Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Duchess of Duke Street - The Complete Collection|
Actor: Gemma Jones
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
An inspiring story of triumph and loss, love and laughter Born into the servant class, Louisa Leyton rises from the scullery to become the best chef in Edwardian London and manager of the most elegant -- and discreet -- ho... more »
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From Scullery Maid to the Elite's Confidant
Movie Mania | Southern Calfornia | 07/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Duchess of Duke Street is based on the real life of Rosa Lewis, Gemma Jones portrays Louisa Leyton Trotter. Cockney Louisa Leyton wants to better her position from scullery maid and decides to do that by becoming a top cook and feeding the rich and famous.
Series One (15 Episodes) - Sees Louisa take a position as a scullery maid in an upper class house. She quickly finds out that there is only one way improve her life and that is to learn how to be a great cook. Along the way she becomes London's premier hostess and owner of Bentinck's. But even with all this sucess, she cannot have the man she loves.
Series Two (16 Episodes) - Louisa continues her success through the great war and into the the Roaring Twenties. But Louisa's kind heart (during the war she opens Bentinck's to soldiers but never cashes their checks) brings her to the brink of financial ruin.
Gemma Jones gives a fantastic performance and the series is worth watching just for this. But this show is superbly written and directed. Series was created by Upstairs, Downstairs producer John Hawkesworth.
But when you watch it, plan on spending the entire weekend infront of you TV with a running time of over 27 hours!!
DVD EXTRAS - Bio of Rosa Lewis, Edwardian period background, photo gallery and cast filmographies."
Excellent period drama and Gemma Jones shines as the "Duches
z hayes | TX | 12/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Duchess of Duke Street was a BBC period drama set in London circa 1900-1925. The lead character, Louisa Trotter, was played by Gemma Jones, an actress who made the role her own, and mesmerised audiences in the role of a maid who works her way up to becoming a famous cook and eventually the proprietress of the Bentinck Hotel in London. This story is loosely based on the real-life Rosa Lewis who managed the Cavendish Hotel in London.
In the first season, we are introduced to the cast of characters, with Gemma Jones in the lead role of Louisa Trotter. She plays a fiercely determined, independent, strong-willed woman who is bent on making a success of herself. She wants to be the most famous cook in London, and gets employed in the household of Lord Henry Norton, to the detriment of his French chef. But Louisa's determination sees Monsieur Alex relenting and eventually developing a grudging admiration for her cooking skills. Louisa's attractiveness garners her the attentions of many men - ranging from her employer's nephew, Charlie Tyrrell[Christopher Cazenove], to the household's butler, Gus Trotter [Donald Burton], and even the Prince of Wales himself!
The first season sees Louisa's struggle to get to the top - she is pressured to marry the butler, Gus, a disastrous union, and eventually finds herself getting the lease on the Bentinck Hotel, and making a name for herself as a famous hostess in London society. There are many light-hearted episodes here, and also poignant ones - and the wonderful co-stars make the show truly enjoyable - there is the porter, Starr [John Cater] who insists that his little terrier Fred works alongside him, the very old but steady waiter, Merryman [John Welsh], Louisa's steadfast friend and employee, Mary Phillips [Victoria Plucknett], and Major Toby [Richard Vernon], a gentleman who has fallen on hard times, but is brought into the fold of the Bentinck family.
Season 2 continues where season 1 left off - Louisa Trotter [the magnificent Gemma Jones, who may be more familiar to some as Mrs Dashwood in the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility] has established herself as the proprietress of the Bentinck Hotel in London. There are many interesting developments in this second season - Louisa's great love, Charlie aka Lord Haslemere finds himself trapped in a loveless marriage, Louisa finally meets her daughter Lottie, given up for adoption in Season 1, Mary Phillips the Welsh maid falls in love, and there are plenty of plot twists. Also, WW I looms at the beginning of this season, and Charlie goes off to war. Louisa's hotel gets bombed, and she even goes off briefly to run a canteen for soldiers with Mary and Mrs Cochran, the cook at the Bentinck.
There are many tragedies, and a number of deaths in this season, and indeed the second season seems to be a lot more subdued and somber than Season 1, but it makes for riveting viewing. I would recommend new viewers watch Season 1 first, as the series is choronological, and many key characters are introduced in the first season.
Those who love period dramas will love this series, and not just for the high quality of the acting. The attention to period details is wonderfully authentic, and the sets and location shots are beautifully done, given the time this series was made, circa 1970s. All in all, highly recommended."
K. N. Nelson | California, USA | 12/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We first rented this entire series through Netflix and when we finished the last DVD, we both were caught up in the feeling that we could stay in this time period and with these characters forever they were that engaging. The production is based upon a real life character who lived pretty much as this story unfolds. Which made it twice as compelling.
So, when Amazon.com advertised that they were going to sell the DVD collection, I nailed it right away. I will revisit Duke Street and the charming, engaging and outrageous Louisa Trotter, as played by the peerless Gemma Jones as the Duchess/Cook/Chatelaine, again and again. The entire casting is absolutely superior in the acting as is the story telling. It is typical British fare, elegant, classy, sly, dignified, restrained, stoical within a convoluted story line and fascinating characterizations by the actors. Even the irresistable dog Fred that the doorman Mr. Starr kept as his buddy and to fill his lonely heart. The series first appeared on Masterpiece Theater. And, in my opinion, it is true to the reason as to why this production is considered a timeless Masterpiece."
In the Genre of "Upstairs Downstairs"
Richard C. Geschke | Bristol, Ct | 11/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Knowing the work of John Hawkesworth's Upstairs, Downstairs, I was intrigued in finding that from the golden age of Masterpiece Theater this beloved British miniseries entitled "The Duchess of Duke Street" was available on DVD.
This miniseries consists of two series. The first series consisted of 15 episodes and the second series had 16 episodes.
Gemma Jones creates a role in which Louisa Trotter born to the servant class rises from a scullery maid to become a World Class Chef. In time she learns the rules of high society from powerful men. In all this she never loses her Cockney attitude or the Cockney accent. This story is based on the true epics of Rosa Lewis who was a World Class Chef at London's venerable Cavendish Hotel.
Louisa Trotter becomes the hostess and owner of Bentinik's. During her reign before and during World War I through to the roaring 20's we find Louisa dealing with the trials and tribulations of her guests as well as her rather eclectic staff. You will take comfort in the antics of the dear old Major as well as the dog Jack who greets the clientele at Bentinik's.
In the course of the miniseries, we see Louisa's story including an affair with the Prince of Wales, an unhappy marriage and monetary problems. Also along the way she has to deal with an out of wedlock birth and deal with the death of her one and only true love.
Through thick and thin Louisa maintains the proper British stiff upper lip. Gemma Jones is masterful. Great Series! Six Stars!! No Problem!!!