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The Queen

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Elizabeth Windsor rose to the throne in 1952 and has been Queen of the United Kingdom ever since. Seen on British television in late 2009, this five-part series blends dramatized scenes behind palace doors with documentary footage and interviews with royal insiders. Five top British actresses Emilia Fox, Samantha Bond, Susan Jameson, Barbara Flynn, and Diana Quickportray the queen at pivotal moments in her reign from 19552005.

Amazon.com

No woman in the Western world has lived through, or helped shape history, as much as has Queen Elizabeth II of England. As the British Empire began to readjust to the landscape after World War II, and as society's beliefs about royalty and its role in public policy shifted, Queen Elizabeth was there to lead her subjects--yet to reveal very little about herself. The Queen, a creative and illuminating British miniseries, mixes documentary footage, current interviews with historians and friends and observers of the royal family, and dramatic fictionalized scenes "based on research" to attempt to paint a fuller portrait of the ubiquitous, but enigmatic, monarch. For anyone interested in the history of England or Europe, and for fans of royalty especially, The Queen makes for a mesmerizing, educational, and entertaining several hours--best broken up into several sittings. The historic footage is well used and goes back to the childhood of the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, the latter apparently "very naughty and out for a good time" even as a child, before her bad-girl ways would create the young queen's first crisis of the throne. The Queen breaks the life of the monarch into five segments.

In the first, Emilia Fox (Pride and Prejudice, Silent Witness) plays Elizabeth, suddenly made queen at age 25 upon the death of her father. The frisky Margaret is played by Katie McGrath, who resembles a dewy Kate Winslet. Elizabeth is forced to confront an inappropriate relationship that Margaret has with a divorced member of the palace staff--and the sisters' own relationship would never be the same. Segment 2 focuses on the 1960s and '70s (with Elizabeth being played by the excellent Samantha Bond), when change is in the air and popularity of the monarchy falls to historic lows. The third segment fast-forwards to the fascinating Margaret Thatcher years, and the prickly relationship between the queen (played by Susan Jameson) and the prime minister (Lesley Manville, quite believable). Episode 4 follows the queen (Barbara Flynn of Cranford), her adult children, and the wretched angst that would cloud them--the divorce first of Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York, and then the tabloid fodder that was the divorce of the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the entry into the royal circle of Camilla Parker-Bowles. Finally, Diana Quick (Brideshead Revisited) plays the queen in the early 2000s, with the deaths of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother, and the inevitable marriage of Prince Charles to Camilla. The overall portrait by The Queen of Queen Elizabeth may still feel as though it has holes--she is one of the world's most public and most private women at the same time--but fans of history and Queen Elizabeth will learn of the depths and triumphs of this amazing woman. --A.T. Hurley


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Emilia Fox, Samantha Bond, Susan Jameson, Barbara Flynn, Diana Quick
  • Directors: Edmund Coulthard, Patrick Reams, Marion Milne
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: ACORN MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 2010
  • Run Time: 398 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00342ANSA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,264 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Queen" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on August 6, 2010
Format: DVD
The Queen E at her best and worst. Wonderfully played by 5 different stars, representing 5 time periods. But 5-stars are awarded for:
* factual documentary
* educational narration
* entertaining dramatization
* fine mix of real archival footage
* period set/costuming plus beautiful footage of the real thing
Both a drama and documentary. Well done in 5 episodes, each 47 min. WITH SUBTITLES. Originally aired Nov/Dec 2009.
Bonus is limited to filmographies of the 5 female leads as "The Queen."

1 SISTERS--Feb.6, 1952 Geo VI dies and Elizabeth, 25 yrs old, becomes "The Queen", reigns yet today. Immediately, younger sister, Margaret, recognized the once equal status between she and Princess Elizabeth was gone. Queen E was embarrassed from Margaret's actions, including a relationship with married/then divorced palace employee, Peter Townsend. Queen (Emilia Fox) & Margaret (Katie McGrath) played convincingly.

2 US AND THEM--Monarchy lives seen on TV in 1969, but popularity dropped to a new low level, royal money was tight, & government leaders question monarchy need. The 1970s appears a time for change. Miners strike as the Queen gets a 100% raise. Princess Anne survives an attempted kidnapping. [I question the dramatization of the Queen & Prime Minister hand-washing dishes together.] Samantha Bond ('Lark Rise to Candleford'-awesome) is Queen; Abby Ford is excellent as Anne.

3 THE RIVALS--The 1986 Commonwealth Games begin a conflict between the Queen and PM Margaret Thatcher (Lesley Manville). South African apartheid becomes a major point of tension as are sanctions. A royal cat fight. Queen is played by Susan Jameson, a wonderful actress also known as the reader for at least 15 audio books of the works of Catherine Cookson.
Read more ›
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By They on April 4, 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I should have known better; this is the sort of trite docu-drama Channel 4 so often produces. The archival film footage is interesting. The carefully selected interviews present only limited viewpoints. Despite the well-known actors, the dramatized bits made me cringe and totally ruined the program. If you're interested in The Queen these are better choices: The Queen: 60 Glorious Years (4 dvds); The Story of Queen Elizabeth II; Queen and Country; and Monarchy - The Royal Family At Work.
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Format: DVD
I am going through a British phase lately. (We are watching the Inspector Lewis series and contemplating dropping the $300+ for Inspector Morse.) I watched The Queen in its entirety on New Year's Day. The blending of documentary footage and dramatic recreation is quite effective. The actors playing the Royals were, thankfully, chosen for their acting ability rather than a striking resemblance to the real people they portray. All segments were quite compelling and provide great insight on the times and the people. My favorite was the first segment dealing with Princess Margaret's affair and potential marriage to Peter Townsend. The emotion is so raw, in spite of the famed British upper lip. It was clearly so difficult for the young Elizabeth to cope with the pressures of the monarchy at the same time wanting her sister to find happiness. Elizabeth and Margaret were obviously close growing up, even though they had such different personalities. After watching the first installment, there was no question I would sit through the whole thing there and then.

Elizabeth is a remarkable woman and this DVD does her justice. Well conceived, well acted, highly recommended.
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Format: DVD
This five-part documdrama miniseries from Britain's Channel 4 had an idea irresistible to any fan of the 2006 Stephen Frears film of the same title with Helen Mirren: as in the Frears film, each installment dramatizes a crucial crisis in the life of Elizabeth II... but each time with a different actress (each fairly well known to British audiences) in the title role. Interviews with former courtiers and palace insiders are juxtaposed with dramatized scenes, with Stephen Mackintosh threading the whole with offscreen narration. The production values are fairly high, and the episodes from the queen's life are well chosen. In the first, "Sisters," the new young queen (Emilia Fox, best known from the 1990s remake of REBECCA) must convince her sister Margaret not to marry the divorced equerry Peter Townshend. In the second, "Us and Them," shows the queen (the wonderful Samantha Bond from LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD) now with a full family and needing an increase in finances from the state. Susan Jameson takes over in the most fascinating episode, "The Rivals" where Elizabeth II is shown to meet her match in Margaret Thatcher (Lesley Manville), who clashes with the queen over possible sanctions against South Africa in the 1980s. The queen's so-called "annus horribilis" of 1992--the year Windsor Castle suffered a major fire and her two eldest sons' marriages collapsed--is dramatized with Barbara Flynn as the monarch in "The Enemy Within." Finally, Diana Quick (best known to US audiences as Julia from the Granada TV miniseries BRIDESHEAD REVISITED) plays Elizabeth II in old age coping with the problem of "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Camilla?" when the Prince of Wales insists on marrying Mrs.Read more ›
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