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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Literature > British TV > Mini-Series > Sorrell & Son (1984/Koch Vision DVD)

Sorrell & Son (1984/Koch Vision DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Episodes: C+



I have to admit that there are many things to like about the 1984 TV mini-series version of version of Warwick Deeping’s longtime best-seller (a silent and sound feature film exist) Sorrell & Son is a top rate production made towards the end of British TV’s last glorious run of great mini-series productions before everything went awry.  The story of a father (Richard Pasco) who sacrifices having a life and works menial jobs so his son (actor (later turned mixed director) Peter Chelsom) can attend a better school in hopes of having a better future is melodrama at its highest.


Though this production does its best to be rich, realistic and is very well acted, it cannot overcome the clichés and formula of the obvious dramatics.  Done straight and forward here, this often becomes unintentionally funny without debasing itself, but we have seen this kind of story so many times since the book fist came out and with nowhere new to go, it is the best outright adaptation you could expect.  Thanks to a solid supporting cast including Stephanie Beacham, Michael Troughton and Miranda Richardson, it holds up very well nearly a quarter century later.


The 1.33 X 1 image is soft throughout, is a filmed production from a PAL analog video source and looks a bit more aged than it should.  Maybe the original film materials were lost, as some Yorkshire TV productions we have seen before have had the same fate.  However, this is still watchable and money was definitely put into the production.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono fares better with clear-enough dialogue and music, though don’t expect much more.  The audio is still a generation down.  There are no extras.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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