An excellent cast based on an excellent book, thoroughly enjoyed it.
I never read any of ken follet’s books, so i had no idea what pillars of the earth was about. That is until i read the review of the dvd, i knew then that this was a ” must have and watch”. It is riveting – the fact that it is historical drama made it even more appealing to me. It is set in the period in history where england was plunged in a civil war fought between stephen of blois and mathilda each claiming a right to the english throne. In spite of all the misery and lawlessness these wars brought with them, there is still the yearning to create beauty and the result is the building of the cathedrals all over britain and europe which, to this day, are a marvel to see. There is a power struggle taking place, not just for the throne, but for titles and land and most of all in the church itself. The actors are great, especially ian mcshane as the evil cleric and matthew macfadyen as the idealistic prior. Of course, there were abuses and evil in the church, but there is also piety. Ultimately, we have these marvels in architecture due, in most part, to the catholic church and this, thankfully, is made very clear in prior philip’s address to the congregation. The other actors do credit to their parts, especially rufus sewell as the master builder, and his apprentice.
Having read the book and also read the sequel “world without end,” when i saw this dvd set was available, it was a must buy for me. If you like medieval period literature, then this dvd set makes for a great adaptation of a fine work. It is not suitable for children as there is some extreme language used and some of the scenes are a bit too sexually graphic for young eyes. However, for adults it makes for compelling viewing. It’s not only entertaining, but also very informative. Just like the book, there is some good explanation of how major constructions such as cathedrals were built. You can see the tools and equipment used and how the lack of “health & safety” regulations enabled them to get on with things. Ian mcshane is absolutely brilliant. He always seems to play the part of the villain and in this film he excels. Thoroughly recommended and fantastic value.
Incredibly compelling, highly underrated and beautifully made series, exceeds game of thrones in my opinion – mcshane is thrillingly dark and mcfadyen is exceptional.
- Good portrayal of the book in many respects but disappointing ending.
- I read the book first so the DVD felt a bit spoiled
- “Who do you love most?” [Regan]
The Pillars of the Earth [DVD] 
I read the over 1000 page book and loved it so i was very keen to watch this adaption and it is brilliant. The cast is made up of a range of hollywood stars from hayley atwell and eddie redmayne to rufus sewell and sam claflin.
Oh wow, what a great series, i read the book which was great and now on dvd, reccomeded if your a fan of these sort of stories.
That is not to say the series wasn’t good. Ian mcshane as the odious and ambitious waleran bigod looked suitably menacing and evil. (probably the best thing i’ve ever seen him act in). The story is set around a civil war between ‘queen maud and king stephen’ and the building of a cathedral in kingsbridge. The main players are the earl of shiring (donald sutherland) his daughter aliena and his son richard. Aliena vows to her father that one day she will regain the earldom for her brother. Also important are prior phillip and brother remigius. An embittered man with a dark secret. The other characters are tom the builder played superbly by rufus sewell and his son albert and daughter martha. His wife died in childbirth leaving a baby.
Some of our family saw the first episode on tv last month, some were out on the night. Being broadcast on saturday and not available on i-player, we bought the whole series and watched it when we wanted. The series started well but by comparison the ending was poor. It seemed that the author was under pressure to complete the book to schedule and rushed the ending. Similarly the filming went downhill towards the end.
Bought dvd for myself after reading the book. Excellent dvd although still got one episode to go. Delivered by courier on time, perfect packaging.
Having read and enjoyed ken follet’s book i was intrigued to see how it could possibly be portrayed in film. The book is long and detailed so this must have been a huge undertaking. Firstly it is extremely well acted by the three main characters, eddie redmayne, rufus sewell and surprisingly ian mcshane who you would not usually expect to find in a period drama of this type. Secondly the whole setting about the building of a 12th century cathedral alongside a monastry is well done with convincing film sets throughout. Lastly the main themes of the book are covered accurately until close to the end. Unfortunately it deviates greatly from the book here in concentrating on the demise of the villain of the piece rather than what could have been the historically accurate killing of thomas beckett in canterbury cathedral. Why the film makers chose to skip the book’s ending and invent their own was my only disappointment.
This was a real emotional roller-coaster of a series; gripping from start to finish. I got so angry in some of the episodes and at other times was crying or smiling. Anything that can arouse my emotions like that is very good in my eyes. The actors were excellent in all their roles. Definitely one i will watch again.
For some reason only the dvd of pillars of the earth is available in the uk. In the usa the bluray is available, and it makes quite a difference to the large, complex and visually arresting scenes which make this series so dramatic. The good news is that the bluray is region a and b, in other words it plays on uk bluray players as well. The bad news is that it is quite expensive, and i fell foul of something unknown to me. Items over £18 from non-eu countries apparently attract vat, and a royal mail handling fee it doesn’t matter who the sellar is,. . You have to really like pillars to justify the total cost,.
Fantastic little story, read the other 5 star reviews which says it all really, cant understand why others have given it 1 & 2 star ratings as that really is rather harsh. This story has war, blood, sex, conspiracy, love, the church and ambition. Not suitable for watching when small children around, but a very enjoyable little mini series.
I won’t go on about the storyline. I watched this after reading ‘world without end’, and was keen to see how ‘medieval england’ transferred to screen. Why is so much spent on lavish costumes and production only to be let down by simple things like a total lack of realism?the actors flash hollywood smiles (they could have dirtied them up a bit.Regan is supposed to be hideous with a face full of boils. A really gorgeous looking woman with a silly birthmark drawn on her face like a modern tattoo. The streets should have been depicted as muddy. There was little or no sanitation ion those days. The clothes all look bright and straight from the dry-cleaners.
I’m not sure if i was watching the same series as all the 5-star reviewers. Sure, the story is pacey and the overall plot is good. But there is some cringeworthy dialogue and acting in this series. It’s sometimes actually comical how bad it is, yet strangely compelling all the same. I can really give it more than 3 stars.
This is excellent 5 star entertainment from start to finish. There’s lots of well fleshed-out characters to emerse your self in with the evil waleran bigod (ian mcshane) the ruthless puppet-master. It’s a fantastic part for mcshane and he delivers in every one of his scenes. Another stand-out for me was eddie redmayne who develops his character, jack, slowly thru’ the 8-episode series, by the end standing tall as a true hero of the piece. What requires more imagaination by the viewer is the way the series deals with the timeshifts. Some of the characters appear to age more than others, and some, the lovely hayley atwell in particular, not at all. But it’s a small gripe really as there’s so much to enjoy – some wonderful battle action, plenty of fighting, all taking place in lots of beautifully created sets, cleverly aided by cgi. It’s a wonderful treat in store if you’ve not seen it yet.
Tv drama at its best, centered on a international most effective vendor with all the attributes that make a terrific browse and in the end a television set sequence. Intercontinental cast of the very best excellent with performing to go with it.
The plan of basing a drama sequence all over the building of a cathedral, seems, at very first, an work out in head-numbing tedium. An all star solid, good places, and a few twists and turns, raise this earlier mentioned your standard fare of british drama. Donald sutherland may well have been phoning it in, and ian mcshane goes beyond paradoy at situations, but nevertheless.
Mcfadyan, mcshane, sewell – excellent performing, bit of a ‘tall’ tale, ridley scott/scott cost-free creation – excellent all spherical entertainment.
A good adaptation of the ken follett e-book.
I relished this movie when it was on the tv, i made a decision to purchase it to look at once again in advance of i viewed the observe up movie, anybody intrigued in the historical past of this country would uncover it pretty attention-grabbing though it did set across the passionate aspect of the story as effectively as the cruelty that took location, but all in all i carefully savored it and will enjoy it yet again later on.
Stored us entertained for days. The screenplay was pretty nicely done and a whole lot of notice seemed to have been paid to historic fact with only a several faults. The star studded forged excelled themselves with some 1st class purpose participating in and some terrific baddiessex, intrigue, poverty and grime, it had it all. The only slight dowside was that the battle scenes seemed to demand blood to spray out of wounds which was not incredibly practical, the odd trickle or gush would have created a change. If you love historical drama, you will not be disappointed – several hours of 1st class enjoyment.