Stephen Poliakoff's Dancing on the Edge

Stephen Poliakoff's Dancing on the Edge

DVD - 2015
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A PBS mini-series in which a black jazz band becomes a huge success and ends up entangled in the aristocratic world of 1930s London, as they seek fame and fortune.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] :, Distributed by PBS Distribution,, 2015.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781627892926
Characteristics: 3 videodiscs (DVD) (approximately 7 hr.) :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in.
digital, video, stereo, rda
widescreen, rda
DVD, NTSC, rda
video file, DVD, region 1, rda


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JCLKarynH Feb 07, 2020

Jazz, murder, mayham and Matthew Goode. What more can you ask for? The experiences of Black Brits is not a topic explored enough in period dramas. This mini-series shows the racism, fetishism, segregation and disdain faced in 1930s London by Louis, played brilliantly by Chiwetel Ejiofor, and the Louis Lester Band on their way to stardom. Supporting characters: Pamela and Julian Luscombe, Walter Masterson, and Lady Cremore drip with elite, white privilege and offer a starling contrast of what money and class will guarantee the lucky few. Matthew Goode's music journalist character, Stanley Mitchell, documents the whole thing as another outsider who wants desperately to be in. All the actors were superb, the clothes and sets are gorgeous, and the jazz numbers are haunting and electrifying. Tragic lead singer, Jessie Taylor (Angel Coulby) deserved so much more screen time.

Apr 11, 2017

Started out pretty darn good and quite interesting. About a black Jazz group in the 30's in England; the prejudices of class, color, sex, and the music genre. Then the story became a murder mystery. Still okay right up to the disappointing ending. Maybe this was supposed to be a longer series that got cut so they just rushed the end without much thought. Well worth seeing because of the historical social issues and the good vocalists.

Mar 15, 2017

Overall, interesting mini-series set in 1930s London about a jazz band. Covers racism, classism, royalty, business, journalism, etc. - lots of things! A young music writer finds a "coloured" jazz band who he then tries to promote. The band, a mix of British and Americans African-American musicians /performers are trying to launch their band in the new jazz-era music. There are 6 episodes between 60 to 90 minutes each (the last one really wasn't part of the main story.) The first 3-4 episodes set up the band and the characters and post-1920s era. Then one of the band members is murdered and the rest of the episodes sort of turn into a murder-mystery drama. The settings, music, costumes etc. are lovely British television at its best. I found the story rather long and a bit confusing. The last last episode, I'm trying to figure who was that guy? How did he fit into the story? Probably could have been reduced to 3 or 4 episodes. Good acting, interesting time period makes it worth watching, probably not in one sitting!

Feb 10, 2017

A very enjoyable mini-series with mystery, romance, intrigue and great music and singing. Also some great characters and fantastic acting and sets and costumes as is often the case with British productions.

Nov 15, 2016

If you are not yet a Chiwetel Ejiofor fan, this will make you one. One of the best series out of England and as fascinating as Night Manager. Because the message is important, it does take a while to introduce the players and their place in society. The last two discs have some shocking twists and turns that would not work if you didn't know the players well--think British saga novels you read in college: "it takes a while, but it was worth it."

Sep 29, 2016

While the plot is stretched overly long by half, the film successfully recreates an era with talented acting and dazzling jazz performances (vocal & instrumental).

Sandrine1949 Aug 10, 2015

An Interesting study of class and race in 1930's England...

Although I do not rate this series as one of the best of Poliakoff's oeuvre, I still find it to be very worthwhile in that we get to view the dynamics existing between class(es) and races in England, between the wars.... in a way that is not usual or hackneyed.

The production is beautiful, with much attention paid to period detail, and the scoring of the series is wonderful. The acting is fine, and the cast is very appealing. The end result is perhaps one of cynicism, which I regard as one of truthfulness as well. As quickly has doors of equality seemed to open... and open with such well-bred politeness, do these same doors similarly close shut again... very tightly. In the end, class rules are to be obeyed, and equals support equals, whether those "equals" are worthy or not. People don't matter as much as class-affiliation does.

A very good ... though might have been a still better series; yet, very worthy of a recommendation.

Jul 27, 2015

Very suspenseful and intriguing. I was, however, very disappointed with the ending- no Agatha Christie that is for sure. The final of 6 episodes was a waste of time- we watched it hoping that the solution was not as simple as it seemed, maybe it wasn't over yet and there would be more information added to increase the final intrigue, but alas, it was void of value. Still pretty good.


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Feb 10, 2017

Sexual Content: definitely some very sexy scenes with naked people

Feb 10, 2017

Violence: some graphic scenes that show blood and gore

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