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G.B.H.

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The multi-award-winning British political miniseries

"A classic tale of power and corruption" --The Independent (U.K.)
"A triumph" --Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

It begins innocently enough: a politician calls a strike, and the headmaster of a local school inadvertently sabotages it. Soon the men are caught in a power struggle of epic proportions. Robert Lindsay (Horatio Hornblower) is brilliant as the corrupt, egomaniacal Labour party leader Michael Murray. Michael Palin (Monty Python) is superb as the principled, mild-mannered Jim Nelson. They are unlikely but inexorable foes, and as their conflict escalates, so do the risks. Nelson suffers from debilitating anxiety attacks. Murray hides a tormented past, and the arrival of a beautiful woman (Lindsay Duncan, Rome) further complicates matters.

With a BAFTA-winning soundtrack by Elvis Costello and Richard Harvey, this richly woven, acclaimed British satire skewers its Thatcher-era setting. Veering from drama to farce, it’s a darkly humorous tale of good versus evil, the progress of madness, and the ultimate cost of revenge. "Blisteringly funny and painfully tragic" --The Scotsman (U.K.).


Special Features

  • Episode 1 commentary by Robert Lindsay, Michael Palin, and Peter Ansorge
  • Interview with writer Alan Bleasdale
  • Biography of Elvis Costello
  • Cast filmographies.

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Lindsay, Michael Palin, Dearbhla Molloy, Alan Igbon, Andrew Schofield
  • Producers: Peter Ansorge
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, 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: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 588 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002WPF4BQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,082 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "G.B.H." on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on January 15, 2010
Format: DVD
I was drawn into this story and could not pause between episodes, which may make me as loony as the crazies depicted in this series. GBH is the story of urban England political confrontation, how it draws and drains the sane and bewildered. A dialogue line sums it up best: "All of us are capable of being crazy at one time or other." A GBH understatement.

Michael Murray (Robert Lindsay) is a newly successful Labour Party council leader with a mysterious past that haunts him. He lords his power over particular people of his childhood. Mr. Weller, childhood headmaster, is targeted. Murray used psychological means of attack, & thugs when needed. A city-wide strike, Murray led, has one flaw, Jim Nelson (Michael Palin-"Monty Python"), headmaster to a school for special-needs kids. Pickets were not placed at that school through an error. Murray takes it personally and adds Nelson to his "get-him" list. Nelson doesn't need this, since he's already dealing with hypochondria and a host of neurotic phobias.

There is some past dastardly deed, unknown in the beginning to viewers, that causes Murray much strife and sets up a psychological plot that actually has viewers shaking their head in disgust one moment, laughing another, and cheering for the weird-o's in other places. Got to give the writer credit there.

Beautiful Lindsay Duncan ("The Rector's Wife") cast as Barbara Douglas (an alias), comes to the rescue, or on attack, well, both. Who is she anyway, and what mind-churning event created her drive? Murray's mom (Julie Walters-"Mamma Mia!" & "Calendar Girls") also gets into the sometimes weird/sometimes funny acting. There are thugs, agents, reporters, police, politicians galore and all seem to have just skipped out on their daily "group therapy" session.
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I haven't even begun to come to terms with this movie, nor am I quite sure that I understand what happens in it. New characters keep appearing, and it's sometimes hard to tell whether they are sympathetic or not, or to be sure of their relationships with the other characters. Mysteries from the past are important but obscure. All very confusing. Yet the acting is so compelling, from the entire cast, the passion of the movie so strong, that in our home we sat mesmerized throughout. It's a very bleak, disturbing, and comic portrait of Britain and British politics, in the final quarter of the 20th century, but not so different from that portrayed more gently in Judge Deed or Kavanaugh Q C, a political system corrupted by those close to the very top, Thatcherism in its worst form. (Much more lightly, the same theme is treated comically in Brassed Off, which closes with a moving attack on harsh, utilitarian, greedy government). GBH goes deeper and is tougher, in several senses, than those other movies, and is correspondingly more disturbing. It makes me want to look more closely at the recent politics of Britain. And it makes me want to watch the whole thing again. My four stars may be an under-estimate, refecting only my unanswered questions. It's a fine movie.
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A slow start at first, with a real opportunity to take potshots at Robert Lindsay's occasional sinking into stereotype. Actually turns into a moving study of what happened to Labour just prior to the Blair ministry, as well as a well-handled, often comedic, more often tragic, study of the sinking of the lead corrupted Labour figure.
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By Will E on October 22, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Excellent performances from all the cast, especially Robert Lindsay and a surprising Michael Palin, from a golden age of British television.
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