|Noble House [VHS]
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- very good series
i had been waiting for a long time for this series. i had seen it around 12 years ago on star tv in india and liked it then and wanted it to be a part of my collection. well finally my wait was over and i got the item in april and was not disappointed. the quality is good. the only problem i sometimes faced was that the audio was low during dialogue but pretty loud during the background score, so had to use the remote a lot.
about the series, it is a real good drama of politics in hong kong at the time and pierce does a real got job as taipan. the inital reels are a bit boring as it takes its on sweet time to develop but once you are through that phase it is a memorable series for keeps....more info
- Great Mini-series
One of Clavell's best books made into a well-acted mini-series, the DVD brings back the pleasure remembered from having viewed ir originally. The producers selected excellent actors & actresses to portray the main characters, making them entirely believable. ...more info
- I watched it over and over.
This mini series is a great movie. it has great casts. A fantastic and attracting story. Best actors and actresses from HK, UK, and US brought their best performance in this tv series. Pierce Brosnan was playing Ian Dunross, and he was at his best, really charming. He was surely the "tai-pen".
A must see for everyone....more info
- Wonderful Mini-Series!
A very good mini-series to watch in an afternoon. The story is placed in Hong Kong during Great Britain's last years of possession before it is turned over to China. With change on the horizon, the Noble House, which is in between the two worlds, must try to survive.
I highly recommend this one. Exciting to watch. ...more info
- James Clavell's Noble House
The product was as expected. I like the story. The delivery time was exceptionally short. A good buy. ...more info
- THE STRUAN EPIC CONTINUES
Having all of Clavell's books, I revel in the movies made from his writings. He earlier brought SHOGUN to the screen, and for 4 nights in February, 1988, he aired the last show he produced. Starting on Sunday February 21st through Wednesday, February 24th, NOBLE HOUSE fought for ratings against the 1988 Winter Olympics taking place on another TV channel. For true fans of the late Clavell we miss new books coming off the presses. I lived in Japan for 25 months so SHOGUN has to be my favorite, with NOBLE HOUSE and TAI-PAN only an eyelash close seconds.
Starting with TAI-PAN in 1841 this epic of the trading house Dirk Struan founded is brought up to date, 1963. The entire action of the 1200+ novel takes place in little more than one week. As in TAI-PAN the struggle between the two trading houses of Struan and Brock continues.
The script of NOBLE HOUSE is well written, with the action moving swiftly along. The mix of characters provides a veteran group, and since a deal for Pierce Brosnan to star in a James Bond movie had fallen through, he was available for one of his last TV appearances. He stated at the time of filming of NOBLE HOUSE that he was going to move away from both stage and TV, wanting to make movies. He and John Rhys-Davies had worked together previously. With relaxed conditions on the sets, all went well with this production.
The TV movie has,however, come under some complaint from both viewers and critics alike, but for me the movies made from James Clavell's books are lasting gifts given us from the author. The reviewer from TV Guide at the time, Don Merrill, "kicked the stuffings out of this miniseries" saying NOBLE HOUSE "furnished with just about everything a melodrama could possibly contain-except characters that come to life". Obviously he was no fan of Clavell's writings and possibly he had not read TAI-PAN. It is quite possible to watch this movie without having read either of the two books, but what a knowledge gained from these two books will provide is not only an understanding of this long standing feud to the death between these two houses but also some understanding of just what drives the personalites themselves, persons always concerned with their families' tradition going back into the mid 1840's, love as well as hate. It's not so much money or greed driving these folks, but just plain cold hatred. They want to destroy each other.
In the second night's drama the fire aboard the floating restaurant happens, and even Don Merrill of TV Guide termed that "a dilly of a fire'. So too the horse race, and many other activities of this movie as well.
What a great mini-series. Long live NOBLE HOUSE and TAI-PAN.
Semper Fi. ...more info
- Excellent treatment of the book
This miniseries is an excellent version of the novel on TV. The story has been changed slightly to make Tai Pan Ian Dunross younger and create a romantic interest with KC Tcholok, the American girl. In the book, Dunross is older and has a young adult daughter. The ending suggests a possible romance between Dunoss and KC which was not the case in the novel. Otherwise, the miniseries follows the novel quite faithfully and the location shooting is breathtaking. The real star of the series is Hong Kong. It is very helpful to have read the novel. My wife, who has not read the books, had a hard time following the story although she enjoyed the miniseries. The acting in a few instances leaves something to be desired but the whole series is excellent and overcomes the few problems. The weakest actor is the American male lead, Ben Masters, and we spent our time staring at the dents in his forehead that are explained in the Wikipedia entry. Deborah Raffin was good and Pierce Brosnan was excellent. Having read the book, we enjoyed the miniseries and especially the location scenes. I would suggest reading the book first....more info
- Gripping story
Noble House holds your interest due to the gipping plot of the story and the good acting by a talented cast. The Hong Kong landscape was beautiful and lovely to view. The only downside to this DVD was the dated appearance of the actors, which I found a bit distracting....more info
- Stood the test of time
I remembered watching this years and years ago when it was first shown on television, so I wasn't sure how it would stand the test nearly 20 years later. As it turned out I enjoyed it, didn't regret buying it, and don't feel the need to hide it at the back of my collection. ...more info
- noble house
I saw this movie years ago and it was very good long but good.
Had to do with world money & hong cong china....more info
- Clavell and Bercovich at their best
I got the book and read it in two days (more than 800 pages). Clavell is a master of the art of captivating his readers' attention, intriguing them with suspense, delighting them with superb detail and surprising them with plot twists and wit.
The movie does perfect justice to the book - no corners are cut and the spirit and letter of the book are kept almost religiously. After all, Clavell himself took part in creating the series.
A young and talented Pierce Brosnan plays a quite real Dunross while being supported by a solid cast of experienced heavyweights showing off their superb acting in a romantic yet accurate Hong-Kong of the 60-70s.
I bought the tapes as soon as they were available and have been watching them once a year (so that the tape is 'exercised', yet not worn-out).
I plan to go to a studio and have them transferred to DVD so that I save them from oblivion.
I would kill for a full resolution, remastered DVD version with surround! I can't understand why a lot of trash is being re-released on DVD while creations like Noble House are still ignored....more info
- Best Mini Series Ever
This is probably the best mini series ever produced. It's a high budget movie that was divided into several weeks. It's the story of high finance in pre-China Hong Kong and has some of everything from action to intrigue. ...more info
- A review from a native of Hong Kong
I was born and raised in Hong Kong until I was 16 years old. I didn't read the book by James Clavell but the mini-series certainly brought back nostalgia from my formative years. The distinction rating given to this series is based on the accurate and uncompromising portray of Hong Kong during the last few years prior to 1997 -- the repatriation to China from being a British colony. There is a write-up on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_House that detailed the story behind Noble House. It is based on Jardine Matheson who founded the Jardine Matheson Trading Company which conducted trades between India, China, and the U.K.. As an amateur history enthusiast, I really appreciate how Clavell captures the sentiment of the natives as well as the foreign counterparts greed to financial gains under those convoluted political systems.
To most people who grew up in the West, Noble House gives you a realistic snapshot of the history of Hong Kong during the 1980s. The entire production was shot in Hong Kong, Macau (Macao), and part of China. My only regret is that the producer did not spend the time to teach the actors the proper Chinese dialect (Cantonese) which resulted in utter nonsense to those who spoke the language. This particular lack of details has always been overlooked in most American film productions in which I deem very disrespectful. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this mini-saga to those who would enjoy an intriguing suspenseful drama situated in the Orient in the late 20th century.
Thank you....more info
- it's about time!
i agree with ALL the reviews. i am doing a pre-sale for nonble house because I HAVE TO HAVE IT! i purchased from an amazon 3rd-party the vhs of noble house. it went from lp to slp to fit pn a 160 vhs with 2 minutes to spare. i also saw the original mini-series and fell madly in love. i am giving this dvd a 5* because, sight unseen, this dvd has to be better than the 2 speed vhs. i hope lions gate did a good job!...more info
- Give us a Nobel Fix!
This film ranks a full five stars in my book. The storyline about family traditions (and secrets) completely capture you in the first 15 minutes. The desire to BE Tai Pan, keep the secrets (or not), the aura of the Orient in a time now gone and all that implies, the complexity of doing business in that culture, the splash of American money, power, and competition -- all make this a mini-series champion. If that's not enough, add the outstanding cast and filming location.
For at least four years, we have been seeking the DVD version of Nobel House. Our VHS copy is old, fuzzy, and getting discolored. For a change of pace, there is nothing like being transported to the Orient on a designated Sunday and allowing yourself to be enchanted by Pierce Brosnan at his best.
The scenery is beautiful (not New York or L.A.), the dialog is tight, the cast is great, and the story line can't be beat. Why, oh why is it taking so long to get this piece to DVD? When Nobel House finally arrives to its devoted U.S. fans on DVD, maybe we can get the Blu-ray version, or even HD DVD?? Please hurry!!!!
- Outstanding TV Miniseries..!!
Having spent time in Hong Kong in the late 60's and early 70's, I found this mini-series to be extremely entertaining and accurate in the way the characters are developed. Hong Kong at this time was still British and "business" ruled the daily lives of the British and European company executives as well as the Chinese businessman and worker. One of my favorite movies, it tells the story of the "Noble House" and Ian Dunross. The Noble House is loosely based on the real trading company of Jardine Mathewson, one of the early trading companies that helped found Hong Kong. (who has since moved to Singapore when Hong Kong reverted back to the Chinese). Plot twists and fortunes made and lost plus romance and danger make this well worth watching. Lions Gate can be hit and miss on the print quality and at this price probably not restored...BUT......it will probable be better than my DVD-R copy off a VHS Tape. ...more info
- Noble House
Great movie......follows the book.....It is a long movie but it can be watched in 4 segments....more info
- INTRIGUING STORY
VERY PLEASED WITH THE PRODUCT. ALL WAS AS ADVERTISED. WOULD BUY FROM THIS VENDOR AGAIN....more info
- Incomplete Set
Unfortunately, the 3 Tape version of "Noble House" is incomplete and leaves out the entire climax of the Mini Series.
This is terribly disappointing. Saw it on TV and was looking forward to seeing it again, only to find that it leaves you up in the air without an ending....more info
- greatest tv series
I viewed this while living in Sydney and was glued all the way through. To me this is when Pierce Brosnan came to light as a really great actor. The storyline is very gripping. It's a must if you can get a hold of the DVD to see it from start to finish....more info
- Noble Effort
This is a longer version than the VHS. It is the mini-series as made for TV on DVD; this accounts for the additional minutes. The movies is broken into four segments, which I objected to (at first) but it gives one an intermission every hour or so. The content of the movie is exactly the same as the VHS tape. I have heard some people say that it did not have this scene or that scene, but they were all there. I would rather have had the DVD run as one movie (hence the 4 stars), but I really do enjoy this movie and I do recommend this DVD highly....more info
- Long-Overdue Release of Classic TV Miniseries
Noble House is an eight-hour Classic TV Miniseries produced and broadcast in 1988 by NBC. Based on the fantastic and richly detailed novel of the same name by James Clavell, it features a large cast headlined by Pierce Brosnan, who portrays business tycoon Ian Dunross.
This was NBC's second Classic TV Miniseries adaptation of a Clavell novel, the first was 1980s Shogun. Both take place in the same fictional universe, Noble House even featuring connections to Shogun and yet another Clavell novel, Tai-Pan.
For this miniseries, the timeframe of the original novel was changed from the early 1960s to the 1980s.
Other actors include Denholm Elliott, Deborah Raffin, Tia Carrere, John Houseman, Julia Nickson-Soul, and John Rhys-Davies (who also appeared in Shogun.)
Noble House centers around big-business piracy in Hong Kong. The miniseries opens with Brosnan driving through the rain to meet Denholm Elliott, who plays the outgoing "tai-pan" in Hong Kong's oldest and leading trading firm: Struan & Company.
"Tai-pan," a Cantonese expression, means "supreme leader," and at Struan & Company the title has been passed down at least 150 years
Dunross' arch rival and enemy, Quillan Gornt (Rhys-Davles), is tai-pan of the second leading trading company. Not only does Gornt wants to destroy Dunross and take over Noble House, the two men have racing horses that compete against each other as well.
Meanwhile, two American tycoons (Raffin and Ben Masters) have come to Hong Kong to make a financial deal with Dunross.
But in Clavell's Hong Kong there is no such thing as a single deal. Double-dealing and triple-crossing are more the style of the international wheeler-dealers here.
Diverse players here include bankers, government officials, police and a man called "Four Finger Wu" (Khigh Dhiegh), who runs an opium-smuggling syndicate from a junk boat in Aberdeen Harbor and has a mistress one-third his age named Venus Poon (Carrere).
The eight hours practically sizzle, thanks to Bercovici's articulate script (he also wrote the script for the Shogun miniseries).
Viewers a treated to a manipulated run on a bank, selling short on the stock market, the fixing of horse races, a kidnaping, seductions and murders. Running counterpoint are the burning and sinking of a floating restaurant and a catastrophic landslide.
Add to this a couple of juicy love stories, especially the one between Brosnan and Raffin (who brings a light comic element to her role as the tough wheeler-dealer), while everything is done in ravishing cars, speedboats, mansions and casinos.
But, the biggest and brightest star of the show is clearly Hong Kong, which is more like a video game than a city, filled with the exotica and intrigue that you used to find in old movies. Early in the show, a character who's just landed at the airport asks, "What's that smell?" His host answers, "That's the smell of money."
The $16-million-plus production included eight weeks of exteriors shot in Hong Kong and another eight for interiors in the De Laurentiis studio in Wilmington, N.C.
Highly recommended....more info
- I can't stop cringing.
If you saw watched this production in the late 80's then maybe you loved it, but I am just watching it for the first time today and I can hardly believe how cheesy, campy, and cliche it is. Some of the worst acting, scripting, and directing I've ever seen and it's unbearably dated....more info
- Tai Pan
Pre-Bond Brosnen at his elegant best.
Mini series of the Clavel novel, artistically filmed against the backdrop of former British controlled Hong Kong. John Rhys-Davies plays a formidable villein or is it Bronsen who is the devil incarnate.
A joy to view. ...more info
- Series review
Great film - can only recomend it to everyone who loves Pierce Brosnan - even if it's a quiet old film....more info
- Great Miniseries, Disappointing DVD
Why do the DVD producers cut favorite scenes out of classic miniseries? This has been a family favorite since it first aired on television, and we have been waiting to purchase it on DVD for years! We would gladly have paid more to have the COMPLETE miniseries. Instead, the DVD producers decided to arbitrarily cut several favorite scenes out of the 2 disc set. The horse race, the trip to China to visit his friend in the China bank... these and several others are gone. I am torn between wanting to return the DVD in protest and promising the production company I will buy it again and pay more if they would only release the original, perfectly wonderful, miniseries. What I won't be doing is buying additional copies of this DVD for friends and family who have long wanted to see it again. They don't deserve such disappointment. ...more info
- One of the BEST TV Mini-Series..!!
Having spent time in Hong Kong in the late 60's and early 70's, I found this mini-series to be extremely entertaining and accurate in the way the characters are developed. Hong Kong at this time was still British and "business" ruled the daily lives of the British and European company executives as well as the Chinese businessman and worker. One of my favorite movies, it tells the story of the "Noble House" and Ian Dunross. The Noble House is loosely based on the real trading company of Jardine Mathewson, one of the early trading companies that helped found Hong Kong. (who has since moved to Singapour when Hong Kong reverted back to the Chinese). Plot twists and fortunes made and lost plus romance and danger make this well worth watching. Hopefully, it will be restored and out on DVD soon....more info
- The DVD is Very Good
I have now completed watching the newly released DVD version of The Noble House.
I am delighted by the quality of the DVD. It certainly make use of the full DVD capability. The picture is excellent the color wonderful. A huge improvement over the original TV broadcast. Watching on the 42" plasma was very rewarding. The 16:9 presentation was done very well and the 5.1 stereo system did an excellent job with the Dolby Digital soundtrack. Do remember that the soundtrack is only monaural, but the quality is excellent and the thunder, landslides, and drums have an resounding and satisfying impact.
It was so captivating that I had to watch it straight through in one sitting. If you are (or were) a fan of the miniseries do not hesitate to get the DVD....more info
- A MASTERPIECE WORTHY OF THE TAIPAN!
James Clavell was a WONDERFUL Writer (yes, with a capital W) and NOBLE HOUSE was a gift he left to us!
Through his eyes we visit Hong Kong in the 1970's. Clavell, a virtuoso connoisseur of the human condition, manages to interweave a multitude of stories into a continuous carpet of a city living fast, taking risks, winning and loosing but never giving up.
Heads of huge conglomerates on the verge of foundering - yet never letting go of their rival's throat; dirt-poor Chinese maids striking it rich by a sudden turn of their joss; photographer-Wo and his trophy collection; drug-running smugglers asking for favors-you-can't-refuse; cold war spy networks riddled with double and triple agents; an American stock-market runner trying his hand in raiding Hong Kong companies; ladies getting "pillowed", men getting wooed, fortunes made and lost in the 10 days these all take place. Will the Noble House survive?
To quote Balzac, behind every great fortune lies crime. To prove him right, Noble House is but a thinly veiled reference to Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd, a real company. Anticlimactically for an historic British company operating in China, it is nowadays incorporated in Bermuda - and trying to forget its opium-running past (like so many City of London companies respectable today yet founded on drugs, dead cockneys and destroyed natives).
All these stories were presented masterfully in the original novel, without ever loosing the reader's interest or dropping the ball of building tension. There were less than a dozen writers who could do this - starting with Homer. My copy was so worn I had to replace it.
Now, this is a 1988 TV mini series based on the book - of comparable merit. Until recently, the mini-series were available only on VHS. The major casting was excellent (having suave Pierce Brosnan and beastly John Rhys-Davies go head-to-head was a stroke of genius). The rest of the cast was a mix of hit-or-miss: a really young Tia Carrere as mealy-mouth Venus Poon was a hit; Julia Nickson-Soul as the Eurasian beauty Orlanda Ramos a miss. All in all, a truly beautiful production, yet, although it run for 6 hours total, it barely painted a broad-stroke picture of the complex story-lines.
Thus, in order to fully appreciate this masterpiece, my advice is to first read the book and only THEN watch the TV mini series.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!...more info
- Noble House
I remember watching this on NBC some years ago and really enjoyed it. I just recently saw it was available on DVD and purchased it. It's quite good....more info
- crystal clear - far better than the tape version
The book has been condensed into a very worthwhile dvd.
Dunross always faced one issue, the melding of British Hong Kong and China, and this is the background for the struggle for who will control Struan's, the Noble House of British Hong Kong - their historical Hong Kong rival, Gornt, or an American raider who will try to play both ends against the middle - his middle.
The cinematography is tremendous, and the acting is always good, and usually better than people might expect.
Julia Nicksun played Orlanda Ramos, the Eurasian beauty who would have been the Angelina Jolie of Hong Kong 1963. She is picture perfect.
Brosnan, the Tai-Pan of the Noble House, wins, in part, because he thinks in terms of a broader picture than the Americans, one of whom is portrayed as a clownish upstart who only has money...
It isn't enough.
The people who rule Hong Kong focus on the transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997; this is a quiet reminder that countries that think, and act, in terms of centuries, tend to do better than those who don't.
Buy this, whether for the subtle conflicts between the beautiful Deborah Raffin and Julia Nicksun, or to see, in part, how the men who rule the world think about the world, and then act....more info
- GREAT PIERCE BROSNAN STUFF!
THIS IS BROSNAN AT HIS BEST, GREAT MOVIE, GREAT PLOT AND ACTING..I ENJOYED IT MUCH..SO WILL OTHER BROSNAN FANS..I ALSO RECOMMEND THE MANIONS OF AMERICA, IF YOU CAN FIND IT!!...more info
- A MUST HAVE!
Had this title on VHS for years now, and have 'not so patiently' been waiting for it to come out on DVD. A 'super great' mini-series that once you begin to watch, you'll have a hard time walking away from it. When ever I go back to watch this over again, I'm there for the duration, all 6+ hours of it!
Although stating a 'widescreen' version in the description, I seriously hope that's not another 'typo' from amazon! One has to wonder, since this was originally a made for television mini-series, some years ago. It doesn't appear that any effort was made to remaster the sound, as the description only lists, 'English'. And not seeing any special features listed either, which would have been great!
Either way, it's still worth buying, even just to replace my VHS 3 tape collection, (which I will still keep anyway). It's just a really great movie, that's listed among my favorites.
And if you're going to get this great mini-series, for sure get Tai Pan as well! Although just a movie and not a series, it is actually the real beginning of Noble House. Tai Pan by itself is another great movie listing among my favorites!
I've got 'two' copies on order, and am anxious to find out if there really is a widescreen version available on the DVD's, if 'any' of the sound had been enhanced, or if it's in mono, then if 'any kind' of features were added. Guess I'll have to wait until I actually get them in my hand to find out.
Well I finally received and watched my new DVD copy of Nobile House. I was surprised that it was in fact a widescreen version, even though it was originally a made for T.V. mini-series. However looking at the box, I noticed it stating `monaural', which greatly disappointed me!
Even kicking in the `Pro Logic' on my receiver, it didn't do anything for the sound quality. It was a deafening, distinct, straight from the center channel speaker, `mono'!
I switched my receiver over to the stereo mode, and it helped a bit... at least I had the sound coming out of my right and left surround speakers.
It's a shame that the studio didn't want to invest the money into enhancing the sound to a true 5:1. It would have made for the prefect all around DVD.
Curious about something... I'm going to have to dig out my VHS tapes, and see if the sound was stereo on those...
Of course I could have done without all the introductions at the beginning of each chapter, and the scrolling credits at the end of each chapter.
But for sure, still worth watching, as it's a great movie!
- ONE OF THE GREATEST MINI SERIES ON TV
I am surprised this has not been release on DVD - It was such a successful and inspiring series - I hope it is released soon on DVD - It is released on an Australian DVD - but cannot be played except on a multi-region DVD player. ...more info
- Best TV Mini Series ever Produced
Noble House is an outstanding story about big business, Hong Kong
and politics laced with intrigue and romance.
Ian Dunross, played by Pierce Brosnan, is the powerful leader of the history laden Noble House. His performance is nothing less than spectacular as it weaves through one exciting plot after another.
This story is so riveting that you'll watch it again and again.
I enjoy it so much that my VHS copy is no longer any good. I sincerely hope it is reprduced on DVD very soon....more info
- FINALLY ON DVD !!!
ONE OF THE BEST SERIES OF ALL TIME ARRIVES AT LAST ON DVD, A MUST HAVE FOR PIERCE BROSNAN FANS...more info
- Great Adaptation
I learned a long time ago not to expect faithful adaptations of great books, but to hope instead for a solid script, casting, cinematography and scoring that stands on its own. With Clavell's hand in this work I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome here. I have read the book many times and looked forward to this DVD release, not having ever seen the original airing on network TV. It would not be possible to capture the intricate story lines, complex character development, agendas, and side plots in a mini-series. The creators instead gave us the essence of the story (with some twists) and captured an interesting time in the history of Hong Kong, on the eve of the transfer of ownership back to China.
It is dated only in that it is a Euro-centric perspective in the film, and misses out entirely on the perspective of many of the Chinese characters, which was articulated well in the book and resonates today.
Repeat readers of the book - keep an open mind, do not expect a replica of the book, enjoy the actors and the music score and you wont be disappointed. If you haven't read the book, you will enjoy doing so after viewing this title.