Book and Movie Reviews

All in one handy-dandy place so you don't have to sift through that tag cloud!  I don't update this as frequently as I should, though, so you may want to check the tag cloud as well if you're looking for something in particular.

A few disclaimers--

Please note that as of 2017 this blog has been in existence for six years, and people's ideas sometimes change over six years.  So I may not still hold all the exact same opinions on each and every book and movie as I did when I first wrote the review.  Take it all with a grain of salt, and check the dates. ;)

I'd also like to note that my reviewing a movie or book does not necessarily mean I wholeheartedly recommend it, and it definitely doesn't mean I recommend it for all ages. Please use your own judgment and discretion and don't rely on what strangers on the internet think when you're choosing your entertainment.  Otherwise... you'll go crazy.

Movie Reviews   

A Christmas Carol (1984)
Anne of Avonlea (1975)
Anne of Green Gables (1985)
Bleak House (2005)
Cranford (2007)
Emma (1996 Miramax)
Emma (2009)
Gone With the Wind (1939)
Hidden Figures (2016)
Jeeves and Wooster (1990)
Les Miserables (2012) [part one] [part two] [part three]
Little Dorrit (2008)
Lorna Doone (2000) 
Miss Potter (2007)
My Fair Lady (1964)
North and South (2004)
Phantom of the Opera (2004)
Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall (2011) [part one] [part two]
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Return to Cranford (2009)
Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Sense and Sensibility (2008)
The Muppets' Christmas Carol (1992)
The Princess Bride (1987)
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)
The Young Victoria (2009)

Book Reviews

A Tale of Two Cities
An Old-Fashioned Girl
North and South
Northanger Abbey
To Kill a Mockingbird


AnnaKate said...

"Under the Greenwood Tree" was a delightful, fun, sweet period piece, and I would also highly recommend "The Way We Live Now." =)

By the way, I am so glad I found your blog!

Dave said...

If you like Mr.Darcy and Richard E Grant as the Pimpernel, you most certainly would like Horatio Hornblower, and Sean Bean in Sharpe. Both great series in the very early 1800's. The Hornblower series goes on sale usually twice a year on Amazon and is quite reasonable at 35 dollars or so for the 8 episode series.

Anonymous said...

Watch " The Painted Veil" (2006) starring Edwart Norton and Naomi Watts it's amazing!

Anonymous said...

I love the period dramas here are shows I would recommend.
Downton Abbey
The Paradise(2012)
The Buccaneers
Lark Rise to Candleford

Esther Romaine said...

I absolutely second Horatio Hornblower and Sharpe! I'm working my way through both series at the moment. While both have their merits I personally prefer Hornblower. I would also recommend Far From the Madding Crowd (1998)and The Mayor of Casterbridge (2003).

Eloise Kate said...

Oh, do see Northanger Abbey. It's so cute!

Anonymous said...

I have a recommendation for a TV series you should watch and some books you should read;-) I have thoroughly enjoyed looking through your blog and finding that so many of your tastes are similar to mine! I also LOVE period dramas:-D My recommendation for the TV series is Lark Rise to Candleford - one of my favourite TV series of all time and so clean, uplifting and simply delightful;-) As for the books, you simply MUST read The Rosary by Florence L. Barclay, and if you enjoy that then The White Ladies of Worcester by her as well. I think you can find them for free as ebooks online as I'm pretty sure the copyright has expired. She was a Christian and wrote some of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read - very romantic and uplifting. Anyway, just thought I would recommend these and I know how much fun it is to discover a new author/series/movie that I love;-D

Anonymous said...

We must watch Jane Eyre together sometime - it's one of my favorites (as you know... :) ) Another really good movie is The Man From Snowy River and oh, you would probably like Finding Neverland too (although it is very sad!)
- God's Little Teacup ;)

Unknown said...

Oh, you should definitely watch Jane Eyre (1983). It stays quite close to the book, and it's my personal favorite Jane Eyre. However Zelah Clarke and Timothy Dalton are both a little too good-looking than they're supposed to be:)

Anonymous said...

Bright Star (2009) is one of my favorites. Here's the description from the back of the DVD case:

From Academy Award winning writer/director Jane Campion (Best Original Screenplay, The Piano, 1993) comes an extraordinary film based on the true story of undying love between renowned poet John Keats and his spirited muse Fanny Brawne. In the wilds of 19th century England, a forbidden passion draws the two lovers ever closer--even as fate conspires to tear them apart. Bright Star takes you to a world where, though life may be fleeting, great art--and great love--last forever. Let this sparkling gem of romance illuminate your heart.

Karin said...

I cannot Believe I have not come across this blog Before! I am too a big fan of Period dramas. I love the dresses, the houses, the horses, the brittish accent, afternoon gossip tea-parties. What did I forget... Right! The MEN!! I want one of those! Dashing, polite and graceful gentlemen. And they DANCE!

Also. The fact that you associated Alun Armstrong with Les Miz 10th is so jolly , because I do the same thing even though he's been in some period dramas. I might add that Norm Lewis from 25th is my favorite Javert ever. 25th in all spectacularly wonderful in a respelendent and awesome way. with the exeption of Nick Jonas. Samantha Barks was in my oppinion much better there then in the Movie.

Anyway, I would recomend "He knew he was right" (the miss Frenches are hilarious)and "The way we live now" these two are the same author and I Think I saw plenty others recomend these as well. Not sure what year the came but around 2003-2007 I Think, Also "Aristocrats" (1999) (which includes Alun Armstrong)"Tom Jones" (1997)is quite good, And of course; Downton Abbey!!

I totally get it if you don't read all the comments, but I just had to write some of my thoughts.


Anonymous said...

My recommendations for your to watch list would be Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), Ruby Bridges (1998), Pollyanna (2003), and The Winslow Boy (1999).

Ruby Bridges and Pollyanna are entirely clean! Cyrano de Bergerac has one mild swear word, and The Winslow Boy a few uses of God's name in vain that can be fast-fowarded.

-Erica Faith

Joan said...

"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"
is a great movie! It stars Howard Keel.


Miss Emma said...

I second the person (people?) who said you should see Under the Greenwood Tree! It is certainly the least depressing Hardy novel-to-movie adaptation.

Also, there is a cute movie that I don't think got very much attention called The Magic of Ordinary Days.

You should also see Northanger Abbey with Felicity Jones (although there are certainly skippable moments!)

I don't see this movie on either of your lists, but feel like I might have seen a post where you mentioned it (I very well could be wrong), but Bright Star is brilliant (be prepared to sob).

Lost in Austen is a hilarious 4 hour miniseries in which the main character gets transported into her favorite book (P&P) in which she then proceeds to wreak havoc. Sounds strange, but is actually pretty hilariously executed.

Tuck Everlasting is a bittersweet story - one that I tend to categorize as a kid movie and then remember that it is actually a little scary (for kids....and maybe in general) at certain points (I'm sorry, the man in the yellow coat is creepy, that's all I have to say).

Finally, Our Mutual Friend is probably one of my favorites. Just watch it. 'Tis goo-ood.

Yay for period dramas! Also, I'm glad you love Les's the best. And Enjo is the greatest fictional character of all time, in my oh so humble (read unyielding) opinion.

Megs said...

Yes, you really should watch Martin Chuzzlewit, its really good! one of my favorite Charles Dickens. :D
and another good one is Larkrise to Candleford! :)

Anonymous said...

You should watch jane Eyre 2008 version.The chemistry between Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson as Jane is fantastic.Highly recommended.I agree with Miss Emma "Our Mutual Friend" by Charles dickens is excellent.

Anonymous said...

Hello there! Just discovered your blog today and I love it!

Maybe you would enjoy to watch Vanity Fair with Reese Witherspoon - really loved this one!

Greets, Dany

Jessy Jones said...

Of course, The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
The Man in the Iron Mask (I forget the year but it's the one starring Leonardo DiCaprio)

Both have a couple scenes you may want to skip over, particularly The Man in the Iron Mask. I've watched Monte Cristo countless times. I only watched Iron Mask once recently but I definitely enjoyed it. There's also a longer, older version of Monte Cristo in episodes that I haven't watched

Anonymous said...

if you have not seen the version of "The Importance of Being Earnest" with Colin Firth, must see it.

Naomi said...

You put P&P05 on your list of films which you said that you 'really liked'
You really like P&P05?
(Sorry but I thought that you were (like I am!) a not-fan of P&P05)
I think it is a very untrue adaption. We call it Pride and Pyjama's at home. Hehee, because they always walk in their nightwear.

Naomi said...

Oh and by the way have you seen Downton Abbey? It's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good!!!!

Christine said...

I recommend The Remains of the Day, with Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins. It's a wonderful movie.

I also enjoyed the BBC production of Daniel Deronda starring Hugh Dancey and Romola Garai as Daniel Deronda and Gwendolen Harleth.

Miss Elliot said...

(Sorry about that. My dear Miss Dashwood, you are being a bad influence!!!
Just kidding.)
Anyway, that one has soooo many good lines, songs, dance sequences, and it is a very clean movie.
I would also recommend The Great Locomotive Chase, starring Fess Parker. It is based on a true story about Union spies who steal a train and try to escape back to Union lines, while destroying the railroad as they go. We love it! It is sad though, as **SPOILER ALERT** the main guy dies.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I've just found your blog recently, Amy, I think it's lovely :) Period dramas are the best!

Uh, have you seen BBC's Great Expectations (2011)? It's sooooo good. I know there are a lot of adaptions out there, but this one is beautiful :) Another one I like is the new Romeo and Juliet... it's just as suspenseful and tragic as you'd suppose. My friends and I were crying/screaming (literally) the whole way through.
Oh, and have you read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier? Alfred Hitchcock did an amazing film adaption in 1940. I would definitely recommend reading the book first, though - it'll blow your mind!

I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog!

Anonymous said...

Hello, Amy! I just found your blog and enjoyed your turn of mind on several of my favorite books and movies. I was especially happy to see that you enjoyed the 1980s version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, which was a great favorite of mine as a child. With that in mind, I can strongly recommend two other "older" versions of classics that were also "made-for-TV" in that timeframe: 1) The Man in the Iron Mask (1977) which stars Richard Chamberlain (and has an excellently villainous Patrick McGoohan), and Les Miserables (1978) which had Richard Jordan as Valjean and Anthony Perkins (same guy who played in Hitchcock's Psycho) as Javert. If you have only time to watch one, I'd recommend the Les Mis movie--it is NOT a musical and I have to confess it was my first exposure to Les Mis, so I didn't even KNOW it was a musical for years after really enjoying this movie.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Hannah.

Wonderful movie choices!
"The Wizard of Oz" and "Mary Poppins" are spectacular as well! :)

Anonymous said...

You should really see Death comes to Pemberley ! Seriously, I thinks it's quite good to see our beloved Darcy and Elizabeth after their wedding. I very much like this Elizabeth because she feels very REAL! The sense of propriety of the time is well shone. Oddly, I find the movie adaptation better than the book (first time in my life). Anyway, tnice blog!

Katie Hanna said...

One movie I think well worth seeing is "As You Like It," with Helen Mirren, from 1978 or so. She was absolutely brilliant as Rosalind. And the whole thing is available FREE on YouTube :)
My personal favorite movie of all time--I don't know if this counts as a period drama--is the 1988 version of "Bernadette," starring Sydney Penny. It's set in France during the 1850s, and was actually shot in France as well, so the scenery is BEAUTIFUL. And I love Sydney Penny as Bernadette--she is so sweet and humble and simple. If anybody reading this blog is Catholic--well, you will LOVE this movie. It's ever so much better than "The Song of Bernadette," even though that one got an Oscar. Again, it's on YouTube for free, although with Spanish subtitles, but I just ignore those.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and the list you have started is a good one, there are just so many that I think you would love and I haven't taken the time to read every comment here so some of these might be doubles of what others might have suggested, but I think you would also like

Anna Karenina (2000, BBC)
The Woman in White
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1998, BBC)
The Christmas Candle
Wuthering Heights
Anna and the King

I could go on and on but those are some that I have watched and re-watched and I think you would enjoy them. I know I did and still do! :)

Anonymous said...

You should try the series Poldark (2015). It was quite good!

P.S. Like your blog! :D

Emma said...

I love your lists!

As for your "Not Yet Watched" list, I can highly recommend,

Lincoln (2012)

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

The Magic of Ordinary Days (2005)

all of which are excellent!

Anonymous said...

I just recently found your blog and I'm LOVING it! And I hope you like musicals (I Love musicals) because here's a list of all the good musicals I've seen (some are MUCH better than others) in "alphabaletical" order:

An American in Paris 1951
Anchors Aweigh 1945
Annie Get Your Gun 1950
Anything Goes 1956
The Barkleys of Broadway 1949
Birth of the Blues 1941
Blue Skies 1946
Brigadoon 1954
Broadway Melody of 1940 1940
Bye Bye Birdie 1963
Calamity Jane 1953
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 1968
Daddy Long Legs 1955
Easter Parade 1948
Fiddler on the Roof 1971
Follow the Fleet 1936
The Gay Divorcee 1934
Guys and Dolls 1955 (favourite!)
Higher and Higher 1943
Holiday Inn 1942
The King and I 1956
Kiss Me Kate 1953 (favourite!)
Meet Me in St. Louis 1944
Mother Wore Tights 1947
The Music Man 1962
My Fair Lady 1964
Newsies 1992
Oklahoma! 1955 (favourite!)
Once Upon a Mattress 2005
On Moonlight Bay 1951
On the Town 1949 (favourite!)
Royal Wedding 1951
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 1954 (favourite!)
Shall We Dance 1937
Show Boat 1951
Singin' in the Rain 1952 (favourite!)
The Sound of Music 1965
Springtime in the Rockies 1942
State Fair 1945 (favourite!)
Step Lively 1944
Swing Time 1936
Take Me Out to the Ball Game 1949 (favourite!)
Three Daring Daughters 1948
Top Hat 1935
White Christmas 1954


And as for regular movies, I haven't seen as many of those but here are a few of the ones I like:

The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2005 (I know, I know, it's like sacrilege to like this movie, but it does such a good job of capturing the spirit of the book! And the casting is marvelous)
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken 1966 (This movie is HILARIOUS. But it's Don Knotts, so what else can you expect?)
The Giver 2014 (if you haven't already, READ THE BOOK. You will thank me.)
The Parent Trap 1961 (the original is much better than the '90s remake)

Well, that list should keep you busy for a while..... let me know what you think if you watch any of these ;)

- Sarah with an H

Anonymous said...

Hi Miss Dashwood,

You should give the new BBC series of Poldark (2015) a try! Don't watch the old series produced in the 70's, it was overacted and a bodice ripper! Yuck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy, I agree with the Anon above. Please give the new Poldark (2015) series a try. It's much better than the older version and the new version follows the books closely. Just be prepared to cry buckets full by the first season's finale! :)