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Helen Mirren at the BBC (The Changeling / The Apple Cart / Caesar and Claretta / The Philanthropist / The Little Minister / The Country Wife / Blue Remembered Hills / Mrs. Reinhardt / Soft Targets)
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Among the gems are The Changeling, shot with lush production values and a leisurely, very British pace. Mirren is Joanna, a young lass already torn by love and commitment, and Mirren is riveting even as a cherubic youngster. ("I adore Jacobean tragedy," Mirren says of this play in the commentary--and who doesn't?) In Bernard Shaw's The Apple Cart Mirren doesn't appear until nearly an hour into the play, but is compelling as a wily mistress type: "You are as slippery as an eel," she tells her ne'er-do-well companion, "but you shall not slip through my fingers."
The set is as compelling for the appearances of other actors who costar with Mirren, including a young, tormented Ian Holm in Stephen Poliakoff's Soft Targets. Not to be missed are the interviews with Mirren, including Helen Mirren Remembers, which gives a great overview of the set, and how she grew into the splendid actress she later became. "You're going to be very exposed" in front of a camera, she says--and that's the true delight here for all Mirren fans. --A.T. Hurley
- Includes: The Changeling (1974), The Apple Cart (1975), Caesar and Claretta (1975), The Philanthropist (1975), The Little Minister (1975), The Country Wife (1977), Blue Remembered Hills (1979), Mrs. Reinhardt (1981), Soft Targets (1982)
- Helen Mirren Remembers: exclusive newly recorded interview
- BBC talk-show host Michael Parkinson interviews Helen Mirren in 1975
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A Midsummer Night's Dream (TV Movie Dec 13, 1981)
Cymbeline (TV Movie Dec 20, 1982)
The Hawk (Theatrical Movie released Dec 10, 1993)
all of which are in the UK set.
However, the UK set (6 discs; 17 hours; 11 titles) is missing:
Soft Targets (Oct 19, 1982 Episode of TV Series Play for Today)
Both sets contain:
The Changeling (Jan 20, 1974 Episode of TV Series Play of the Month)
The Apple Cart (Jan 19, 1975 Episode of TV Series Play of the Month)
Caesar and Claretta (TV Movie May 9, 1975)
The Philanthropist (TV Movie Oct 29, 1975)
The Little Minister (Nov 2, 1975 Episode of TV Series Play of the Month)
The Country Wife (Feb 13, 1977 Episode of TV Series Play of the Month)
Blue Remembered Hills (Jan 30, 1979 Episode of TV Series Play for Today)
Mrs. Reinhardt (Oct 30, 1981 Episode of TV Series BBC2 Playhouse)
The UK set may be ordered from Amazon.co.uk for about USD$60 plus shipping but it is PAL format, Region 2. A viewer in the US will need a multi-format, multi-region DVD player.
The only title currently available individually is The Hawk (VHS edition available at Amazon).
Helen Mirren is currently one of the most accomplished actors of the last 30 years. Anyone interested in her acting performances over the 20-year period of these titles will not be disappointed. It should be noted that an earlier 1968 Theatrical Movie of A Midsummer Night's Dream is also available separately at Amazon. This is an excellent production and, in addition to Helen Mirren, has performances by Diana Rigg, Judi Dench, Michael Jayston, Ian Holm and Ian Richardson.
Now let's hope BBC get off their bums and issue the Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard plays they have in their vaults BEFORE the tapes completely disintegrate!
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Unless you can understand English as it is spoken poorly by many Englishpersons, I would not recommend. After investing so much time in Prime Suspect, I gave up completely. Read morePublished on September 7, 2010 by atti