The Cazalets

Overview

In the summer of 1937, wealthy timber importer William Cazalet (Frederick Treves) and his wife, Kitty (Ursula Howells), host their children -- Hugh, Edward, Rupert, and Rachel -- and grandchildren for an extended holiday at William's idyllic Sussex estate. At dinner, William invites Rupert (Paul Rhys), a struggling artist, to join his other two sons, Hugh and Edward, in his thriving firm. Idealistic Rupert declines the offer. While attempting to justify his decision to his self-centered wife, Zoe (Joanna Page), ...
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Overview

In the summer of 1937, wealthy timber importer William Cazalet (Frederick Treves) and his wife, Kitty (Ursula Howells), host their children -- Hugh, Edward, Rupert, and Rachel -- and grandchildren for an extended holiday at William's idyllic Sussex estate. At dinner, William invites Rupert (Paul Rhys), a struggling artist, to join his other two sons, Hugh and Edward, in his thriving firm. Idealistic Rupert declines the offer. While attempting to justify his decision to his self-centered wife, Zoe (Joanna Page), whom he married after his first wife died, Rupert also must cope with his adolescent daughter's resentment of her stepmother. Meanwhile, rumors of war with Germany unsettle the family, and they monitor radio broadcasts closely. Hugh (Hugh Bonneville) knows well the perils of soldiery. In the Great War, he lost the use of his left hand and suffered a head injury that causes recurring headaches. His wife, Sybil (Anastasia Hille), worries about him, and he in turn worries about her, especially when her health mysteriously declines. Edward (Stephen Dillane), on the other hand, worries only about getting caught cheating on his wife, Villy (Lesley Manville), who is pregnant. His lustful behavior becomes truly detestable when he gropes his own daughter. His sister, spinster Rachel (Catherine Russell), is his opposite: reserved, always thinking of others. But a secret longing distresses her, and she vies with it in silence. Meanwhile, Villy, Zoe, and Edward's mistress all become pregnant; Sybil develops cancer; Rupert enlists when the Nazis go on the march; and a nephew comes to the Cazalet estate to escape his autocratic father. The war, familial conflict, and Sybil's illness test the family as never before. The final two hours of the six-hour saga reveal whether the Cazalets have the mettle to choose selflessness over self.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Access to the Masterpiece Theatre web site; Scene selection; Closed captions
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
This 2001 TV miniseries peels away the cocoon of normalcy shielding a well-to-do English family to expose shocking secrets and unfulfilled dreams, as well as reservoirs of strength that sustain the household through the trauma of war. Like a soap opera, The Cazalets eavesdrops on the lives of one set of characters one moment and on the lives of another set of characters a moment later. But unlike a soap opera, the production presents the characters as round and well drawn. They have their virtues and their charms, but they also have their flaws and their frailties -- or worse. For example, philandering Edward Cazalet (Stephen Dillane) exhibits a hideous side known only to a daughter he accosts while he is drinking. Most of the characters in the story suffer from a moral or social malaise, but the war and family conflict challenge them to cast off their defective exoskeletons to confront separation, childbirth, terminal illness, an ominous letter from the field of battle, and themselves. The acting is first-rate all around. Even the younger cast members -- in particular Florence Hoath as Clary, an aspiring writer, and Emma Griffiths Malin as Louise, an aspiring actress -- are outstanding. The setting and props -- an old country estate, thatched roofs, verdant fields, and ancient mortorcars -- play to nostalgia. Although the camera invades bedrooms, showing the hurly-burly commencement of lovemaking, it withdraws before ars gratia artis becomes ars gratia prurience. Overall, The Cazalets deserves high marks for its realistic portrayal of a family in crisis.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/23/2004
  • UPC: 783421354494
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Wgbh / Pbs
  • Time: 6:00:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Hugh Bonneville Hugh Cazalet
Stephen Dillane Edward Cazalet
Paul Rhys Rupert Cazalet
Emma Griffiths-Malin Louise Cazalet
Catherine Russell Rachel Cazalet
Frederick Treves William Cazalet (the Brig)
Ursula Howells Kitty Cazalet (the Duchy)
Anastasia Hille Sybil Cazalet
Lesley Manville Villy Cazalet
Joanna Page Zoe Cazalet
Anna Chancellor Dianna
Penny Downie Sid
John McArdle Tonbridge
Patsy Rowlands Miss Millamint
Jacqueline Tong Mrs. Cripps
Florence Hoath Clary Cazalet
Alexander Pownall Neville Cazalet
Claudia Renton Polly Cazalet
Ben Simpson Teddy Cazalet
Francesa Wicks Lydia Cazalet
Jessica Turner Jessica Castle
Nicholas Adsley Christopher Castle
Technical Credits
Suri Krishnamma Director
Alison Barnett Producer
Rebecca Eaton Executive Producer
Pippa Harris Executive Producer
Verity Lambert Producer
Douglas Livingstone Screenwriter
Joanna Lumley Producer
Jane Tranter Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc 1
1. Introduction [3:19]
2. Home Place [6:55]
3. The First Evening [15:13]
4. A Day at the Beach [13:32]
5. Special Events [15:36]
6. Summer 1938 [20:26]
7. Mr. Chamberlain's Ultimatum [11:37]
8. Appeasement [12:08]
9. Summer 1939 [10:35]
Side #2 -- Disc 2
1. Introduction [2:43]
2. Declaration of War [11:48]
3. There's a War On [6:56]
4. Christmas at Home Place [7:44]
5. Louise's Education [14:31]
6. Summer 1940 [12:58]
1. Introduction [2:23]
2. Missing [7:32]
3. Christopher Arrives [8:43]
4. Adjusting to Bad News [6:20]
5. Trips to London [13:34]
6. The Blitz [16:38]
Side #3 -- Disc 3
1. Introduction [2:19]
2. Autumn 1940 [11:11]
3. The Way Things Are [14:44]
4. The Pacifist [8:44]
5. Spring 1941 [18:31]
1. Introduction [2:26]
2. Autumn 1941 [11:34]
3. Clearing Up [10:34]
4. Winter 1941 [14:45]
5. News From France [6:12]
6. Endings and Beginnings [9:36]
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Menu

Side #1 -- Disc 1
   Play Episode 1
   Scene Selection
   DVD-ROM Features
   Accessibility Options
   Other Products of Interest
Side #2 -- Disc 2
   Play Episode 2
   Play Episode 3
   Scene Selection: Episode 2
   Scene Selection: Episode 3
   DVD-ROM Features
   Accessibility Options
   Other Products of Interest
Side #3 -- Disc 3
   Play Episode 4
   Play Episode 5
   Scene Selection: Episode 4
   Scene Selection: Episode 5
   DVD-ROM Features
   Accessibility Options
   Other Products of Interest
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