Parade's End

Parade's End

DVD - 2013
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An epic story of love and betrayal, set during a formative period in British history, from the twilight years of the Edwardian era to the end of World War I. Based on the quartet of novels by Ford Madox Ford, this five-part miniseries was adapted for the screen by Tom Stoppard.
Publisher: [United States] : Home Box Office, [2013]
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (300 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


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Feb 06, 2020

I only gave it half a start because I wasn't sure how to give it zero stars. This series was so bad that it bordered on farce. The acting was terrible, the music made it seem like an SNL skit, and the cinematography wasn't even good. It is hard to believe that Benedict Cumberbatch was every in something so awful. I do NOT recommend this series.

May 10, 2019

I found the series almost an extreme parody of the British gentry. WW1 was portrayed as farce with little regard for the fighting men in the trenches. I don't think the Brits were very amused by the series.

Mar 11, 2016

I'll confess up front: I'm a huge fan of the novels by Ford Madox Ford that make up the "Parade's End" series. The first three books of the series look at England just before, during, and after World War I as well as what trench warfare was like on the Western Front. A few quick notes on the video adaptation:

Tom Stoppard did an admirable job translating the novels to the screen. (FYI—"The Last Post" was not included in this adaptation.) So much of the books come from the characters’ interior world which had to be converted to dialogue and invented scenes, all of which have to be plausible for the work to hold up. Even anachronistic scenes—flappers in 1917/18?—work since in this case the point was to highlight the differences between the fighting and home fronts.

The cast was superb. Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed Christopher Tietjens in a much more vulnerable light than I had pictured from the novels. Rebecca Hall did the impossible and made Sylvia Tietjens a likeable character despite her torture of Chrisotpher. One thing that came through well was that Christopher’s beliefs and actions were a torture to Sylvia. Since we aren’t privy to Christopher’s interior world, Stoppard does a great job of shaping how we see the character through the eyes of others. Adelaide Clemens captured Valentine Wannop completely and the cast beyond that triangle were pitch-perfect as well.

The only real complaint I have is that the sex scenes (brief though they are) are gratuitous and unneeded. The biggest compliment I think I can give to the adaptation is that I want to read the novels again.

Sep 20, 2015

Fantastic show. As usual the acting was great and Benedict was lovely!!

Aug 10, 2015

Brilliant, and so British it will make your toes curl. The story flies along at quite a fast clip though, with constant allusions to things of that period that I could only guess at. I scrambled to fill in the blanks by using the subtitle function, which helped somewhat.

May 07, 2015

An engrossing dvd which has drama, suspense, and droll comedy. You have to look for the comedy but it is there. I loved it.

Mar 15, 2015

The dialogue and story are really bad which is quite a shame since the actors, sets and everything else are all excellent. Benedict Cumberbatch does a valiant job trying to save this movie from being a complete waste of time - but sadly it is.

Mar 08, 2015

Rated 2/10.

Jan 02, 2015

The most interesting aspect of this miniseries was Benedict Cumberbatch playing a character who was not somewhere on the autism spectrum. It's a blatant attempt to capitalize on the success of Downton Abbey, with lots of footage of the clothes, automobiles and homes of the ultra wealthy trying to cope with the changes to the British society and economy in the years leading up to the first world war. Superimposed on all of this was a failed attempt to make it steamier and sexier which only made it seamier and unbelievable.

xaipe Dec 29, 2014

This series is an adaptation by Tom Stoppard of Ford Madox Ford’s novel set in the early 20th century portraying the complicated life of an English aristocrat during and after WWI. The main character’s strong sense of honor acts as a brake to his emotional life to a degree which would be comically absurd in the hands of a lesser writer and actor. Benedict Cumberbatch portrays the central character Christopher Tiejens, Rebecca Hall is his heel-kicking, unconventional wife. One of the best parts for me was Rufus Sewell, almost unrecognizable as the quietly insane Reverend Duchemin. Sewell is slyly and unexpectedly hilarious in the part. This is a leisurely series without the tightly plotted, flashy portrayals of Downton Abbey, but I preferred it. Benedict Cumberbatch gets better in each part, and if he can manage to avoid being cast as Dr. Who, is likely to become one of Britain’s best actors. Recommended.

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