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Film Details

Directed by: Simon Curtis

Produced: 2007

Countries & Regions: United Kingdom

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Studio: 2 Entertain

Length: 300 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2, 4

Released: 11 February 2008

Cat No: BBCDVD2543

Extras:
Languages(s): English
Hard of Hearing Subtitles: English
Interactive Menu
Screen ratio 1:1.78
Dolby Stereo

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Cranford

Cast: Francesca Annis , Judi Dench , Michael Gambon , Lesley Manville , Imelda Staunton , Eileen Atkins , Julia Sawalha , Philip Glenister , Simon Woods , Greg Wise , Julia McKenzie

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Lavish BBC costume drama based on three novels by Elizabeth Gaskell. The series tells the story of the small absurdities and major... Read More

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Lavish BBC costume drama based on three novels by Elizabeth Gaskell. The series tells the story of the small absurdities and major tragedies in the lives of the people of Cranford, as they are besieged by forces that they can’t withstand. Cranford in the 1840s is a small northern English town on the cusp of change. Things are on the move. The railway is pushing its way relentlessly towards the town from Manchester, bringing fears of migrant workers and the breakdown of law and order, and the arrival of handsome new doctor, Frank Harrison (Simon Woods), from London causes a stir; not only because of his revolutionary medical methods, but also because of the effect he has on many of the ladies’ hearts in the town. Judi Dench plays Miss Matty Jenkyns, whose hopes and rebellious spirit were crushed when, as a young woman, she was forced to give up Mr Holbrook (Michael Gambon), the man she loved.

This 5 part BBC dramatisation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels captures the small absurdities and tragedies in the lives of the people of Cranford, a small rural Cheshire town. Every period drama fan will adore it as it has all the classic trademarks required to make it a must-see: a star-filled cast, including Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Philip Glenister, Francesca Annis and Imelda Staunton, an enthralling story line, music by Carl Davis and – of course – beautiful

costumes and scenery.

Cranford is a community that runs on co-operation and gossip, at the very heart of which are the daughters of the former rector, Miss Deborah Jenkyns and her sister Miss Matty. But domestic peace is constantly threatened in the form of financial disaster, imagined burglaries, tragic accidents, and the reappearance of long-lost relatives and former lovers.

The arrival of handsome new doctor Frank Harrison from London causes a stir, not only because of his revolutionary medical methods, but also because of the effect he has on many of the ladies’ hearts in the town.

Judi Dench plays Miss Matty Jenkyns, whose hopes and rebellious spirit were

crushed when she was forced as a young woman to give up the man she loved. She is the younger sister of Cranford’s moral guardian, Miss Deborah, and is much loved for her kindness, while her elder sibling and fellow spinster enforces a rigid social code and dominates the town’s women. Eileens Atkins’ performance in this role is outstanding.

Cranford in the 1840s is a market town on the cusp of great change. The railway is pushing its way relentlessly towards the town from Manchester, and brings fears of migrant workers and the breakdown of law and order.

The underlying serious storylines are embellished with humour and silliness.

The residents may have hard lives and suffer much misfortune, yet the overall tone is more of an intelligent soap opera. The characters keep themselves going through all the tribulations that come their way, marking the underlying importance of pure human spirit. Elizabeth Gaskell would have

approved of this adaptation.

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