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The Jewel in the Crown (25th Anniversary Edition)

Tim Pigott-Smith , Geraldine James    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 44.99
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Frequently Bought Together

The Jewel in the Crown (25th Anniversary Edition) + Far Pavilions + A Passage to India (Collector's Edition, 2 discs) Bilingual
Price For All Three: CDN$ 88.93

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Product Description


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

Product Description

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!

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jewel in the Crown Nov. 30 2008
While the story is excellent, the picture and sound are terrible on dvd. Obviously it was decided to issue this on the cheap! Additionally, this seems to be a truncated version - continuity is hard to follow, some significant characters just disappear and new ones appear with little background.There have to be significant parts cut out because someone decided they were not essential. Despite all this, I still recommend people get it because the story is so good and helps our understanding of history and the world today
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series - Appalling digital transfer May 16 2003
Heed Spoffo's warning.
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!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting the record straight ... Feb. 15 2003
A number of reviewers have said that this is a BBC production. It wasn't.
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"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece Desecrated by DVD July 25 2003
By A Customer
I replaced my VHS version of "The Jewel in the Crown" with the new A&E DVD version and now wish I'd left well enough alone. Unlike most DVD transfers, this one was a gigantic step down in technical quality. The sound mixing was off in most of the episodes, obscuring dialogue and necessitating constant fiddling with the sound level. This series is a sterling example of television at its best, but for now watch the VHS version. For those wanting a refresher on the political events and people alluded to by characters in "Jewel in the Crown," I'd recommend first watching "Ghandi," which portrays the politcal situation played out during that time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 2 2014
An all time favourite of mine..Watched originally on TV and wanted to have a copy to keep.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie May 24 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Loved this movie. Amazing locations and good storyline. Faithful to the books. Enjoyed every minute. Costumes were accurate, acting was very good I thought. Not overly dramatic and you get a real feel for the conflict the main players in the story are placed in.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Story, terrible transfer July 18 2002
This DVD set is a real heartbreaker!
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long Sad Story With An Unhappy Ending Oct. 14 2003
By Icepick
Very involving drama circulating around a number of characters in the last years of British rule in India. The plot never telegraphs its destinations, which keeps the story somewhat disorienting, and nothing quite resolves, if it resolves at all, the way I expected. A good reminder of how Hollywood films tend to predictability. JITC is not Hollywood and gives more the feel of life and its genuine uncertainties. It's challenging because of the number of characters and the complexities of the relationships, both personal and political. But very worthwhile.
The DVD is not a bright, crystalline picture. Colors are somewhat washed out, and the image is not particularly sharp, especially in dark scenes. However, the picture is generally free of annoying blemishes. After quickly adjusting to the picture quality, I enjoyed the series very much.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jewel in the Crown is a Jewel
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 more
Published on June 12 2011 by Ruth Tonon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
This is a Great Story. Well told, beautiful scenery and describes the history behind India's Independence from the UK from both sides. Read more
Published on April 25 2011 by Jim Zimmerman
4.0 out of 5 stars Class conflicts in India
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 more
Published on Dec 4 2010 by Margaret R. Laidlaw
5.0 out of 5 stars As absprbing as the book
I had just finished reading The Jewel in the Crown when I started to wathch this set of videos. The story was fascinating. Read more
Published on Dec 2 2010 by Livvy
5.0 out of 5 stars Jewel Viewing
Very satisfying viewing experience especially if you like period pieces, India, British productions or History. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2010 by M. White
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I expected!
Fabulous epic story - A must see if you are at all interested in the history & life in India during the Raj era. Excellent!
Published on Oct. 23 2009 by Valerie J. Cite
2.0 out of 5 stars I must be missing something!
I have to agree with reviewers who complained about the visual quality of the dvd version. In any event, I attempt to focus on the story. Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Horrible transfer - just get the VHS format.
Great story and strong performances - but, ugh, what a lousy transfer to DVD. The images are grainy and the sound muddied. Read more
Published on July 3 2003
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