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Elizabeth R (Repackage)
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I have not finished watching this set as it started to bore me. I don't like it as much as other Queen Elizabeth 1 DVD'sPublished 12 months ago by GL
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
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 morePublished 20 months ago by Debra Yundt
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 on Dec 19 2012 by Cathy Tassie
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 morePublished on Jan. 19 2010 by Norman Dye
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 morePublished on April 27 2004 by K. Parent
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 morePublished on April 1 2004 by Amazon Customer
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 morePublished on Jan. 9 2004