Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete First Season|
Actors: Gordon Jackson, Angela Baddeley, David Langton, Raymond Huntley, Patsy Smart
Director: Bill Bain;Brian Parker;Christopher Hodson;Derek Bennett;Herbert Wise;Joan Kemp-Welch;Raymond Menmuir
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Follow the "upstairs" dwellers, the Bellamys, and their "downstairs" servants through one of television's most loved and lauded series of all time. This collector's set includes the entire first season, all 13 episodes, of... more »
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An old favorite returns--beautifully
drdebs | CA United States | 07/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I pre-ordered this set when it appeared on the website and recently received my copy to get me through the summer re-runs. I was so thrilled to see the superb boxed set, and was doubly impressed at the quality of the recording both visually and in terms of sound.Upstairs, Downstairs is the saga of the Bellamy family and their household staff in the early 20th century. Throughout the series their lives, loves, tragedies and triumphs are portrayed. This set of 13 episodes includes the COMPLETE first season as seen in Britain, including some black and white episodes never seen on tv in the US. In the first episode we are introduced to the colorful Sarah (Pauline Collins), in the second (B&W episode) Lady Marjorie has her portrait painted only to discover at the Royal Academy Show that the artist has also painted two half-naked maids in an attic room (possibly Bellamy maids?). In episodes 3 and 4 (B&W) we are introduced to the children, James and Elizabeth Bellamy. Episodes 5 and 6 show us the romance between Elizabeth Bellamy and a German Baron (and it's dark underside), and the pregnancy of the new maid, Mary. More familiar episodes to the US audience come in #7 and #8, Lady Marjorie is spellbound with a young army captain who is friends with her son James, and Emily (the annoying kitchen maid) falls for a neighboring family's footman, with disastrous results. Episodes 9 and 10 have Mrs. Bridges, the cook, behaving in a most improper way and stealing a baby, and the erstwhile Sarah returns with a new plan to improve her social standing. The two penultimate episodes in this set include the further adventures of Sarah the housemaid with a Swedish valet, and the further adventures of the Bellamy's daughter, Elizabeth, with a group of young Socialists. Finally we are left with the now estranged Elizabeth Bellamy and her relationship with a leftist poet, Lawrence Kirbridge--and a great eagerness to own the next 13 episodes, now also available.Upstairs, Downstairs is the classic "Masterpiece Theater" series, with costumes, drama, comedy, and riveting characters that we take to our hearts. If you are a fan of more recent costume dramas on A&E and PBS, you will very much enjoy this early series which holds up remarkably well, after nearly two decades. Treat yourself--you won't regret it. And, the set is very reasonably priced here at Amazon.com (I saw the same thing in a catalogue for $149.99)"
Upstairs/Downstairs - Complete First Season
E. Hornaday | Lawrenceville, NJ United States | 09/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This British series is in a "class" by itself. It's characters are unforgettable, the acting inspired and the backdrop evocative - Edwardian England from 1904 into the 1930s. The story evolves around the aristocractic Bellamy family "Upstairs" and their servants "Downstairs," but it is not a soap opera. It is as genuine, real and honest as any period production, or for that matter, any production, that I have ever seen. The characters grapple with the same struggles that we continue to confront in mordern-day America: love, loss, coming of age, morality, prejudice, death, economics, social responsibility, freedom and the search for life's ultimate meaning - concluding with the horrendous effects of a World War and its devastating aftermath. This unflinching look at history as well as a truly timeless, engaging saga is not to be missed. I genuinely rejoice that such a remarkable treasure is finally available on DVD. Originally broadcast on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre."
Upstairs Downstairs: The Premiere Season
Josh Hitchens | Philadelphia, PA | 12/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first season of UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS, possibly the best loved drama series ever made. The quality of this boxed set is wonderful, and the first thirteen episodes do a first rate job in setting up the plots and characters. We see the Bellamy family and their loyal servants from November 1903 to June 1909 in all their triumphs and tragedies. Of the 13 episodes, my personal favorites are THE MISTRESS AND THE MAIDS, BOARD WAGES, and A CRY FOR HELP. Ironically, these are of the five black and white episodes that have never been shown on American television. The Second and Third seasons are also on video, and I highly recommend them. Unfortunately, the Fourth season that dealt with World War One, and the Fifth Season, which was the last, are not yet available. I hope they come out soon. Finally, Upstairs Downstairs: The Premiere Season is excellent, collect the whole series!"
A Great Beginning to a Great Series
John D. Cofield | 09/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first series of Upstairs, Downstairs. Chronicling the lives of masters and servants in a Belgravia townhouse, Updown, as it is affectionately known, covers about twentyfive years. The first series lasts from about 1903 to 1908. It introduces most of the main characters of the entire chronicle, barring a few later additions to the caste. Most of this first series concerns the career of Sarah, who has the impertinence to come to the front door when she applies for the position of parlormaid in the first episode. We also see the early stages of the career of Elizabeth Bellamy, daughter of the house, as she rebels against the path her life is expected to take by her parents. Some of the episodes in this first series were filmed in black and white, due to a cameramen's strike. I find these particularly effective in portraying the barrenness of life below stairs. Some of the episodes are a bit off target, especially The Swedish Tiger, which is just plain weird, but remember the series had not yet reached classic status when these episodes were filmed. The first series is a great way to start your acquaintance with the residents of 165 Eaton Place."