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Maggie Smith at the BBC

Maggie Smith , Peter Barkworth , Cedric Messina , Richard Eyre    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 49.98
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Maggie Smith at the BBC + The Judi Dench Collection + Helen Mirren at the BBC
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best in acting Feb. 6 2014
Verified Purchase
The admirers of Maggie Smith, and those who don't know her (if it is possible!) as well, will be delighted in having this collection of some of her best performances at BBC. Elegantly presented in a beautiful case, it includes 3 discs and a booklet on the actress, plus many extras at the end of each disc, included a radio play.
The collection includes: Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice", Bernard Shaw's "The Millionairess", Tennessee Williams' "Suddenly Last Summer", and a superb monologue written just for her by Alan Bennett, "Talking Heads: Bed Among the Lentils"
Maggie Smith is at her top in these performances, which go from comedy to drama. She passes from being comical, farcical, witty to dramatic, to sad, subdue, or majestic, from glamorous to plain. You can really enjoy the vast spectrum of her dramatic persona.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 1 2014
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very satisfied thank's
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maggie Smith - Do I need to Say More! Feb. 22 2008
By Movie Mania - Published on Amazon.com
Maggie Smith is one of Britan's national treasures. Every time I am in London, the first thing I do is see if she is performing. I have seen some very incredible performances by this brilliant actress.

This DVD sets contains four of her television performances from 1972 to 1993. I have only seen two of the specials but am anxious to see the other two.

Merchant of Venice (1972) is a Shakespeare comedy. (I never understand this because it has some of the most intense moments of a Shakespeare play.) This is about love and devotion. Maggie Smith plays Portia, whose suitors must get by three boxes to find love and must save her true love's mentor from certain death. (I have not seen this production.)

The Millionairess (1972) is from the social commentarian George Bernard Shaw and this is also available in the George Bernard on BBC box set. (This also

Bed Among the Lentils (1988) was shown in America on Masterpiece Theatre and the first of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads. Each of these specials is a one person monologue. In Bed Among the Lentils, Maggie plays Susan, a pastor's wife whose life is unfullfilling. This is about an hour long and Maggie just mesmerizes you from the get go. And this is very hard as the character is very bored with her life and Maggie makes you feel for her. She won Royal Television Society Best Actress Award and was nominate for a BAFTA (the Emmy nominating commitee was again fast asleep.)

Suddenly Last Summer is a direct filming of the Tennessee Williams play. It was shown at in America on PBS's Great Performances. This is quite different from the movie as it has only one set and no flashbacks and therefore Sebestian Venerable is only referred to in this. Maggie plays Mrs. Venerable who wants her niece institutionalize to hide her family secret. Natasha Richardson, in an early role, plays Catherine Holly. Catherine witnessed the gory death of her cousin Sebastian and has not recovered from this and the events leading up to this. Rob Lowe, yes Rob Lowe plays the psychiatrist,Dr. Cukrowicz, who is here to evaluate in institutionalize Catherine. But what happens is a volatile exploration of the events and the truth behind them. This is an amazing production and is comperable to the Katherine Hepburn movie. Maggie recieved her first Emmy Award for this production. This show runs about 90 minutes - without intermission.

This should be an incredible set showcasing one of the greatest actresses of the 20th century - and still at it! And at this price it is very reasonable for once!
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally- a BBC collection of rare Smith performances Feb. 29 2008
By T. Dewey - Published on Amazon.com
I have seen all of these performances except for The Merchant of Venice. The Talking Heads (Bed Among the Lentils) monologues performance is both subtle and illuminating- a real landmark performance. The Millionairess is a thrilling bit of acting. And the remake of Suddenly Last Summer is quite an interesting counterpart to the famous Hepburn/Taylor film of the late 1950s. What I'd love to see is another set including TV films "Memento Mori" and others from her work on UK television. But this is a good start. Thank you BCC for releasing this in the USA! More please!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smith is Smith - a legend. June 29 2008
By Roy Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
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To many people, Maggie Smith is a legend as a consummate actress. I am one of these people. Accordingly, I admit to possible bias. Nevertheless.....
Her work in these separate stories, is first rate. Importantly, it shows her at her best in many disparate roles. Because of this, it is possible that one - or other - of the roles might be found less to the viewer's taste than another. In my opinion, this doesn't make Smith's acting any the less brilliant and convincing.
A very good buy for, both, acting aficionados and Maggie Smith devotees.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Theatre on DVD Dec 23 2009
By Kathryn K. Hansen - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I ordered this primarily for the TV movie version of "Suddenly Last Summer" with Natasha Richardson. It is a hauntingly beautiful, painful adaptation of the play by Tennessee Williams. Everyone in it is so very good, and right in their parts. But the entire DVD is a look at some of Maggie Smith's fine work as an actress, mostly culled from actual theatrical plays. It is wonderful to find these put together on a DVD for us.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have for Any Maggie Smith Fan. July 21 2009
By Daniel C. Long - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I bought this set because this is the only DVD recording of "Talking Heads: Bed Among The Lentils" which is the most wonderful, touching monologue which was especially written by Alan Bennett for Maggie Smith. See it and love it.
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