Search - Maggie Smith at the BBC (The Merchant of Venice / The Millionairess / Bed Among the Lentils / Suddenly, Last Summer) on DVD

Maggie Smith at the BBC (The Merchant of Venice / The Millionairess / Bed Among the Lentils / Suddenly, Last Summer)
Maggie Smith at the BBC
The Merchant of Venice / The Millionairess / Bed Among the Lentils / Suddenly, Last Summer
Actors: Charles Gray, Eric Porter, Lally Bowers, John Gielgud, Jeremy Brett
Directors: Cedric Messina, Peter Wood, Richard Eyre, William Slater
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2008     6hr 2min

Includes: 1) The Merchant of Venice ('72, Play of the Month) The Venice of Titian and the Belmont of Botticelli are the visual inspiration behind this lavish production of the Shakespeare play. Maggie Smith as Portia. Also...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Charles Gray, Eric Porter, Lally Bowers, John Gielgud, Jeremy Brett
Directors: Cedric Messina, Peter Wood, Richard Eyre, William Slater
Creators: David Mercer, George Bernard Shaw, Tennessee Williams, William Shakespeare
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: BBC Warner
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/20/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 6hr 2min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Maggie Smith - Do I need to Say More!
Movie Mania | Southern Calfornia | 02/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Maggie Smith is one of Britan's national treasures. Every time I am in London, the first thing I do is see if she is performing. I have seen some very incredible performances by this brilliant actress.

This DVD sets contains four of her television performances from 1972 to 1993. I have only seen two of the specials but am anxious to see the other two.

Merchant of Venice (1972) is a Shakespeare comedy. (I never understand this because it has some of the most intense moments of a Shakespeare play.) This is about love and devotion. Maggie Smith plays Portia, whose suitors must get by three boxes to find love and must save her true love's mentor from certain death. (I have not seen this production.)

The Millionairess (1972) is from the social commentarian George Bernard Shaw and this is also available in the George Bernard on BBC box set. (This also

Bed Among the Lentils (1988) was shown in America on Masterpiece Theatre and the first of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads. Each of these specials is a one person monologue. In Bed Among the Lentils, Maggie plays Susan, a pastor's wife whose life is unfullfilling. This is about an hour long and Maggie just mesmerizes you from the get go. And this is very hard as the character is very bored with her life and Maggie makes you feel for her. She won Royal Television Society Best Actress Award and was nominate for a BAFTA (the Emmy nominating commitee was again fast asleep.)

Suddenly Last Summer is a direct filming of the Tennessee Williams play. It was shown at in America on PBS's Great Performances. This is quite different from the movie as it has only one set and no flashbacks and therefore Sebestian Venerable is only referred to in this. Maggie plays Mrs. Venerable who wants her niece institutionalize to hide her family secret. Natasha Richardson, in an early role, plays Catherine Holly. Catherine witnessed the gory death of her cousin Sebastian and has not recovered from this and the events leading up to this. Rob Lowe, yes Rob Lowe plays the psychiatrist,Dr. Cukrowicz, who is here to evaluate in institutionalize Catherine. But what happens is a volatile exploration of the events and the truth behind them. This is an amazing production and is comperable to the Katherine Hepburn movie. Maggie recieved her first Emmy Award for this production. This show runs about 90 minutes - without intermission.

This should be an incredible set showcasing one of the greatest actresses of the 20th century - and still at it! And at this price it is very reasonable for once!"
Finally- a BBC collection of rare Smith performances
T. Dewey | St. Louis, MO United States | 02/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have seen all of these performances except for The Merchant of Venice. The Talking Heads (Bed Among the Lentils) monologues performance is both subtle and illuminating- a real landmark performance. The Millionairess is a thrilling bit of acting. And the remake of Suddenly Last Summer is quite an interesting counterpart to the famous Hepburn/Taylor film of the late 1950s. What I'd love to see is another set including TV films "Memento Mori" and others from her work on UK television. But this is a good start. Thank you BCC for releasing this in the USA! More please!"
Smith is Smith - a legend.
Roy Anderson | Mount Brydges, Ont. Canada. | 06/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"To many people, Maggie Smith is a legend as a consummate actress. I am one of these people. Accordingly, I admit to possible bias. Nevertheless.....
Her work in these separate stories, is first rate. Importantly, it shows her at her best in many disparate roles. Because of this, it is possible that one - or other - of the roles might be found less to the viewer's taste than another. In my opinion, this doesn't make Smith's acting any the less brilliant and convincing.
A very good buy for, both, acting aficionados and Maggie Smith devotees."