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The Independent Critic

The "Up" Series Box Set
Includes all eight films in the series including 7 Up, 14 Up, 21 Up, 28 Up, 35 Up, 42, Up, 49, and 56 Up
First Run Features
848 Mins.

  • Exclusive Interview: Roger Ebert talks with Michael Apted
  • Audio Commentary by Michael Apted (on 42 UP)
  • Photo Gallery for each film
  • Michael Apted Biography



 "The Up Series" - Quite Likely The Best Documentary Series Ever 
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I wasn't yet born (barely) when the first film in the Up series was broadcast on BBC in 1964 with a young filmmaker named Michael Apted working as an assistant. What started out as a class study has accomplished that and so much more over the course of nearly fifty years of following the lives of a group of U.K. children turned teens turned young adults turned adults turned middle-agers on the cusp of their senior years in 2012's most recent in the series, 56 Up.

To call the Up series my favorite documentary series would be an understatement. If Apted were to accomplish nothing else in his directorial life than this series, it would be an admirable and remarkable career. As we all know, Apted has accomplished much more yet amidst all his glory there may be no more a crowning achievement than the remarkably insightful, informative, compelling and honest Up series.

“Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man.”- This Jesuit maximum has guided the Up series since its very beginning, giving the film what Roger Ebert once called a "nobility" that transcends the vast majority of documentaries created. The fact that Apted has managed to maintain the high quality and cohesiveness over all these years is even more remarkable though it is certainly true that some subjects have come and gone over the years (and some have returned).

As a longtime fan of the Up series who finds myself watching all of the films at least annually, I'm absolutely mesmerized by this box set from First Run Features. It's a remarkably well assembled collection that is simply a "must have" for any fans of the series or fans of quality documentary filmmaking.


© Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic