The Glittering Prizes

BBC (Mini-Series 1975)



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The Glittering Prizes

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A series of plays by Frederic Raphael documenting some 25 years in the lives of a group of Cambridge undergraduates. The series begins in the early 1950s and progresses through to 1976, when the series was aired. The chief focus for our attention is would-be novelist Adam Morris, played by Tom Conti - a character some critics suggested was based on author Raphael himself.

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 2/25/1976

Season 1 : Episode 6

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  • A group of young people meet at Cambridge University in the early 1950s, their eyes set on "the glittering prizes" that life has to offer. Over the next 25 years, they endure many disappointments and also have some successes.moreless

    Frederic Raphael isn't half as clever a writer as he thinks he is, but there was still much to enjoy in this heavily-promoted mini-series. Tom Conti became a star with his performance as the sardonic, fiercely self-defensive would-be writer who angers his Orthodox Jewish parents by marrying a gentile girl, compromises his ambitions to be a novelist by writing movies for a pretentious director, and wonders in middle age why life never turns out as you think it will. There were several other fine actors involved - Angela Down as an ordinary girl whose ambitions are severely compromised by pregnancy; Barbara Kellermann as Conti's sensible wife; Malcolm Stoddard as the idealistic teacher who proves less idealistic than he thinks he is; and Emily Richard as the beauty whose "perfect" marriage leads to alcoholism. An over-written, often pretentious series, too often carelessly-plotted - but it still stays in one's memories.moreless