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56 Up

4.3 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man."

Starting in 1964 with Seven Up, The UP Series 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, renowned director Michael Apted, a researcher for Seven Up, has been back to talk to them, examining the progression of their lives.

From cab driver Tony to schoolmates Jackie, Lynn and Susan and the enigmatic Neil, as they turn 56 more life-changing decisions and surprising developments are revealed.

An extraordinary look at the structure of life in the 20th century, The UP Series is, according to critic Roger Ebert, "an inspired, almost noble use of the film medium. Apted penetrates to the central mystery of life."

Bonus Features include: Roger Ebert Interview with Michael Apted, Biographies, Photogallery, Filmmaker's Statement

Packaged in a 100% Certified Green Forestry Practices DVD Wallet


CRITIC'S PICK! Remarkable, poignant, fascinating. An analogous project in print or even still photographs wouldn't be as powerful, because what gives the "Up" series its punch is not so much its longevity or the human spectacle it offers, but that these are moving images of touchingly vibrant lives at certain moments in time and space. The more you watch, the more the movies transform from mirrors into memory machines, ones that inevitably summon reflections of your own life. --Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Awe-inducing. Apted has created a series of films as profound as they are straightforward: here is a chronicle of real human souls evolving in real time, a longitudinal study unique to the medium of moving images - and a documentary masterpiece. With each passing calendar leap, the experience of watching has only become more soul-stirring. Grade: A. --Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

To see '56 Up' is to be reunited with an old friend. Make that 13 old friends, together again for a documentary project the likes of which the world has never seen...a matchless portrait of our time. A singular film... such a privilege to be able to watch Apted's project as it continues to unfold. --Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce, Jacqueline, Symon, Andrew, John
  • Directors: Michael Apted
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: July 2, 2013
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CD6VY72
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,779 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Personally, I would strongly suggest watching the films in order. While "56 Up" does provide some recaps,
the cumulative effect of the series is built by watching each age in depth.

The 'Up Series' represents one of the most fascinating and unusual uses of film in cinema history - a
documentary life-long chronicle of the lives of 14 people starting at 7 years old, revisiting them every
seven years through age 56 (so far). While I could quibble, wishing for a bit more depth here and there
(especially with the women, where there's a bit too much emphasis on love and marriage at the expense
of all else), and by nature the later episodes sometimes have to speed through more than would be ideal,
since they have to both catch the audience back up as well as moving the stories forward, no matter. It's
really an astounding, moving, frightening and uplifting document. There's no way to watch this
remarkable series of films without reflecting deeply on one's own life, and how you have changed (and
stayed the same) over your own lifetime.

While Michael Aped deserves every bit of credit he's received for this amazing piece of cultural anthropology,
it's important to note the first film, 7 Up, was actually directed by Paul Almond, and Apted was a
that point a researcher for the project.

This new episode is as excellent as it's predecessors, revealing more surprising twists in turns as our
group heads towards the end of mid-life, and stare into the realities of old age. Some old
friends re-appear, some have continued in directions they had been going in, and some have
changed course yet again.
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Format: DVD
Roger Ebert says it all in an interview with Michael Apted; this is a noble use of film. Ebert says this not to make this film sound like it is difficult to watch but describe how this is a unique piece of history, an emotional and entertaining look every seven years at a group of British children. In two hundred years historians will look at this work.

The Up series started as a British Granada television program in 1963. Michael Apted chose 14 seven year old children from dramatically different backgrounds and interviewed them for a television series. The premise is 'Give Me the Child Until He Is Seven and I Will Show You the Man.' Although Apted may have never realized he signed on for a fifty some year project, he ended up interviewing as many members as possible every seven years. In the latest segment, they are all 56 years old and thirteen agreed to be filmed.

56 Up stands by itself, somebody that has never seen any of the previous 7 year installments (going all the way back to when they were seven years old in 7 Up) will understand easily. This is the best installment in the series. Apted did a remarkable job keeping each child separate and he identifies what year the flashbacks come from with a subtle title in the lower right hand corner of the screen - 7 Up, 21 Up, 28 Up, etc. Each interview is built with backing clips from the previous years.

Only one member refused to participate, Charles. I laughed at the piece with Peter Davies; he refused to be interviewed after one of the early episodes. He says in 56 Up that the publicity from his appearance was too much to take. It was bad and he did not want to go through that again (a number of tabloid pieces are shown to support what Peter says).
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Format: DVD
As I watched this newest in the series of ".... Up" films, I asked myself, "Has it really been 28 years since I saw the first in this series of feature films released in the US?". Yes, I guess it has been, but time passes quickly.

I'll provide a bit of background on the film, but since my fellow Amazon reviewer, K. Gordon has done a fine job, I will try not to repeat his comments. His review is of the UK DVD version, which will not play on US DVD players. But Amazon always groups reviews of ALL formats of a film - and even combines remastered versions of films with the originals when it lists reviews.
The "Up" series began in Britain as a one of the first reality shows (before they were called that) in 1964 as "7 up". The first film was directed by Paul Almond, but all subsequent ones (every seven years) have been done by Michael Apted (who was on the crew of the first one.). Though there was a film for years 7, 14, and 21, the first feature to hit the US movie screens was "28 up". The original lot of seven-year-old kids consisted of 20 - from various class systems in Britain. Every, subsequent "episode" features roughly 15 of of them. Some drop off and then come back. This time around we see Peter, who dropped out after "28 Up" but is back - basically to promote his rock band - the Good Intentions". In fact quite a few of those in this episode talk about how the series as often infringed on their privacy. (More so than I remember in the past.).

The film is long at nearly 2 ½ hours, but that's partly because Apted uses clips from the previous seven films to make it easier for those catching up. But, honestly, the best way to see this series is from the beginning (well, from "28 up" onward. These are all available from First Run Features on DVD.
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