Maggie Smith at the BBC (The Merchant of Venice / The Millionairess / Bed Among the Lentils / Suddenly, Last Summer)
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This BBC collection brings together an ensemble of legendary performances by the incomparable Maggie Smith in timeless works by Shakespeare, Shaw, Williams and Alan Bennett! Few words can fully describe the dazzling range of Dame Maggie Smith. Youll immediately appreciate the personality and breath of her talent even in her smaller roles after viewing a single performance from her illustrious 50-year career. The Maggie Smith Collection brings to DVD four productions from the BBC archives, all showcasing the rich and varied talent of this multi-award winning actress. Her illustrious co-stars include Frank Finlay in Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice, Tom Baker in Shaws The Millionairess, Natasha Richardson in Tennessee Williams Suddenly, Last Summer. With bonus content including a radio play and an illuminating interview on her early career, this is one collection that any film or theater enthusiast cannot afford to miss.]]>
For some fans, the supplements may surpass the features. They include a breezy 1973 chat with Norman Parkinson and Acting in the '60s, a candid 1967 conversation with Richard Goodwin and narration by Kenneth Tynan, who refers to the actress as "the most versatile girl on the English stage." Actor Kenneth Williams participates in both. Smith also appears in a radio version of The Country Wife, while A Portrait: Maggie Smith, an exclusive profile, offers commentary from Bennett, Eyre, and A Room with a View co-star Simon Callow. The viewing notes include an essay on her career and details about each production. This BBC set presents a worthy tribute to a tremendous talent. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Top Customer Reviews
This DVD sets contains four of her television performances from 1972 to 1993. I have only seen two of the specials but am anxious to see the other two.
Merchant of Venice (1972) is a Shakespeare comedy. (I never understand this because it has some of the most intense moments of a Shakespeare play.) This is about love and devotion. Maggie Smith plays Portia, whose suitors must get by three boxes to find love and must save her true love's mentor from certain death. (I have not seen this production.)
The Millionairess (1972) is from the social commentarian George Bernard Shaw and this is also available in the George Bernard on BBC box set. (This also
Bed Among the Lentils (1988) was shown in America on Masterpiece Theatre and the first of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads. Each of these specials is a one person monologue. In Bed Among the Lentils, Maggie plays Susan, a pastor's wife whose life is unfullfilling. This is about an hour long and Maggie just mesmerizes you from the get go. And this is very hard as the character is very bored with her life and Maggie makes you feel for her. She won Royal Television Society Best Actress Award and was nominate for a BAFTA (the Emmy nominating commitee was again fast asleep.)
Suddenly Last Summer is a direct filming of the Tennessee Williams play. It was shown at in America on PBS's Great Performances. This is quite different from the movie as it has only one set and no flashbacks and therefore Sebestian Venerable is only referred to in this. Maggie plays Mrs.Read more ›
Her work in these separate stories, is first rate. Importantly, it shows her at her best in many disparate roles. Because of this, it is possible that one - or other - of the roles might be found less to the viewer's taste than another. In my opinion, this doesn't make Smith's acting any the less brilliant and convincing.
A very good buy for, both, acting aficionados and Maggie Smith devotees.
TV transfers look pretty good on this 3-disc collection and I recommend it to fans of Dame Maggie Smith without hesitation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a consummate actor Maggie Smith is! She just hypnotizes the viewer in these four distinctly different roles. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Narda
The Millioners" is missing. I doesn't came in the box.
Maggie Smith is always an interesting actress to watch. These movies are from her earlier days. This set includes interviews with her and I didn't know she had originally done... Read morePublished 9 months ago by shirlhock
Magnificent ! top Drawer professional .there never ever be another Maggie SmithPublished 10 months ago by Germaine Fraser
Did not realize this was a career review. Since she is not a personal friend and I only became aware of her recently, it had no appeal to me.Published 11 months ago by mysay