this has always been one of my favourite books and this adaptation is excellent
Top actors acting out the phantasy of the rich at the time between the wars in cold England. This film is a treasure showing how the aristocracy took their superiority to to the extreem in the early 1900ds.
This Granada TV production of the Evelyn Waugh novel, meticulously adapted by John Mortimer in 11 episodes, is one to savour over a period of time, say, 4 week-ends. The 3 episodes recorded on this disc can be comfortably seen over two evenings, the first episode being longer than the second and third. The story begins a little over half-way through WW2 with Captain Charles Ryder (Jeremy Irons), as a company commander at Battalian HQ. He has a particularly obnoxious C.O., who openly despises temporary officers and picks on Charles whenever he gets the chance. Fortunately it's not long before the battalion is transferred to a temporary camp in the grounds of a country mansion, Brideshead, prior to going overseas. It turns out to be the home of his friend Sebastian Flyte (Anthony Andrews), whom he had met at Oxford twenty years earlier and where he had spent many happy hours. Sebastian and he may never have met, being at different colleges, but for Sebastian getting drunk one lunch-time, and making an unheralded entry into Charles' room, which happened to be on the ground floor. In recompense Sebastian invites him to lunch with several of his friends where they eat quails' eggs and drink quantities of wine. Charles treads carefully in the company of this smart set, not being used to high living. His father would be scathing of such frivolous activity. Charles meets Sebastian quite often, and one week-end gets invited down to his family home, Brideshead. He's impressed by its size and opulence, but doesn't meet any of the family, who are away for the summer. Lady Marchmain (Claire Bloom), a devout catholic, keeps a close eye on Sebastian, which he resents and is to be the cause of his troubles later. Charles and Sebastian spend most of the summer vacation at Brideshead, and despite Sebastian's warning not to become too involved with the family, Charles is gradually seduced by the world of privilege they inhabit and flattered by their assumption that he is part of that world. A captivating start to a wonderful series. A more general assessment is in the review of disc 4.
Covers all the basic for great viewing - an excellent adaption from a classic novel, superb acting, immortal themes and sublime scenery. A delight.