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Opinion by DR76 posted 1 month ago
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"POLDARK" SERIES ONE (1975): EPISODES FIVE TO EIGHT

Last winter, I began watching the BBC's 1975-77 adaptation of Winston Graham's literary series about the life of a British Army officer and American Revolutionary War veteran, following his return to his home in Cornwall. The first four episodes proved to be adaptation of the first novel in Graham's series, 1945's "Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787". Episodes Five to Eight focused on the series' second novel, 1946's "Demelza: A Novel of Cornwall, 1788-1790".

Episode Four ended with Ross Poldark, a Cornish landowner and mine owner, discovering that his young kitchen maid, the 17 year-old Demelza Carne, is pregnant with his child. Abandoning his plan to reunite with his former fiancée, Elizabeth Chynoweth Poldark, who had married his cousin Francis Polark; Ross decides to marry Demelza and take responsibility for their unborn child. Episode Five opened up six to seven months later with the birth of their daughter, Julia Poldark. Ross and Demelza decide to hold two christenings - one for his upper-crust family and neighbors and one for her working-class family....
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Opinion by DR76 posted 3 months ago
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THE MAJOR PROBLEMS OF "HEAVEN AND HELL: NORTH AND SOUTH BOOK III" (1994)

Any fan of the John Jakes’ NORTH AND SOUTH trilogy would be more than happy to tell you that the worst entry in the author’s saga about two American families in the mid 19th century was the last one, "HEAVEN AND HELL: North and South Book III". Those fans would be speaking of the 1994 television adaptation, not the novel itself. Unlike many of these fans, I do not share their low opinion of the three-part miniseries. But I will not deny that "HEAVEN AND HELL" had its share of problems. Below is a list of I consider to be its major flaws.

*Use of Montages - The miniseries did not hesitate to use montages to indicate a passage of time. Most of these montages centered on the Charles Main character, portrayed by Kyle Chandler. The problem with these montages was that they had exposed a blooper regarding Charles’ rank with the post-war U.S. Army in the first episode.
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Review by deedragongirl posted 3 months ago
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The young couple!
Hi guys, I love musicals and this is the other periodical musical film that I'm going to write about.

The Story

It was a very unusual story, because Laurey is caught in a love triangle between Curly and the town bully name Jud. For obvious reasons, he reminds of Gaston from Disney's Beauty and the Beast to which I will come to write about the similarities later.
My favourite scene is definitely the songs 'Many a New Day' and 'Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'. I just can't get these 2 songs out of my head!

The Characters

I love Curly and Laurey because I personally felt that they have more chemistry compare to other couples nowadays, as mentioned, Jud is like Gaston mainly because they are brutish, arrogant and selfish. In fact, I was very happy that he got to taste his own medicine when he interrupted the wedding!

The Songs

Unlike Rodgers and Hammerstein's musicals, this was very different and it sounds very different.
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Review by deedragongirl posted 5 months ago
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The poster to this film.
Hi guys, this film is actually based on a real life story about Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary. Are you ready for film review moment?

The Historical Story

Okay, I knew this movie from my trip to Vienna, Austria and it has been coming to 10 years already. I saw this name through my tour booklet and although I did not visit it, it fascinates me about the history of the Hapsburg that rule the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary.
Back to the story, it's about Crown Prince Rudolf, the only son of Emperor Francis Joseph (or Kaiser Franz Joseph in German). Unfortunately, the latter's conservative views tend to clash with the former's liberal views.
His mother, the famous Empress Elizabeth (Sissi) was hardly at home due to her frequent travelling and was the main inspiration for Rudolf's Liberal views. Also, the Prince of Wales (the future UK's King Edward VII) was also feature in this film and provides comic relief for the movie.
It was a tragic moment because it was allegedly that Rudolf murdered his 17 year old mistress, Baroness Mary Vetsera and committed suicide afterwards at his hunting lodge in Mayerling.
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Review by deedragongirl posted 6 months ago
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The poster!
Hi guys, I had seen this film and here is my review about a magician during the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Story

Okay, the story is based on a fictionalised version of Crown Prince Rudolf who allegedly committed suicide with Baroness Mary Vetsera, his 17 years old mistress at his hunting lodge at Mayerling. His name was changed to that of Crown Prince Leopold, who in a contrast to the real-life Crown Prince Rudolf, serves as the antagonist of the film.
He plans a Coup D'etat against his father, the aging Emperor Franz Joseph and usurp both the Austrian and Hungarian crowns. A young magician must team up with the Crown Prince's fiance.
I actually know about the history of the Dual Monarchy during my trip to Eastern Europe 10 years ago, and this film is an example despite that is partially fictional. I was really surprise that Leopold actually looks like Rudolf in particularly their appearance.

The Characters

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Review by DR76 posted 6 months ago
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"LOVE & FRIENDSHIP" (2016) Review

I never thought any film or television production would find another story written by Jane Austen to adapt. Not really. The author only had six novels published. And I was never really aware of any other novels, novellas or short stories . . . until I learned about "LOVE & FRIENDSHIP", Whit Stillman's adaptation of Austen's 1794 epistolary novel, "Lady Susan".

Set during the 1790s, "LOVE & FRIENDSHIP" began with the aristocratic and lovely young widow, Lady Susan Vernon, being forced to leave the Manwaring estate due to her dalliance with the married Lord Manwaring and the hysterical reaction to the affair by the latter's very wealthy wife. Lady Susan had been staying with the Manwarings in order to arrange a possible marriage to her adolescent daughter Frederica and the wealthy, yet brainless Sir James Martin. But after being forced to leave by Lady Manwaring, Lady Susan and her widowed companion, Mrs. Cross, head to Churchill, the country home of her brother-in-law, Charles Vernon and his wife, Catherine Vernon. While at Churchill, Lady Susan becomes acquainted with her sister-in-law's...
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Review by DR76 posted 10 months ago
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"THE YOUNG VICTORIA" (2009) Review

About a year or so before his popular television series, "DOWNTON ABBEY" hit the airwaves, Julian Fellowes served as screenwriter to the lavish biopic about the early life and reign of Britain's Queen Victoria called "THE YOUNG VICTORIA". The 2009 movie starred Emily Blunt in the title role and Rupert Friend as the Prince Consort, Prince Albert.

"THE YOUNG VICTORIA" began during the last years in the reign of King William IV, Victoria's uncle. Acknowledge as the next ruler of Britain, Victoria became the target of a political tug-of-war between her mother, the Duchess of Kent royal aide Sir John Conroy on one side, and King Leopold I of Belgium on the other. The Duchess of Kent and Sir John want to assume power of the country by having Victoria sign papers declaring a regency. And Leopold I tries to influence the British throne by securing a marriage between Victoria and one of his two nephews - Prince Albrt and Prince Ernst of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Meanwhile, King William eventually dies and Victoria becomes Queen. Once she assumes the throne, Victoria becomes beseiged by her mother and many others to...
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Opinion by DR76 posted over a year ago
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"POLDARK" SERIES ONE (2015): EPISODES ONE TO FOUR

In the years between 2010 and 2015, I have not been able to stumble across a new British period drama that really impressed me. Five years. That is a hell of a long time for a nation with a sterling reputation for period dramas in both movies and television. Fortunately, the five-year dry spell finally came to an end (at least for me) with the arrival of "POLDARK", the BBC's new adaptation of Winston Graham's literary series.

I am certain that some people would point out that during this five-year period, the ITV network aired Julian Fellowes' family drama, "DOWNTON ABBEY". I must admit that I enjoyed the series' first season. But Seasons Two to Six merely sunk to a level of mediocrity and questionable writing. I had never warmed to "RIPPER STREET" or "THE HOUR". And I have yet to see either "PEAKY BLINDERS" or "INDIAN SUMMERS".

A few years ago, I had tried a stab at the first episode of the 1975-1977 series, "POLDARK", which starred Robin Ellis. After viewing ten minutes of theatrical acting and dated photography in Episode One on You Tube, I gave up. Last summer, I read...
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Opinion by DR76 posted over a year ago
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"POLDARK" SERIES ONE (1975): EPISODES ONE TO FOUR

A few years ago, I had tried a stab at the first episode of the 1975-1977 series, "POLDARK", which starred Robin Ellis. After viewing ten minutes of theatrical acting and dated photography in Episode One on You Tube, I gave up.

Last summer, I read all of the hullaballoo surrounding this new adaptation with Aidan Turner in the lead. Utilizing Netflix, I tried my luck again with the 1975 series and ended up enjoying the first four episodes (I have yet to watch any further episodes) and quite enjoyed it. I enjoyed both versions so much that I took the trouble to purchase both the entire 1975-77 series and the 2015 series. In fact, I have decided to watch both versions simultaneously. But I am here to discuss the first four episodes of the 1975 series.

Series One of "POLDARK", which aired in 1975, is based upon Winston Graham's first four novels in the saga - 1945's "Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787", "Demelza: A Novel of Cornwall, 1788-1790" (1946), 1950's "Jeremy Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1790-1791 and 1953's "Warleggan (Poldark)....
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Review by DR76 posted over a year ago
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"FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD" (1998) Review

To my knowledge, there have been five adaptations of Thomas Hardy's 1874 novel, "Far From the Madding Crowd". One of them is even a modern day adaptation. I have not seen this modern version of Hardy's novel. But I have seen at least three adaptations, including the 1967 version directed by John Schlesinger.

"FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD" - at least the 1967 version - has been highly regarded by critics, moviegoers and fans of Hardy's novel for nearly five decades. It is the adaptation that other ones have been measured against . . . much to their detriment. "FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD" was a different direction for Schlesinger. It would prove to be the first of five period productions directed by him. Schlesinger and screenwriter Frederic Raphael stuck as closely to Hardy's novel as they possibly could. The movie was not a hundred percent adaptation of Hardy's novel, but it was pretty close.
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Review by DR76 posted over a year ago
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"LOST IN AUSTEN" (2008) Review

I must admit that I am usually not a fan of novels or any other forms of storytelling that are based upon or continuations of published works of the origin author. This is certainly the case for the numerous works (sans two) based upon Jane Austen's six published novels.

The 2008 miniseries, "LOST IN AUSTEN" is not based upon any particular Austen novel that was not written by the Georgian Era writer. Instead, it is the brainchild of screenwriter Guy Andrews. The latter created this fantasy-comedy, which is an adaptation of Austen's novel, "Pride and Prejudice". "LOST IN AUSTEN" told the story of one Amanda Price, a twenty-something career woman, who lives in Hammersmith, a suburb of London. Amanda works at a bank and shares a flat with another twenty-something named Pirhana. She dates an obtuse and slightly crude young man named Michael, with whom she has become disenchanted. Amanda is also a die-hard Jane Austen fan. And her favorite pastime is reading the author's published works - especially her favorite novel, "Pride and Prejudice".
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Review by DR76 posted over a year ago
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"BLANCHE FURY" (1948) Review

I suspect that many fans of costume dramas would be fascinated to know about the series of period dramas released by the British film industry during the post-World War II era. A good number of those films were released by a British film studio known as Gainsborough Pictures. But not all of them were released through this particular studio. Some were released through other studios or production companies . . . like the 1948 period drama, "BLANCHE FURY".

Based upon the 1939 novel written by Marjorie Bowen (under the pseudonym of Joseph Stearling), "BLANCHE FURY" told the story of two lovers during the 1850s, who become embroiled in adultery, greed and murder. More importantly, Bowen's novel and the movie was inspired by a real-life case involving the 1848 murder of an estate owner and his adult by a tenant farmer trying to stave off a bad mortgage. The story surrounding "BLANCHE FURY" proved to be a bit more complicated and melodramatic.
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Review by chrsvg posted over a year ago
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It seems that Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace («Война и миръ», Voyna i mir) novel is like the holy grail of every director who respects himself. It has been adapted for film, TV, opera, radio. Imdb list 9 War and Peace adaptations including 2 silent films. The novel was first published in 1869. The work is epic in scale and is regarded as one of the most important works of the world literature. It is considered Tolstoy’s finest literary achievement, along with his other major prose work Anna Karenina (1873–1877).

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Review by chrsvg posted over a year ago
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I have just watched the very first episode of The Onedin Line, a 1971 BBC production and although I am perfectly ready to admit that I am long overdue, I cannot help but feeling a new obsession coming up.

Plot: James Onedin is a poor young skipper in Liverpool who dreams of starting his own shipping business and breaking free from his powerful boss. In order to acquire his first ship, Charlotte Rhodes, he marries Anne the daughter of the ship owner and the adventure begins…

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Opinion by chrsvg posted over a year ago
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Sonya Rostova is a fictional character in Leo Tolstoy’s 1869 novel War and Peace. She is the orphaned niece of Count and Countess Rostov and, as a result, she is living with the Rostov family. She and her cousin Natasha share a very special bond and they are inseparable. At the start of the novel, 15-year-old Sonya is in love with her cousin, Nikolai Rostov, who initially reciprocates her feelings. Sonya has no dowry and Nikolai’s mother opposes the match. However, she and Nikolai swear eternal love before he leaves to fight in the war.

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Review by chrsvg posted over a year ago
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Stars: 5/5

Plot: A group of people is lured into coming to an island under different pretexts. All have been complicit in the death(s) of other human beings but either escaped justice or committed an act that was not subject to legal sanction. The guests and servants are charged with their respective crimes by a gramophone recording after dinner the first night and informed that they have been brought to the island to pay for their actions and one by one are starting to die in a manner that seems to parallel the ten deaths in the nursery rhyme.

The nursery rhyme: link
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Review by chrsvg posted over a year ago
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I watched this adaptation of Jane Eyre yesterday and I have to admit that I did have great expectations for this one. However, I was rather disappointed than rewarded for watching it.

As a girl I was a huge Jane Eyre fan and I used to read the book 3 or 4 times per year. The truth is that when I first read it I was too young to actually understand all the important issues, like social class, gender relations,

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Review by DR76 posted over a year ago
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"CALIFORNIA" (1947) Review

I am a history nut. And one of my favorite historical periods that I love to study is the Antebellum Era of the United States. One of my favorite topics from this period is the California Gold Rush. I also love movies. But despite this love, I have been constantly disappointed by Hollywood's inability to create a first-rate movie about Gold Rush.

I may have to take back my comment about Hollywood's inability to produce a first-rate movie or television production about the Gold Rush. There were at least three that managed to impress me. Unfortunately, the latest film about the Gold Rush that I saw was Paramount Pictures' 1947 film, "CALIFORNIA". And it did not impress me.

Directed by John Farrow, "CALIFORNIA" told the story of how California became this country's 31st state. The story, written by Frank Butler and Theodore Strauss, is told from the viewpoints of a handful of characters - a female gambler/singer named Lily Bishop, a former U.S. Army officer-turned-wagon train guide named Jonathan Trumbo, a former slave ship captain and profiteer named Captain Pharaoh Coffin, and a Irish-born farmer named...
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Article by DR76 posted over a year ago
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RELEASE OF OLD BBC PRODUCTIONS

Since the release of the 1975 miniseries "NORTH AND SOUTH" in 2013, I have found myself wondering about other BBC productions from the 1960s and 1970s.

I recently discovered that the 1996 miniseries, "THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL" was the second adaptation of Anne Brontë's novel. The first was a 1968 miniseries that starred Janet Munro, Bryan Marshall and Corin Redgrave. I also discovered that the 1999 miniseries, "WIVES AND DAUGHTERS", was not the first adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel. The BBC aired an earlier adaptation in 1971 that starred Zhivila Roche.

Does anyone know how to contact the BBC? I would like them to consider releasing these two productions in the near future.
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Review by DR76 posted over a year ago
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"THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO" (1934) Review

I have seen only two versions of Alexandre Dumas père's 1845 novel, "The Count of Monte Cristo" in my past - the 1975 television version with Richard Chamberlain and the 2002 Disney film with James Cavielzel. While reading a good number of articles about the movie versions of the novel, I came across numerous praises for the 1934 adaptation that starred Robert Donat. And since I happened to like Dumas' story so much, I decided to see how much I would like this older version.

Set between the last months of the Napoleonic Wars and the 1830s, "THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO" told the story of merchant sailor Edmond Dantès becomes a victim of French political machinations and personal jealousy after his dying captain Leclère, a supporter of the exiled Napoléon I, charges him to deliver a letter from the exiled former emperor to an unknown man in Marseilles. Thanks to the first mate Danglars, who is jealous of Dantès' rapid rise to captain; an ambitious city magistrate named Raymond de Villefort, Jr., who wants to stem a possible family scandal, due to his father being identified as the man to whom...
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Review by DR76 posted over a year ago
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"GONE WITH THE WIND" (1939) Review

Several years ago, I had come across an article that provided a list of old classics that the author felt might be overrated. One of those movies turned out to be the 1939 Oscar winning film, "GONE WITH THE WIND". Not only did the author accuse the movie of being both racist and sexist, he also claimed that the movie had not aged very well over the past seven decades.

Did I agree with the author? Well, let me put it this way. I would say that "GONE WITH THE WIND" has managed to withstand the tests of time . . . to a certain extent. As the author had pointed out, the sexism and racism are obvious and rather off-putting. First of all, the slaves came across as too servile for my taste. Although there were moments when it seemed the slave Prissy did not particularly care for the movie's heroine, Scarlett O'Hara. And although Prissy was not the only dimwitted character in the story (think of Melanie and Charles Hamilton's Aunt Pittypatt, the Tarleton brothers, and yes, even Charles Hamilton himself), she had the bad luck to spout that unfortunate line that must have been the bane of actress Butterfly...
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Review by DR76 posted over a year ago
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Below is my review of the 2004 BBC miniseries, "NORTH AND SOUTH", which is an adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's 1855 novel:


"NORTH AND SOUTH" (2004) Review

If someone had told me years ago that I would find myself watching the 2004 BBC television adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s 1855 novel, let alone purchase a DVD copy of the miniseries, I would have dismissed that person’s notion as inconceivable. I have never shown any previous interest in ”NORTH AND SOUTH”. And I am still baffled at how I suddenly became interested in it.

Mind you, I have been aware of the 2004 miniseries for the past several years. This was due to my interest in the three miniseries based upon John Jakes’ literary trilogy about two families during the years before, during and after the American Civil War. Every time I tried to find photographs or websites about Jakes’ trilogy, I would end up encountering material on the BBC miniseries. It took me at least three to four years to express any real interest in ”NORTH AND SOUTH”. But in the end, I found it difficult to ignore the mid-Victorian setting (a period I have always been...
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Review by DR76 posted over a year ago
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"THE PRISONER OF ZENDA" (1937) Review

I realize that many film critics and fans would agree with my suspicion that the 1930s saw a great deal of action films released to theaters. In fact, I believe there were as high number of actions films released back then as they are now. Among the type of action films that flourished during that era were swashbucklers.

One of the most famous Hollywood swashbucklers released during the 1930s was "THE PRISONER OF ZENDA", producer David O. Selznick's 1937 adaptation of Anthony Hope's 1894 novel. This tale of middle European political intrigue and identity theft has been either remade or spoofed countless of times over the years. One of the most famous spoofs included George MacDonald Fraser's 1970 Flashman novel called "Royal Flash". But if one asked many moviegoers which adaptation comes to mind, I believe many would point out Selznick's 1937 movie.

Directed by John Cromwell, the movie began with Englishman Rudolf Rassendyll's arrival in the kingdom of Ruritania in time for the coronation of its new king, Rudolf V. The English visitor's looks attract a great deal of attention from...
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Review by DR76 posted over a year ago
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"SENSE AND SENSIBILITY" (1971) Review

For some reason, I still find it hard to believe that until recently, very few people were aware that the first adaptation of Jane Austen's 1811 novel, "Sense and Sensibility", dated as far back as 1971. After all, people have been aware of other Austen adaptations during this same period or earlier. Even the Wikipedia site fails to mention it, except in connection with one of the cast members. What was about this four-part miniseries that eluded so many Austen fans?

In "SENSE AND SENSIBILITY", a wealthy landowner named Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his two daughters and second wife at the mercy of his son by his first marriage, thanks to the rules of inheritance. When the son fails to financially help his sisters and stepmother, the trio are forced to live at a meager cottage, thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Dashwood's cousin. The miniseries follows the love lives of the sisters, while they deal with their new penniless status.
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Review by DR76 posted over a year ago
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"PRINCE OF PERSIA: SANDS OF TIME" (2010) Review

Four years ago, I had listened to a radio talk show in which a movie reviewer compared Disney’s 2010 movie, "PRINCE OF PERSIA: SANDS OF TIME" to the 1962 Oscar winning film, ”LAWRENCE OF ARABIA”. Much to the detriment of the Disney film. And as I sat there and listened to him bash "PRINCE OF PERSIA", it occurred to me that there still were plenty of idiots in this world . . . including radio disc jockeys.

Directed by Mike Newell and based upon the 2003 video game, ”PRINCE OF PERSIA” is about an orphaned street urchin in sixth century Persia named Dastan whose gallant and courageous act at a marketplace attracts the attention of King Sharaman and leads to his adoption into the Royal Family. Fifteen years later, Dastan, his royal-blooded foster brothers, Prince Tus and Prince Garsiv, and his uncle, Prince Nizam are planning an attack on the sacred city of Alamut, which is believed to be selling weapons to their enemies. However, Persia’s successful invasion of Alamut eventually leads to a great deal of trouble for Dastan, when he is framed for the assassination of the...
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