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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Stage > Literature > TV > A Choice Of Coward (1964/Network U.K./Region Two/2/PAL DVD)

A Choice Of Coward (1964/Network U.K./Region Two/2/PAL DVD)


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



PLEASE NOTE: This DVD set can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Two/2/PAL format software and can be ordered from our friends at Network U.K. at the website address provided at the end of the review or at finer retailers.



Many may be surmised that the great Noel Coward actually hosted adaptations of his works on TV at one point, but that he did for A Choice Of Coward, a 1964 set of what amounts to four telefilm-length episodes of:


Present Laughter (with Peter Wyngarde, Barbara Murray, James Bolan)

Blithe Spirit (Helen Cherry, Hattie Jacques, Griffith Jones, Edward Dewsbury)

The Vortex (Margaret Johnson, Philip Bond, Tom Gill, Tony Bateman)

and Design For Living (Jill Bennett, Daniel Massey, John Wood)



Offered over 2 DVDs, it is an exceptional set of performances with an energy and immediacy you would expect from the best versions of the works.  The actors are top rate and many moments are definitive Coward.  His four introductions are excellent and must-sees like these shows for anyone serious about his work, the stage or great acting.  A fan of Wyngarde and Bennett myself, all the actors are so good here and cohere well.  I cannot recommend this set enough if you like this kind of material and is a very welcome release indeed.


The 1.33 X 1 image was on older black and white PAL analog video or kinescopes and has the expected detail limits we have seen on the earliest episodes of The Avengers or the underrated Sergeant Cork series (reviewed elsewhere on this site), but one gets adjusted as soon as Coward shows up at the top of each show.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also older and compressed, but is still good for its age considering the expected distortion.  There are no extras.



As noted above, you can order this PAL DVD import exclusively from Network U.K. at:









-   Nicholas Sheffo


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