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DVD picks of the week: A bit of England, a touch of France

Kenneth Turan's DVD Pick of the Week: British and French Films.

Two new boxed sets feature splendid work from Britain, and a new single DVD presents a classic view of France.

"The Hollow Crown" had the fine idea of uniting Shakespeare's key historical dramas -- "Richard II," "Henry IV" (Parts 1 and 2) and "Henry V" -- into a single eight-hour narrative starring Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston and Ben Whishaw. That's a combination that is hard to beat.

Not quite as old as Shakespeare but still time-tested is the 40th anniversary edition of "The Pallisers," a splendid BBC miniseries that was based on Anthony Trollope's vivid "Palliser" novels. Follow the ups and downs of rising politician Plantagenet Palliser and the beautiful Lady Glencora through an enthralling 26 episodes running more than 22 hours.

If all that England puts you in the mood for a little France, you could do no better than a restored "Le Joli Mai," Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme's groundbreaking cinema-verite look at the city of Paris in May 1962, which is on DVD for the first time.

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