The Passionate Friends were in love when young, but separated, and she married an older man. Then Mary Justin (Ann Todd) meets Steven Stratton (Trevor Howard) again and they have one last ... See full summary »
Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton) is a successful bootmaker, a widower and a tyrannical father of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses because marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements.
Brenda de Banzie
Charles (Sir Rex Harrison) and his second wife, Ruth (Constance Cummings), are haunted by the spirit of his first wife, Elvira (Kay Hammond). Medium Madame Arcati (Dame Margaret Rutherford) tries to help things out by contacting the ghost.
It's the early 1920s. Britons Adela Quested (Judy Davis) and her probable future mother-in-law Mrs. Moore (Peggy Ashcroft) have just arrived in Chandrapore in British India to visit Adela's unofficial betrothed, Ronny Heaslop (Nigel Havers), who works there as the city's magistrate. Adela and Mrs. Moore, who long for "an adventure" in experiencing all India has to offer, are dismayed to learn upon their arrival that the ruling British do not socialize, let alone associate, with the native population. Such people as the Turtons, Mr. Turton (Richard Wilson) being Ronny's superior, who openly thumb their noses at the idea in their belief that the Indians are an inferior people. They are further dismayed to see that Ronny adheres to that custom in not wanting to jeopardize his career. At the local white only club, Adela and Mrs. Moore find a like-minded Brit in the form of Richard Fielding (James Fox), the school master at government college, he who offers to organize a small, but truly ...Written by
The visiting British women, in addition to a band, are treated to reed instruments which resemble (South Indian) naadaswarams and not local Bihari music, though everybody including Fielding speaks Hindi and Urdu. When Dr Aziz is being felicitated for his freedom, the music is in Hindu Marathi - "Govinda Ala re," a music reserved only during Janmashtami ( Lord Krishnas' birth) in Maharashtra, whereas the audience is predominantly Moslem. See more »
Dr. Aziz H. Ahmed:
[to Ali and Hamidullah when Fielding visits]
No, he does not need THREE chairs! He is NOT THREE Englishmen!
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An odd and mesmerizing entry among Lean's films, and his last
I've always loved this film.This film has a lot of truly fascinating character development. Dr. Aziz goes from the kind of easily intimidated and emotionally battered employee that the British must have loved to have as a compliant colonial subject, to a frightened defendant who has had injustice snatch him from his lonely but well-ordered life, to a bitter and empowered man who thinks identifying with the plight of his fellow Indians means he must abandon all friendships with westerners, in particular that of the compassionate Richard Fielding. Sir Alec Guiness plays the minor but important role of Professor Godbole, a man whose beliefs puzzle Fielding. When Aziz has been unjustly accused of raping Adela Quested, a British woman, Fielding wants to mount some kind of campaign, to perform some kind of action on Aziz' behalf. Godbole calmly insists that although he cares about Aziz very much, nothing he or anyone does will matter - the whole thing has been predetermined. This is one of the issues that plays like background music in the film - that of Western views of human action and divine purpose working synergistically versus Eastern views on the same themes - karma versus Christian endeavor. I truly believe 1984 was a year in which the Academy got it right - Amadeus was indeed the best picture. However, this film is a photo-finish second and I highly recommend it.
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