Review of "Rise & Fall of Margaret Thatcher" From The TV MegaSite
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Rise & Fall of Margaret Thatcher DVD cover

 The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher


  Review by Suzanne 10/21/11

This DVD has three different movies about Margaret Thatcher. I enjoyed the first one. The other two were really dull.

The first movie "Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley" is about Thatcher's early years, when she was first entering politics. It is a somewhat-light-hearted look at her life and loves. She is seen as very ambitious, even using her husband children for political purposes, and wanting to get into Parliament no matter what it takes. This was a standard biopic, but I wish there had been more to it with these particular writers and actors, even though it was sometimes a little farcical. It ends with her getting to Parliament.

The second movie, "The Falklands Play" is just about The Falklands battle and how it came to be, and how Thatcher and her cabinet dealt with it. It is very dry, political, and dull. Not only that, but it is completely biased in Thatcher's favor. It makes it seem that she really didn't want to go to war (when she did, largely for political reasons, to boost her sagging popularity), and it makes it seem that she only cares about the poor British people living in the Falklands and their freedom. Right... The main thing, though, is that it was just really slow and talky. Only the most extreme Thatcher fan would like this.

The third movie, "Margaret", is about the end of her term as prime minister, when they force her out. Parts of that were a little confusing to me (because I'm not British and don't completely understand their political system), but mostly it was very slow and tedious. It was not as bad as the first one, but it was just really slow. If you like politics a lot, you might enjoy it.

Of the three actresses playing Thatcher...they all did great jobs, but they were all much prettier than she is. The first probably looked the most like a young Thatcher, judging from the one photo I could find online of the real Thatcher when she was young. The second one looked a bit like her. The third one didn't like her at all. She is way too skinny and pretty. I don't even think her hair looked right. Also, the guys they got to play Reagan and the other Americans in "The Falkland Play" didn't even look close, to me.

Otherwise, all the acting was fine. It was just the writing that needed work. They should write a good miniseries of her whole life, the way they have done with Truman, FDR, The Kennedys, Churchill, et al. I hear there is going to be a new movie with Meryl Streep portraying Thatcher. That should be good. She looks a lot more like her.

There were no other extras or features on the disk set, which is a shame. I would have liked to have scene some "behind the scenes" features. I always enjoy those.


Official Site:


· Episode Clips:




Gain insight into the life of the controversial and inspiring woman who led the United Kingdom for more than ten years as the BBC releases The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher on DVD this October. Featuring three outstanding productions - The Long Walk to Finchley, The Falkland’s Play and Margaret - on two discs, this fascinating collection follows the political career of the former Prime Minister. Andrea Riseborough (Made in Dagenham, Happy Go Lucky), Patricia Hodge (The Legacy of Reginald Perrin, Miranda) and Lindsay Duncan (Doctor Who, Rome) respectively tackle the role of the Iron Lady in these films. Arriving at retail on October 18, The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher is a must-own DVD set for all history buffs and Anglophiles alike.

Riseborough’s portrayal of a young Margaret Roberts in The Long Walk to Finchley, was hailed as “breathtaking, giving Thatcher humor, drive and real sex appeal” by the London Evening Standard. The intriguing film reveals her steely determination as an ambitious twenty-something research chemist on the first rungs of the ladder to Parliament. Eager to speak her mind and be selected to a “winnable” Tory seat in the 1950s, The Long Walk to Finchley imagines what might have gone on behind the scenes during Thatcher’s ten-year struggle to gain a seat in Parliament.

Lauded by The Guardian as, “a thrilling piece of drama which challenged prejudices and preconceptions,” The Falkland’s Play chronicles the backroom story of Margaret Thatcher’s war. Once deemed too controversial to produce, this compelling production depicts a gripping account of how the leaders at 10 Downing Street faced one of their biggest crises in foreign affairs.

Finally, Margaret examines the downfall of the Prime Minister after her election to a third term. One of the most formidable figures in British politics, the film ultimately reveals that the very aspects of her character that helped her secure power were also the ones that ensured her decline. The Daily Express praised the film as “riveting viewing…Lindsay Duncan plays her as sharp as a ferret, with the eyes of a lynx and the manner of an aged, furious tiger.”

This fascinating collection follows the political career of the former Prime Minister and provides insight into the life of the controversial and inspiring woman who led the United Kingdom for more than ten years. The collection includes three outstanding productions - The Long Walk to Finchley, The Falkland’s Play and Margaret.

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Updated 10/21/11  


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