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Brother Cadfael - The Virgin in the Ice

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Derek Jacobi. Brother Cadfael makes some disturbing discoveries while trying to solve the apparent murder of a young woman. Color/75 min/NR.


The first Brother Cadfael mystery to be released on DVD, The Virgin in the Ice captures all of the elements that make these adaptations of Ellis Peters's novels a perennial PBS favorite. The performances and sets bring 12th-century England to vivid life (although the series was actually filmed in Hungary). Derek Jacobi portrays Cadfael with a quiet authority and just the right edge of world-weariness one would expect from a Crusader turned monk. His search for two missing children and for the band of outlaws who brutally beat one of his fellow monks turns up intrigues and surprise twists that make this episode a captivating human drama as well as an expertly crafted mystery. From frictions within Shrewsbury Abbey to the ongoing war between Queen Maud and King Stephen, The Virgin in the Ice plunges viewers fully into Cadfael's world and all of its unexpected joys and perils.

The DVD includes several minutes of audio comments by Derek Jacobi about taking on the role and the appeal of Cadfael. Other special features include biographical information about Ellis Peters (a pseudonym for Edith Pargeter), a production scrapbook of behind-the-scenes photos, and English captions for the hearing-impaired. --Larisa Lomacky Moore

Special Features

  • Production Info
  • Ellis Peters Biography
  • Book list

Product Details

  • Actors: Derek Jacobi, Michael Culver, Julian Firth, Terrence Hardiman, Mark Charnock
  • Directors: Sebastian Graham Jones
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: June 27, 2000
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TJRW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,337 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brother Cadfael - The Virgin in the Ice" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on June 10, 2000
Format: DVD
Do you like BBC dramatizations with fine actors such as Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius) and Alan Rickman (Sense and Sensibility)? Do you like first class mystery stories you can watch over and over because the plots are complicated and you miss some of the detail the first or second time you see the film? Do you like romance and action set in the Middle Ages? Are you fascinated with daily life in a monastery and the fine art of healing with herbs and remedies learned by an ex-Crusader now turned healing monk?
The time is the mid-1100s. Queen Maude and King Stephen, first cousins who each claim the throne of England, have divided the land in Civil War. "The Virgin in the Ice" is set in the town of Shrewsbury England, near the border with Wales. Brother Cadfael (Jacobi) is an ex-Crusader, who in his old age has become a member of the Abby of Saints Peter and Paul. When he was as a Crusader, Cadfael acquired the knowledge healing from Miriam, a woman he knew in the Holy Land (and the Biblical sense). He ministers to the monks at the abbey, the town folks, and any others who may need his services.
One bleak mid-winter night, Cadfael's young assistant is found half frozen on a road near the abbey. He has been badly beaten and is semicomotose from a skull fracture. Cadfael nurses him back from death's door. Meanwhile, Brother Jerome, the abbey "snitch" and troublemaker overhears Cadfael's assistant ranting about a woman. Brother Jerome jumps to the conclusion the young man has done something very bad. The young monk had been in the company of a young noble woman and her tutor a young nun when last seen. Now he has been found alone. What could possibly have happened?
Cadfael, being a careful and sensible monk does not jump to conclusions.
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Format: VHS Tape
Christmas is coming, but the Abbey of St. Peter and Paul isn't merry at all. With King Stephen and Empress Maud warring over who is the rightful ruler of Englad, two orphans are sent to Shrewsbury by their guardian for safekeeping. When the youngsters and their chaperone Sister Hilaria turn up missing, Cadfael is enlisted by Hugh Beringar, Shropshire's undersheriff, to locate Ermina and Yves Hugonin and the nun. Beringar coldly refuses to let the nobleman's search party enter the shire. The children's uncle is a recently returned crusader but he sides with Maud and Beringar supports Stephen.
In the weaving of this tale, the threads become tangled when Brother Oswin, Cadfael's engaging but inept assistant, is brought to the Abbey unconscious, barely alive. While on a mission of mercy, Oswin met up with the siblings and Sister. Another fiber is woven into the fabric when Cadfael, out looking for the orphans, finds the nun frozen in a stream, murdered. The evidence points to the novice monk, with whom Sister Hilaria was last seen as they and others fled a raid upon Ermina's fiance's manor. After finding Yves, Cadfael ventures forth in search of Ermina and to prove, or disprove, Oswin's innocence, or guilt.
Shrewsbury's forest bristles with bandits, and there is a mysterious stranger from the Far East named Olivier de Bretagne. The exotic gentleman came to serve with Ermina and Yves' uncle in Jerusalem and followed him back to England, homeland of the father he never knew. The soldier secretly stays in Shrewsbury, despite the danger and peril, to complete his mission - tracking down and securing the two Hugonins' safety. When Cadfael and Olivier meet, the two bond immediately for some mysterious reason.
Ermina is finally found.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Brother cadfael, 12th ecntury benedictine monk and herbalist of the abbey of St Peterand St Paul, of Shrewsbury has been transformed into life by Sir Derek jacobi,and in a way, has become his as much as his creators,Ellis Peters. In this entry,the civil war raging between King Stephen and Empress Maud[never far from any of the 20 stories]is raging on...It opens with Brother oswin,cadfaels clumsly,sweet novice wandering about in a snowstorm,then coming uopn a gropup of badints, and being beaten and stabbed and left for dead. A missing pair of teens,their teacher{a nun}, a lord,some wayward crusaders,another crusader and our intrepid slueth are intertwined very well. The scene of the frozen corpse being melted by candle while gregorian chant in sung is very well done,though much of the snowfall looks like soap flakes. The acting is first rate. Jacobi has done, to the same degree with a lesser literary figure, what the late Sir Alec Guiness did with John Le Carre's Geroge Smiley: made him so much his own it is difficult to distinguish between the two.There are a couple of surprises here, a twist at the end,and a satisfying conclusion to this chapter. The video is not vey well filmed at least my dvd was poorly shot. I do not think it was the transfer,I think it was the quality of the original recording. I have vhs copies of this series that are much better productions. Also, there are no special features worth talking about. So to sum up, nice storyline, superb acting from Jacobi,interesting moments,poor quality recording.
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