Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Ceremony of Innocence |
Broadway Theatre Archive
Actors: Richard Kiley, James Broderick, Larry Gates, Robert Gerringer, Ernest Graves
Directors: Arthur Allan Seidelman, Ken Rockefeller
Genres: Drama, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts
In this adaptation of the Ronald Ribman play, 11th century England is a bloodied land, embattled and beset by hordes of invading Danes and disputatious nobles. The vacillating King Ethelred is drained of the decisive initi... more »
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Brilliant portrayal of medieval politics...
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 10/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here's another fine installment from the Broadway Theatre Archive. As usual, there are no extras on the disc, but in this case, the feature more than makes up for it."The Ceremony of Innocence," originally a play by Ronald Ribman, is presented here in a 1972 recording. There are a few liberties taken to adjust to the medium of television (such as red-tinted snippets edited in for effect), but nothing that takes away from the incredible drama protrayed by the cast and production crew.Richard Kiley plays King Ethelred of England, circa the 11th Century. Ethelred is a surprisingly progressive king. He wants to bring education, law, medicine, and science to his kingdom. He even commissions a famous explorer who has plans to sail the great "Western Ocean" (the Atlantic) in search of distant lands. Ethelred knows that only peace can bring prosperity to England, but no one else seems to agree with his point of view. Even his most trusted advisor quails at the idea of giving up war for peace.Surrounded by enemies and bitter, scheming advisors, the king's plan to make peace with the fearsome King of Denmark (appearing briefly, played by Ernest Graves), is constantly imperiled. Ultimately confining himself to a monastery seeking some kind of solace, Ethelred is haunted by the visions of violence and bloodshed that surrounds him, his family, and his kingdom. Meanwhile, the enraged Danish king is about to attack, while Ethelred's frustrated advisors demand action. Ethelred is obviously paying the price for being born centuries before his time, as one by one his dreams are sabotaged by the overwhelming and painful tide of events he is forced to face. The photography is first class for videotape, the medium used to record the play. The lighting is excellent, as are the rough, spartan sets. Even some location footage, used where appropriate, raises the quality of the play far above a standard presentation.Excellent drama for historical study, and to introduce younger students to this period in English history. There are a sprinkling of curse words in the play, and some minor television bloodshed, but nothing too objectionable for today's teen viewers to see.When all is said and done, you'll be keeping this disc."
Eric | Jackson Heights, NY | 10/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Truly one of the great stage plays of the twentieth century, and wonderfully acted in every role. It is a surprise that this play has never been seen on stage or television since then."