Parade's End

DVD - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Parade's End
Set over a tumultuous ten-year period in the early 20th century, this five-hour HBO miniseries tells the story of an honorable Englishman coping with his growing disillusion at the end of a privileged era and the beginning of a new, egalitarian society. As the comfortable certainties of Edwardian England begin to give way to the chaos and destruction of WWI, nobleman Christopher Tietjens puts principles first by marrying Sylvia, a pretty, manipulative socialite who gives birth to a child who may not be his. Christopher endures his new wife's whims and overt indiscretions, foreseeing a cold future with Sylvia at his family's palatial estate, Groby Hall. He finds himself inexorably drawn to a young suffragette, Valentine Wannop, but refuses to give in to their mutual passion or end his marriage with Sylvia, who is alternately infuriated and infatuated by her incorruptible husband. The onset of war, combined with the advent of feminism at home, ushers in far-reaching changes for the English status quo, gradually eroding the constraints that have kept Christopher tethered to his aristocratic past.


From Library Staff

Set over a tumultuous ten-year period in the early 20th century, this miniseries tells the story of an honorable Englishman coping with his growing disillusion at the end of a privileged era and the beginning of a new, egalitarian society. Based on the tetralogy by Ford Madox Ford.

From the critics

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Mar 28, 2015
  • Reynold_Nugter rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Rated 2/10. First of all, typical HBO DVD again. Not only was the ability to go directly to the menu disabled, but also fast-forwarding, attempting to force you into watching their previews. I didn't like this mini-series and only watched 20 minutes. I just didn't like the subject matter and the way it was shown. Quasi "Game of Thrones" set in Edwardian times. Not only do I not recommend it, I also think it was a terrible waste of good talent.

Mar 15, 2015
  • StopHarperNow rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

The dialogue and story are really bad which is quite a shame since the actors, sets and everything else are all excellent. Benedict Cumberbatch does a valiant job trying to save this movie from being a complete waste of time - but sadly it is.

Jan 02, 2015
  • GrinMore rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

The most interesting aspect of this miniseries was Benedict Cumberbatch playing a character who was not somewhere on the autism spectrum. It's a blatant attempt to capitalize on the success of Downton Abbey, with lots of footage of the clothes, automobiles and homes of the ultra wealthy trying to cope with the changes to the British society and economy in the years leading up to the first world war. Superimposed on all of this was a failed attempt to make it steamier and sexier which only made it seamier and unbelievable.

Dec 29, 2014
  • xaipe rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This series is an adaptation by Tom Stoppard of Ford Madox Ford’s novel set in the early 20th century portraying the complicated life of an English aristocrat during and after WWI. The main character’s strong sense of honor acts as a brake to his emotional life to a degree which would be comically absurd in the hands of a lesser writer and actor. Benedict Cumberbatch portrays the central character Christopher Tiejens, Rebecca Hall is his heel-kicking, unconventional wife. One of the best parts for me was Rufus Sewell, almost unrecognizable as the quietly insane Reverend Duchemin. Sewell is slyly and unexpectedly hilarious in the part. This is a leisurely series without the tightly plotted, flashy portrayals of Downton Abbey, but I preferred it. Benedict Cumberbatch gets better in each part, and if he can manage to avoid being cast as Dr. Who, is likely to become one of Britain’s best actors. Recommended.

Oct 27, 2014
  • Janice21383 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Tom Stoppard's adaptation of the book Dorothy Parker couldn't bring close to her heart, because the main characters were named Christopher Tietjens and Valentine Wannop. The story, which is the old, not so good one about the principled man tied to the wicked woman, is spiced up by unconventional by-play and colourful characters. There are some fine performances from the wildly overqualified cast, including Rebecca Hall and Benedict Cumberbatch (what is with these names?) Unfortunately, the CT character is mostly dreary and humourless, and VW is worse. She has little characterization aside from Spunky Suffragette, and even that goes out the window when her love affair with CT reduces her to the Woman Who Waits. She compounds the offense by becoming a games mistress, who, without irony, teaches young girls field hockey, and fights for their right to read bad porn. Overall, worth a watch, but you may agree with Miss Parker that the only character you will miss is the glamourous, devilish Sylvia. See also Anne_Louise_2000's review, below.

Oct 01, 2014
  • chloe33 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This film perfectly portrays the slow moving progress of society and industry. It is a different beast from the book so if you are looking for that it may disappoint. The main character Christopher Teijens is perfectly portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch putting a solid performance of a man who has deep principles that are very difficult to change. Cumberbatch gives Christopher the sort of subtlety this brilliantly educated man needs in the face of industrial and societal change which he cannot abide. . Rebecca Hall is just as riveting as his wife who hates his principled way of life as well as his perfectionism as she is embracing these changes and would like to move forward into the new age. I found Christopher to be an intensely riveting character as he falls in love with a young Valentine Wannup a suffragette . I too agree that the actress looks a bit young but it may be that look of innocence in a new and tumltous age that attracts our dear mr. Teitjens.

Aug 22, 2014
  • roshen rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The leading lady was way too young for Benedict Cumberbatch. In the end I just felt so sorry for the wife who really tried hard to win back his affections.

Aug 16, 2014
  • harrybrowne rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I have not read the book, but I hope it is better than this vulgar, preachy dramatization. A pitiful waste of the enormous talent of Benedict Cumberbatch, who is superb here. His range of expressions and screen presence is compelling. Other actors are awful. Musical score, and the depiction of the utter insanity of war, are the only other good things.

Jul 26, 2014

This is a wonderful adaptation of Ford Maddox Ford's books, which are also terrific.

Jul 21, 2014
  • burmal rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A well done, entertaining period piece about a troubled couple and the people around them. HIghly recommended. I am now interested in reading the book.

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