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She Stoops to Conquer
She Stoops to Conquer
Actors: Roy Marsden, Ian Redford, Mark Dexter, Polly Hemingway, Simon Butteriss
Director: Tony Britten
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
NR     2009     2hr 25min

Oliver Goldsmith?s classic comedy of errors Boisterous and brimming with energy, Oliver Goldsmith?s funniest and most famous play finds new life in this scrupulously faithful screen adaptation. The plot centers on Kate--a...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Roy Marsden, Ian Redford, Mark Dexter, Polly Hemingway, Simon Butteriss
Director: Tony Britten
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Drama, Comedy, Drama
Studio: Acorn Media
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/10/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 2hr 25min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Harold Wolf | Wells, IN United States | 01/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"You will laugh through all 5 episodes of this English countryside and its gentry-quirks and British-befuddles (boobys). It could be renamed the Beauties and the Misfits.

The Hardcastle manor is home to the Squire (Ian Redford) and his lovely daughter, Kate (Susannah Fielding). Current wife to the Squire, Mrs. Hardcastle (Polly Hemingway) is mother to Tony Lumpkin (Miles Rupp) who is believed to be something of an idiot. He is quite good at practical jokes, especially when filled with the grog at Three Pigeons tavern.

The Mrs. H. plans for Constance (Holly Gilbert) to wed her dumb-cousin Tony. Both loathe each other. Mr. H. has Kate promised to Charles Marlow (Mark Dexter) who is to arrive this day for the engagement with Kate. He travels with friend, George Hastings (Joseph Thompson) who really wants to elope with Constance. Confused yet? Wait till you see how disoriented Marlow and Hastings become.

The pair arrive at the alehouse, where Lumpkin sings to the local low-life, and he realized the two are completely lost. Lumpkin, as a joke, convinces them they will need to stay the night at the Hardcastle INN, claiming Mr. H. only to be the keeper, not the owner. Since Mr. H. is unknowing of the practical joke, thissets up quite a humorous conflict between the men and ladies as to who is gentry and who are low-class.

The eccentric characters, interact in numerous sub-plots of ludicrous purpose. Perhaps this is the funniest duel-romance story ever written and it has lasted 2 1/4 centuries. This DVD set is a fantastic adaptation of Oliver Goldsmith's play of 1773, & is filmed at Wiveton Hall, Norfolk, creating action and a set incapable on a stage. The scenery is as beautiful as the story is comical. Hilarious songs opening each episode will earn 5-stars at any alehouse.

Conniving foolish foppery and fools all. It's in classical Goldsmith style. It is what made this Irish humorist so popular for so long.

So who gets the girls? By the time we got to the end, we'd laughed so much we really didn't care. And be sure to use the provided subtitles. Otherwise, you'll miss many of the ridiculous words no longer typically used by the English language and the sane. Goldsmith seems to have an English language all his own.

Recommended to British comedy lovers, you'll not regret buying this.

Whimsical, farcical, delightfully humorous and highly entert
Midwest Book Review | Oregon, WI USA | 02/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A five-episode television mini-series, "She Stoops To Conquer" is a 2008 production of an Oliver Goldsmith play. Superbly costumed with scrupulous attention to set design (it was shot in an impressive 17th century Jacobean manor house), this whimsical, farcical, delightfully humorous and highly entertaining production is the story of Kate, a well-bred, intelligent young lady who poses as a barmaid in order to win the affections of Charles Marlow. A play rife with mistaken identities, multiple deceptions, and the convolutions of English societal expectations, "She Stoops To Conquer" is a brilliantly acted play that originally debuted in 1773 and a welcome, enthusiastically recommended addition to personal and community library DVD collections.
Stunningly faithful to the original Goldsmith farce
Mike Birman | Brooklyn, New York USA | 03/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Oliver Goldsmith is remembered for three works in three different genres: his beautifully bucolic narrative poem The Deserted Village, his early manifestation of the English novel The Vicar of Wakefield and this 1773 comic farce She Stoops to Conquer. It is interesting to note that Goldsmith's play, Sheridan's The School for Scandal and The Rivals and John Gay's The Beggar's Opera are the only 18th century/early 19th century English dramatic works to have consistently remained in the repertory. Considering the vast number of Elizabethan and Restoration dramas to have graced the stage with some regularity, the pitifully short supply of 18th century works is glaring to the theater aficionado and requires some explanation.

The English Augustan age produced three poets in Dryden, Pope and Swift who successfully filled the dull and repetitive regularity of the heroic couplet with observations of genius and a fierce timeless wit. They overcame stylistic limitations by remaining utterly sui generis. English stage works of the era were similarly structurally hobbled by the contemporary theatrical precept known as The Sentimental Style. During Greece's comparable Augustan Age it produced Menander (Ca. 341-290 B.C.), a writer of romantic comedies filled with ordinary folk doing ordinary things. Menander's plays merit serious consideration as the precursors of the sit-com. His sentimental works encapsulated a complacent age by entertaining a complacent, non-adventurous audience. 18th century England seems to have had a similarly mild-mannered theater audience to whom the strictly formulaic sentimental romantic comedy manifested all of their meager artistic aspirations. Comparisons to Hollywood as it is presently configured are unavoidable.

These 18th century sentimental works are so slight and dramatically anaemic that they cannot withstand a temporal translation to a later age. In short they are dreadful. Only the aforementioned four plays, written as they were in defiance of the prevailing aesthetic winds, have the necessary juice to have withstood the ravages of fickle tastes and unforgiving time. Goldsmith used She Stoops to Conquer as a thinly veiled cudgel to bludgeon the Sentimental Style, which he abhorred, and in the process produced a work whose comedic edginess and thrilling satiric bite is the antithesis of nominal 18th century theater. It positively shines by comparison and is certainly more closely aligned with modern tastes. It is an excellent play.

This 5 part production remains faithful to the original, revelling in Goldsmith's love of the English language, an affection that the finest Irish writers seem to possess in abundance. Because this production wallows in Goldsmith's brilliant use of the language it can open up the stage set and substitute a large 18th century house and never feel dwarfed by the change. The acting is splendid with Susannah Fielding as Kate making an especially ravishing heroine. Holly Gilbert as Constance is equally lovely. Ian Redford as Mr. Hardcastle and Polly Hemingway as his wife Dorothy make superb comic foils for Mark Dexter as Charles Marlow and Joseph Thompson as George Hastings. There are very few anachronisms to be found in this production, so faithful does it remain to the original. Beautifully directed and filmed, I suspect that Goldsmith himself would hail this production. If English drama occupies even a small place in your heart, you owe yourself the sheer joy of watching this rarely produced comic masterpiece. It is that good! Most strongly recommended.

Mike Birman"
Six Stock Characters and Basic Plots
Celia Hayes | San Antonio, SA | 05/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's been remarked that in TV situation comedy there are only about six stock characters and about as many basic plots - all else is merely updated slang and set dressing. Oliver Goldsmith's comedy of mistaken identities (some mistaken and some deliberate) and manners might rightfully be viewed as the source and fountainhead for just about every Brit-com since, save for Monty Python.

Here's the local, country-loving lord of the manor, Mr. Hardcastle of Liberty Hall, with his pretty daughter Kate, his grasping and snobbish wife, a sort of Georgian Hyacinth Bucket less the Doulton with hand-painted-periwinkles and her crude and prank-loving son Tony (by a previous marriage), whom she aims to marry off to cousin Constance Neville, and thereby keep Miss Neville's family jewelry firmly in the Hardcastle family. Coming to visit, with Mr. Hardcastle's approval, is the son of an old friend, one Charles Marlow - the plan is for him to court Kate, and if they like each other - to marry. Alas for good intentions; Charles Marlow is all assurance when with women of lower social standing, but timid and tongue-tied when in company of women of his own class. And he has a friend with him, George Hastings - who is madly in love with Constance, and plotting to elope with her. Double alas, for Constance refuses to run away without her inheritance - the jewelry which Mrs. Hardcastle will not give up. Or at least, not without a fight. All of this sets the plot into sprightly motion, beautifully shot on location in and around Wiveton Hall, in Norfolk. This DVD version is broken up into six approximately half-hour episodes, which heightens the resemblance to a situation comedy, as the two visiting gentlemen mistake Liberty Hall for an inn, and Kate for a barmaid - among other twists. All together, this is a perfectly enjoyable and accessible romp, through an author not quite as well known these days as he ought to be.
Be advised, though; just as the setting is period perfect, so is the dialogue true to Goldsmith's lines, which may render it difficult for viewers more accustomed to American modern vernacular to follow.

The one extra feature on this disc set is a documentary on Oliver Goldsmith, his life and time, which at 50 earnest minutes seems as long as all the rest of it put together.