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The Forsyte Saga - The Complete Series
The Forsyte Saga - The Complete Series
Actors: Eric Porter, Margaret Tyzack, Nyree Dawn Porter, June Barry, Kenneth More
Genres: Drama, Television
NR     2003     21hr 40min

The miniseries that started it all! In 1969, a internationally-acclaimed BBC show began airing on the fledgling public broadcasting network. The Forsyte Saga, in telling the remarkable story of a nouveau riche English fami...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Eric Porter, Margaret Tyzack, Nyree Dawn Porter, June Barry, Kenneth More
Creator: Lennox Phillips
Genres: Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama, Classic TV
Studio: BBC Warner
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/25/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1969
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1969
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 21hr 40min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 7
SwapaDVD Credits: 7
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 16
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The definitive screen adaptation
W. Gross | Portland, OR United States | 03/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Possibly the greatest TV miniseries of all time, it is wonderful that it has been released with great care and pride in this marvelous DVD set.What sets this particular adaptation apart from others, especially the recent (2002) version, is the outstanding ensemble acting and rich characterizations. For example, as Soames, compare Eric Porter's crisp, impeccable diction in this version with Damian Lewis's mushy delivery in the 2002 version. Compare the delightful, comic realization of James (Soames's father), played by John Welsh in 1969, with the indistinguishable-from-all-the-other-Forsytes character in 2002. Most compelling, compare Nyree Dawn Porter as Irene in 1969, with... well, there really is no comparison here.Of course, visually, this version suffers compared to last year's. It's shot in black and white, mostly on stage sets. Clearly, they used very few takes (another tribute to the actors), as minor defects like coats falling off racks, cameras getting bumped, slightly muffed lines are retained. But, really, who cares when you're watching the finest combination of acting and screenwriting ever put on TV?This DVD not only contains the entire set of 26 fifty-minute episodes, but also additional material: cast interviews, behind-the-scenes, even deleted scenes and outtakes. Altogether, a beautiful job."
A TV Serial that is High Art
John Austin | Kangaroo Ground, Australia | 11/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Now available on 7 DVDs, comprising all 26 episodes plus several hours of additional features, this most celebrated and splendid of BBC TV serials was the brainchild of adapter and producer Donald Wilson. Its world-wide success is known to all, but some might not be aware of the following: -

Donald Wilson was denied funds to produce it for ten years. Had there been a delay of a further year the series would have been filmed in colour, as he wished, rather than black and white.

The first of the John Galsworthy novels on which the series is based contains almost no dialogue. BBC script writers supplied the dialogue that helped make the ten siblings in the eldest Forsyte generation so memorable.

Galsworthy intended the Forsytes to represent the rapaciousness, greed and snobbery of the English upper middle class. In this adaptation they are much more endearing.

Being filmed in black and white made it possible to interpolate archival film of Queen Victoria's funeral procession and of combat scenes from WW1.

Joseph O'Conor who plays the part of Old Jolyon was two years younger than Kenneth More who plays his son.

Eric Porter and Margaret Tyzack, who play Soames Forsyte and his sister Winifred, are in each episode and are required to age almost 50 years.

Although never credited, the music that opens and closes each episode is the first movement, "Halcyon Days", from the suite "The Three Elizabeths" written in the early 1940s by Eric Coates.
A Caution about The Caution
John Austin | 12/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There is a major factual error in the review written by A Viewer in Arlington VA which may result in confusion to persons wishing to purchase this DVD. This DVD series includes all 26 episodes of the original version of The Forsyte Saga, and runs approximately 21.75 hours. I believe the technical information concerning a runtime of approximately 660 minutes listed by is incorrect, leading to the confusion by A Viewer in Arlington VA. With the help of a friend I checked numerous other sites offering the same DVD for sale, including the BBC which produced the series, and all sites stated this was the complete 26-episode version, with a running time as I stated above.I write this only to clear up any confusion that might occur as a result of both the improper run time listed by, and the incorrect review that resulted from that incorrect information."
At Last!
Mskitty | East Coast U.S.A. | 03/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I received my Forsyte Saga - The Complete Series late last week and by Sunday night was into the third disk. It was as wonderful as I remembered it being, even though it is in black and white, obviously filmed for the most part on a sound stage, and, yes, most of the actors are older than the characters they portray. But what a cast! The wonderful Eric Porter makes Soames the rich character that Galsworthy called The Man of Property. That Soames truly loves Irene but cannot help treating her as a possession shows clearly on Porter's face and in his mannerisms. His reaction when Irene tells him she loaths him is difficult to watch -- you truly "feel his pain," as disbelief changes to shock and bewilderment. The lovely Nyree Dawn Porter is the perfect Irene, and younger than the sadly miscast actress who portrays the same character in the new version. This Irene is full of repressed emotions under a placid surface -- she is the spokeswoman for Galsworthy's belief that people should not be married unless there is a spark, an irresistable attraction that draws them together, which is totally lacking in her feelings for Soames. Kenneth Moore is a more than adequate Young Joloyn, although he was a little too old for the role at age 53. The rest of the cast is equally wonderful, especially the elderly character actors and actresses who portray the aunts and uncles -- they are as vital and interesting in this version as in the books, not afterthoughts, as they are in the 2002 adaptation. Unlike the new version, the script stays close to the original -- no gratuitous modern sexual innuendos from the female characters, for instance, which seemed to me to be an attempt to pander to a younger audience. Yes, I agree that the new version is inhanced by color, grander sets, and better makeup...the actresses in The Complete Series do make one wonder if there were any eyeliner and false eyelashes left in all of England by the time the series was completed! But those are minor complaints....the brilliant case and inspired writing make this DVD set well worth owning and viewing for years to come."