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That Forsyte Woman (1949)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  3 November 1949 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 788 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 6 critic

Love among the Forsytes is strange, full of tradition, melancholy and gold digging in this film treatise on Victorian-age rigidity and vestiges of a flawed society.

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Writers:

(based on book I of "The Forsyte Saga" by), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Aubrey Mather ...
Gerald Oliver Smith ...
Lumsden Hare ...
Stanley Logan ...
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Matt Moore ...
Florence Auer ...
Phyllis Morris ...
Marjorie Eaton ...
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Storyline

Soames and Irene Forsyte have a marriage of convenience. Young Jolyon Forsyte is a black sheep who ran away with the maid after his wife's death. Teenager June Forsyte has found love with an artist, Phillip Bosinny. The interactions between the Forsytes and the people and society around them is the truss for this love story set in the rigid and strict times of the Victorian age. Written by erasmus

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To men she could be ice . . . or fire . . . or everything!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 November 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cumbres de soberbia  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally Pidgeon was cast as Soames and Flynn as young Jolyon, but the actors felt they wanted to go against type and agreed to switch roles. See more »

Goofs

In an era of corset-wearing ladies there is a scene where Irene confronts Soames in his office about going on vacation. Garson is dressed in a Victorian nightgown and robe but in various scenes of her seated her bra straps are visible. See more »

Quotes

Soames Forsyte: I wish you'd allow me to choose your friends.
Irene Forsyte: As you choose my dresses?
Soames Forsyte: I think you'd admit that I've made you one of the best-dressed women in London. Surely you have no complaints on that score.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Adventures of Errol Flynn (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lancer's Quadrilles: La Dorset
Composed by Spagnoletti
[the first dance at June's ball]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gorgeous but disappointing film
16 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Greer Garson is "That Forsyte Woman" in a 1949 film that also stars Errol Flynn, Walter Pidgeon, Robert Young and Janet Leigh. The story is told in flashback. Garson is Irene, a beautiful but poverty-stricken woman who marries Soames Forsyte (Flynn), admitting from the first that she does not love him. Soames isn't the only Forsyte in whom Irene has an interest - she loves the paintings done by Jolyon Forsyte (Pidgeon), though she learns quickly that he is the family outcast, not even permitted to see his daughter, June (Leigh). Irene seeks to bring Jolyon back into the family and to reunite him with June, who is about to be married to an architect, Philip Bosinney (Young) - while she herself is falling for Philip, and he with her.

MGM spared not one cent in giving "That Forsyte Woman" primo attention

  • the cost of Garson's gorgeous costumes alone could have probably paid


for three lesser films; the Technicolor, sets, and photography are all stunning; and in Flynn and Garson, you have two top stars.

Unfortunately, the superficial gloss can't cover the film's flaws. For an adulteress, Greer Garson is pretty ladylike - there is no unbridled passion - and zero chemistry - between Irene and Philip. In fact, the inference is that while she loves Philip in her heart, nothing except a few kisses has actually happened. Not being familiar with the source material, I don't know if this was the case or not. And I'm sorry - if I had to pick between the handsome Flynn and Robert Young wearing some sort of curly hairpiece, I know which way I'd go. Philip Bosinney is described as a little older than June - well, Janet Leigh was 21 or so at the time of the filming and probably playing an 18-year-old. Young was about 40. And looked it. Fond as I am of Young's work, this was blatant miscasting. The role needed to be sexed up a little so we see what the fuss is about - Robert Mitchum, Burt Lancaster, someone hot and in that 30-ish age range.

Errol Flynn does an excellent job as the angry, frustrated and jealous Soames. It seems that with a few exceptions, by the late '40s, Flynn no longer played roles that exhibited what made him Errol Flynn - charm, dash, a devilish smile, and natural athleticism. While this is certainly a better role than he had in "Cry Wolf," again, it does not play to Flynn's strengths. Walter Pidgeon is very good as Jolyon and of course he's great with Garson. He should be, considering all the films they made together.

Though the story isn't that absorbing, I still recommend this film for its sheer beauty - not only in its look, but for the beauty of Garson, Flynn and Leigh, and the sturdy handsomeness of Pidgeon. "That Forsyte Woman" is a cake with an incredible icing, but the cake is pretty dry.


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