Complete at last
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 07/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At last all 26 episodes of are available on Acorn Media DVDs! The concluding 9 parts are on 4 discs and finish the tale of "Planty" Palliser, his wife Glencora, and the countless other characters--major and minor, high born and low--that have crowded the screen in what the jacket blurb calls "one of the most popular series ever to air on PBS." The entire story would be high-class soap opera if it were not for the truly human characters Trollope has given us and for the political truths that motivate the framing plots around the Palliser family's own story. I have already commented on many of them in past reviews, but the major one here is as timely as could possibly be. Planty (Philip Latham) is a strong Liberal but all through his career as Prime Minister has not passed one significant bill, being intent only on keeping a shaky coalition between his party and the Conservatives. He is deeply shocked and offended when his son (Anthony Andrews) goes into Parliament as a Conservative. More to the point, the father is put up against a wall of his own making when his son wants to marry not only the girl of his own choice but an American one at that. Suddenly he realizes that all his liberal ideas do not work-- for him! The governing class, he thinks, must work by its own rules. Well, just read the papers to see how that way of thinking works out. It would also be difficult to miss the similarity between current events and the subplot of how the cad Lopez forces the Prime Minister to do "the right thing," is driven to suicide by high society, and then after his death gains their sympathy, helping to bring down the government. The artistic direction continues to be just about perfect, as Susan Hampshire points out in one of the three interviews given as a special feature on these DVDs. Even the manners--the simultaneous tipping of men's hats as the ladies appear--seem just right. And there is great humor in the scene in which Planty tries to explain to the Americans how the family of a nobleman are not themselves noble but "commoners"--still, by no means "common." Now perhaps someone will get that other grand Susan Hampshire series, "The Forsyte Saga," onto a recording. But until then, grab this offering from Acorn Media."
If You Like British Series, the Pallisers is Pretty Perfect
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The third and last set of DVDs of The Pallisers, based on Anthony Trollope's series of Parliamentary novels, is finally here and everyone who loves a good soap opera, memorable characters and several touches of intrigue should rejoice. Life among the upper, upper political classes of 19th century England was never so much fun. I loved The Pallisers when I first saw it on TV 25 years ago, and I still think it's wonderful, even though its flaws (a bit too stately at times) are more obvious when seen in big gulps of 3-4 hours at a time. These last episodes, taking place some 20 years after the opening sequences, still have many of the original characters in place, which is fortunate, because few of the new figures are as compelling as the original protagonists. Happily, they don't last long, and what we end up with is a satisfying coda to the lives of Planty Pal and his incomparable wife, Lady Glencora, aka the Duke and Duchess of Omnium. Look for very young Anthony Andrews and Jeremy Irons, one callow and one 'serious,' stretching their acting chops, and terrific costumes and scenery throughout. You'll find yourself going back to view the first episodes again, and searching out the Anthony Trollope novels on which the whole amazing series is based."
Annette P. Raymond | Montclair, NJ | 08/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The acting is absolutely superb. I was a bit disappointed at the very end. I had hoped that the future duke would have followed tradition and focus on his duty not his heart."