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4.8 out of 5 stars19
4.8 out of 5 stars
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
James Clavell was a WONDERFUL Writer (yes, with a capital W) and NOBLE HOUSE was a gift he left to us!

Through his eyes we visit Hong Kong in the 1970's. Clavell, a virtuoso connoisseur of the human condition, manages to interweave a multitude of stories into a continuous carpet of a city living fast, taking risks, winning and loosing but never giving up.
Heads of huge conglomerates on the verge of foundering - yet never letting go of their rival's throat; dirt-poor Chinese maids striking it rich by a sudden turn of their joss; photographer-Wo and his trophy collection; drug-running smugglers asking for favors-you-can't-refuse; cold war spy networks riddled with double and triple agents; an American stock-market runner trying his hand in raiding Hong Kong companies; ladies getting "pillowed", men getting wooed, fortunes made and lost in the 10 days these all take place. Will the Noble House survive?

To quote Balzac, behind every great fortune lies crime. To prove him right, Noble House is but a thinly veiled reference to Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd, a real company. Anticlimactically for an historic British company operating in China, it is nowadays incorporated in Bermuda - and trying to forget its opium-running past (like so many City of London companies respectable today yet founded on drugs, dead cockneys and destroyed natives).

All these stories were presented masterfully in the original novel, without ever loosing the reader's interest or dropping the ball of building tension. There were less than a dozen writers who could do this - starting with Homer. My copy was so worn I had to replace it.

Now, this is a 1988 TV mini series based on the book - of comparable merit. Until recently, the mini-series were available only on VHS. The major casting was excellent (having suave Pierce Brosnan and beastly John Rhys-Davies go head-to-head was a stroke of genius). The rest of the cast was a mix of hit-or-miss: a really young Tia Carrere as mealy-mouth Venus Poon was a hit; Julia Nickson-Soul as the Eurasian beauty Orlanda Ramos a miss. All in all, a truly beautiful production, yet, although it run for 6 hours total, it barely painted a broad-stroke picture of the complex story-lines.

Nevertheless, my advice is to first read the book and only THEN watch this TV mini series.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2012
Back when this video came out Pierce was the King of the mini-series in my opinion.I particularly loved this one, Noble House, and have enjoyed watching it over the years. First owned it on VHS and was happy to see it available on DVD.

I have always been a Pierce Brosnan fan and the setting and Clavell's story in this case was exciting and the video showed some great views of Hong Kong and Macao. I had read the book so loved the story and was very pleased when the series was produced and with the casting of Pierce in the leading role. All in all, a great adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2014
This is old value.
The characters demonstrate the old definition of class.
I know, people don't behave like that any more.
I know, people laugh at them and call them stupid.
But, this is the way God expected us to behave, to love, to deal.
I love it.
Well worth the money.
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on July 25, 2015
The writer started with a mundane book, King Rat, which became a mundane movie, then wrote two exceptional books, Shogun and Tai Pan, presented in good mini-series, and then finished with the mundane Noble House, which was too ponderous to finish reading. This mini-series matched the book; perhaps it was wooden Brosnan (is he Kevin Kosner's brother ?).
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on October 30, 2013
Read the book by James Clavell, loved it, watched the mini series on TV years ago, loved it, bought the VHS version when it was first available for purchase and wore it out and waited for the DVD version to come out and just had to purchase. Love it.
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on February 8, 2014
This is a great look at the best television had to offer in the 80's
Well written with great casting. This drama is set in Hong Kong before it went back to China in 1999.
To me it was like the mini series version of TV's Dallas
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on June 17, 2013
This lengthy film is well with multiple viewing over the years, especially since Hong Kong is no longer a British colony and is a decreasingly autonomous zone of China.
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on June 22, 2014
Product just as described. Loved the book, and I wanted to see the movie. Movie is a not nearly as good as the book, but entertaining none-the-less.
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on January 9, 2014
one greatest miniseries made for Tv . I wish tv would aired tv miniseries again, I really enjoyed the novel for television.
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on October 4, 2013
Amazing !!! Just as relevent today as then. Piearce Brosnan just GREAT!!!
A great follow-up to the Tai Pan stories.
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