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Masterpiece Classic: Any Human Heart

4.2 out of 5 stars 567 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Every life is ordinary and extraordinary. Logan Mountstuarts is a rich tapestry of both. Matthew Macfadyen, Jim Broadbent, and newcomer Sam Claflin all take a turn as Logan at different points in his life in this provocative glimpse at one mans quest for glory and bliss. Any Human Heart is the story of a full life, lived with passionexpansive, rich, unsentimental, comic, and profoundly moving.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Hayley Attwell, Sam Clafl, Kim Catrall, Gillian Anderson, Tom Hollander, Natasha Little, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Richard Schiff Jim Broadbent
  • Directors: n, a
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: April 5, 2011
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (567 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004FM2EL2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,272 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on March 2, 2011
Format: DVD
As every review on Amazon for the PBS Masterpiece Classic presentation of "Any Human Heart" wants to challenge the editing of the film--I feel compelled to leap into the fray with the definitive answer. There is no denying that the show was broadcast for American audiences to fit the current format and timeslot of the network which resulted in unfortunate editing. However, what that has to do with the DVD release is absolutely nothing. Condemn PBS Broadcasting, if you must, for the televised end product--but any amount of investigation will confirm that the DVD offered for sale is absolutely intact with the full United Kingdom version. First, all you have to do is click on the DVD image above to read the bold print "Original UK Edition" and I have further confirmed the details through the PBS website. So, by all means, can we please just judge the full program and refrain from insinuating that this is a nefariously tampered with version?

Complete DVD specs:

Disc#1 - Episode 1 (RT: 1:17), and Episode (RT: 1:06)
Disc#2 - Episode 3 (RT: 1:10), and Episode 4 (RT: 1:07)

Bonus Content (approximately 48 minutes) includes)
(Interviews with actors, producers, directors, writer - all subtitled)
- In Oxford with Sam Clafin
- Matthew MacFayden on location in Spain
- Interview with Jim Broadbent
- Kim Cattral on "Gloria"
- Gillian Anderson and Tom Hollander on playing the Duke and Duchess of Windsor
- Hayley Atwell on "Freya"
- On the Set of "Any Human Heart"
- From Paper to Screen - William Boyd Discusses "Any Human Heart"
- Deleted Scenes (about 7 minutes of 11 clips - not subtitled)

This DVD is the original and unedited UK version

The following program contains mature content.
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8 Comments 110 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Ginia Bellafante wrote in the New York Times on February 11, 2011 that "Any Human Heart" is a "Forrest Gump" for the literate. She also wrote that the beauty of the story is that "embitterment never sees its own victories. Failure, too, has its pleasure." A fun comparison yet fine words to describe the "heart" of one Logan Mountstuart, a fictional character, whose life in the 20th century is chronicled from his Oxford days in the 1920's to a mere existence in the 1990's.

William Boyd, who wrote the novel and the screenplay for this spectacular PBS production, asks and answers this question: How did a boy adrift on a placid river in Uruguay become a grizzled old man sorting through piles of boxes and books in an old country house in France? It's a fascinating ride!

Sit back and enjoy the clever dialogue, the sets and the photography, the fine performances of Jim Broadbent and Matthew Macfadyen as Mountstuart.

Try to keep up with the wives and lovers. The casting is superb. Don't overlook the first wife, Lady Lottie Cassell, who gives Logan his love of the aristocratic life and a son. Hayley Atwell plays Freya, the much loved and beautiful second wife. Kim Cattrall (the sexy vamp from Sex and the City) plays Gloria, a redhaired lover and the third wife of Logan's Oxford buddy. And even after World War II, when Logan leaves a destitute life in London of eating cans of dog food and beans and moves to France, he charms a young neighborhood beauty who has a glorified memory of her father during the war. (The scenes of an older Mountstuart in military camoflage watching over her father's memorial plaque are hilarious.)

Enjoy the real-life 20th century figures who flit in and out of Logan's life. It does not go without saying...
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12 Comments 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I'm a big fan of Masterpiece Classic and I wasn't disappointed with "Any Human Heart." It's a story that takes the viewer along the different stages of Logan Mountstuart's life. Mountstuart is a writer with reasonable success until his life was devastated by the loss of his family during WWII. As Mountstuart ages, his life is marked by his association with different women who imparted certain truths that stayed with him. He only realizes this near the end of his life as he was sorting through his personal effects.

What I like about the story is the idea that any person has a story to tell, loves that were lost, dreams that were extinguished. I suppose that is why the book starts with a quote from Henry James "Never say you know the last word about any human heart."

The film is beautifully done and I'm impressed with the work that was put into the sets and clothes of the different time periods. It was also enjoyable to see Mountstuart's encounters with real people like Ernest Hemingway and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (exceptional performance by Gillian Anderson). Matthew MacFadyen did an excellent job. His part was the most difficult stage of Mountstuart's life. The film also has a surreal quality to it, especially when it shows Mountstuart's recurring dream of being a child on a boat and being watched by his different selves at different ages. It was captivating and I watched the whole film through.
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Format: DVD
I concur wholeheartedly with the other reviewers on the steady decline of PBS. It should be noted however that the commercial networks are declining even faster. The wonder is that the producers, technical staff, and cast of Any Human Heart were able to create such a masterpiece in today's marketplace. It surely ranks up there with The Tudors: The Complete Series as a rare feat of fine art in an age of media materialism. I'm happy to see that Any Human Heart has been nominated for Best Drama by the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards. In my local cable outlet, the last episode of Any Human heart was actually broadcast during the Academy Awards. It was no contest; the gross indulgence of the Hollywood moguls paled in comparison. Only The King's Speech lent any credibility to the proceedings.

I also want to bring everyone's attention to the utterly glorious soundtrack for this series by the British composer Dan Jones ([...]). This production could have been destroyed by lesser music, but Dan's composition easily transports the viewer/listener into the sublime dimension intended by the writer and director. The whole series is seen through the eyes of Logan Mountstewart as he is approaching the imminent end of his long life, and the musical background captures that poignancy perfectly. I certainly hope PBS makes this soundtrack available on CD.
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