Save Big On Open-Box & Pre-owned: Buy "The Barchester Chronicles” from Amazon Warehouse Deals and save 32% off the $24.98 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all Open-Box & Pre-owned offers from Amazon Warehouse Deals.
The Barchester Chronicles
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
Rickman, in one of his first film or television roles, turns in a tour de force of oily ambition. McEwan's ferocious machinations are downright terrifying, while the sputtering Hawthorne (The Madness of King George) seems constantly in danger of bursting a vein. At the center of it all is Pleasence. Making goodness compelling has always been difficult, since wickedness is always more dramatic; but Pleasence brings a deep and stirring passion to his role that proves as engaging as all the back-biting that surrounds him. And these are just the more familiar faces; a host of lesser-known actors give equally superb performances. The final episode (of seven) will have you on pins and needles. The Barchester Chronicles, adapted from two novels by Anthony Trollope, is one of those marvels of British television, a skillful production that proves intelligent fare can be hugely entertaining. --Bret Fetzer
Top Customer Reviews
Although the ads to this DVD emphasize that Alan Rickman has a leading role, (he IS wonderful) he is NOT the only superb actor in this film; he is just one of many! Everyone in this presentation gives an outstanding performance. As stated before Alan Rickman is wonderful as the slimy Mr. Slope (really Slop; however, he added the "e"!)-watch how he moves like a snake which the character is!) His sparing partner is Geraldine McEwen. They start off as "chums" but by the end of the story they are bitter enemies. Their "duals" will have you on the floor with laughter. Geraldine is most frightening as the bishop's wife (actually she is the REAL bishop and has all of the power because her husband has no spine and is given to numbing migraine headaches brought on by his wife-the bishop's role is played delightfully by Clive Swift). One of my favorite actors, the late great Nigel Hawthorne plays the "about to explode at all times" Archdeacon who tries to keep things as they are while the Clergyman (Rickman) and the ferocious Bishop's wife (McEwen) are determined to change things to their own benefit.Read more ›
Based on the book by Anthony Trollope, "The Barchester Chronicles," is a fascinating and satirical look at corruption in the Church of England, and the reformers who wish to make changes, and end up getting more than they bargained for.
Reverend Septimus Harding (Donald Pleasence), a decent, gentle and caring man who values music and it's relation to God above all else, is the clergyman in charge of Hiram's Hospital. John Hiram, a rich and influential man, has died decades before, leaving money for the forming and management of a men's hospital, intended for worn out old men to take refuge in the country and live their last days out in peace. Appointed by Bishop Grantly (Cyril Luckham) to his post almost 12 years ago, Rev. Harding is suddenly attacked in a lawsuit by reformers who claim that corruption and nepotism have invaded into the town of Barchester. They begin calling for reform and although the lawsuit is defeated at the end, Rev. Harding ends by honorably resigning from Hiram's Hospital, to live poorly and struggle on as a clergyman in Barchester.
Not too long after, a change in government calls for a change in church leadership: when a new prime minister is named just as Bishop Grantly passes away, Dr. Grantly (who had hoped to become the next bishop) is passed over for a new appointment: Bishop Proudie. Enter Alan Rickman (in an early role pulled off with resounding success), playing the fantastically flirtatious and social-climbing devious chaplin, Reverend Obadiah Slope. Slope is chaplin to shy, quiet, stammering Bishop Proudie, who is controlled by his wife, Mrs. Proudie (Geraldine McEwan), in nearly everything he does.Read more ›
Donald Pleasence stars as gentle, non-confrontational, soft-spoken, kind-hearted Mr. Harding, the caring Warden of a small hospital within the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Barchester. With few responsibilities and a wopping annual income of 800 pounds, it's a plum position. Sadly for him, however, misappropriation of church funds (of which this is a prime example) is a bone that the sensation-seeking Jupiter newspaper has decided to chew on; and they have chosen Mr. Harding as their target.
Being a good, decent man, it appals Mr. Harding that anyone should think him guilty of acting immorally or unethically. Whilst the unassuming Mr. Harding would be content to just fade into the woodwork, he is blessed (or should I say "cursed") with a very intelligent and shrewd but hot-headed and domineering son-in-law, Dr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent historical drama series by BBC. First rate acting and interesting plot and sub-plots (e.g. Read morePublished 3 months ago by blowinginthewind
i thought i was buying a show with Alan Rickman as the star. It turns out he was a bit player with very little show time. I am very disappointed!Published 4 months ago by Linda L. Watts
Had to make myself watch to the second episode, then I was hooked! Wish it had gone on longer. The young Alan Rickman was perfecting his evil. Great series!Published 6 months ago by Karen Anderson
With the passing of Alan Rickman I want to take the time to highly recommend one of Mr. Rickman's finest performances - I first saw this great actor in this production so many... Read morePublished 7 months ago by nmcil