Persuasion (1971)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  History, Romance
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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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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 gray pelisse with the scalloped cape worn by Ann Firbank (Anne Elliot) in Bath is the same costume worn by an extra at the church at the end of Mansfield Park (1983), by an extra in the London street in Sharpe's Justice (1997), and by an extra at the Cricket match in Sharpe's Waterloo (1997). See more »

Goofs

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

Connections

Version of Persuasion (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Interesting curio, but vastly inferior to the 1995 film
25 July 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

How unfortunate for this 70's effort that it's been eclipsed by the superior 1995 Roger Michell film. So OK, this TV dramatisation was made nearly 40 years ago (practically TVs infancy in the grand scheme of things). That duly said, really, the sheer murky brown 1970's-ness of it seriously detracts from the drama. "Persuasion" was the autumn of Jane Austen's sadly short writing career. Both the book and its central character, Anne Eliot, are her most mature, thoughtful and wise, in poignant contrast to the vivacity and spirit of her early work "Pride & Prejudice". This dramatisation certainly echoes that more sedate pace, but they failed to understand in 1971 that pace is everything, even in a story as gentle as this.

A motherless, unloved Anne Eliot, unmarried at 27, is forced into renewed acquaintance with the man she rejected at 18, on the advice, the 'persuasion,' of her older family friend. Her lasting affection is tried to the utmost as she must watch him court the attention of younger, prettier girls, while she herself has lost her bloom. Then, an accident shifts the balance of the drama.

This 1971 BBC TV drama takes its ample – perhaps too ample – time to tell the story. This allows for the characters to be very true to the original, but paler, less rich in tone than the 1995 film, which made considerable, but intelligent, time cuts. Despite suitably lavish sets, the costumes are a fright: each unfortunate lady is enveloped in typically high 70s sludge-coloured over-patterned vileness (highlights have to be Mrs Clay in a green velvet and slimy GOLD dress, I ask you! – and Anne Eliot's Jackson Pollock of a green, brown and yellow curtain or whatever sofa it was ripped from). This may sound trivial but with such understated fare as this, the look of the piece is important. Don't get me started on the mad towering bouffant hairdos. Of course each age loves to revile the taste of the previous, but emerging from that dark decade myself, I'm quite sure that the 70's will continue to linger on in people's minds as a benchmark for the very, very bad.

Still, Anne Firbank's somewhat too old Anne Eliot is subtle and elegant, and her slightly haughty ripostes are very much in keeping with her station - this I've never seen before, and I think Austen would approve. Emma Thompson was too old to play Elinor Dashwood in Ang Lee's "Sense & Sensibility", but her extraordinary ability to portray pathos overcame that single defect, while Firbank isn't quite as good as that. But Louisa Musgrove is a triumph of hammy overacting; and Mr Eliot is utterly unlikeable. The leads generated no chemistry whatever – quite unlike Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root in the 1995 film.

One for the Austen fans only, who won't mind any of the above in the sheer pleasure of hearing those wonderful lines again and again.


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