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Devil's Disciple, The (Shaw Collection, The)
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In New Hampshire in 1777, Dick Dudgeon's father dies. Called back home to the unhappy family he revolted against years ago, Dick finds he has been named heir, much to the horror of his religious mother (Elizabeth Spriggs). And to complicate matters, the British, led by General Burgoyne (Ian Richardson), have arrived and are readying for an execution. As events reach a crisis, Dick, the self-proclaimed "Devil's Disciple," finds he must confront his true nature, as must the village minister (Patrick Stewart).]]>
Top Customer Reviews
The DVD transfer is nothing special, though. Some images look a bit grainy. The sound quality is fairly crisp, but everything is perfectly audible. This DVD has one extra, which is also marvelous: a program titled, "The Wit and Wisdom of G. Bernard Shaw." It is a great biography of the playwright's life with scenes and quotes recited by (a 1980s) Christopher Plummer among other fine actors. I would recommend this DVD for purchase by anyone with a remote interest in Shaw or the actors in the program. Also, if you're interested in stories set in Revolutionary War America, I would recommend this to you as well. Basically, if you've clicked on this page out of curiosity, you have what it takes to fully enjoy this program! Enjoy!
The play is set in New England during the American Revolution. Richard Dudgeon (Mike Gwilym) has been called back to his Puritanical home village after his father's death. Richard is in rebellion against the strict morality of his upbringing and does everything he can to shock and scandalize his neighbors and family by claiming to be the Devil's disciple. Richard also brings the news that British troops are marching toward the village arresting and hanging suspected rebels. The local minister, Anthony Anderson (Patrick Stewart), determines to reclaim Richard. The minister invites the reprobate into his home over the protests of his pretty young wife, Judith (Susan Woolridge), then leaves the two together while he answers a parish call. British troops break in, seeking not the reprobate Richard but the upright minister. The British arrest the wrong man, leaving the minister's wife torn between desire to save an innocent man and desire to save her husband. Her confusion is furthered when neither man acts the way she expected.
This 1987 BBC production boasts an incredibly strong cast.Read more ›
Still, I had very high hopes for it -- with Patrick Stewart and Ian Richardson it seemed almost impossible for it to go wrong. However, if I had thought it through and noticed the date I would have realized that Stewart was playing the Minister, not Burgoyne, which is the role I foolishly expected him in. I'm sure that if it were made again with him in that part he would do it beautifully, as indeed Ian Richardson does here. But Stewart is less suited to the Minister role and I was disappointed not to be getting his Burgoyne.
All in all, the production, while generally enjoyable, was somehow rather tepid. Richard's opening scene should have some irony in it; he should be looking for a reaction in every line that he says, as the only purpose for his hamming it up is to unsettle his relatives; here it is played entirely straight, as if he wholly means what he is saying.
Similarly, Minister Anderson should always give a slight impression of a powerful man not quite placed in his life until he comes into his own at the end; instead, he is curiously bland.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Simply lacking, when compared to excellent late 50s film with Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Lawrence Olivier.Published 1 month ago by Monte Gilliam
I was disappointed in this version; it is like a play. Get the Burt Lancaster version instead. It's really a classic.Published 5 months ago by Tinker Bell
This is a great adventure movie. It is nice to see a younger Patrick Stewart in expanded roles.Published 21 months ago by drucilla mothley
I AM INTO REVOLUTIONARY WAR MOVIES VERY MUCH. I LIKED IT VERY MUCH.Published 22 months ago by Hogan_62