The Buccaneers
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Product Description

Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 04/18/2006 Run time: 300 minutes Rating: Nr

As four young American women find their way through the labyrinthine social world of 1870s England, their fortunes rise--and sometimes, with brutal abruptness, fall. Based on Edith Wharton's unfinished novel, The Buccaneers, this lavish BBC production follows Nan and Virginia St. George (Carla Gugino, Spy Kids, and Alison Elliott, The Spitfire Grill), two American sisters who follow their friend Conchita Closson (Mira Sorvino, Mighty Aphrodite), a Brazilian bad girl who marries a dissolute British lord, to England in search of aristocratic husbands--partly due to the influence of their canny governess, Laura Testvalley (Cherie Lunghi, Excalibur). The Buccaneers has a good dose of the delicious satirical wit to be found in many BBC dramas, but tempered by the presence of the naive American girls, who find themselves trapped by the very things they thought they wanted. Though mocked by some critics for its heaving bosoms and towering hairdos, the five-part series stealthily paints a sometimes devastating portrait of women's lives. When Idina Hatton (Jenny Agutter, Logan's Run), the older lover of the aimless Lord Seadown (Mark Tandy, Shackleton), learns that Seadown is going to marry the young and lovely Virginia, it's a heartbreaking moment, yet one that isn't overdone. The Buccaneers is full of such gracefulness--Wharton observes the fickle turns of life in society with a judicious eye, empathizing with the pain but never losing sight of the hard realities of money and marriage. In a strong cast, Gugino particularly shines; with her round, rosy cheeks and expressive eyes, she makes a smart yet vulnerable heroine. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews:

  • First seen on PBS
    I've never actually seen this movie; I'm writing this review on behalf of my mother, for whom I ordered it. She absoulutely loves this movie. Several years ago, it aired on PBS's Masterpiece Theater, and she taped it off the TV. Unfortunately, the copy was not a good one, and she has been searching for a video of this movie ever since. She even likes it better than the book version, which is widely held to be Ms. Wharton's greatest work....more info
  • Not true to book or Wharton
    As others have noted, the movie is not representative of the book. I'd further agree that the movie deviates from the flaire of Edith Wharton. While others note that the film is depressing, this is what I'd expect from Wharton. What I wouldn't expect was an ending that left one of the characters off so easy. Further, the warping of characters (and lack of a character) take away from the whit of a Wharton social commentary on aristocracy. I guess if you haven't read the unfinished book, don't care how well it represents Wharton, and just want to watch a fairly depressing movie with people in costume, you might enjoy this....more info
  • An Abundance of All Things!
    This movie is one of my most favorites...it is filled with so much romance. Mira Sorvino, Carla Gugino and Greg Wise are so much fun to watch. I love it!...more info
  • Buccaneers DVD
    The DVD arrived quickly & in good condition. My only complaint is there was a small slit in the plastic cover of the DVD....more info
  • Disappointing content and quality
    I believe this DVD is a digitized version of a 1995 film. I haven't seen the original video production but the DVD version had contrast problems and the quality of the image was poor throughout.
    I was fully prepared to ignore the visual issues with this otherwise sumpteous production except that the story line was a deep disappointment. I've read many other Edith Wharton novels and found them subtle, detailed, and melancholic. I was expecting something similar here but found the plot developed like a bad soap opera and ended in a truly modern and shallow manner. The historic background to this period - fascintating in itself - was sometimes referred to but usually under-developed and the characters were rarely truly fleshed out properly. Since this is an unfinished novel, I would have expected the screen writer would have found a more appropriate end to Annabelle's story rather than callow infidelity.
    I love BBC drama but this one went straight in the trash. ...more info
  • The BBC really establishes itself with this one
    Wonderful story of Victorian England and the trials and victories of 4 young American girls being presented to society....more info
  • Extremely Disappointed
    The plot synopsis didn't begin to describe all the immorality this film contains. Virtue is completely absent in the majority of the characters. The viewer gains nothing from this film save how not to live. The reviews I read emphasized the beautiful costumes and superb acting; granted, that is true. What good does all that do if the film is replete with illicit relationships, foul language, women that behaved so unladylike, men without self-control, and nitwit parents that didn't care in what their adult children were involved. To tell you how disappointed I was, I threw the DVD in the trash. As far as I am concerned, no one, ever need watch this film. I had to rate it one star because there was not an option to give it zero stars; I would have given it zero stars if I could....more info
  • A Wonderful story
    I had read a review of a person about this story/adaptation, which convinced me to buy this. Somehow I had missed seeing this when it aired on television back in the 90's. This person compared this to to the 95 Pride and Prejudice. She said back when she was in high school and her friends were going "ga-ga" over Colin Firth and Pride and Prejudice, she was going "ga-ga" over this! As I loved that adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, that was enough to convince me to watch this!

    A wonderful story of 4 American girls from wealthy families who go to England for a season. You see they were "new" money and so snubbed by American society. Three of the girls marry into titled families.

    A fairy tale? Not exactly as only one of these young women end up happily married. I won't give away anymore- you must watch it for yourself! and this one is well worth owning as you WILL want to watch it again and again!...more info
  • Pleased
    I was very pleased to see that Amazon carried this elusive title. It arrived quickly and the content and quality of the movie are excellent....more info
  • Disappointing
    Being a fan of most BBC drama productions in general, I was disappointed with this mini-series. The dialogue was cleverly written, the plot was interesting, and the actors were all very convincing, but I was expecting either the light hearted type of wit like that of "Pride and Prejudice", or a romantic drama like "North and South." "The Buccaneers" was indeed a hardcore drama, but focused on the unhappy relationships of all the characters, and the consequences of their decisions in marriage and elsewhere, with little or no redemption. The film was extremely well made, and the performances were solid, but fans of fairy tale romances and happy endings may find it a disappointment. ...more info
  • Amazing...
    ...and so cheap! A story about the perils of life, how happiness lies in the difficult choices against the machine and in favor of the heart. ...more info
  • The Buccaneers
    I did not know it was a TV series. The movie was just that, bits of a series. The movie was just that,not a whole story. I was dissapointed....more info
  • Unfortunately, Disappointing
    Oh how I wanted to enjoy this! I really, really did. But in comparison with other costume dramas I've seen recently, The Buccaneers left me cold. With so many characters to follow I never really got interested in any of them. It had its moments - for instance, Cherie Lunghi gave a nice performance - in fact, I'd say *most* of the cast does a good job (with a few exceptions) but it's the dialogue and the editing of the thing that left me unsatisfied. The costumes are beautiful, the settings are lovely - but despite all the drama I didn't shed a single tear or feel much of anything.

    Now - I know why a lot of women watch costume dramas - for the gorgeous men cutting a handsome figure with their cravats & top hats, of course! Ladies, this movie has NONE. The only good looking man in this series barely makes an appearance and in every scene has such a silly mustache as to be unswoonworthy.

    Everything goes wrong for these girls. It's depressing but didn't make me cry and there's no male eyecandy. I found this a chore to get through. ...more info
  • Overall, this film was okay
    While some aspects of the film was interesting, the "heaving bosoms" and some what melodramatic story was a little bit off-putting ...more info
  • The Buccaneers
    This is a lucious portrayal of Edith Wharton's novel.
    The costumes and music are beautiful and the actors are wonderful....more info