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The Judi Dench Collection (The Cherry Orchard [1962 and 1981 versions]/Talking to a Stranger/Keep an Eye on Amélie/Going Gently/Ghosts/Make and Break/Can You Hear Me Thinking?/Absolute Hell)

DVD | Box Set

4.0 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Judi Dench Collection, The (DVD)

9 Classic BBC Productions totaling over 19 hours The Cherry Orchard (1962) Talking to a Stranger (1966) Keep an Eye on Amelie (1973) The Cherry Orchard (1981) Going Gently (1981) Ghosts (1987) Make and Break (1987) Can You Hear Me Thinking? (1990) Absolute Hell (1991)

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To call The Judi Dench Collection a treasure trove is indubitably cliché, but that's so much classier than "Dench-a-Palooza." Essential for fans of the great Dame, theatre buffs, and drama students, this eight-disc set is an embarrassment of riches, with nine BBC productions of classic and original plays, plus three radio plays and excerpts from televised interviews, one of which features her moving rendition of "Send in the Clowns" from A Little Night Music, for which she won an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical (is there nothing she can't do?). They etch an indelible portrait of an artist with a compelling presence and staggering range. Judi Dench is one of those actors who rarely seem to make a false move, handling wrenching drama, madcap farce, and witty comedy with equal aplomb. John Hopkins' Talking to a Stranger (1966) is a British television benchmark that is mentioned in the same breath as Dennis Potter's masterpieces. Dench won her first BAFTA (the British equivalent of the Oscar) for her role as a damaged sibling in a dysfunctional family. Dench stars as Anya in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, a 1962 production translated by, and starring, John Gielgud and, as Madame Ranesvky, Peggy Ashcroft. Ashcroft is a hard act to follow, but Dench pulls it off in a 1981 production in which she assumes the role of the irresponsible aristocrat.

Georges Feydeau's Keep an Eye on Amelie (1973) is a carefree hour in which Dench stars as a coquette who agrees to marry a confirmed bachelor (Patrick Cargill) so he can inherit a million francs. This production is paired on disc 4 with writer Michael Frayn's (Noises Off!) award-winning comedy Make and Break, which unfolds at a trade fair in Frankfort and stars Dench as a devoted secretary to a work-consumed boss. Two powerful dramas comprise disc 8, Going Gently, for which Dench earned another BAFTA as a hospice nurse to two adversarial patients, and Can You Hear Me Thinking?(1990), starring Dench and her late husband Michael Williams (A Fine Romance) as parents whose lives are shattered when their teenage son develops schizophrenia. Ibsen's still potent Ghosts (1981) boasts a stellar ensemble, including Kenneth Branagh as doomed son Oswald and Michael Gambon as Pastor Manders, with Dench as Mrs. Alving, whose respected late husband led a dark, secret life. Anything but, Absolute Hell (1991) is a lost-souls black comedy starring Dench as Christine, the proprietor of a bohemian nightclub in post-World War II London. The cast includes her future Notes on a Scandal costar, Bill Nighy, as a washed-up writer. Stardom in the States came late to Dench. This collection allows her audience to catch-up with these mostly towering performances that established her as one of the premier actors of our time. --Donald Liebenson


Special features

Featurette: Judi Dench: My Favorite Things (1985, RT: 30 min) BBC profile of Judi Dench in which she discusses her passions Interviews: Judi Dench talks to Richard Eyre (2002, RT 59 min) Other: Three Radio Plays With Great Pleasure (1991, RT: 44 min) Are You Still Awake?(1994, RT: 15 min) Amy's View (2000, RT: 123 min) Judi Dench sings "Send in the Clowns" and discusses her 1996 Olivier-winning performance in A Little Night Music (RT: 12 mi Featurette: Judi Dench: My Favorite Things (1985, RT: 30 min) BBC profile of Judi Dench in which she discusses her passions Interviews: Judi Dench talks to Richard Eyre (2002, RT 59 min) Other: Three Radio Plays With Great Pleasure (1991, RT: 44 min) Are You Still Awake?(1994, RT: 15 min) Amy's View (2000, RT: 123 min) Judi Dench sings "Send in the Clowns" and discusses her 1996 Olivier-winning performance in A Little Night Music (RT: 12 mi Featurette: Judi Dench: My Favorite Things (1985, RT: 30 min) BBC profile of Judi Dench in which she discusses her passions Interviews: Judi Dench talks to Richard Eyre (2002, RT 59 min) Other: Three Radio Plays With Great Pleasure (1991, RT: 44 min) Are You Still Awake?(1994, RT: 15 min) Amy's View (2000, RT: 123 min) Judi Dench sings "Send in the Clowns" and discusses her 1996 Olivier-winning performance in A Little Night Music (RT: 12 mi Featurette: Judi Dench: My Favorite Things (1985, RT: 30 min) BBC profile of Judi Dench in which she discusses her passions Interviews: Judi Dench talks to Richard Eyre (2002, RT 59 min) Other: Three Radio Plays With Great Pleasure (1991, RT: 44 min) Are You Still Awake?(1994, RT: 15 min) Amy's View (2000, RT: 123 min) Judi Dench sings "Send in the Clowns" and discusses her 1996 Olivier-winning performance in A Little Night Music (RT: 12 mi Featurette: Judi Dench: My Favorite Things (1985, RT: 30 min) BBC profile of Judi Dench in which she discusses her passions Interviews: Judi Dench talks to Richard Eyre (2002, RT 59 min) Other: Three Radio Plays With Great Pleasure (1991, RT: 44 min) Are You Still Awake?(1994, RT: 15 min) Amy's View (2000, RT: 123 min) Judi Dench sings "Send in the Clowns" and discusses her 1996 Olivier-winning performance in A Little Night Music (RT: 12 mi Featurette: Judi Dench: My Favorite Things (1985, RT: 30 min) BBC profile of Judi Dench in which she discusses her passions Interviews: Judi Dench talks to Richard Eyre (2002, RT 59 min) Other: Three Radio Plays With Great Pleasure (1991, RT: 44 min) Are You Still Awake?(1994, RT: 15 min) Amy's View (2000, RT: 123 min) Judi Dench sings "Send in the Clowns" and discusses her 1996 Olivier-winning performance in A Little Night Music (RT: 12 mi

Product details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • 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: 8
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 218 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000LV6OK8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,051 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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