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House of Cards Trilogy
     

House of Cards Trilogy

4.8 6
Director: Paul Seed, Ian Richardson, Mike Vardy, Robin Wentworth

Cast: Paul Seed, Ian Richardson, Mike Vardy, Robin Wentworth

 
Witness the backstabbing efforts of Machiavellian Chief Whip Francis Urquhart (Ian Richardson) as he schemes to get to the top of the House of Parliament and avoid the all-seeing eye of reporter Mattie Storin (Susannah Harker) in BBC Home Video's release of the popular House of Cards series. Each volume is presented in 1.33:1 full-frame and accompanied by audio

Overview

Witness the backstabbing efforts of Machiavellian Chief Whip Francis Urquhart (Ian Richardson) as he schemes to get to the top of the House of Parliament and avoid the all-seeing eye of reporter Mattie Storin (Susannah Harker) in BBC Home Video's release of the popular House of Cards series. Each volume is presented in 1.33:1 full-frame and accompanied by audio rendered in closed-captioned English Dolby Digital Stereo. Bonus materials include an interview with writer Andrew Davies.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
A modern-day Richard III leaves a trail of corpses in his never-ending quest for power in the House of Cards trilogy, three top-notch tales adapted by the BBC from Michael Dobbs's bestselling novels. The first and best of the series is House of Cards, a sophisticated political thriller that follows the rise to power of Francis Urquhart (Ian Richardson), a conservative chief whip who uses a secret liaison with Mattie Storin (Susannah Harker), an attractive young journalist, to help him become prime minister in post-Thatcher 1990s England. Richardson turns in a masterful performance, often speaking directly to the camera as he conjures a larger-than-life politician whose brilliance is matched only by his glee at the public manipulations, private subterfuge -- and murder -- involved in his Machiavellian ambitions. The second series, To Play the King, finds Urquhart comfortably in power, bedding another young and beautiful protégée (Kitty Aldridge) but clashing with the newly crowned king (a thinly veiled caricature of the current Prince of Wales). And The Final Cut finds Urquhart more than a decade into his stewardship of the realm, sparking a Falklands-style conflict in Cyprus to hold on to his job, even as he's dogged by some decades-old skeletons. While To Play the King and The Final Cut veer a bit toward melodrama instead of cloak-and-dagger thrills, the force of Richardson's Mephistophelean presence remains undiminished. Richardson's Urquhart is an archetypal seducer, and while the father/daughter relationship in House of Cards is the most intriguing (in bed, Mattie calls Urquhart "Daddy"), each of the two sequels involves a similar sexual conquests. Politically, screenwriter Andrew Davies's liberalism makes the entire series significantly less sympathetic to the Tory agenda than were the novels of the conservative Dobbs. But political agendas ultimately take a backseat to the rampant political wheeling and dealing -- and to that titillating, incestuous mix of business and pleasure. The result is an utterly engrossing walk down rat-infested subterranean corridors of power -- part Shakespeare, part Woodward and Bernstein, and devilish fun through and through.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/26/2003
UPC:
0794051176523
Rating:
NR
Source:
Bbc Warner
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[monaural]
Time:
10:40:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Andrew Davies discusses the controversy surrounding To Play the King with Sue Lawley on the BBC's Biteback; Cast and crew biographies

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 -- House of Cards
1. Opening Titles [1:18]
2. A Loyal Servant [3:51]
3. Election Night [5:40]
4. Charlie [5:09]
5. No Changes [6:03]
6. Mattie Storin [7:50]
7. Leadership Crisis [2:50]
8. Naughty Habits [4:06]
9. Question Time [5:08]
10. Leaks [3:20]
11. Scandal [5:41]
12. A Liability [4:44]
1. Opening Titles [2:09]
2. Going, Going, Gone [3:12]
3. Man of Straw [5:19]
4. A Small Delivery Job [3:37]
5. Cocaine in the Morning [5:25]
6. Patrick Wood [4:22]
7. A Real Conversation [6:10]
8. Cocktail Party [4:59]
9. A Personal Attack [5:57]
10. Pique and Panic [4:06]
11. Inside Information [4:35]
12. Allegations and Proof [7:07]
1. Opening Titles [1:32]
2. A Short Statement [2:44]
3. A Proper Sendoff [6:17]
4. Daddy [5:49]
5. Interesting Times [5:01]
6. Just a Back Room Boy [2:26]
7. Visiting Charlie [5:55]
8. A Threat [5:36]
9. Trust [4:09]
10. Conspiracy Theories [5:41]
11. A Great Surprise [4:08]
12. Penny Talks [7:18]
1. Opening Titles [1:33]
2. 4:00 in the Afternoon [3:29]
3. Rent Boy [4:53]
4. Everybody's Daddy [6:24]
5. In Congress [6:19]
6. Trust Me [2:43]
7. Sir Roger O'Neill [6:29]
8. Act of Mercy [3:59]
9. The Laughing Ghost [3:37]
10. Two Days More [5:20]
11. 0-7-0-3 [6:31]
12. The Roof Garden [6:04]
Side #2 -- To Play the King
1. Opening Titles [1:06]
2. God Save the King [4:18]
3. A Good Man [4:31]
4. A Short Sharp Shock [3:23]
5. Using Him [4:28]
6. Mrs. Harding [7:29]
7. Regal Insurance [4:35]
8. Disappointed [4:48]
9. No Home to Go To [6:50]
10. Surgical Emasculation [3:49]
11. As Written [5:39]
12. Bring Him Down [2:40]
1. Opening Titles [1:52]
2. General Election [4:29]
3. Stamper [2:51]
4. At Buckingham Palace [3:59]
5. Poll Results [7:47]
6. Indecent Exposure [3:49]
7. Soup [5:00]
8. Car Bomb [5:03]
9. Strong Leadership [6:42]
10. Bullying [3:37]
11. Who Is Mattie Storin? [6:47]
12. A Bit of Mischief [1:43]
1. Opening Titles [1:48]
2. Visit to the Palace [6:01]
3. The King's Broadcast [3:08]
4. 10 Downing Street [4:05]
5. Nothing Lasts Forever [4:56]
6. Listening In [5:51]
7. No Rest for the Wicked [4:06]
8. Staines [5:07]
9. Private Lives [4:57]
10. John Krajewski [3:17]
11. Sensation of the Century! [6:46]
12. Glass Palaces [4:26]
1. Opening Titles [1:50]
2. To Fight a King [3:56]
3. Events [4:07]
4. David Mycroft [6:29]
5. Kidnapping [4:20]
6. The Nationwide Tour [3:54]
7. Interview [5:58]
8. Six Days to Go [6:03]
9. Street Theatre [2:48]
10. Betrayal [4:35]
11. Election Day [4:23]
12. The Monarchy [7:06]
Side #3 -- The Final Cut
1. Opening Titles [1:36]
2. State Funeral [4:32]
3. Poor Betsy [4:48]
4. Cyprus [4:57]
5. The Urquhart Trust [4:30]
6. Tom and Claire [4:48]
7. Self Defense [4:21]
8. Hospital [4:15]
9. Death or Retirement [5:06]
10. Happy Birthday [3:49]
11. Birthday Party [3:14]
12. Claire Carlsen [4:19]
1. Opening Titles [:42]
2. Memorial [5:37]
3. Stock Tips and Adultery [5:18]
4. Private Secretary [5:14]
5. The Safe Thing [2:26]
6. Let This Cool Off [4:37]
7. Pension Plan [5:04]
8. Betraying Tom [4:06]
9. Fear [2:58]
10. Unfinished Business [4:22]
11. One Language [6:09]
12. The Last Straw [4:58]
1. Opening Titles [:57]
2. Bad Dreams [3:01]
3. One for the Road [7:24]
4. Savage Him [4:04]
5. Disappointing News [5:44]
6. A Murderer [6:06]
7. Man to Man [2:36]
8. One Big Puddle [5:31]
9. These Things Happen [4:19]
10. All the Way [3:37]
11. Goodbye Tom [4:28]
12. Our Falklands [4:11]
1. Opening Titles [1:00]
2. Act of Aggression [3:39]
3. A Small War [5:01]
4. Building Bridges [7:04]
5. Swindled [3:22]
6. Above Spilia Village [4:25]
7. Abducted [6:11]
8. By Any Means Necessary [4:07]
9. The Death of a Child [5:06]
10. Rule of Law [4:59]
11. They Were Mine [3:27]
12. Margaret Thatcher Day [3:36]

Customer Reviews

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House of Cards Trilogy 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Let me get the mandatory Richard III reference out of the way early. Like the Shakespearean king, House of Cards' Sir Francis Urquhart is a charming, ruthless murderer who will stop at nothing to achieve power, frequently speaks directly to the audience, and gets all the best lines. Unlike Richard, Urquhart is a relatively complex figure, motivated not solely by ambition, but rather a fierce belief in his arch-conservative views, and that he is by far the most qualified man for the job. His murders and lies are all for the benefit of Great Britain, which without him would become a miserable, second-class welfare state dominated by the Continent. It is a testament to Richardson's performance is so charismatic and his dialogue so sharp and acidic, that you can almost start to believe him. House of Cards is definitely Richardson's show, he is in 95% of the scenes, and the remaining 5% consists of other people talking about him, but the trilogy contains many other great performances, with Susannah Harker's Mattie Storin in Part 1 and Michael Kitchen's King in Part 2 being clear stand-outs. Harker turns an INCREDIBLY difficult role, and one that in lesser hands could have completely ham-strung the series, into a tour-de-force. Her Mattie, a journalist corrupted and destroyed by her own submissiveness, becomes the haunting, discordant strings just audible under Urquhart's martial timpani. Michael Kitchen has another near impossible job, playing a king who is not quite Prince Charles, but clearly meant to evoke him. The new king is compassionate, decent, and popular, and therefore a genuine threat to Urquhart's administration. However, unlike most of the PM's enemies, he is someone who cannot be intimidated, co-opted, or failing that, quietly killed. If the second series, To Play the King, is the best of the trilogy, it is because in it, Urquhart has a worthy adversary, and Kitchen's tight-rope performance is the major factor in that. All in all, House of Cards is simply a great show, suspenseful, funny, smart, and centered by a main performance that ranks as one of the best in the history of television.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm only halfway through the series and wouldn't dare miss the remainder. It's viewing has occupied my viewing time, usurping such favorites as Deadliest Catch, CSI: Whatever, and the assorted sitcoms and cartoons I cling to for entertainment. Instead, going into it with little to no knowledge of the British government, I've become wrapped up in the whole devious tangle of Francis Urquhart. Every drop of verbal poison, political revenge, cunning slander and debasement he offers his rivals, public, private, or even the monarch - it's enthralling. I know he's going to expire, and it's very much a question of when, not if, he's going to get it. Yet I find myself strangely routing for him to continue his slithering success, even as I yearn for his opponents to undermine and vanquish him. The latter appears fruitless, the former seems constant and unstoppable. It all makes for a wonderful black and bleak style of humor, and also a tragedy demonstrating an almost uniform corruption of morality across the board, friend and foe alike. And the most intriguing part, which is not prevalent or even existent in the original novel, is Ian Richardson's breaking of the fourth wall. The viewer is either admitted into his circle as a conspirator, savoring his cruel victories, or as a witness to his horrors and a victim yourself to his satisfied smirk. His talent is such that it's really a matter for the viewer. He doesn't judge, but he does relish it. Very, very wonderful and so frustrating.
Iain010100 More than 1 year ago
"House of Cards" is about a ruthless politician who is a master of manipulation. Devoid of conscience and morals, Francis Urquhart destroys everyone in his path as he meets his political goals. Wickedly entertaining.
timdalton007 More than 1 year ago
At long last I have finally gotten the chance to sit down and watch the trilogy of miniseries's known simply as the House Of Cards trilogy. Based on the novel trilogy by UK author Michael Dobbs the three miniseries's (House Of Cards, To Play The King and The Final Cut) detail the rise and fall of Francis Urquhart, a politician of the UK's Conservative Party played by the late, great Ian Richardson. To help you the reader decide if you'd like to purchase this DVD box-set here are reviews of all three parts of the trilogy. House Of Cards: House Of Cards is a fine example of what the political thriller can be. From the performance of Ian Richardson as Urquhart, the performances of the supporting cast, good production values and a fantastic script as well. It is a complex story with a complex protagonist that takes a look at power and its ability to corrupt and how far one will go to achieve it and is a fine one at that. To Play The King: To Play The King is a fine successor to House Of Cards. From the performances of Richardson and Michael Kitchen in the lead roles, a fine supporting cast, good production values and a well written script as well. While it is not the thriller the original was and is somewhat less gripping as a result, To Play The King works as something else instead. It is a parable about what happens when the liberally minded and the conservatively minded face each other head on. The result is thought provoking indeed. The Final Cut: The Final Cut proves to be the last, if unsatisfactory, part of the House Of Cards trilogy. While there's fine performances from Richardson and Diane Fletcher plus much of the supporting cast the issues with other members of the supporting cast, some low budget feels, direction and script issues weigh this part down significantly. The result is a good but overall unsatisfactory conclusion which seems rather a shame. Overall then, it's a fine set of miniseries's. There's three fine performances from Ian Richardson which alone make this set of stories the success that they are. Though the final part of the trilogy is rather unsatisfactory the first two parts are highly successful and highly entertaining. It's also a remarkable look at the rise and fall of one ambitious man and his government. If you are a fan of either political thrillers, British television or both look no further then the House Of Cards trilogy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was addicted, watched all 3 in 4 days. Richardson just incredible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago