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Pinter at the BBC 5-disc DVD box set from the BFI in January

9 January 2019

Harold Pinter (1930-2008) was one of the most important and influential British playwrights of the last century. While best known for his work for the stage, this collection celebrates Pinter’s significant contribution to television.

Pinter at the BBC is a 5-disc DVD box set containing 10 plays made for the BBC between 1965 and 1988, all previously unavailable on DVD. Released by the BFI later this month, the plays are accompanied by a range of special features and a 40-page illustrated booklet with new writing.

Harold Pinter’s work for the screen shares many of the qualities of his work for the stage, from a fascination with the private roots of power and an abiding preoccupation with memory, to a belief in the agency of women. He was quite simply a great writer, whose work admits us to the dark room of his imagination.

Highlights of the collection include Tea Party (1965), Old Times (1975) and 1987’s The Birthday Party which sees a rare example of Pinter acting within his own work. The Hothouse (1982) and Mountain Language (1988) were both written and directed by Pinter.

A dazzling array of British acting talent is on display here including Michael Gambon, Julie Walters, Leo McKern, Vivien Merchant, John Le Mesurier and Miranda Richardson.

The plays:

  • Tea Party (Charles Jarrot, 1965)
  • A Slight Ache (Christopher Morahan, 1967)
  • A Night Out (Christopher Morahan, 1967)
  • The Basement (Charles Jarrot, 1967)
  • Monologue (Christopher Morahan, 1972)
  • Old Times (Christopher Morahan, 1975)
  • The Hothouse (Harold Pinter, 1982)
  • Landscape (Kenneth Ives, 1983)
  • The Birthday Party (Kenneth Ives, 1987)
  • Mountain Language (Harold Pinter, 1988)

Pinter at the BBC DVD cover art

Pinter at the BBC will be released as a 5-disc DVD box set on 28 January 2019 by the BFI at the RRP of £44.99.

Special features:

  • Writers in Conversation: Harold Pinter (1984, 47 mins): an ICA interview with Harold Pinter by Benedict Nightingale
  • Pinter People (1969, 16 mins): a series of four animated films written by Harold Pinter
  • Face to FaceHarold Pinter (1997, 39 mins): Sir Jeremy Isaacs interviews Harold Pinter, who discusses the images and events which have inspired some of his most powerful dramas
  • Harold Pinter Guardian Interview (1996, 73 mins, audio only):an extensive interview with the legendary playwright by critic Michael Billington, recorded at the National Film Theatre
  • Illustrated booklet with new writing by Michael Billington, John Wyver, Billy Smart, Amanda Wrigley, David Rolinson and Lez Cooke, and full film credits