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Author Topic: Cranford to be shown on PBS in May  (Read 4976 times)
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jannah
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« on: May 01, 2008 05:52 PM »


For those folks who like the costume drama type movies, this looks interesting....

==============================
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/


The highest rated BBC show last season was Cranford, written by Elisabeth Gaskell. With so many close degrees of separation from Jane Austen that we can't count them, we plan to review this series, to be show on PBS's Masterpiece Classic on May 4, 11, and 18th. The cast is sterling. Eileen Atkins received a BAFTA last week for her performance of Miss Deborah Jenkyns. Other notable actors include Judi Dench, Imelda Staunton, Julia Sawalha, Francesca Annis, Simon Woods, and Philip Glenister.

Mrs. Gaskell's tale is radically different from a typical Jane Austen plot, for in Cranford men are looked upon with suspicion and are generally regarded a nuisance. This premise sets up one situation after another among the town spinsters, or Amazons as Elisabeth described them. Some of the scenes are comical, as with the cat who swallowed the lace, while some are heartbreaking, as with Matty Jenkyns's love story. There are a host of coincidences and improbable plot twists in this sweetly told Victorian tale, but by the time we realize we are being manipulated, we don't care, for Elisabeth Gaskell and screenwriter Heidi Thomas have totally won us over with their unforgettable characters.

Cranford celebrates the strength of female bonds and loyalty to each other and family. Oh, some men are considered useful: the doctor, for instance, and the estate manager, but overall this is a film that celebrates women in a positive and heartfelt way. The female characters remind me of the strong, smart, non-simpering women portrayed by actresses in Hollywood during the 1930's and 1940's, such as Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Mary Astor, Barbara Stanwyck, and Greta Garbo.

If you haven't read the novel, which is actually a compilation of stories that Elisabeth wrote for Household Words, a magazine written by Charles Dickens, click on the following link. You will find a lovely edition of Cranford, illustrated by Hugh Thompson, online. Better yet, run to your local bookstore and purchase a copy to read before the series begins. In order to truly prepare for this special event, you would have to read two other Elisabeth Haskell books: My Lady Ludlow, the story of Lady Ludlow played by Francesca Annis, and Mr. Harrison's Confessions, the story of the young doctor played by Simon Woods.
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2008 05:47 PM »

salams,

Watched the first episode. It was cute! You can watch it online now too:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/cranford/watch.html
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008 08:49 PM »

Brilliant! I was just about to start reading Cranford (between and instead of exam revision).

I just watched Wives and Daughters the other day properly and really enjoyed it, I think it's a really good adaptation and that's saying something because it's very rare to find a good adaptation of a classic.

Wassalam

Edit: Aargh! "Sorry, we only have rights to stream Cranford to viewers in the US." Back to revision  Roll Eyes

2nd edit: Revision can wait, it's on youtube: part one



Dilemma: read the book first or watch the mini-series?

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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2008 05:15 AM »

I always find Elizabeth Gaskell hard to read so I would say watch the movie first then you have an idea of characters and storylines and you could compare it to the movie as you go!

I definitely liked Cranford, the actors are all amazing and for a village full of spinsters you end up liking the characters for some reason!
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2008 09:44 PM »


Quote
I always find Elizabeth Gaskell hard to read so I would say watch the movie first then you have an idea of characters and storylines and you could compare it to the movie as you go!

I kinda thought that too, but I read "Mr. Harrison's Confessions", the first story in the Cranford Chronicles and it was absolutely hilarious! It didn't seem like Gaskell at all, although the narrative was through Dr. Harrison so I suppose she couldn't have been too prosy. I watched it all as well and it was beautifully done, funny and endearing and sweet and heartbreaking all in one. I liked that they managed to weave all three stories into one, although they had to change a few characters for it. All the actors were brilliant, especially the one playing the little boy Harry Gregson.

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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008 03:36 AM »

Well I cried all through episode 2  :'( let's hope next week is somewhat happier and ends on a good note!! pbs just likes to wrench ppls guts out with drama i think.

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« Reply #6 on: Jan 07, 2010 07:10 AM »

PBS has been re-running Cranford the last few weeks and will air two new installments called Return to Cranford the next two weekends. So check your listings... It can be slow but a very moving period drama Smiley You can watch the old episodes 1-3 all right now on the PBS website and also probably find it on youtube if you search hard enough Wink http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/cranford/watch.html

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