Wartime Britain: Three Complete Dramas


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Three gripping WWII dramas seen on Masterpiece Theatre. Adapted by Harold Pinter from the novel by Elizabeth Bowen, Heat of the Day is a tale of love, espionage, and betrayal. Michael Gambon, Patricia Hodge, and Michael York star. Island at War reveals the trials, tribulations, and temptations of Britons on a tiny Nazi-occupied Channel Island. With James Wilby, Clare Holman, and Saskia Reeves. For mature audiences. In Housewife, 49, an introverted woman (Emma Wood) comes alive as a volunteer on the home front. Based on a reallife wartime diary. CC and SDH subtitles; approx. 10 hours on 5 DVDs.
Heat of the Day
At the height of World War II, a mysterious stranger calling himself Harrison makes a sinister proposition to beautiful widow Stella. Take up with him, Harrison says, and he won’t expose her lover as a traitor passing secrets to the enemy. Harrison’s stunning accusation forces Stella to reexamine her love and life, with startling consequences. This spy thriller masterfully evokes the tensions of war-torn Britain while exploring the limits of trust—both personal and political.

Island at War
What would any of us do if we had to live side by side with the enemy? This Masterpiece Theatre drama draws on the real experiences of Channel Islanders as the hostile Nazi command imposed its will on every aspect of their daily lives. Set on the fictional island of St. Gregory, the story of the occupation is told through the eyes of three families. Heart-pounding suspense and unexpected romance unfold in an atmosphere suffused with the moral ambiguity of war.

Housewife, 49
Soon after England declared war on Germany in 1939, Lancashire housewife Nella Last began writing a diary as part of a public project. She was 49 and fearful that she wouldn’t be able to cope with her son’s enlistment and life alone with her domineering husband. This award-winning drama not only recounts her experience of wartime privations, but also her dawning sense of independence. Amid the hardships of food rations and air raids, Nella’s volunteer work for the war effort fills her with an exhilarating sense of purpose.
Heat of the Day
  • Biography of Harold Pinter
  • Cast filmographies
Island at War
  • Historical background
  • Production notes
  • Behind-the-scenes photo gallery
  • Cast filmographies
Housewife, 49
  • Insert with background on the U.K.’s Mass-Observation project
  • Text interview with Victoria Wood
  • Cast filmographies
Packaging: Boxed set
Run Time: 597 minutes total. Heat of the Day: 106 minutes / Island at War: 398 minutes / Housewife, 49: 93 minutes
Format: Heat of the Day: Full Screen / Island at War: Widescreen / Housewife, 49: Widescreen
Number of discs: 5
Language: English
Subtitles: N/A
Color or B&W: Color
CC: Yes, Island at War
SDH: Yes, Heat of the Day
Region Code: 1
Aspect Ratio: Heat of the Day: 4: 3 / Island at War: 16:9 / Housewife, 49: 16:9
Rating: N/A
For Island at War:

"Romance, death, adventure, and heartbreak—and a heavyweight cast"—Daily Record (UK)

"Filled with indelible performances, Island at War provides a fascinating look at a heretofore unexplored facet of WWII…this miniseries is highly recommended."—tvdvdreviews.com

For Housewife, 49:

"Rich in detail, brilliantly acted"—Daily Express (U.K.)

"Well Done!"—British American TV DVDBlog

"A superior British television show"—Brattleboro Reformer

"Superb production, specific in detail and compelling throughout—Entertainment Insiders

"quietly impressive, moving and ultimately uplifting"—MemorableTV.com

"Wood brings great warmth and a light touch of humor"—The Times-Picayune

"In Victoria Wood, the movie has a most sympathetic and compelling heroine."—Sacramento Bee
For Heat of the Day:
Screenplay by Nobel laureate Harold Pinter

For Island at War:
Royal Television Society Winner for Best Visual Effects – Digital Effects (2004)

For Housewife, 49:
BAFTA TV Award Winner for Best Actress (Victoria Wood) (2007)

BAFTA TV Award Winner for Best Single Drama (2007)

BAFTA TV Award Nomination for Best Make Up & Hair Design (2007)

International Emmy Award Nomination for Best Performance by an Actress (Victoria Wood) (2007)

Royal Television Society (UK) Award Winner for Best Single Drama (2007)

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Wartime Britain
By Rat from TX on 6/6/2014

This package has 3 movies in it. 'Island at War' is a gripping story about the beginning of the German occupation on a tiny Channel Island. I see the horror, conflict, and struggle for each side involved in this take over. It also highlights the trust people put in each other during the struggle. I still shudder over the horror that both sides had to face with a powerful dictator in control. I am glad I saw this movie to understand the difference sides involved. 'Housewife,49' is about a mature woman's courage in war. Also, it shows how much war changed her status in the community. She wasn't beautiful, rich, or young, but what every woman should be proud to be remembered as. I felt this was a good movie and pointed out the life a woman had during these years. 'The Heat of the Day' didn't start out to interest me. I put it aside but I think I will play the DVD again to see if it gets any better.