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Brideshead Revisited On The Big (And Small) Screen

If it’s true that you can tell a good novel by how many times it’s been adapted onto the screen (is it true?), then Brideshead Revisited is a pretty darn good novel.

Let’s take a look at the two most famous adaptions of Waugh’s novel.

In 1981, Brideshead Revisited was adapted into an 11-episode serial for the ITV network. The mini-series starred a young Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, and Diana Quick. This was no small deal. The British Film institute placed this serial 10th on its list of 100 Greatest British Television Programmes. Time Magazine listed it as one of the best 100 TV shows of all time, and The Guardian said it was one of the best 50 TV dramas of all time.

Here’s a peek:

Twenty-seven years later, Brideshead Revisited was adapted into a feature film starring Emma Thompson and Matthew Goode. The film received mixed reviews. Roger Ebert said “While elegantly mounted and well acted, the movie is not the equal of the TV production, in part because so much material had to be compressed into such a shorter time.” Variety called it “finely wrought,” and The San Francisco Chronicle said it was a “very noble movie.”

Here’s the official trailer from 2008:

Of the two, it sounds like the 1981 mini-series was better, though the scenery and filmography in both look beautiful. Look at that house!

Have any of you watched these two adaptions? Thoughts?

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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on oshriradhekrishnabole.

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    May 12, 2015
  2. The 1981 ITV television production of Brideshead Revisited is possibly my favourite television drama of all time. It really is excellent.

    How are you getting on with the novel?

    Liked by 1 person

    May 12, 2015
    • I’m enjoying it so far. It’s an easy read. Can’t really tell where it’s going at this point, though.

      Like

      May 13, 2015
  3. The mini-series is great. Very brooding towards the end. They also had an amazing setting (Castle Howard in Yorkshire, and a beautiful sound track that I still use as background music for working. I haven’t seen the film, but I imagine it would lose something by not being able to take the time for the story and the years to unfold. Though I will watch anything with Emma Thompson in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 12, 2015
  4. I’ve seen the later film adaptation and I loved it, but I love almost everything Emma Thompson is in. Swoon. I’ll probably watch the 1981 min-series adaptation when I re-read the novel in the distant future.

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    May 12, 2015
  5. The original is on my top ten list. I have trouble with the remake. It’s beautiful and very well done done, but I keep holding it up to the original.

    Like

    May 12, 2015
    • That seems to be the consensus. It’s hard to condense that story down to two hours.

      Like

      May 13, 2015
      • The original was such a magic moment of bringing actors, director and designers to bring a piece of work that was like a painting to the screen. You could watch it with the sound off and still be captivated. 🙂

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        May 13, 2015
  6. Reblogged this on Fonte da arte.

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    May 12, 2015
  7. Haven’t read the novel or seen the series or movie. I’m adding the novel to reading pile and will check out the series after.

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    May 12, 2015
  8. I haven’t seen the screen adaptations but I’ve been wanting to read this novel for ages! I’ve read Men at Arms and loved it!

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    May 12, 2015
  9. The TV series is much better, the same as Pride and Prejudice which is my favourite drama.

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    May 13, 2015
  10. I’ve seen the original mini-series several times and I love it. It bears watching and re-watching.

    Like

    May 13, 2015

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