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  • The House Of Eliott, set in Britian in the 1920s, follows the drama of the two Eliott sisters in their journey from being poor relations with no position or future in society to being amongst the most celebrated fashion designers in London.

    There is much motivating drama as the sisters are held back by the cruel legacy of their father and their condescending relatives. Through their determination and by meeting creative and Bohemian members of society they begin to express their creative talents and break free of the constrictive life they were intended to live.

    The 1920s period setting is dressed up well and is played out as a time of change in attitude to clothing and the way women could express themselves. Of course the cruel English class system, as always, provides a good background to the drama, where the aristocracy are still ruling and putting others in their place. But the signs of the change in society, post World War I, are evident. The characters are bound by their reputation and many reputations are all ready established, newly made and destroyed during the series.

    Stella Gonet plays Beatrice, the elder Eliott sister who suffered greatly under her fathers stern hand and who determinedly finds her lost freedom. Louise Lombard, plays Evagaline, younger by twelve years to Beatrice, who begins naively venturing into the world after her sheltered childhood and blossoms into a sophisticated, individual and unconventional women in society. Both actresses are well cast and develop their characters well as the series progresses.

    Aden Gillet as Jack Maddox, the society photographer and eventual love interest in the show is another regular character. Barbara Jefford is a favourite as their snobby, stern but somehow sympathetic character of Aunt Lydia - constantly reminding the "girls" that reputation is everything. The sub-plots(particularly in series 1) are also very well developed. As well as Aunt Lydia, their is the charity worker Penelope Maddox and her attempts help the poor and bring justice and the some of the stories of the employees in the fashion house.Other characters develop as the series progresses and some are more effective than others.

    Developed by the creators of Upstairs Downstairs(well known actresses Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins) The House Of Elliot has good writing mostly good direction and acting and the journey of the Eliott sisters is a rewarding one to watch and re-watch.
  • The House of Eliott is a gem of a series largely due to the wonderful characters, great acting and writing, fabulous settings and exquisite costumes. The characters of Evangeline and Beatrice are really wonderful foils for one another. Supporting characters such as Jack, Tilly, Madge and company are also highly entertaining. It is very hard to not become quickly addicted to the House of Eliott. Even though it is set largely among the beautiful people of the 1920s, the House of Eliott manages to show how the other half lives, particularly when dealing with the Miners' Strike and the consequences for so many families. Now that it is out on DVD all the wonderful characters live again.
  • I absolutely loved this series, which was on too briefly on A&E in the '90s and ended with kind of a cliffhanger. However, there is a book available that actually goes forward from the series.

    One of the posters commented on the French & Saunders skit which was hilarious, and yes, once you've seen them, it's hard to look at the actual characters in the show without giggling. Louise Lombard was so gorgeous, she reminded me of Louise Brooks and I was wishing a film about Brooks would happen so Lombard could play her. She and Stella Gonet were excellent in their roles, as were the handsome Aden Gillet as Jack and Cathy Murphy, who played Tilly.

    This has been criticized for being a soap opera - I happen to love soap operas.
  • larryallen127 October 2006
    You don't have to buy the DVD's anymore to watch this superb series. I rented them on NETFLIX three DVD's at a time. Best series show I've seen in a long long time. The story as well as the cast were first class. The womens clothing was something else. this show must have cost a fortune to film. the period automobiles, trains, sets were all something to see and added to the enjoyment of the film. Stella Gonet, Louise Lombard and Aden Gillett all gave marvelous performances. For that matter the the entire cast was wonderful. My wife and I looked forward to watching this show night after night and were sorry when it ended.
  • A show that i have fallen in love with! The clothes are gorgeous, the characters are gorgeous and the storyline just grabs you in! I have a love for historical fashion, and this film has added the 1920's to my favorite era list.

    Set in the 1920's in England, The House of Eliott is about the two Eliott sisters, who set up their own fashion house after there father dies. But it is not all easy, and trying to manage their new social life as well as start up a new business proves difficult. Will The House of Elliot survive the fashion industry?

    An absolute favorite i would recommend to anyone! Especially if you have a love for history or fashion.
  • newatt-228 September 2013
    I know people don't like negative reviews, but I bought the full series at quite a price and I am becoming sorry I did so.

    This show has many attractive elements. I thoroughly enjoyed watching season 1.

    The writing in Season 2 is dreadful. It is as if the original idea proposed by Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins was all used up by the end of season 1. Every plot point is telegraphed; there are no surprises. The melodrama is cheesy without being delightfully so - the music is godawful. Many of the stories are disconnected from each other. One feels that the writers slammed their ideas together at high speed without reference to how real people would react were they part of these stories. Such a waste of such fine actors, such beautiful design and such a lovely concept. It is almost as though the writers don't believe in the characters and don't like them. I'm not sure I'm going to make it through to the end.
  • Completely addictive story of two sisters who start their own fashion house in London in the 1920's. I rented the series because, like so many girls, dreamed of being a fashion designer (along with ballerina, president and actress). What I found however, was a solid story of entrepreneurship that would be inspiring to any woman in business.

    I love that the Eliot sisters are strong no nonsense business women, without falling into the stereotypes of women in power being unhappy man-eaters that we see in Hollywood portrayals. I love the mixing in of social issues, news events and subplots from all different bits of society. The side characters are developed well enough that you care about them as much as the main characters. I also appreciate the portrayal of the two sisters as loving and supporting each other instead of the trite sibling rivalry that is so often overdone.

    The fashion is delightful, but Jack Maddox's career progression in photography and film is just as interesting.

    The trip back in time to the 1920's is very well done. That aspect alone managed to hold the attention of my 11 year old son for the good part of an episode. (though I would not say this is a family show as the themes are of more interest to adults)

    Rent or buy the complete set- you won't want to wait for the next disc!
  • I remember when A&E aired this series on Sunday evenings. Oh how I envied being in London, anyway Stella Gonet and Louise Lombard are both stars of this series as two sisters who operate a fashion business in London, England. A terrific supporting cast like Victoria Alcock, Cathy Murphy, and others help support the leading actresses. Of course, the creators of the show was Dame Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh better known for Upstairs, Downstairs. Anyway, the story is quite soap opera at times but it is irresistible too. They are true to the time period as possible they can. They opened the doors much like other British series. Sadly, the show only lasted three seasons which is not that unusual in British programming. Unfortunately, a series season ranges from 6-10 episodes a season. Oh my, the British soaps air about four or five times a week.
  • Well scripted costume soap opera concerning a pair of sisters who build a clothing empire during the roaring twenties, all the while being misled by subterfuge and scandal by various nemeses in the ruthless business of fashion. This series takes the viewer through a decade of trials and tribulations, including births, deaths and marriages.

    The largely unknown cast discharge their roles with consummate professionalism of stage actors. Louise Lombard became familiar to TV audiences a decade later in the original CSI series, but none of the other faces are recognisable save for noted stage actress Barbara Jefford who has a recurring role as the Elliott family matriarch in the first season. Eurasian actor Burt Kwouk will also be a familiar face (from the "Pink Panther" movies) in a couple of episodes.

    Costumes and sets are the centrepiece of this series, which is understandable considering the fashion content and historical context. Despite an epic thirty-four episodes, the writers manage to build a coherent plot with regular climaxes and the usual soap opera intrigue. Despite probably not being for all tastes, it does represent a polished work, with intelligent script-writing and attention to detail, and should appeal to anyone interested in haute couture fashion or art deco dramas.
  • I recommend this dramatic series about two sisters who create a fashion business in 1920's London. My husband & I thoroughly enjoyed the cast of characters whose fortunes wax and wane against a believable backdrop of history. We were emotionally engaged with these characters in a really satisfying way, much like reading a favorite book. I can't believe it took us nearly 20 years to hear about this wonderful British TV series now available to rent on DVD. Excellent writing & acting, superb costuming and realistic sets make this an outstanding viewing experience. The only drawback is quality of dialog sound in some interior sets. Otherwise, its a totally top-notch production. Where did they find the old cars, trains, planes, street locations to provide such realistic recreation -- and how could they afford it? Though it was aired from 1991-1994, House of Elliott compares favorably to the best movies or series being produced on TV in 2010.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Required family viewing, back in the early 90s, the DVDs of this classic series are utterly addictive; however, watching the episodes back-to-back reveals whacking great plot holes, and plenty of story lines that are dropped, forgotten and never mentioned again.

    Bea and Evie Eliott are magnificently played by Stella Gonet and Louise Lombard, with a sterling cast around them. The costumes are glorious, as you;d expect; however, there are some occasions when it would have been great to have seen a little more of them. The 1920s atmos is very believable and evocative.

    As the series wore on, I found Miss Evie to be rather unsympathetic. Falling in love with every unsuitable, rake, cad, bounder and married man who would even cast a glance at her, Miss Evie somehow ends up proposing marriage to someone who seems little more than a professional freeloader. Worse, the proposal comes just minutes after he has drunkenly torn her dress. Far from being a series full of empowering roles for women, The House of Eliott shows Miss Evie to be in dire need of a man in her life, and frequently ignoring her professional responsibilities in order to achieve this.

    Miss Bea's relationship with Jack goes through endless ups-and-downs, and there are some episodes where I found myself timing their scenes together to work out an average of how long they could be on screen without shouting. Miss Bea is more likable than Miss Evie, but prone to being a bit controlling.

    In the workroom, characters such as Joseph, Tilly, Madge, Agnes and Betty provide plenty of Chirpy Cockernee Fun. Interestingly, the third and final series concentrates on the personal lives of the staff far more than the first two series had done. The story of Tilly and Norman's baby is quite absorbing, along with Madge's domestic problems and Agnes's urge to sing in music hall. All of this is rather more interesting than the same-old-same-old that the Eliotts seem to be going through: more marital strife to Miss Bea, and more random copping off for Miss Evie. There is so much going on in the third series that too much is left unresolved. To be honest, I would much rather have done without some of the dreary romantic stuff with Miss Evie and Daniel, in order to explore Madge and Charles's relationship, or see a bit more of Katya.

    All along the way, there are plenty of moustache-twirling baddies desperate to derail the plucky heroines' attempts at business. From series one's is-he or isn't-he step brother, through boo-hiss Mr Saroyan in series two, and Grace Keeble in series three (not a baddie, really, just driven to frustration and resentment by Miss Evie's appalling behaviour), it's all enormous fun to watch.

    Endless Countesses, Duchesses and the like; plenty of comedy French designers; lots of scandal; terrible employment practices ... The House of Eliott has it all. Everything feels rushed and hurried, nothing has long-lasting repercussions, stories and characters are cast aside and forgotten as if they never existed.

    This series left me yelling at the TV in frustration and annoyance from time to time, but is never less than enjoyable. It's all so daft that French and Saunders really didn't need to put much effort into their legendary, priceless parody, The House of Idiot.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I loved this series.

    I was impressed with the beautiful clothing and the costume designer did a fabulous job of capturing the feel of this time frame.

    It is well acted and I thought most of it was well done however, I felt very short changed and disappointed with the slapped together last episode they call an ending.

    WOW! Talk about poor writing.

    I think it is very disrespectful to fans and loyal watchers who have invested SO many hours, to suddenly end a series (likely due to budget and money issues) without some form of closure and have the younger sister suddenly act so out of character.

    It made it unbelievable and left a bad taste in my mouth. Too much was unsettled in the end.

    So although I rated it an 8 - This is very generous because I'd give the ending a mere 2.
  • silasmrner16 June 2018
    So much of excellent British drama from this period has been eclipsed by the quality of current international productions. This series stands the test of time: great writing, acting and production values, especially the fashion.
  • Its only drawback is Stella Gonet's awful, smug, toe-curling and overwrought acting. I wonder if the series was cancelled because of successive director's inability to get anything other than hysterical facial expressions and over enunciations out of her. Phew. What a relief to finally say it out loud.

    Shame they couldn't because, regardless of some of the unlikely plots and the occasional laughable conintinuity, it was an excellent series.

    Don't watch the French and Saunders spoof, though. You won't be able to watch the series twice.
  • This series was created by women, and I did see that the first episode was written by Jill Hyem, who also wrote the excellent Tenko, another highly recommended series about women and with majority female cast.

    Really enjoyed this excellent series one, with intelligent dialogue and strong female characters (not caricatures) who did not act "out of character," as in so many dramas for women which are dumbed-down (U.S. mainly) soap operas. These are women struggling to make a living after being left virtually or relatively I should say penniless (they do still maintain a beautiful, grand home and a servant). I enjoyed the history conveyed- the lack of opportunities for work and independence for women (this setting is after WW1 when returning men once again filled the few jobs available), the paternalistic and hypocritical attitudes of men towards women, the plight of the really poor and homeless. I don't understand the low ratings for individual episodes on season one (6.4, etc., seems low to me). My only disappointment was with the final episode which did not spend enough time on the introduction of the sisters' own line of clothing, instead veering off into soap opera territory with the jealous competitor. I'm afraid this is an ominous sign for future seasons, so I thank you newatt-2 for the heads up. Not sure I will continue as I don't want to spoil the joy of season one. Highly recommend season one.
  • kidboots19 August 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    I am in complete agreement with the other reviewers - it is a wow of a series!! Extremely well paced story about two sisters who are left in poverty by their miserly but secretive father and are forced to make their own way in the world by their dress making and fashion flair skills. The costumes are glorious and extremely authentic looking, Joan Wadge deservedly won both a BAFTA and an Emmy for her work, and are completely in keeping with the 1920s period. Stella Gonet plays sharp, sparkling, witty Beatrice, a superb manager and organiser who also has charge of her much younger sister Evie, beautiful, dreamy and a brilliant designer who is also kinder and willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. I do agree with Blanche, I am surprised Louise Lombard didn't have a bigger career - I can vaguely remember her as a sometime character in "C.S.I" bought in when a couple of the players were in contract disputes.

    Both Gonet and Lombard (who did have a Louise Brooks look about her) found roles of a lifetime with "The House of Eliott". Of course there are the villains, their cousin Arthur, a solicitor who between him and his mother are robbing the girls of what little inheritance has been left them - his plan of course is to force Evie to seek his protection as his wife but for once she shows backbone. There is also shadowy Sebastian who may or may not be their half brother (his story changes every episode) but who seems to be luring Evie into his web.

    Arthur is also enmeshed in a nightclub partnership that is a front for more insidious activities including dope and prostitution. Having just read a book about the London club scene in the 1920s, I think the producers really did their homework as there was a notorious London nightclub run by an older woman and an Oriental that used to lure young girls in who wanted to dance the night away with the intention of introducing them to cocaine!! "The House of Eliott" features Daphne Haycock, a brittle "spaced out" flapper whose idle chatter inadvertently leads to a complete "cards on the table" moment from Arthur.

    Where would the roaring 20s be without movies and Aden Gillet is introduced early on as Jack, Bea's on again, off again suitor, a struggling photographer who is desperate to get a foothold on the ladder of the infant motion picture industry. Francesca Folan plays Jack's independent sister Penelope who, by the end of the first series, finds herself out in the cold by the very charities and good works she helped create. Deserving of special mention is the wonderful Barbara Jefford as Lady Lydia. Her terrific acting skills help turn her character around from initially a double dyed villain to finally a figure of much sympathy as she becomes ostracized by a society she once dominated.

    Highly Recommended.
  • The House of Eliott is a wonderful little vignette that is perfect for a small chunk of time every week. The acting is wonderful - sweet, actually - the story worth following, and, yes, the costumes are fabulous. But let's recognize it for what it is: "pastime" television. That is, a real good, real wholesome way to pass some time. Comments about the fabulous story, the wonderful script are way over the top. The story picks up and drops off problems with little or no transition; all conflict is resolved with a hug in under 2 mins flat - except of course for the major design disagreement, which is resolved over supper at the club! And the comment that you get any insight at all into how bad it was for the poor was clearly made by someone who has absolutely no clue how bad it was for the poor in England post-WWI. Very good that they included this component, so it wasn't all frivolous but still too clean, to tidy (plot-wise ) to get much credit there.

    But I gave it a 9!! I think a show that carries good messages, touches on real problems, lets you sit down and enjoy watching week after week, and develop a relationship with the characters so that you look forward to seeing them again is damn good. Doesn't have to be more than that. "As Time Goes By" was among the best of this genre. This one, a little less so but still fully worth the time.
  • I saw the House of Elliott when it first came out and thought it was very good series about women trying to make it in a man's world. Unfortunately French and Saunders did a sketch on it with Kathy Burke and I am afraid that every time I see I do think of French and Saunders because their sketch was too good!!!
  • A drama series about a 20s couture house? Hurrah! Unfortunately, it failed to live up to its promise. The writers knew more about how to construct a soap than about 20s and 30s fashion or social conditions, and the stuff about the sisters' actual job was always risible. We had the obligatory scene where Stella Gonet was inspired by the French Impressionists and tore up her collection to start all over again. Of course she appreciated the Impressionists, unlike her dim contemporaries (note the flattery to 20th century viewers who've been fed the "Impressionists=genius" line since school). It looked good, but why didn't the scriptwriters talk to the costume designers? Or do any research into the period? I switched off early in the series's history.
  • The House of Elliot is currently being shown each weekday evening on ITV3. I never saw it first time around in the early '90's - for some reason, it just did not appeal to me despite its original popularity. I'm glad I didn't see it actually because I would have been denied the great pleasure of seeing it for the first time now! All I can say is what a great programme it is. The likable characters soon have you completely involved in their trials and tribulations.If anyone is looking for great art, this is not it - however, it is an engaging, undemanding and enjoyable way to pass an hour's viewing. The period settings, costumes and attention to detail are fantastic - the show must have cost a fortune to make. Particularly impressive was the episode set in Paris, which was obviously filmed on location - all I can think was that the outside scenes must have been filmed at some unearthly hour in the morning when the city was quiet - however it was done it was an amazing feat! Well done to all concerned with this gem of a series.