- DVD Fullscreen
- 1 - More Details
- Run time:
- About 21 3/4 Hours
- Originally Aired On:
- Masterpiece Theatre
- Number of Discs:
- Closed Captions / Subtitles:
- This Product contains Closed Captions.
- Special Features:
From the Rehearsal Room (from Late Night Line-up of January 7, 1967)
Interviews Behind the Scenes (from Late Night Line-up of July 4, 1967) - in color
Soames vs. Irene (Late Night Line-up of February 10, 1969)
The Forsyte Phenomenon (Talkback of February 18, 1969)
Deleted and Alternate Scenes
The epic miniseries that started it all! Includes all 26 episodes.
In 1969, an internationally acclaimed BBC show began airing on the fledgling public broadcasting network. The Forsyte Saga, in telling the remarkable story of a nouveau riche English family, introduced America to a new kind of TV. Millions of Americans devoted the next half-year of their lives to following the frank treatment of all sins, foibles and peccadilloes of the Forsytes and their circle.
The passing decades can never the erase the memory of their extraordinary evenings with the Forsytes: Kenneth More as Jo, the philosophical outsider; Eric Porter as Soames, the grasping man of property; Nyree Dawn Porter as Irene, "born to be loved and to love" and in later episodes, Susan Hampshire in an Emmy-winning performance as Fleur, Soame's 'restless' daughter. The series was so popular that Masterpiece Theatre was created to meet the new demand for great literary adaptations. With 150 characters, 2000 separate costumes and over 100 sets, this sprawling yet intimate saga continues to move, provoke and entrance viewers today.
A Family Festival - In 1897 the Forsyte clan may be observed at the height of their wealth and solidarity as they gather for the engagement party of Winifred Forsyte and Monty Dartie, a man of greater charm than means. Beneath the appearance of married respectability, Jo has formed an illicit passion for Helene, his daughter’s Austrian governess. Even the coldly calculating Soames is touched by the beauty of Irene Heron when he visits her mother’s home on business.
A Family Scandal - When Jo learns Helene is bearing his child, he leaves his wife, Frances. The ensuing scandal prompts his father, Jolyon, to sever all contact with Jo and revise his will accordingly. Soames seizes any opportunity to visit Irene, though she offers little encouragement. Winifred discovers a disturbing letter that Monty had hidden.
The Pursuit of Happiness - Helene gives birth to a son, Jolly, but Jo is still unable to obtain a divorce from his wife. Shortly afterward Frances’s sudden death in a hunting accident leaves him free to marry Helene. After many refusals, Soames succeeds in winning Irene’s qualified consent to his proposal, but their marriage is doomed to failure.
Dinner at Swithin’s - Years later, a smaller gathering of Forsytes attend the engagement party of Jo’s estranged daughter, June, who has grown up under Jolyon’s care. She is to marry Bosinney, a talented architect who threatens to bring a strain of bohemian unpredictability to the family. Soames’s instinct for keeping business in the family leads him to consider commissioning June’s fiancé to design a country house.
A Man of Property - Jolyon, growing lonely now that June spends less time at home, pays a surprise visit to his son’s shabby home. In the hope of improving relations with Irene, Soames commissions Bosinney to design a “gentleman’s house” at Robin Hill. Declaring his intention to aim for “charm” in the decoration, Bosinney is especially solicitous of Irene’s opinions.
Decisions - Bosinney threatens the Forsyte sense of property on three fronts – by overrunning his initial estimate on Soames’ house, by neglecting June’s claim on him and by taking Irene as his lover. Soames’s discovery of the affair leads to a brutal, frenzied climax that changed the course of television drama.
Into the Dark - Soames sues Bosinney over the cost overruns at Robin Hill, but Bosinney fails to appear in court. Having left Soames, Irene waits in vain for Bosinney at a pre-arranged hotel. June hopes to restore Bosinney’s reputation, and his affections in the bargain.
Indian Summer of Forstyte - Irene has no other course than to return to Soames, but for no longer than she must. Jolyon, wishing to live out his days in the country with his grandchildren, Jo and Helene, purchases the much-disputed house at Robin Hill. While Jo, Helene and June are away in Spain, Irene becomes a frequent and much-cherished guest at Robin Hill.
In Chancery - Helene suffers a fatal fall before madness can claim her, and Jo becomes closer to Irene. Meanwhile, Soames, desperate for an heir, seeks grounds for divorcing Irene as he courts a tenant’s daughter. Annette is a French beauty whose ambitions stretch beyond the narrow confines of her mother’s Soho cafe. First Soames must manage the mess that Monty left when he fled to Brazil with a Spanish dancer.
The Challenge - Winifred’s son Val is now up at Oxford with Jolly, but they have little in common. Jolly’s hostility increases when he discovers that his sister Holly and Val have been meeting in secret. Jolly challenges Val to join him in enlisting in the Imperial Yeomanry to fight the Boers in South Africa.
In the Web - Jolly’s plan to separate Val and Holly backfires when Holly follows her half-sister June to the front as a volunteer nurse. The progress of Winifred’s divorce suffers a setback when Monty returns penniless from Brazil. As Soames prepares to cite Jo as correspondent in the divorce proceedings against Irene, Jo and Soames come to realize the depth of their feelings for each other.
Birth of a Forsyte - Much to Jo’s astonishment, his elderly rapture is returned by Irene, though their joy is marred by devastating news from South Africa. Soames wins his divorce and marries Annette, who provides him not with an heir, but an heiress, whom he names Fleur.
Encounter - Nineteen years have passed. The Great War has shaken out the last vestiges of Victorian England. Oblivious to the enduring resentment harboured by their parents, Fleur and Jon meet by chance and fall in love.
Conflict - The reluctance of Jo, Irene and Soames to reveal the truth of the past to their children makes them all the more determined to discover it. Equally smitten with Fleur is Michael Mont, an earnest young man who comes to visits on the pretext of viewing Soames’s art collection.
To Let - Fleur and Jon’s relationship is destroyed by the bitter family feud that still lingers on, driving Jon to America after his father’s death. Michael has remained steadfast to Fleur’s offhand remark to come back when she hasn’t got her wish.
A Family Wedding - Fleur marries Michael, whose social consciousness sets him apart from the Forsyte breed. Michael’s best friend, war poet Wilfred Desert, soon emerges as a threat to the marital happiness. Soames is anxious for a grandchild and a male heir. To strengthen familial bonds, he accepts a chair on the board of the P.P.R.S., an insurance company from Michael’s father, Sir Lawrence.
The White Monkey - Soames, intrigued by a painting in his cousin George’s estate, buys it for Fleur. On the business front, he receives explosive evidence of the insurance company’s unethical business dealings abroad. Michael’s conscience concerning Tony Bicket, an employee he had to sack for stealing, leads him to recommend a lucrative modelling career to Tony’s beautiful wife, Victorine.
Afternoon of a Dryad - Fleur’s flirtation with the despairing Wilfred ends. Much to the satisfaction of Soames, she announces that she’s expecting Michael’s child. Victorine makes a great success as a model, but her husband suspects the worst when he sees the nude portrait of her in a gallery.
No Retreat - Soames indignantly resigns from the board of P.P.R.S. during a stormy shareholders meeting. The birth of Christopher brings celebration and reconciliation to the family.
A Silent Wooing - Irene visits Jon in South Carolina, where he has settled to raise peaches. A local girl Anne has fallen in love with him, and after some hesitation he marries her. Her brother, Francis, pays a visit to England. At one of Fleur’s “salons,” Francis witnesses an embarrassing scene between Soames and Marjorie Ferrar, the most wonderful girl he’d ever seen.
Action for Libel - Fleur has been served with a writ for libel, based on defamatory letters she wrote to two of Marjorie’s friends. Marjorie cannot meet Fleur’s demand for an apology, and Fleur cannot accept Marjorie’s offer to make it up without an apology. Britain’s first Labor government falls, and Michael is returned to parliament as a Conservative MP devoted to a radical new school of political thought.
The Silver Spoon – Soames fears that Michael and Fleur are drifting apart. The libel suit comes to court, but the victory is a hollow one.
Strike - Fleur has her heart set on a trip round the world. Unable to bear seeing her shunned by Society, Soames decides to accompany her. They return as the General Strike is about to erupt. In the chaos of disrupted routines, Fleur and Jon meet for the first time in over six years.
Afternoon at Ascot - While Michael busies himself with promoting a slum-clearance scheme, Fleur’s restlessness is further stirred by repeated meetings with Jon – not all of them by chance. When Anne observes them together at Ascot, she realizes her marriage is in jeopardy.
Portrait of Fleur - Anne makes Jon promise to have his portrait painted by June’s current genius, and Fleur arranges to sit for the same artist. Though Fleur busies herself with a rest home for factory girls, Michael suspects that she is hiding a secret passion.
Swan Song - As Fleur tries to arrange a new future for herself and Jon, Soames decides to visit the family roots in Dorset. A fire at Mapledurham threatens Soames’ priceless art collection.
| Soames Forsyte || --- || Eric Porter |
| Irene Forsyte || --- || Nyree Dawn Porter |
| Jolyon ‘Jo’ Forsyte || --- || Kenneth More |
| Fleur Mont nee Forsyte || --- || Susan Hampshire |
| Uncle James Forsyte || --- || John Welsh |
| Old Jolyon Forsyte || --- || Joseph O’Connor |
| Winnifred Dartie || --- || Margaret Tyzack |
| Aunt Ann Forsyte || --- || Fay Compton |
| Helene Forsyte || --- || Lana Morris |
| Monty Dartie || --- || Terence Alexander |
| Jack Cardigan || --- || Richard Armour |
| George Forsyte || --- || John Barcroft |
| June Forsyte || --- || June Barry |
| Uncle Timothy Forsyte || --- || John Baskcomb |
| Prosper Profound || --- || Christopher Benjamin |
| Phillip Bosinney || --- || John Bennett |
| Shropshire || --- || George Benson |
| Marjorie Ferrar || --- || Caroline Blakiston |
| Uncle Roger Forsyte || --- || A.J. Brown |
| Val Dartie || --- || Jonathan Burn |
| Rev. Hilary Cherrell || --- || Peter Copley |
| Warmson || --- || Mischa De La Motte |
| Imogen Cardigan nee Dartie || --- || Anne De Vigier |
| Policeman || --- || Colin Douglas |
| Anne Forsyte || --- || Karin Fernald |
| Elderson || --- || Derek Francis |
| Francis Wilmot || --- || Hal Hamilton |
| Francie Forsyte || --- || Sarah Harter |
| Frances Forsyte || --- || Ursula Howells |
| Jolyon ‘Jon’ Forsyte || --- || Martin Jarvis |
| Smither || --- || Maggie Jones |
| Mrs. Heron || --- || Jenny Laird |
| Polteed || --- || Derek Smith |
| Jolyon “Jolly” Forsyte || --- || Michael York |
Based on the novels by John Galsworthy
Written by Donald Wilson, Constance Cox, Laurie Craig, Vincent Tilsley, Anthony Steven
Directed by James Cellan Jones, David Giles
Produced by Donald Wilson
1970 ? Outstanding Continued Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series ? Susan Hampshire
1968 ? Best Actor - Eric Porter
2004 ? Best Special ? Donald Wilson