Persuasion (1971)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  History | Romance
6.5
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Jane Austen's last novel provides the plot for this earlier Granada miniseries. Set in pre-Victorian England, this movie tells the story of Anne Elliot, who now having lost her "bloom" is ... See full summary »

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Title: Persuasion (1971– )

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Ann Firbank ...
 Anne Elliot (5 episodes, 1971)
Bryan Marshall ...
 Captain Wentworth (5 episodes, 1971)
Marian Spencer ...
 Lady Russell (5 episodes, 1971)
Richard Vernon ...
 Admiral Croft (5 episodes, 1971)
Basil Dignam ...
 Sir Walter Elliot (4 episodes, 1971)
Valerie Gearon ...
 Elizabeth Elliot (4 episodes, 1971)
Georgine Anderson ...
 Mrs. Croft (4 episodes, 1971)
Morag Hood ...
 Mary Musgrove (4 episodes, 1971)
Rowland Davies ...
 Charles Musgrove (4 episodes, 1971)
Mel Martin ...
 Henrietta Musgrove (4 episodes, 1971)
Charlotte Mitchell ...
 Mrs. Clay (4 episodes, 1971)
Zhivila Roche ...
 Louisa Musgrove (3 episodes, 1971)
Noel Dyson ...
 Mrs. Musgrove (3 episodes, 1971)
David Savile ...
 Mr. Elliot (3 episodes, 1971)
Michael Culver ...
 Captain Harville (3 episodes, 1971)
Ernest Hare ...
 Colonel Wallis (3 episodes, 1971)
Gabrielle Daye ...
 Mrs. Rooke (3 episodes, 1971)
Polly Murch ...
 Mrs. Smith (3 episodes, 1971)
Beatrix Mackey ...
 Lady Dalrymple (3 episodes, 1971)
Angela Galbraith ...
 Miss Carteret (3 episodes, 1971)
Walter Horsbrugh ...
 Butler (3 episodes, 1971)
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Storyline

Jane Austen's last novel provides the plot for this earlier Granada miniseries. Set in pre-Victorian England, this movie tells the story of Anne Elliot, who now having lost her "bloom" is re-united with the dashing Captain Frederick Wentworth whose advances she had refused seven years earlier. Now that he has gained both connections and fortune in the Napoleonic Wars, she regrets that her neighbor, the meddling Lady Russell persuaded her to refuse his proposal of marriage. Now as she watches him woo the young Louisa Musgrove, she suffers terribly while he appears to have forgotten entirely his earlier attraction to her. Manners and moires often thwart her strong desire to tell her true feelings, but his true emotions too, are masked by fear and the lasting pain of her rejection. Written by Teresa B. O'Donnell <sun.moon.stars>@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

History | Romance

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Release Date:

18 April 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Persuasión  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The brown and beige floral print day dress Georgine Anderson (Mrs. Croft) wears at Barton Cottage is the same costume Barbara Flynn (Mrs. Mason) wears in Horatio Hornblower 3 (2003). See more »

Goofs

Walking down country lane, actors pass WWII tank traps. See more »

Connections

Version of Persuasion (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

A Downland Suite: III - Minuet: Allegretto grazioso
(uncredited)
By John Ireland
[theme]
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User Reviews

 
Has its merits, but overall inferior to the 1995 movie
22 May 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This four-hour miniseries production is about two hours longer than necessary, primarily because the filmmakers seemed not to have a clear idea how to adapt a novel to the screen. They seemed not to know what should be kept in and what might safely be left out. The film opens with Sir Walter reading from the Peerage book that is his primary solace in his troubles. This introduces the family - all of whom we get to know intimately over the next four hours anyway - but serves little other purpose. Similarly, the scenes where the Musgroves lament "poor Richard" serve no purpose but to drag the story down. Some of Austen's actual dialogue is allocated to different characters and some of her narrative is recycled as dialogue that falls awkwardly from the tongues of the characters. There is some fill-in dialogue, too, and this is uniformly dreadful. The scene where Charles Hayter is boring Henrietta with his concerns about getting Dr. Shirley's curacy was only barely interesting as narrative in the book; as a scene in this production, it is stultifying The scene on the Cobb, when Louisa falls and is "taken up lifeless!", is entirely without urgency, and I wondered whether Wentworth's line "Is there nobody to help me?" might have been directed at the writers, as well as the other actors.

This production often looks and feels like a play that has been filmed, rather than an actual film, and this is most evident in the acting, which is the opposite of subtle: booming delivery of lines, exaggerated gestures, and actors who have no idea what to do with their hands, feet, or faces when they are not speaking their lines. Charles Musgrove stands in his parlour, feet shoulder width apart, and appears to project to the balcony (if there were one) when speaking to the other people in the room with him. Louisa Musgrove's face, when not actively simpering or giggling, seems to be in confused repose. Louisa is a giddy, giggly, ditzy creature, and I did not for a moment believe that Wentworth would be interested in her.

The costumes are a mixed bunch, but mostly awful, and Anne Elliot's green tartan gown is quite possibly the most hideous alleged period costume ever devised. We are given the dates at the beginning of the show - it is the late 1790's or perhaps very early 1800s - and yet many of the costumes seem to be of Victorian design, and thus about 60 years too early! The hair is just so wrong that I won't even mention it here. Except to say that I won't mention it. :-)

This production does do some things right, however. Mrs. Smith is given her proper importance, and her history with Mr. Elliot, his dissipation and his intrigues, are fully addressed. I was also pleased to see the fleshed out "reconciliation" scenes with Anne and Frederick at the end, which are precious reward for the reader but were glossed over in the 1995 production.

If you love the book Persuasion, and even vaguely like the 1995 movie, don't waste a moment (or a penny) on this production; you will find it sorely wanting.


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