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Foyle's War - Set 1 [Import USA Zone 1]
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Description du produit
The complete first series of the popular drama starring Michael Kitchen. Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Kitchen) longs to join the war effort but is left frustrated when his application for transfer is refused. To his surprise however, he finds the turmoil of conflict means his skills are in demand on the home front. As WW2 rages over Europe, one man fights his own battle against murder, mystery and betrayal on the south coast of England. Episodes included: 'The German Woman', 'The White Feather', 'A Lesson In Murder' and 'Eagle Day'. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
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If you get the DVDs from the library, be careful to watch the episodes in the right order. At our library, the episodes were not numbered and the discs were arranged in the wrong order. The show is much more meaningful if watched in chronological order. The first episode is A German Woman, followed by The White Feather, A Lesson in Murder, and Eagle Day.
Four discs [color episodes] at 100 minutes each (more-or-less each one is a feature-length film); 16:9 widescreen, close captioned, not rated, *broadcast edition* [2001-02]. The Special Features include an interview with talented screenwriter of the series, Anthony Horowitz ].
All the entries are characterized by atmospheric locations within a war setting, a host of compelling subplots, spot-on casting, a superb soundtrack [by Jim Parker: A Rather English Marriage], and terrific cinematography. I had grown in my appreciation of the PBS *Mystery* genre with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Boxed Set Collection) to the more recent Agatha Christie Agatha Christie's Marple: Series 2 and Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Definitive Collection series but the multi-mysteries of *Foyle's War* are even better and considerably more sophisticated in the overall production qualities.
*The German Woman* -- As World War II looms over England, the Aunt and Uncle (an aged German professor of music living in Sussex) of a young English soldier are both incarcerated in a local internment facility -- the Aunt drops dead of a heart attack over her unjust captivity. The nephew personally appeals for his Uncle's release to a local Magistrate, his former employer, whose often unpleasant wife happens to have been a recent native of the German culture Sudetenland. Even though the brothers of the Magistrate's wife are full-fledged Nazis she has remained free of any significant restrictions due to a purported heart ailment but she rides her horse like the wind.
Meanwhile, a bored Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle's [Michael Kitchen] days are filled with investigating a cornucopia of war-related crimes ranging from profiteering to treason. All the while he worries about his only son, an RAF pilot-cadet. It's at about this time that the Magistrate's attractive wife is practically decapitated by a piano wire strung between two trees as she gallops her horse across her husband's vast estate.
Foyle had previously asked his superior officer (played by an aging but still very talented Edward Fox: The Day of the Jackal.) for a transfer to a livelier assignment but then changes his mind in view of the murder case and at the prospect of unveiling widespread corruption within the local alien classification board of officials. But things aren't looking up for the Detective Chief Superintendent as his former beloved Sergeant [Anthony Howell as Sgt. Paul Milner] loses a leg in combat -- then Foyle is assigned a chatty and ebullient female driver [Honeysuckle Weeks as Samantha Stewart] who is initially not much to his tastes. But she soon proves herself to be a solid assistant.
*The White Feather* -- A mousey English servant girl astonishes everyone when she is arrested for sabotage, sacked as she is discovered cutting telephone wires. Soon the sleepy Sussex hamlet is astir with a pack of Nazi sympathizers who are conducting a meeting at the local hotel where the girl worked and which is operated by a man [played by the delightful actor, Paul Brooke, Saving Grace] who resents his domineering wife's involvement with the group. One of this nefarious faction falls to murder and Foyle has to investigate. The anxiety of a prospective German invasion of England subtly, but effectively, boosts the dramatic mercury.
In the meantime, one of the hottest murder suspects, the servant girl's boyfriend, needs to be temporarily excused from the local jail to assist his fisherman father in participating in the boat flotilla rescue of the defeated English and French soldiers at Dunkirk, just across the English Channel.
*A Lesson in Murder* -- There was little public sympathy for conscientious objectors in England at the outbreak of World War II. One such young man is brought before a local board to decide his fate and the officials find his arguments to be unpersuasive. When he becomes disorderly at the hearing he is immediately jailed... where he is found hanging in his cell on the following morning.
During the same period, Foyle has the unpleasant task of investigating the murder of an inquisitive young boy, a war evacuee from London -- but was a local judge the real target? Foyle has to work it out.
*Eagle Day* -- A tenement house in London is bombed by the Luftwaffe and a man is found dead under the rubble with a knife in his chest!
Foyle's son is assigned to a top secret military project but is soon suspected of espionage.
Valuable art may be missing from a shipment to Wales where it's to be held for safety during the course of the war.
A reported suicide sounds very suspicious and more murder ensues. Foyle has a full plate!
Where does *Foyle's War* come down in the vast realm of British mysteries? One could categorically compare, in many ways, these superb episodes to those from The Golden Age of the genre: Christie, Marsh, Tey, Sayers, Upfield, Freeman, and so on. Everything for which we mystery lovers drool for within that savory literary genre seems manifest in the Foyle yarns - quaint rural settings, a focus on atmosphere, eccentric characters, subtle levity... on and on.
But what separates this praiseworthy screenwriting from the works of the Past Masters is, in a phrase, intricate complexity: dead-end subplots; multiple and non-traditional crimes; the backdrop of the sacrifices necessitated by war; a heightened focus upon justice; cultural actualities; a broader taste of forensic science... in other words, reality. In fact, if no murders whatever occurred during these episodes then the audience would still find the background stories to be compelling.
The crusty and elite characters (all portrayed by actors of The First Water), the manorial estates, the bubbling trout streams, the period hallmarks [Foyle discusses novelist Graham Greene with his infirm Sergeant at one point], the universal detritus of war - and so it goes.
If I sound somewhat overly-emphatuated or extremely enthusiastic about *Foyle's War* it's only because every one of these episodes is really that outstanding. We can easily buy into these mysteries and it seems as if we're revisiting a time and place where most of us have never actually been and which existed before most of us were even born.
My highest recommendation!
This is an excellent series and I recommend it to everyone interested in this period of British history and society.