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Wives and Daughters (2001)

Justine Waddell , Bill Paterson  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (504 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Justine Waddell, Bill Paterson, Francesca Annis, Keeley Hawes, Tom Hollander
  • Writers: Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • 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 Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2006
  • Run Time: 308 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (504 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GIXLUC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,606 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wives and Daughters" on IMDb

Special Features

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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
474 of 480 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE...BRAVO! December 31, 2001
Format:DVD
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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196 of 209 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great series - shame about the mutilation May 22, 2002
Format:DVD
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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50 of 53 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic BBC
Another good ole' English story....BBC shows are classic!
Published 7 hours ago by Anthen Morrow
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, a good portrayal of the work
Very good,a good portrayal of the work.
Published 13 hours ago by opirty
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun to watch
I enjoyed watching this, although I would like to read the book to fill in the gaps in the character development that just aren't there in movies. Still, it was fun to watch. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Cherylcact
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A classic!
Published 3 days ago by KRich
5.0 out of 5 stars another wonderful British classics If you enjoyed Pride and Prejudice
Very well done....another wonderful British classic
If you enjoyed Pride and Prejudice, make a cup of chamomille tea, sit back,
enjoy the scenery and the acting
Published 5 days ago by Nittany
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie
Great story good actors.
Published 8 days ago by Sheila Fine
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
Loved it!
Published 10 days ago by Julia Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily one of my favorites!
This is tied as my favorite BBC episode series with pride and prejudice. It is very long, but once we got it at Christmas i saw it about 5 times only a month or two later. Read more
Published 14 days ago by SopranoJoy
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining!
The English never fail! A great look back in time with an entertaining story about life as it was for women.
Published 15 days ago by Churchlady
5.0 out of 5 stars The acting was fantastic and every scene was full of beautifully...
What a glorious escape back in time! The acting was fantastic and every scene was full of beautifully detailed costumes and sets. I will definitely watch this again.
Published 15 days ago by Hsklr23gems
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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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