Would Not Recommend November 25, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Thought it might be similar in them as Downton Abbey, but it was just too silly to even sit it out after 10 minutes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Quality or Poor Original Recording
I was excited to get this DVD and popped it into my DVD player almost immediately. I was very dissatisfied overall. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Randi Odierno
3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay.
The story line did not catch my attention like most of these series have. I love Downton Abbey. You require too much explanation, that is why I don't respond most of the time. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Glennie
5.0 out of 5 stars great drama story of bygone era
I swa it years ago on PBS. I like all of the characters & the story line. Very believable. Authentic
Published 15 months ago by Irene Borg
2.0 out of 5 stars Let down
After first watching Downton abbey,upstairs downstairs, was a bit of a let down,did not enjoy at all.i would not purchase series 2.
Published 16 months ago by Mimi
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Period Chronicle
I ordered "Upstairs Downstairs" because I had enjoyed other pieces about English gentry life of the same era. I thoroughly enjoyed season one. Read more
Published 16 months ago by J. Alberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
If you like Downton Abbey, you'll like Upstairs, Downstairs. It's set just a little over a decade earlier; and it portrays life from the point of view of both masters and servants.
Published 16 months ago by Mary R
1.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs down for Upstairs Downstairs copy
poor quality, could hear noise in the background of dialogue, visual was grainy and of poor quality, box in poor condition
Published 16 months ago by RI Ro
4.0 out of 5 stars The original Downtown Abbey
Had fond memories of watching this with my mother on PBS many years ago... Well acted and written.. Easy to watch once you get used to it being shot on video.
Published 17 months ago by Gianpaolo Bonaca
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