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The Jewel in the Crown (25th Anniversary Edition)
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This acclaimed adaptation of Paul Scot's masterpiece, The Raj Quartet, is filmed on location and re-creates the turbulent period when British colonial rule in India came crashing down. The memorable cast includes Dame Peggy Ashcroft and Charles Dance. This 25th anniversary edition is the ultimate version for collectors and new fans of the classic saga alike!
The Jewel in the Crown, adapted from Paul Scott's Raj Quartet novels, tells the story of the final years before India gained independence in 1947. It is rare for a filmed adaptation to successfully preserve the richness and complexity of a great novel, but this epic miniseries succeeds both as personal drama and historical panorama.
In 1942 Daphne Manners, a naive young woman newly arrived in the town of Mayapore, befriends Hari Kumar, an Indian-born journalist who has spent most of his life in England. With his dark skin and educated English accent, Hari feels like an outsider wherever he goes, but Daphne understands his plight and they become romantically involved. Their developing relationship is jealously observed by local police chief Ronald Merrick, a man haunted by his own demons. When the lovers are attacked in the gardens of the ruined Bibighar palace and Daphne is raped, Merrick seizes his opportunity, pins the crime on Hari, and has the young man jailed. Distraught, Daphne flees to her aunt's home in Kashmir, where she dies giving birth to a half-caste child. The focus then shifts to Sarah Layton, a young Englishwoman who becomes fascinated by the story of Daphne and Hari, and who will have her own encounter with Ronald Merrick.
The events in the Bibighar gardens become a symbol of the violent struggle for Indian independence, and other symbols--Daphne's bicycle, a length of butterfly lace, a picture of Queen Victoria on an Indian throne--appear and reappear, linking people and events. This helps to give coherence to the plot even as it spans five years and expands to include many characters whose lives intersect in complex and unexpected ways.
With a huge cast and breathtaking location photography, The Jewel in the Crown was an enormous undertaking when it was made in the early 1980s. Twenty years later it has lost none of its power, and it remains one of the best films ever made for television. --Simon Leake --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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While the series itself is wonderful and certainly worth owning, I have NEVER seen a worse DVD transfer. Even my seedy Madacy Entertainment copy of Fritz Lang's 1226 "Metropolis" is of higher quality. The visuals are fuzzy and grainy at the same time, and there are severe block artifacts everytime the screen gets even slightly dark. All scenes shot at night or in the darkness are almost unwatchable because of the visual noise.
The sound seemed alright to me at first, but then I turned the volume up a bit and found that there is a kind of low-pitch static, like machine noise underneath the vocals and music.
Please buy the VHS tapes - and let A&E know that this is simply unacceptable!
The Jewel in the Crown is absolutely one of historic the highlights of "quality" television. An absolutely arresting story. Wonderful script, wonderful acting, etc. I can't add anything on that count to the reviews already here.
That makes the TERRIBLE quality of the DVD transfer all the more disappointing. This set has literally the WORST video quality I have ever seen on a DVD! Murky, muddy picture with visible scratches and dirt on the film. The soundtrack is a little better. On my home theater setup it sounds like its coming over a half-decent clock radio. Seriously, the picture looks like they took an old VHS tape of the show and just ran it through a disc burner.
No, I don't expect blockbuster quality from an 30-year old BBC film, but I would have expected something more like the recent DVD set of Elizabeth R, which is quite watchable.
Sadly, this is almost surely the only DVD we'll ever see of this marvelous series. I'm going to rent the old tapes of this. They might easily be better. If not, I guess this is what we're all stuck with.
It was produced (like Brideshead Revisited) by Granada Television and comes from a golden period in British TV programme making where there was a genuine rivalry to make quality TV programmes between the BBC and other independent companies which not only entertain but also educate.
The Jewel in the Crown has to be one of the best TV series ever made anywhere. The massive scope of the story and the fantastic acting and filming make the series immortal. Add to that the period setting and it doesn't age at all.
Just a shame us Brits have to buy the DVD version from the US because they can't be bothered to produce it over this side of the pond!!!
Two words of advice "BUY IT"
The reality, of course was much different. As the British withdrew from the various imperial possessions, they left behind a mixed legacy, and nowhere was this more evident than in India, where the religious antagonism between Hindu & Muslim continues to be felt today, almost 56 years after independence.
"The Jewel in the Crown" follows the final years of the Raj, 1942 to 1947. The story unfolds at wonderfully relaxed pace, as principal characters enter & depart, to be replaced with other characters. Some of the important characters, such as Guy Perron, are ones the viewer will not even meet until the 10th episode.
The two characters that are the driving force behind the story are Hari Kumar, an Indian given an upper-class public school education in England, and Ronald Merrick, a lower class police officer. Both are men who simply do not fit in, and are abundantly aware of it.
Kumar is an Indian with English sensibilites; he knows nothing of Indian culture and initially can only speak english, but is regard by the British as simply another damned Indian. He struggles to find his place in an environment where the British expect that all Indians should know their place.
Merrick, on the other hand, is a "grammar-school boy" (as he constantly reminds people) who has great talent, ability, and ambition.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Great series I would recommend for viewing for adults and nobody under 15 . I truly enjoyed from start to finish.Published 3 months ago by J. M. Arnold
it was great series, wonderful story, enjoyed it very muchPublished 17 months ago by Allyson Denford
An all time favourite of mine..Watched originally on TV and wanted to have a copy to keep.Published 19 months ago by Roberta Hall
Loved this movie. Amazing locations and good storyline. Faithful to the books. Enjoyed every minute. Costumes were accurate, acting was very good I thought. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Brian Talty
This 1984 Granada television production, is an exquisitely detailed mini series covering the emotion, passion and politics of India during the succession from British rule. Read morePublished on June 12 2011 by Ruth Tonon
This is a Great Story. Well told, beautiful scenery and describes the history behind India's Independence from the UK from both sides. Read morePublished on April 25 2011 by Jim Zimmerman
I think this is a very well-done series, showing the social changes that were going on at the end of the British rule in India. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2010 by Margaret R. Laidlaw
I had just finished reading The Jewel in the Crown when I started to wathch this set of videos. The story was fascinating. Read morePublished on Dec 2 2010 by Livvy
Very satisfying viewing experience especially if you like period pieces, India, British productions or History. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2010 by M. White