Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Literature > Anthology > British TV > Affairs Of The Heart – Series One (1974 Henry James anthology series/Acorn Media)

Affairs Of The Heart – Series One (1974 Henry James anthology series/Acorn Media)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Episodes: B



Having witnessed the works of Henry James recently brought to the big screen in underwhelming adaptations, it was a pleasant surprise to see eight of his great works brought to life in Affairs Of The Heart – Series One, a definitive 1974 British TV production that manages to do extraordinary adaptations of James’ works that seem far more literary and palpable than so many “stuff, quality” productions that have made his writings less exciting and interesting than they actually are.


This is the first half of that series, with seven nearly hour-long shows adapting eight of his classics as follows:


1)     Catherine (based on Washington Square, with Ian Ogilvy, Bernard Hepton and Lynn Farleigh)

2)     Adela (based on The Marriages, with Richard Vernon, Vivian Pickles, Joseph Blatchley, Georgina Hale and Anna Calder-Marshall)

3)     Miss Tita (based on The Aspern Papers, with Beatrix Lehman, John Carson, Petra Davies and Margaret Tyzack)

4)     Grace (based on Covering End, with Diana Rigg, George Cole and Jeremy Brett)

5)     Milly (based on Wings Of The Dove, with Stuart Wilson, Gary Bond, Lois Baxter and Rosalind Ayres)

6)     Flora (based on Glasses, with Anton Rodgers, Patricia Routledge and Gayle Hunnicut)

7)     Mary & Louisa (based on The Tone of Time and The Real Thing, with Douglas Wilmer, Anton Rodgers, Pamela Brown and Faith Brooks)



The casting and acting works well, with some of the best actors around at the time and great teleplay adaptations by the very talented Terence Feely (The Avengers, The Saint, The Prisoner, Return Of The Saint, Space: 1999, U.F.O., Brian Clemens’ Thriller, The New Avengers) who brings the works to life like few others ever have and captures the nuance and richness of the author’s writing.  Add the fine production design, locations, costumes & directors and you get a chemistry that adds up to some of the best adaptations of James we will ever see.  I also enjoyed hearing Rigg do an American accent.


The 1.33 X 1 image is softer and a bit more strident than I would have liked the analog PAL video could have looked, but these are nicely shot shows where the money and production design is on the screen.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is a little better, showing its age, but is on the clean side just the same.  Extras are all text in cast filmographies and a James Bio.  Affairs Of The Heart – Series One is a fine back catalog set and highly recommended.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com