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Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, ...

Brideshead Revisited

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Just as Evelyn Waugh’s novel, set between the World Wars, portrayed the demise of a particular kind of British aristocracy, so did ITV’s sumptuous adaptation — which debuted in the States in 1982 on PBS’ Great Performances — mark a bookend for the golden age of the miniseries. Jeremy Irons plays Charles Ryder, an aimless Oxford student who falls under the thrall of the flamboyant Sebastian Flyte (Anthony Andrews). Their arrival at the Flytes’ titular palace ultimately spells the end of their platonic romance, as well as their individual undoings. Costars Claire Bloom, John Gielgud, and Laurence Olivier provide a gravitas befitting the film’s jaw-dropping Yorkshire locales. And though the remastered discs provide scant extras, Brideshead Revisited is still a keenly observed epic that’s magnificent all by itself.

Brideshead Revisited
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