I can't believe how much I enjoyed this mini-series. It's probably my favorite after Remington Steele.
Something that runs more than 2 hrs allows an actor to show their versitility and Brosnan is no exception here. He shines even more when he's given free reign and time in a picture to do so.
I do wish there were special features on the dvd. Would love to see some outtakes or deleted scenes. But maybe there just were none back then. Or they haven't survived.
The frosted streaks in Brosnan's hair took a while to get used to as I *really* prefer the 'black' irish look but I figured they did it to age him up (as Dunross was supposed to be 41) and to make him look a bit different from Steele.
Noble House, a novel by James Clavell, was adapted into a television miniseries in 1988 starring Pierce Brosnan. The miniseries also features other Bond actors, such as John Rhys-Davies from The Living Daylights and Burt Kwouk from Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice and the 1967 Casino Royale spoof. Brosnan plays Ian Dunross, chairman of the oldest and largest of the British-East Asia trading companies. The character’s suits would most probably be made by a tailor in Hong Kong, and it’s likely that the clothes for the miniseries were made by a tailor in Hong Kong since that’s where it was filmed. The Hong Kong tailoring looks like Savile Row tailoring minus the English flair. The miniseries featured a lot of nice tailoring which holds up rather well today, better than what Timothy Dalton was wearing at the time as Bond.
Because Brosnan plays a business man he is dressed in a lot of stripes throughout the mini-series. Here we will look at one of his striped suits, a navy three-piece suit with alternating thick and thin pinstripes. The jacket is a button three, and although the lapels roll to the top button they still have a gentle, elegant roll. The shoulders are straight and built up with roping, but they aren’t as excessively large as the shoulders that were popular at the time. The jacket has 3 buttons on the cuffs, flapped pockets and a single vent.
The suit trousers have double reverse pleats but with a somewhat trim leg for the era. The waistcoat is the weakest part of the suit. It has 6 buttons with 5 to button, but it is more like a 5-button with an extra button added on to the bottom since the bottom button is ill-spaced and looks like an afterthought. The waistcoat is also too long, and the buttons are placed to far apart, for a less elegant look. Brosnan wears the suit with a white shirt with closesly-spaced blue pencil stripes, and it has a point collar and double cuffs. Striped shirts can work well with striped suits if the scale of the stripes are much different, but they are very close here and somewhat clash. This is a recurring problem with the clothes in Noble House. The tie is navy with white polka dots, tied in either a windsor or half-windsor knot. He also wears a folded white linen pocket square, which is far more sober than the puffed silks he previously wore in Remington Steele. The outfit is more business than Bond with two striped pieces of clothing, but if either the shirt or suit was solid it would be a great outfit for Bond.
Last Edit: Mar 13, 2014 5:57:55 GMT -5 by eaz35173
30th Anniversary Of Noble House: 10 Highlights From The Hong Kong-Based TV Series October 4, 2018 | BY Oliver Giles
To mark the 30th anniversary of the Hong Kong-based TV series Noble House—which aired in the USA on NBC in 1988—we look back at some of the show's best moments
TV Guide described Brosnan's performance as Ian Dunross, taipan of the "noble house" Struan & Company, as "stiffer than a week old bagel"—but that's not entirely fair. In the book, Dunross is a slick and supremely-confident businessman, which is exactly how Brosnan plays the role on screen. Fans hoping for more action from the leading man had to wait till 1995, when Brosnan became the fifth James Bond.
Move aside Pierce Brosnan, Hong Kong is the real star of Noble House. Pacts are made on traditional junks floating in Aberdeen Harbour, police chases weave through wet markets, tycoons snake up the winding road to The Peak in Rolls-Royces, visitors marvel at The Peninsula in Tsim Sha Tsui and—whenever the cinematographers are at a loss for how to bridge scenes—they simply insert a sweeping shot of Victoria Harbour and the skyline. Hong Kong has rarely looked better.
Every hero needs a villain—and few actors are as good at being bad as John Rhys-Davies. Playing the role of Quillan Gornt, Ian Dunross' arch nemesis and main competitor, Rhys-Davies manipulates his friends, cuts characters down with his famously booming voice and manages to mix moments of true evil with just the right amount of comedy. He's a scene-stealer.
The overarching story of Noble House follows Ian Dunross (Brosnan) struggling to maintain the supremacy of Struan's—but there's far more to the show than that. Loyalists of the book complain that too many of the subplots were removed from the TV adaptation, but the story lines that made the cut still provide plenty of entertainment. Has a Chinese communist spy infiltrated Hong Kong's colonial police force? Will a banker's mistress abandon him for a triad? These are just a few of the stories that unfold throughout the series—and sometimes push the central plot into the shade.
Every episode of Noble House features shots of glamorous people slinking in and out of the era's hottest cars—many of which are now classics. In fact, cars were positioned so prominently in the series that the New York Times took a dig at them in its (generally negative) review of the show.
"There's not much to see [in Noble House]," New York Times journalist John Corry wrote. "People get in and out of cars or on and off of junks and yachts or wander through board rooms, houses and lobbies." Car fans, though, wouldn't have it any other way. Keep your eyes peeled for Jaguars, Mercedes and plenty of Rolls-Royces.
The special effects
Noble House was way ahead of its time with special effects. We won't give away any spoilers, but there are a couple of scenes where a combination of camera angles, clever set design and other tricks are used to perfection.
The Noble House TV series is set in—and was filmed in—the 1980s, so the cast of high-flying businessmen and women wear the best (or worst, depending on your opinion) of bold '80s fashion. Think big-shouldered suits during the day and thigh-high gowns at night.
Struan's—the economy-dominating corporation that is the "noble house" of the title—is famously based on Jardine Matheson, the British company that set up shop in Hong Kong in 1832 and quickly grew into an international corporation that still exists today. With this in mind, it's only fitting that Brosnan's office in the series is located in Jardine House, which at that time was one of the tallest buildings in Hong Kong.
Today, Jardines owns subsidiaries including Hongkong Land, the Mandarin Oriental Group and Dairy Farm, among many others—and its headquarters remain in Jardine House.
The nostalgia factor
Jardine House can still be spotted on Hong Kong's skyline, but plenty of the other prominent landmarks featured in the show no longer exist. The old Central Star Ferry Pier and Queen's Pier both appear regularly, as does Kai Tak Airport. Perhaps most interestingly, Central Police Station appears as a working prison—now, of course, it has been redeveloped into the Tai Kwun Centre For Heritage & Arts.
A sign of progress
Noble House was released in 1988—before Hong Kong was handed back to China, before the city gained its first female Chief Executive and before the long-overdue #MeToo movement made gender inequality and the abuse of women international news. Some of the characterisation in Noble House, particularly of Chinese women, is both sexist and racist by today's standards. This makes some scenes painful viewing, but on the flipside turns the whole series a positive reminder of how far society has come in just 30 years.