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 NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Portuguese
  • 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: May 1, 2012
  • Run Time: 667 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007701RFS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,006 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Bonus Interviews with A Woman of Substance producer and star Diane Baker (18 min.) and with author Barbara Taylor Bradford (59 min.) and Bradford biography and booklist

SDH subtitles

Note: Due to the age of these programs and the improved resolution that DVD provides, you may notice occasional flaws in the image and audio on this DVD presentation that were beyond our ability to correct from the original materials

Editorial Reviews

Propelled by star-studded casts and rich period detail, these brilliant adaptations of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s bestselling novels bring to life two of her most unforgettable heroines. The beloved trilogy that begins with Emma Harte’s remarkable rise from servant girl to international retailing magnate comes full circle when Emma’s granddaughter must struggle against powerful enemies to keep the family’s corporate empire from collapsing. From beginning to end, these are inspiring stories of love, power, and determination.

Three Complete Miniseries:

A Woman of Substance—Hailed by TV Guide as "drama that approaches the best we ever get to see on the small screen." Starring Jenny Seagrove, Liam Neeson, Deborah Kerr, and Barry Bostwick.
Hold the Dream—The passionate sequel called "absolutely addicting" by TV Guide. Starring Jenny Seagrove, Stephen Collins, Deborah Kerr, James Brolin, and Liam Neeson.
To Be the Best—The final chapter in a storytelling masterpiece. Starring Lindsay Wagner, Anthony Hopkins, Stephanie Beacham, and Christopher Cazenove.

"Absolutely addicting" —TV Guide

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
A trilogy of substance. 3 Barbara Taylor Bradford books adapted to mini-series, now a complete epic. In bonus film of the author, she praises adaptations, she always influenced content, and her husband produced 2 & 3. "It was faithful to the book."--BTB. Bradford said Jenny Seagrove was indeed the young Emma she envisioned. Long novels, therefore some cutting. What's left is great British drama of not a women's libber, but a driven woman successful in a man's business world.

Cast is stellar. Jenny Seagrove is flawless as young Emma in #1, then Gr-daughter Paula in #2. Deborah Kerr is 1980s Emma in #1 & #2 (her last performance ever). Diane Baker played Laura, but was the force behind the series' start. Biggest surprise is Liam Neeson a new face in his 30s, as Blackie, lifetime lover/friend to Emma. He was as good then as he is today. Meg Wynn Owen (Upstairs, Downstairs), Peter Chelsom, Steven Collins, James Brolin, Claire Bloom (King's Speech), Christopher Cazenove, Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, Monarch of the Glen), Bionic Lindsay Wagner, Anthony Hopkins...well, many & more.

SUBTITLED. My wife and I enjoyed all 3 series. #1 `A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE' best, #2 `HOLD THE DREAM' almost equally but you do have to get used to the lead actress changing roles, & #3 `TO BE THE BEST' perhaps not the best, but a modern finish to the saga. Comparisons one to the other can/& are written, but it's best to simply enjoy the DVDs, not as the novels, but as video entertainment well worth the price.

A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE-3 episodes In 1905 young Emma is maid at Fairley Hall, Squire (Peter Egan), alcoholic Mrs (Nicola Pagett) & 1 good son (Chelsom), 1 bad (Christopher Gable). Builder Blackie (Leeson) arrives for repairs meeting Emma, who's Ma (Meg Wynn Owen) is seriously ill.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of substance, but not a lot of quality April 5, 2005
I bought this trilogy on the strength of the 5 star review I had read. To save someone else the disappointment I received, I am writing my first review.

The first of the 3, the title piece, was worth watching and on it's own might rate 4 stars. But the quality of the other two fell off dramaticly and I wouldn't give either of them more than 2 stars. Have our standards changed so much in the last 14-20 years since these were made and first broadcast, or would they have seemed just as insipid to me if I had seen them then, I wonder? I suppose if you have read and enjoyed the books (which I have not) you might have a different opinion. But I found the story rather contrived, the acting mediocre, and the characters underdeveloped and unappealing. Even the love scenes were uninspiring. The worst part, though, I think would have to be the cheesy background music which made it impossible to forget that I was watching a repackaged 80's miniseries.

So buy it only if you are a big Barbara Taylor Bradford fan and can overlook some major shortcomings. This trilogy has certainly not made a fan of me.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly wonderful June 5, 2012
This is a wonderful series.
It is indeed a rags to riches.... In reference to the previous review: when did pulling oneself up by the bootstraps not involve some serious sacrifice & hard work?

My Mother recorded this on VHS years ago & I can hardly wait for it to arrive on DVD. ----------- I found it inspiring, motivating & most entertaining.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By England
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I waited a long time to see all three of these stories. I was not dissapointed! My favorite was the first which is called Woman of Substance. The choice of actors was brillant and Jenny Seagrove was especially good. I hate it when a film does not follow the book and i was worried as I had read the book some years before. Not to worry!! This time they got it right.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great DVD! December 22, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was so happy when I learn that "A Woman of Substance" series was coming to DVD. These are two great DVD's(while Hold the Dream is okay)The picture and sound on all three movie's is great. My only complaint is why was Lindsey Wagner casted for "Hold the Dream?" The change in the cast hurts this movie. Overall, "The woman of substance" trilogy is must for any fan of the books.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars woman of substance June 24, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Not quite as good as I expected. Perhaps it was because I had read the book, it didn't quite live up to my expectation. However, it was better than any currently produced movies.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointed June 4, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
After reading the reviews, I thought this sounded like an enjoyable trilogy - a 'rags to riches' story, which can sometimes be enjoyable.

I found the overall negativity - while probably very true to human nature - unappealing. Too much vengence, too much hate, and no real happy moments to balance.

It was more a story about a woman who gave up 'living' to prove she was as good as those she hated, than someone who overcame all odds to make a place for herself and her children in a world dominated (at the time she began) by men. She becomes just as ruthless and uncaring as the ones she's trying to prove her worth to, simply 'proving' to the viewer that you can't win by being a different type of person than the 'examples' you have been shown.

Maybe I'm too Pollyanna, but I feel we can all WIN, and still stay true to our values - we don't have to become even worse than those we see around us who have apparently succeeded - if only by amassing a lot of money.
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