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BBC Video Unveils New DVD Literary Line

13 Aug, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

BBC Video is launching a new DVD line of literary classic programming.

The first set in the new BBC Classics Line, due Aug. 24, will be The Jane Austen Collection, a six-disc compilation that includes Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey — 22 hours of programming at $59.98 ($14.98 each). One of BBC Video's bestselling lines of literary adaptations, the titles sold nearly 500,000 copies as double-VHS sets. The DVD line offers digitally remastered versions.

“Using the DVD format, we can now put these three to six hours of programs on single discs and pass the savings on to our loyal consumers,” BBC Video and BBC Direct VP Burton Cromer said.

Part of the fun is that fans can see some of their favorite big-screen actors in the earlier performances of their careers. Performers include Alan Bates, Paul Scofield, John Mills, Richard E. Grant, Diana Rigg, Timothy Dalton, Rufus Sewell, Mollie Sugden and Robert Hardy.

Making their home video debut under the new brand name and slated for release in 2005 will be Jane Eyre (starring Dalton) and Middlemarch (starring Sewell). Also slated for release next year is The Charles Dickens Collection, featuring Great Expectations, Martin Chuzzlewit (starring “Absolutely Fabulous’ Julia Sawhala and Oscar winners Scofield and John Mills), Our Mutual Friend and Bleak House (starring Rigg and Oscar nominee Denholm Elliot) as well as Hard Times (starring Bates and Grant) at $59.98 ($14.98 each).

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