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To the Manor Born: The Complete Collection (Silver Anniversary Edition)

4.7 out of 5 stars 200 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

To the Manor Born: The Complete Series - Silver Anniversary Edition (DVD)

As beneficiary of Grantleigh Manor, the snobbish Lady fforbes-Hamilton becomes a happy widower upon the death of her husband. But in the face of her late husband's creditors, bank, and the government, she can no longer afford to maintain the family's hold on the estate. Reluctantly, she sees it auctioned to Richard De Vere (formerly Bedrich Polouvicka), a millionaire bachelor of Czechoslovakian extraction who runs a multinational grocery business. With his mother he wastes no time in moving into the Manor. Audrey is annoyed at her new position on the estate, and she is forced to move, with butler, to the Manor lodge. DeVere represents everything Audrey regards as bad taste. Their differences of background, breeding and behavior are at once infuriating and endearing.

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To the Manor Born is another BBC sitcom from the genre's golden age, one that came to dominate the ratings during its initial three-season run from 1979-80. Providing Penelope Keith with her first major role after The Good Life, the show focuses on a way of life that now appears hard to comprehend, with storylines concerning hunt balls, village committees, and eccentric brigadiers only adding to the dated feel. What provided the program's key interest, however, was not the terribly quaint Little England setting but the burgeoning relationship between Keith's Audrey fforbes-Hamilton and Richard De Vere (Peter Bowles), the new owner of Audrey's old home, Grantleigh Manor. It's all very, very English (the show is set in a village called Cricket St. Thomas) and the continuing use of farce almost creates a sense of parody. But look beyond the infuriating stereotypes and there is some sharp writing going on, predating the city vs countryside debate by nearly two decades. Penelope Keith is, as ever, fantastic value and while new viewers may simply not get the joke, those looking for a spot of nostalgia could do far worse. The 2008 Silver Anniversary Collection includes the complete original series as well as the 2007 Silver Anniversary Special, which fast-forwards 25 years to Audrey and Richard's plans for their silver-anniversary celebration. --Phil Udell

Special Features

  • All 20 episodes of the original series
  • 2007 Silver Anniversary Special
  • 1979 Christmas Special
  • Funny Turns: Profile of Penelope Keith
  • Turning Points: Peter Bowles reveals the turning point of his career
  • Four radio episodes
  • The making of the Silver Anniversary Special

Note: Closed captioned except Silver anniversary Special English SDH. Aspect Ratio: 4:3 except Silver Anniversary Special 16:9

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 9, 2008
  • Run Time: 650 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001B3LIPG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,683 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "To the Manor Born: The Complete Collection (Silver Anniversary Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 3, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
'To the Manor Born' is one of the better Brit-coms, witty and intelligent without being over-the-top or inaccessible. It has an oh-so-British tone to it, deliberately so, as it looks with grace and humour at the clash of cultures in modern Britain, the clash between tradition and modernity (finding out that neither is always what it seems), as well as the clash between social classes. All of this is done in such a light-hearted manor, er, manner, that one scarcely realises the biting and insightful satire that runs alongside the comedic situations.

The series begins as Audrey fforbes-Hamilton, a straight-backed, upper-crust woman of breeding who revels in her situation, is celebrating the funeral of her husband (yes, celebrating). Meanwhile, Richard Devere, wealthy (read, nouveau riche) financial officer heading a multinational conglomerate of food stores, arrives in the village in search of a classic gentleman's period home in the English countryside. As Audrey's husband was not one to keep up with the bills, she discovers that she is in fact bankrupt, and is forced to sell the manor. Richard Devere buys it at auction; Audrey is a surprising twist retains the estate's hunting lodge down the road, and the stage is set for the tensions between new homeowner and historical lady of the manor.

Supplementing the main characters are Audrey's best friend Marjorie, who variously has designs on Richard Devere, but these are almost always thwarted; Richard's mother, Mrs.
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This very witty BBC series of the 70s stars Penelope Keith (formerly of The Good Life aka Good Neighbors) and Peter Bowles (many many supporting dramatic roles). When rich from birth Audrey Fforbes-Hamilton (Keith) loses her husband, she learns that he left her completely penniless and is forced to auction off the family manor. The estate gets bought Richard Devere (Bowles) an eccentric millionaire in the food business. Moving into a small cottage on the estate, Audrey with help from her friend Marjorie and her butler spends the next few years doing everything her power to get her ancestral home and place in society back including falling in love with the new "Lord of the Manor". This newly released set includes a newly released "silver anniversary" reunion disc which is also available separately for those of you who (like me) own the earlier released set. Chances are the earlier (blue) set will eventually get discontinued, so like series (plural) like Vicar of Dibley and others that have released revised box sets (years after previous releases of the "complete series"), the deal is this: if you have the old set like me, order the separate copy of the silver anniversary disc, if you don't, then order this set (currently a better price than the older set alone) and you'll get all the discs together.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of the show then you must have this dvd set. The transfer quality is excellent. I have one suggestion though...for some reason they put the Christmas special at the end of the dvd set and it really should be watched after the first dvd so it is in sequence with the series.
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To the Manor Born is the second best Britcom behind Butterflies. Twenty five years has passed since Audrey and Richard finally tied the knot. This rerelease is the fantastic orignal series plus the new 25th Anniversary Christmas special (which has not been shown in the US!!)

This dvd set contains all 21 episodes from the original 3 series plus the 25th Anniversary hourlong special.

Audrey fforbes-Hamilton's (Penolope Keith) husband has passed away (but she is really not mourning it). He has left her virtually penniless and she must save her family home (which she is mourning). The manor is sold to a self made foreign millionaire, Richard DeVere (Peter Bowles). While Audrey despises everything Richard stands for but there is definite sexual tension between them. With help of best friend Marjorie (Angela Thorne) and Richard's mother, Mrs. Poo (Daphhe Heard), Richard and Audrey will find happiness. The series finale ends with two happy endings (I won't spoil it but it will not surprise you.)

Jump 25 years later, it's the Dever's 25th Wedding Anniversary and Audrey is going to celebrate it in style but it is going to take everyone's effort to save the day and the town.

This is one of the best comedy series ever (British or American). It has witty writing, razor sharp direction and a perfect cast. Penelope Keith has proven to be one of Britan's great comic geniouses (she has had over half a dozen hit comedies.)

Just buy this set and just plan and laugh alot.
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Many years ago, I caught the tail-end of one of the latter episodes of TO THE MANOR BORN on PBS and liked what I saw, which was enough to spur me to buy this series on DVD when it became available. I'm happy I did, it is more than worth the price. The two lead actors, Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles have appeared in many other BBC productions (Rumpole, Good Neighbors). I believe they are married in "real" life, and thus a commedic team ala Lucy and Desi or George and Gracie, though not as zany. Audrey Forbes-Hamilton (Keith) is a sophisticated snob and Richard Devere (Bowles) a self made immigrant whom Audrey deems not in her league, let alone worthy of Grantleigh Estate, her old ancestral home.

In the opening episode, the newly widowed Audrey is relishing the thought of being on her own without the husband she did not particularly care for. We learn in a later episode that the Forbes-Hamilton family has intermarried for generations and this might explain some of the peculiar behavior of Audrey and her Uncle who plays an important role in the last few episodes. Audrey soon discovers her now deceased husband kept a few secrets from her, such as the debt the estate had incurred using the "old" methods of managing an estate (keeping hedgerows for example). Devere buys Grantleigh at an auction, outbidding Audrey, who had secured a goodly amount from her relatives for the purpose of keeeping the estate "in the family".

After losing her home, we soon discover Audrey has taken up residence along with the ancient family butler Brabinger in the "lodge", a building on the estate just up the road from the manor house, where the hired help once lived.
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