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Brideshead Revisited

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20111031-162204-pic-396091284.jpg

Jeremy Irons is the protagonist and narrator of the PBS series "Brideshead Revisited," which mesmerized TV viewers 30 years ago, and Claire Bloom plays Lady Marchmain. An anniversary edition is available in DVD ad Blu-ray. (Photograph provided by Acorn Media)

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20111031-162204-pic-940979955.jpg

Watching "Brideshead Revisited" 30 years after the 11-part PBS series became a sensation in fall 1981 is a reminder of all that was marvelous about the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's 1945 novel. It faced so many impediments that it could have been a disaster. (Photograph provided by Acorn Media)