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Lost Empires (3 DVD Set)
Lost Empires
3 DVD Set
Actors: Colin Firth, John Castle, Gillian Bevan, Neil Boorman, Mike Edmonds
Director: Alan Grint
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Documentary
NR     2002     6hr 56min

This extraordinary Masterpiece Theatre featured production based on the novel by JB Priestley, and featuring one of the last performances of Sir Laurence Olivier, takes you to the last days of Britain's innocence and the g...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Colin Firth, John Castle, Gillian Bevan, Neil Boorman, Mike Edmonds
Director: Alan Grint
Creators: Doug Hallows, June Howson, Ian Curteis, J.B. Priestley
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Documentary
Studio: Goldhill Home Media
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/28/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 6hr 56min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Lost Empires Brings Characters, English Stage to Life!
Aging Disgruntled Snob | San Francisco, CA USA | 07/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Granada Television's 1986 "Lost Empires" is a series that proves that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Starring a sullen young Colin Firth, this eight-hour, three DVD set has held a place in my heart for the last 16 years. It was with much anticipation then that I opened this package and watched it anew with my family. Would it stand the test of time? Was it as great as I recalled? Based on the novel by JB Priestley, LE chronicles the adventures of young Richard Herncastle (Firth), an aspiring landscape painter, who in 1913 accepts an offer from his hard-nosed Uncle Nick (John Castle II) to join his magic act and tour the great `empire halls' on England. Uncle Nick promises "I'll show you the world lad!" In the process young Richard gets more than he bargained for in the way of life adventures. . Firth's Herncastle finds himself thrown together with magicians, dwarfs, sad-sack comedians, flirty torch-song singers, suffragettes and aging Sir Lawrence Olivier. And he also quickly becomes the lightning rod that somehow touches all their lives. The first half of LE, featuring Sir Lawrence Olivier as pathetic comedian Harry Barrard, Carmen du Sautoy as sultry Julie Blaine, John Castle's riveting Uncle Nick and Beattie Edney as love interest Nancy Ellis is where Lost Empires shines! We feel the whole world opening up for Richard as he is torn between Nancy and Julie. Every night this travelling company performs authentic song and dance numbers as we see World War I looming in the background.Of special note is John Castle. Playing master illusionist "Ganga Dun" Castle's Nick Ollanton creates a character so vivid and steely that he virtually steals the DVD.The second half of LE slows down a bit after young Richard has learned a few life lessons the hard way. The vibrant personalities of first half give way to more outrageous, less believable ones.The DVD transfer is what you'd expect from most Granada product of the 80's: film grain is a bit much, but the colors are good, and I quickly "saw beyond" the grain of film. The sound is actually quite clear and vibrant with a large dynamic range. I frequently was "riding" the volume control to back off the volume when the director cut from quiet dialog scenes to the Empire performance scenes. There is no info booklet to speak of with the three discs which was a bit of a letdown (Brideshead Revisited ships with a rather informative booklet by contrast.) ... If however you are looking for a group of clearly drawn characters desperate to hold onto a way of living, performing and loving as "The New World" is about to crush them under war and the onset of "talking movies" then LE is for you. If you've got the dough to spare, get it. If you're unsure, pick up Brideshead Revisited instead. Me, I'm happy now that my "Masterpiece Theater" DVD shelf contains the three things I've always wanted: Brideshead, Prime Suspect and now Lost Empires."
Lost Treasure is more like it.
P. Hall | usa | 03/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a pleasure to watch these dvds. The story flows and moves gracefully through each chapter. Firth is magnificent. Awards should have been given for this production. All the actors put so much into their performances. And to have Colin Firth narrating the entire story was music to my ears. We need more Colin Firth."
A "must-have" for Firth fans
Cath | Midwest USA | 01/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This one ranks up there with "Pride and Prejudice" for the true Firth fan! You must have it in your collection. Colin Firth is young in this one..but there are definite signs of the smoldering Darcy we all know and love. Best of all, he is in almost every scene...hours and hours of hot, hetero FIRTH! (By the way, when is somebody going to realize this guy sells movies to woman of all ages? Get him some good roles!!)"
One of Masterpiece Theater's best
Constance D'Ulisse | philadelphia, pa USA | 08/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I originally saw Lost Empires on public broadcasting and it became one of my favorites, right up there with I Claudius and The Duchess of Duke Street. The cast is exceptional especially John Castle as Uncle Nick (why oh why do we see so little of this wonderful, sexy actor?). The entire production is glorious, taking the viewer right back to the days of pre WWI."