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Elizabeth R

 Unrated   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 74.98
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Elizabeth R + Six Wives of Henry VIII + Anne Of The Thousand Days / Mary, Queen Of Scots
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Product Description


Glenda Jackson is majestic in the six-video miniseries from the BBC, Elizabeth R. Covering the entire reign of Elizabeth I, from her struggles with her half-sister Mary just before being crowned as queen to her death in 1603, the series profiles the life of the Virgin Queen in detail--and with historical accuracy--not possible in the as beautiful, but much shorter, theatrical release, Elizabeth. Religious conflicts, her struggle over the execution of her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, battles with Spain, court politics, and of course her flirtations with Robert Dudley (portrayed as an almost-comical fop by Robert Hardy) and her decision to remain unmarried are just some of the highlights of this magnificently costumed and finely acted piece. Jackson skillfully captures the capricious moods and incredible intellect of the queen who defied the pope and the conventions of the time as a strong-willed woman, and characters from textbooks--Sir Francis Bacon, Sir Walter Raleigh, King Phillip II--come vividly to life. Elizabeth R (and for those not in the know, the "R" is for "Regina") is a splendid melding of history and entertainment, and as thorough as this series is, you will still long for more. --Jenny Brown

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling viewing Nov. 24 2001
By A Customer
I'm English and I can vaguely remember this series on the BBC when I was a child. I've heard about it, how popular it was at the time, how it was shown all over Europe and made a star out of Glenda Jackson. I have an interest in the period and a fascination with Elizabeth I, who remains one of the best remembered and admired of all English rulers in England's long history. So, I bought this DVD, although no-one seemilingly can tell me why this is available on DVD and VHS in the USA but only on VHS in England!
It was well worth importing. True, the limitations of 1970's BBC production values do irratate a bit at times, but the quality of the drama - the supremely intelligent dialogue, and above all Jackson's acting really make you forget this after a short time. The reason is of course is that this belongs to a tradition that we're not so used to seeing today - the theatrical. For this is a theatre production with a camera instead of a live audience, where the dialogue, and above all the acting are made to shine and where the background is essentially irrelevent. The costumes are, however, superlative.
I really can't praise this drama enough, it's completely spellbinding. The historical accuracy is excellent, but above anything else it's Glenda Jackson's performance which is the real standout here, and moreover once you read the historical accounts you realise how astonishingly accurate Jackson's performance is - she simply *is* Elizabeth. You cannot take your eyes off her when she's onscreen - her expression of face, eyes, her voice, they all convey a myriad of things all at once.
This really is essential viewing, not only as a marvellous drama but for Jackson's extraordinary portrait of this most extraordinary woman.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent film -- worth the money Dec 28 2004
OK, let's take a look at what we have: a nine-hour miniseries about an English Queen who's been dead for 400 years. A bit of a bore? Not at all! Glenda Jackson interprets and plays this woman extremely well, as an extremely capable and witty leader of a country that, 400 years ago, was far from stable. She turns what could have been a VERY dull miniseries into a story that will keep you watching, DVD after DVD. Her acting is quite creative and impressed me very much. Whoever was in charge of the costumes and the set also did a terrific job.
Another plus about this set is that it includes the A&E Biography, which is excellent, and will provide some helpful background information before you watch the miniseries itself. Before I watched these DVDs, I had no idea who Elizabeth was. Now I want to watch them again and I'm looking for biographies. This series is definitely worth every penny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE WOMAN WHO WOULD BE QUEEN... Dec 12 2006
By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
This Masterpiece Theatre, six play series of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England is magnificent. Written by six different playwrights, they are uniformly excellent. Glenda Jackson reigns supreme in the role of Elizabeth I.

While the production values are not high, that is because these plays were part of a televised series for which there were budgetary constraints. The shift from indoor sets to outdoor scenes is awkward, as it entails a switch from tape to film. The stage makeup is noticeable, as the lighting is harsh and glaring. Although the sets are a stark and dreary backdrop, the costumes are sumptuous and gorgeous. More important, the acting is, at all times, superlative.

Elizabeth I is played to perfection by Glenda Jackson. She has set the standard by which all others who seek to reprise this role will be judged, and she is the linchpin around which the entire six play series revolves. She begins the series playing Elizabeth as the young woman who would be queen, waiting upon the whims of her sister, the Queen Mary, and trying to survive the political intrigues and plots which surround her and threaten her very existence. The threat dissipates upon Mary's death, though it never disappears, and she becomes Queen of her beloved England.

As the series progresses, one sees her mature and resist the overtures and attentions of would be husbands, preferring, instead, to be married to England. One sees the development of her political and diplomatic acumen, as she sublimates her personal desires to become the greatest monarch, male or female, England has ever known, The Virgin Queen.

Each one of the plays has its own unique story to tell about Elizabeth and is a first rate drama that segues seamlessly into the next. The supporting cast is superb.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Dramatisation! March 26 2004
By Tiggah
Elizabeth R is an outstanding and refreshingly accurate 1972 dramatisation of the life of Queen Elizabeth I. Headed by an all-star British cast, the acting is flawless, the costumes magnificent, the writing first-rate, and the dialogue sumptuous. Existing documents have been utilised for speeches and such, but the same tone or feel has been maintained throughout, resulting in a rich verbal tapestry.
The series is presented in six 90-minute episodes, and as for the quality of the DVD set, the BBC has done an exceptional job. The picture is nice and clear, the sound is good, and the disc set is encased in a richly flocked, emerald green slip case. Best of all, however, are the numerous special features. Firstly there is a 30-minute interview with Glenda Jackson (2001) wherein she talks about the role and her preparation for it, about Elizabeth, and lastly about politics (she's been a Labour MP for the last decade or so). Also informative is a 20-minute interview with historian Alison Weir (2001), wherein she talks about Elizabeth, her world, and the accuracy of the presentation. There is a 45-minute A&E biography (1996) on the life of Elizabeth, an audio reading by Jackson of a number of period documents, behind-the-scenes' photos of Jackson in make-up and costume fitting, a portrait gallery with stills of various characters displayed beside portraits of the originals, and a text-based guide to who's who in the cast. A wonderful feature (which I highly recommend viewers take advantage of!) is the audio commentary provided by Alison Weir, which one can turn on while watching the episodes. Weir provides a lot of background information and other tidbits, as well as highlighting areas where liberties have been taken.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I saw this series many years ago. Glenda Jackson is excellent. I saw her interviewed many years ago and she
said she could play Elizabeth for the rest of her life and never... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Frank Hennessey
5.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth R
Excellent writing and excellent acting characterize Elizabeth R. How wonderful to see this again after so many years. The series has held up well and does not seem dated. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Debra Yundt
5.0 out of 5 stars Saw it as a child wonderful to watch it again
Glenda Jackson is such a wonderful actress this is probaly one of her best performances. The series still racks up tops against new versions of elizabeths life.
Published 21 months ago by Cathy Tassie
3.0 out of 5 stars Watching a play.
This product contains a lot of character acting, and is more in the vein of a stage play. Once you remember this, then the video is well worth watching. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2010 by Norman Dye
5.0 out of 5 stars More extras than listed
There's little I can say that others haven't already stated: this is a brilliantly acted, extremely well-written arc of six plays. Read more
Published on April 27 2004 by K. Parent
5.0 out of 5 stars Great production
I was expecting the sets and costume to look like it was produced in 1971, but I was much surprised that it could have passed being produced early 1990s. Read more
Published on April 1 2004 by ineurope
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning drama
I had dim memories of enjoying this miniseries, and used my very generous Christmas Amazon gift certificate to buy it. I have been spellbound ever since it arrived. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Costumer's dream
I bought this before ever seeing the series and I must say I couldn't have spent my money any better. This is so beautiful to watch and the acting is right up there! Read more
Published on Dec 16 2003 by Christa Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories
I am a 44 year old transplanted Irishwoman and I well remember seeing this and the six wives of Henry the VIII as a child. How I looked forward to Wednesday nights. Read more
Published on Aug. 3 2003 by deirdre merriman
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this series!
I've watched this series on DVD many, many times since I bought it. The acting, the portrayals, and the costuming are amazing. Read more
Published on July 25 2003 by "l2w2ma2"
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