BBC’s The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher – Review

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I love history.  Occasionally, I think if I were to go back in time I would have love to have majored in history in college.  I have a particular interest in British history.  Many of my ancestors came from the British Isles, I spent a semester in England during college, and I love to learn about people–the way they lived, the things they did, and what they thought.  Most of my exposure to British history stops at the Victorian period, however, and I am very interested to learn about the more modern eras in British History.  Margaret Thatcher was the first woman Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; a great historical figure in a modern era of British History.  I was happy to have the chance to review The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher.


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.

I enjoyed the first 2 films (I haven’t yet had a chance to watch the third), but I felt that the treatment of Margaret Thatcher’s character in the first film, both in the writing and the acting, made her more of a caricature than a believable human.  It was interesting, but it included little else from her life than campaigning and losing, campaigning and losing, and I was relieved when she finally won a seat.

The second film, The Falkland’s Play, was more serious and is one of those films I could have imagined myself watching in a high school or college history class.  I wouldn’t call it gripping, but I think that “compelling” is appropriate.

If you enjoy history or politics, The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher will be right up your alley.

The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher was released October 18th.  You can own it on Blu-ray and DVD.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products, at no cost to myself, in order to facilitate a review. The opinions expressed are honest and are entirely my own.


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. Looks interesting! Following you from the Feed Me Friday blog hop.
  2. Sounds interesting...I have always wondered about Margaret Thatcher...and now I think you convinced me to learn more...and oh yes, I too am a history buff!
  3. this is something my mom would LOVE. She is a huge history buff!
  4. Im a history nerd so I would watch all the movies, even the more "compelling" ones!
  5. Amy, whereabouts in England did you study? I'm a British expat, I moved to the states in '89. :)
  6. Aranda Gibbs says
    This sounds like a really interesting movie! :)
  7. Carrie Phelps says
    I love History also. You write a good review that makes me want to look into Netflix to rent this movie. Thanks!!
  8. Thanks for the great review. I saw the woman who played her on a show a couple of days ago. Sounds very interesting to see.