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Review by DR76 posted 12 days ago
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"GEORGE WASHINGTON" (1984) Review

Twenty-four years before the award-winning HBO miniseries "JOHN ADAMS" aired, the CBS network aired a miniseries about the first U.S. President, George Washington. Simply titled "GEORGE WASHINGTON", this three-part miniseries was based upon two biographies written by James Thomas Flexner - 1965's "George Washington, the Forge of Experience, 1732–1775" and 1968's "George Washington in the American Revolution, 1775–1783".

"GEORGE WASHINGTON" spanned at least forty years in the life of the first president - from 1743, when his father Augustine Washington died from a sudden illness; to 1783, when Washington bid good-bye to the officers who had served under him during the American Revolutionary War. The miniseries covered some of the major events of Washington's life:

[i]*His training and profession as a surveyor of Western lands
*His experiences as an officer of the Virginia militia during the Seven Years War
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Opinion by DR76 posted 2 months ago
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"POLDARK" SERIES ONE (2015): EPISODES FIVE TO EIGHT

Within the past year, I had developed a major interest in author Winston Graham's 1945-2002 "POLDARK" literary saga and the two television adaptations of it. Series One of the second adaptation produced by Debbie Horsfield, premiered on the BBC (in Great Britain) and PBS (in the United States) last year. Consisting of eight episodes, Series One of "POLDARK" was an adaptation of 1945's "Ross Poldark - A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787" and "Demelza - A Novel of Cornwall, 1788-1790".
Whereas Episodes One to Four adapted the 1945 novel, Episodes Five to Eight adapted the 1946 novel.

Episode Four left off with the death of Ross Poldark's uncle, Charles; leaving Trenwith, the family's premiere estate, in the hands of his cousin Francis. Ross' former kitchen maid and new bride, Demelza Carne Poldark, formed a friendship with Francis' sister Verity and accompanied Ross to a rather tense Christmas celebration at Trenwith, which was further marred by an unexpected appearance of the noveau-riche Warleggan family and friends. Ross also learned that copper had been discovered...
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Review by DR76 posted 3 months ago
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"PERSUASION" (1971) Review

This adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1818 novel turned out to be the first of the old Jane Austen television adaptations that the BBC aired during the 1970s and 80s. Produced and directed by Howard Baker, and adapted by Julian Mitchell; this two-part miniseries starred Ann Firbanks and Bryan Marshall.

As many fans of Austen’s novel would know, "PERSUASION" told the story of Anne Elliot, the middle daughter of a vain and spendthrift baronet, who finds herself reunited with her former finance, a Naval officer of lesser birth named Frederick Wentworth. Eight years before the beginning of the story, Anne’s godmother, Lady Russell, had persuaded her to reject Wentworth’s marriage proposal, citing the Naval officer’s lack of family connections and fortune. She reunites with Wentworth, during a prolonged family visit to her younger sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Charles Musgrove. And the Naval officer has managed to acquire a fortune during the Napoleonic Wars. Anne is forced to watch Wentworth woo Mary’s sister-in-law, Louisa Musgrove, while he ignores his earlier attraction to her.
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Review by DR76 posted 4 months ago
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"AND THEN THERE WERE NONE" (2015) Review

Ever since I gave up reading the "NANCY DREW" novels at the age of thirteen, I have been a fan of those written by Agatha Christie. And that is a hell of a long time. In fact, my fandom toward Christie's novels have extended toward the film and television adaptations. Among those stories that have captured my imagination were the adaptations of the author's 1939 novel, "AND THEN THERE WERE NONE".

To be honest, I have seen at least three adaptations of the 1939 novel - the 1945, 1966 and 1974 adaptations - before I had read the novel. Although I found some of the novel's aspects a bit troubling - namely its original title and minimal use of racial slurs, overall I regard it as one of Christie's best works . . . if not my favorite. After viewing three cinematic adaptations, I saw the BBC's recent adaptation that aired back in December 2015 as a three-part miniseries.

I noticed that "AND THEN THERE WERE NONE" was the first adaptation I have seen that more or less adhered to the novel's original novel. But it was not the first one that actually did. One of the most famous...
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Review by DR76 posted 6 months ago
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"THE THREE MUSKETEERS" (1948) Review

There are times when I find myself amazed at the longevity of Alexandre Dumas' 1844 novel, "The Three Musketeers". The novel has been in circulation for nearly 170 years. Hollywood and other film industries have been adapting the novel for the movies or television for nearly a century. One adaptation I recently viewed was the Hollywood movie produced and released by MGM Studios in 1948.

We all know the story. A young Frenchman from Gascon sets out for Paris in the early 17th century to join the King's Musketeers. During this journey, he meets a beautiful, mysterious woman and picks a fight with one of the lady's escorts. Upon his arrival in Paris, d'Artagnan presents himself to Commander de Treville of the Musketeers and successfully joins the unit, despite losing his father's letter of introduction. D'Artagnan also manages to annoy three of the most skillful Musketeers - Athos, Aramis and Porthos - and schedule a duel with all three of them. His duel with Athos ends when members of Cardinal Richelieu's men tries to arrest the Musketeers. And d'Artagnan assists the Musketeers in their fight against the...
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Opinion by DR76 posted 8 months 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 10 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 10 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 over a year 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 over a year 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 over a year 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 over a year 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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