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Wives and Daughters (2002)

Francesca Annis , Justine Waddell  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (549 customer reviews)

Price: $39.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Francesca Annis, Justine Waddell, Bill Paterson, Keeley Hawes, Deborah Findlay
  • Format: Closed-captioned, 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: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Warner
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2001
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (549 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059H6T
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,364 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wives and Daughters" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 20-minute documentary, The Making of Wives and Daughters
  • 55-minute portrait, "Who the Dickens is Mrs. Gaskell?"
  • Who's Who's--a guide to the stars

Editorial Reviews

From the team that brought you "Pride and Prejudice." Set in a richly portrayed society well-stocked with eccentric nobles and gossipy villagers, the story centers around 17-year-old Molly Gibson, the only daughter of a respected country Doctor.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
477 of 483 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE...BRAVO! December 31, 2001
This is a superlative period piece and a brilliant adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's 1865 novel of the same name. This BBC mini-series is a superb costume drama with stellar performances by the entire cast. Set in rural England, the film centers around Molly Gibson, the seventeen year old daughter of a country doctor. Richly drawn portraits of Molly's neighbors and friends quickly emerge and weave an absorbing tapestry of nineteenth century life.

Molly and her father, a widower for most of Molly's life, have an exceptionally close and loving relationship. Their relationship is put to the test when he decides to marry a widow and former governess, Hyacinth, who is a pretentious, self absorbed, ridiculous woman. She has a grown daughter named Cynthia, a beautiful young woman, close to Molly in age, but as different from Molly as night and day. Cynthia is best described as a Marilyn Monroe of the Victorian age. Cynthia and Molly become fast friends, while Molly barely tolerates her nigh intolerable step-mother.

The series really revolves around Molly's relationships with all the characters in the production and her handling of the various everyday situations in which she finds herself. Richly drawn, memorable characters, as well as intrigues, secrets, and romance, make this a highly absorbing drama and one that those who love period pieces and lush, well acted costume dramas will enjoy. It is simply a masterpiece.

With stunningly crisp visuals and beautiful clarity of sound, the production value of this three disc, five hour DVD is simply first rate. It is also value laden with some very interesting features. There is an engaging fifty five minute portrait of Elizabeth Gaskell, the author of the novel upon which this mini-series is based.
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231 of 232 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BBC does it again!! Splendid, romantic tale... February 17, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
"Wives and Daughters" is adapted from the unfinished Victorian novel of Mrs. Elizabeth Gaskell and is produced by the same creative geniuses that gave us A&E/BBC's 1995 "Pride and Prejudice."
This story centers around girl-next-door Molly Gibson (Justine Waddell of "Mansfield Park," "Tess" and "Great Expectations") and her father, the town doctor (Bill Patterson). Their idyllic lives are turned upside down when Mr. Gibson remarries the selfish, self-absorbed Claire Fitzpatrick (Francesca Annis) and her beautiful daughter Cynthia (Keeley Hawes of "Our Mutual Friend") join the household. The brothers Osborne (Tom Hollander) and Roger (handsome newcomer Anthony Howell who reminds me of a young Mel Gibson) Hamley add romantic interest to the tale. However, the Hamleys come from old English stock and the squire Hamley (veteran actor Michael Gambon) desires his sons to marry into "wealthy old English families." Before long, Molly falls for Roger and Roger falls for Cynthia and we, the viewers, find some surprising discoveries along the way!!
Memorable supporting characters include the goodhearted Browning sisters, town gossip Mrs. Goodenough, mysterious Mr. Preston (Iain Glen) and the aristocratic Cumnor family. Justine Waddell is luminous as Molly and Michael Gambon and Francesca Annis turn in memorable performances. The scenery, costumes and production values are all excellent. Screenwriter Andrew Davies - who also penned P&P - gives us a satisfying, romantic new ending that would make Mrs. Gaskell proud. I loved every moment of this adaptation! If you are an Anglophile, enjoy a great love story or are a fan of Mrs. Gaskell, this is the film for you!!!
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199 of 212 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great series - shame about the mutilation May 22, 2002
This miniseries was originally broadcast in the UK as a widescreen (16:9) version. When released on DVD in the UK and Australia it retained the widescreen anamorphic format. Sadly, BBC and Warners don't feel the American public is ready or deserving of such an innovation. Instead we are being sold a horrible reduction that has been crudely cropped at the edges. Instead of a lovely anamorphic widescreen picture it is a grainy, pixillated, slightly matted full frame (about 4.5:3). This wouldn't matter so much if the director and cinematographer hadn't clearly lavished so much care on composing their scenes to fit the widescreen format. The consequence is that in many shots the characters have half their faces missing and often appear to be talking to empty space. If you don't find this sort of thing a distraction, then I strongly reccommend this series - lavish production values, beautifully acted and the usual witty script with a contemporary (but not anachronisitic) feel from Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice, House of Cards etc etc). All the more reson I think to blow a big fat rasberry to the BBC for needlessly and crudely mutilating so outstanding an achievement - and not even having the courage to 'fess up on the DVD case!!
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
By M R-H
This series should be more widely viewed than it has been. In short, if you like period, multi-part dramas, I highly recommend this mini-series! It is among my top 5 of all time, including the Jane Austens. For more details, keep reading...

This adaptation of the Elizabeth Gaskell novel takes some patience to get into--like most novels for television. So sit back with your popcorn, knitting, or your own daughters. Gaskell is not as widely known (I hadn't heard of her and I was an English major) as her contemporaries and friends, Charlotte Bronte and George Eliot.

The story clearly sets up female characters who are very different women and sets about exploring and revealing which ones should be considered as a good wife or a loving daughter. Although this may seem sexist to us, in her time, I think Gaskell was progressive to expose the tendency of wealthy males to choose "trophy wives" instead of women of intellect and inner strength. Or, if in one case, a gentleman were to marry for love, he may be ostracized for it.

One of the main things I like about this story is that I see a lot of myself in Molly (played to perfection by the lovely Justine Waddell), although she is more patient than I would ever be in her shoes. Molly is lovely in her own right, but she is overlooked because of her class and her status as the ever-present charity case/friend and opinionated do-gooder. In other words, she is the kind of woman the best kind of man would want for a long-term companion, but the man of her dreams becomes enamored with the appropriately annoying Keely Hawes character (Cynthia) instead. Will Molly's sharp, scientific mind be eventually rewarded with the respect she deserves?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars So much more than I expected :-)
I really enjoyed this movie. I was either relating to Molly' (the main character) (predicaments or learning from them as an objective observer. Read more
Published 17 hours ago by Globetrotter5K
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great show. Would love to have more like this one.
Published 4 days ago by Miriam H. Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
The acting and sets were wonderful! The story was engaging.
Published 4 days ago by Ina R O'Donnell
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Published 5 days ago by Bud's Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 days ago by DOLLY HALL
4.0 out of 5 stars Too bad it didn't get to have a 2nd season
Well done. Too bad it didn't get to have a 2nd season.
Published 5 days ago by JK in Boise
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I loved this series.
Published 8 days ago by donna bournelis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really enjoyed Wives and Daughters. The storie and the characters as well as the actors were terrific!
Published 9 days ago by Sally Harper
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed viewing this series very much
Enjoyed viewing this series very much...the acting, costumes and script was wonderful...since I am a Downton Abbey viewer, it was fun seeing a few actors from Downton in this... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Anne of Alexandria
4.0 out of 5 stars Left me wanting more
I love this type of show and watched it to pass the time until Downton Abby is back next season. Wish there were more than 4 episodes.
Published 10 days ago by Mich123
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Topic From this Discussion
english subtitles???
english subtitles are important to me as often i cannot understand the accents by english actors.
Oct 19, 2011 by C. E. Wilson |  See all 3 posts
Wives and Daughters hornpipe song Be the first to reply
This 2006 edition is the same as the 2001 edition Be the first to reply
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