Tuesday, December 15, 2009


These are the all-time classic-can't-live-without movies according to me. I believe that each on can be watched an infinite number of times without growing bored! And now that I have so many on my list I can just cycle through them regularly!

Maybe you've seen them all--maybe there are some you've never heard of and need to go running to find and maybe you need to enlighten me with your knowledge of others that I haven't discovered.

But just for the record...this is where hours of enjoyment in my life have been spent!

It all started with Anne-with an "e." Who couldn't love Anne of Green Gables? or Avonlea?

(This is definitely where I took notes on the art of a kiss to remember...but there were more lessons to come...)

(Anne of Green Gables, 4 hours + Anne of Avonlea, 4 hours)

When I was 17 years old the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice was released during my last year in England. I remember watching it episode by episode as it came out on TV each week. It was torture waiting for the next week!!! You think you had to wait 5 hours for that kiss...I had to wait 6 weeks!!!

Pride & Prejudice has become the measuring stick, in my book, that all of my classic movies are measured by. Mr. Darcy also makes a difficult comparison for most dating partners...luckily I was able to far surpass him with my own "Mr. Darcy"!

(6 episodes, 55 minutes each)

My parents still live in England and have been so kind as to keep us up to date on all the latest BBC releases. In recent years we have been introduced to several more wonderful adaptations of excellent stories. Elizabeth Gaskell is one of the authors of these stories. I can't say that I have managed to read more than a couple chapters of her books but I am completely in love with her stories through the eye of the camera!

North and South (not the Civil War classic that you are thinking of)

North and South is a darker story than P&P but every bit as grasping with excellent character development! I love the use of light and color in this movie and how it tells so much of the story without a word! The romantic tension in these movies is almost too much for me to handle, and yet keeps me coming back!

(4 episodes, 1 hour each)

Cranford. Lighter than North and South. Just as captivating as Pride & Prejudice. Darling story about a town and it's people. Left me with a few unanswered questions--not compeltely satisfied with the conclusion but loved it all the same. Typically in these movies the heroin has a good romance to end things. This one used the heroin as the narrator but never gave her a happy-ever-after ending. But don't take that as criticism. It can be refreshing not to have all the loose ends neatly tied up at the end of a movie. The realist in me just needs to peek through!

Good news is...just heard from my parents that there is a special coming out this Christmas that is Cranford a year later or something like that. So I'm excited to see if it helps the ending a little. I'll have to post the title of it once it is available to us USA-ers...usually not for quite some time!

(5 episodes, 1 hour each)

Although I love this one, I wouldn't rate this as highly as P&P. It has a little more feel of an old-time soap opera but it is still a classic to me. I love the relationship of the father and daughter "goosie". Again, excellent characters and actors.

Biggest flaw...they end with a fabulous romace hook-up but forget the kiss...this was almost unforgivable in my book. I was in disbelief for quite a while. Since when do you see the couple walking off into the distance on some expedition and call that satisfying?!?!

(4 episodes, 75 minutes each)

I love this version of Sense & Sensibility. Great comical adaptation of Jane Austen's book.
But I never knew what I was missing until I saw this recent BBC version of Sense and Sensibility. It doesn't have quite the comic twist that Hugh Grant naturally lends to the earlier version. But I have to say I favor this latest Sense and Sensibility. Instead of just feeling like it was a great movie, I leave it feeling part of it and completely wrapped up in the emotion and drama of the characters. (Ryan said I couldn't wipe the smile off my face for a good 10 minutes when we finished watching it!)

(3 episodes, 1 hour each)

My parents haven't stopped talking about this one for the past year but it just recently became available in the right format for us to enjoy. So thanks to Netflix we just finished the 1st season. I think season 2 is available to us February 16th...and the 3rd season is about to start airing in the UK right now.

Lark Rise to Candleford is a trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels about the countryside of north-east England, at the end of the 19th century. They were written by Flora Thompson and first published together in 1945.

This is a different feel than the other movies I have reported on because it is in an episode format. Each TV episode has it's own sub-storyline with the main characters developing through each episode.

The TV series takes episodes from the three books to create the story of two towns. A small, farm-town, Lark Rise and the more wealthy town of Candleford. The characters and actors are top notch. The episodes entertaining. I think it took us a couple episodes to know the characters well enough to feel "hooked" but now we are wondering how we are going to live without our daily installment until the next season is released!

(10 episodes, 1 hour each)


Miss Beevers said...

I have watched them all!!!! The are all FABULOUS!!! I got two sets of classics via a serial offer with the Daily Mail. I didn't ready the paper but for one DVD per paper for 50p, you can't go wrong! I was in Prague and the Kiera Knightly P&P was on. The sad thing was that I could quote it work for word over the Czech!! I much prefer the BBC version!! Essay over!!! Have a GREAT classical day!! xxxx

Anna said...

BBC 1 is on in the background and just had the advert on for the new Cranford 2 part-er starting this weekend! How funny that I should then see your blog post! Yep, they are all classics and most of them in my dvd collection. There;'s a really good version of Jane Eyre too if you're interested!

Jeni said...

Half of those are my all-time favorites too, and half I have never even heard of! I'm going to go reserve them online at the library!

Grandma Thiriot said...

Thanks for the great reviews!!! We will keep you updated on the Christmas Specials this next week of Cranford.

By the way, Larkrise is a hamlet and Candleford a village. A hamlet is a cluster of a few houses with no shops, etc. a village has shops, a post office and limited services.
Hamlet, village, town and city. Just FYI.

We have just been watching some old black and whites of Jean Arthur. One DVD was called "Icons of Screwball Comedy". It was great. Our favourite was "If you could Only Cook" Others were Too "Many Husbands", "My Sister Elaine" and "She Wouldn't Say Yes". Certainly not like the movies you reviewed, but a fun stay-at-home-eat-popcorn- and enjoy-a-laugh date!!
You are fantastic to share all this with everyone
Merry Christmas.....Mom

Paul and Nancy said...

I love it JaNae!!! I still need to watch that last one. I cannot believe I totally forgot to look it up on netflix!! I guess that is what we will be watching this Christmas! I love all the reviews and think you gave a great summary for each one! Love, love, love it!! xxx