In his centenary year, the genius of playwright Terence Rattigan is at last being recognised and The Terence Rattigan Collection
is an invaluable compendium of his finest stage dramas, performed by some outstanding casts.
Rattigan had a profound understanding of the human heart in all its complexity. He is the master of an emotional restraint which gives his work its unforgettable power and attracts, in this collection, star actors of the calibre of Sean Connery and Colin Firth, Penelope Wilton and Judi Dench, Ian Holm and Michael Gambon, Eric Porter and Geraldine McEwan. Among the stage plays included on this DVD are The Deep Blue Sea in which Hester Collyer sacrifices everything for a younger man who cannot return her love and The Browning Version in which a schoolmaster's emotional shell is cracked by an unexpected act of kindness.
In The Terence Rattigan Collection, great stage acting and great storytelling combine to make compulsive viewing.
Heart to Heart (The Largest Theatre in The World)
The first in the “Largest Theatre in the World” series of plays, it centres around a TV interviewer determined to get a coup on a dodgy cabinet minister. Starring Kenneth More, Ralph Richardson, Derek Francis. Directed by Alvin Rakoff and originally broadcast December 6, 1962.
Approx. 115 minutes
All On Her Own (A Touch of Venus)
Rosemary returns from a party to the empty Hampstead house where she has lived since the death of her husband, but was his overdose of sleeping pills purely accidental? She is going to try to find out. Starring Margaret Leighton, Nora Gordon and directed by Hal Burton and originally broadcast September 25, 1968.
Approx. 19 minutes
NB: A series of 13 monologues for famous actresses.
Separate Tables (BBC Play of the Month)
Loneliness, desire and repression are explored in the setting of a Bournemouth Hotel. Starring Geraldine McEwan, Eric Porter, Annette Crosbie, Robert Harris, Hazel Hughes, Pauline Jameson, Cathleen Nesbitt and originally broadcast March 15, 1970.
Approx. 93 minutes
French Without Tears (BBC Play of the Month)
The comic, sometimes painful, fallings-out of five young male English students at a residential language cramming establishment in France. Starring Nicola Pagett, Michael Gambon, Anthony Andrews, Barbara Kellermann, Nigel Havers, Tom Woodward and originally broadcast May 16, 1976.
Approx. 94 minutes
The Winslow Boy (BBC Play of the Month)
The term at Osborne Naval College is not yet over. Why, therefore, has cadet Ronnie Winslow returned home? And why, moreover, is he hiding in the garden in the rain? Starring Alan Badel, Eric Porter, directed by David Giles and originally broadcast January 16, 1977.
Approx. 112 minutes
The Browning Version
Andrew Crocker-Harris is an aging classics master at a British public school with only a few days left in his career but who is suddenly forced to confront his own life’s failures. Starring Judi Dench, Michael Kitchen, John Woodvine, Ian Holm, directed by Michael A. Simpson and originally broadcast December 31, 1985.
Approx. 74 minutes
After The Dance (Performance)
Set in the Mayfair Flat of a high living, hard drinking writer in 1938 this truthful play attacks the moral vacuity of the ‘bright young things’ unknowingly poised on the brink of war. Starring Anton Rogers, Gemma Jones, Imogen Stubbs, directed by Stuart Burge and originally broadcast December 5, 1992.
Approx. 112 minutes
The Deep Blue Sea (Performance)
Middle-aged Hester Collyer suffers the dramatic personal consequences of a passionate affair with a young, ex-RAF pilot named Freddie Page.
Starring Colin Firth, Ian Holm, Carmel McSharry, Wojtek Pszoniak, Stephen Tomkinson, Edward Tudor-Pole, Penelope Wilton, directed by Karel Reisz and originally broadcast November 12, 1994.
Approx. 99 minutes
Adventure Story (BBC Sunday Night Theatre)
Rattigan’s own dramatic study of Alexander the Great. Starring Sean Connery, Margaretta Scott, directed by Karel Reisz and originally broadcast June 12, 1961.
Approx. 110 minutes
- Separate Tables at The Apollo: John Mills and Jill Bennett in a scene from Act 2 of Separate Tables at the Apollo Theatre.
- Cause Célèbre at Her Majesty’s Theatre: Two extracts from Terence Rattigan's play Cause Célèbre, starring Glynis John, Neil Daglish, Charles Dore, Philip Bowen and Lee Montague. This was shot during a theatre preview at Her Majesty’s Theatre.