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Rosemary Harris is nothing short of brilliant in this mini-series on the life of George Sand. George Chakiris plays Chopin and Jeremy Irons appears as Alfred de Musset. Although there are only seven episodes, it is superbly done. It should have been on video years ago but the problem may be that it may have been filmed in black and white (stills never appear in color, even in books totally devoted to color photography) and it may be felt that there is no market, but THERE IS. I encourage the BBC to make this available to us.
I reiterate all the positive comments I have read here about "Notorious Woman" It was an excellent series, With all the crap that is put out on DVD, I can't understand why this was never released to DVD. It was a series that broadened my mind and turned me on to Chopin. I hope someday someone with the capability to do it will check it out and realize what a great series it was and get it released. Rosemary Harris and George Chakiris were Brilliant. I met George Chakiris last year A a Showing of "West Side Story" and asked him about it - he said he doesn't know who would have the original films. It was filmed in England. He said he was given a copy but doesn't know if he had all the episodes. He also wished it could be released and said seem delighted That I remembered it.
I remember this series, even after all these years, as being an excellent version of the life of George Sand. I remember one line Rosemary Harris said about Chopin's music being like pearls dropping. Very finely done. I wish it were out on video.
The radiant Rosemary Harris lent class and substance to her characterization of George Sand. I only saw this production once, long ago and far away when it was originally televised and yet, as in a dream, there are images that linger, just beyond my grasping. I remember George Chakiris as Chopin, on Majorca, a grand piano and flowing curtains, and thinking at the time that his performance was unexpectedly good, given the work he had done previously. I remember the superficial friendship between Aurore and Marie and of making it a point to commit the proper pronunciation of Sinéad Cusack's name to memory. (Fortuitous, that.) But mostly I remember Rosemary Harris's performance as Sand, making of this woman of questionable literary credentials a credible and compelling writer to be attended to. This mini-series was a credit to everyone artistically connected with it, from script through final edit, and I find it perplexing that it has not yet been made available, preferably on DVD, but any format, at this point, would be welcome.
I saw this mini-series on PBS many years ago, and it is still one of my
all-time favorites. Rosemary Harris gives a brilliant and touching
performance as Aurore Dupin ("George Sand"), and the supporting cast is
excellent. Harris won an Emmy for her performance, quite deservedly.
The series follows George Sand's life as she struggles against the many obstacles that are placed in her path because she is a woman. She takes to dressing like a man and adopting the pen-name "George Sand" for her writings. The series depicts her friendships/relationships with famous men of her time, including Chopin and Liszt.
A thoroughly memorable and moving series. If it is not available on video, I hope it soon will be.
I had the extreme pleasure of seeing this mini-series on my local public television station: KERA, channel 13, Dallas TX. I made little time for television at that point in my life but this is one program I didn't miss. I only wish I had been able to tape it at the time since now I have learned that it is not yet, and may never be, available on VHS or DVD. I was truly impressed by Rosemary Harris in the role even though before I saw this I was not even aware of the author known as George Sand. The 1991 movie "Impromptu" with Judy Davis as George and Hugh Grant as Chopin accompanied by Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Julian Sands and Emma Thompson was entertaining but entirely too short to play out the entire story. I am going to implore KERA to broadcast "Notorious Woman" again so that a new generation will have the chance to savor and I will have a chance to tape it.
It's been more than 30 years since I had the pleasure of viewing this exquisite Masterpiece Theatre production. Notorious Woman continues to haunt me through the mists of time. The performances seem nothing short of magnificent. Rosemary Harris turns in a bravura performance as the fascinating, enigmatic George Sand, while George Chakiris utterly captivates as Chopin. I could scarcely credit his superb, sensitive handling of this complicated composer. He deteriorates before our eyes. Chakiris' interpretation of Chopin quite eclipses Hugh Grant's excellent Chopin from Impromptu. Jeremy Irons never disappoints, while the rest of the supporting cast also do a phenomenal job. I still remember splendid Georgina Hale as Sand's difficult daughter, Solange, as though it were yesterday. Please, BBC, et. al., release this masterwork on DVD with all speed.
I,too, remember being riveted to the TV when each episode was
broadcast. Rosemary Harris as Sand sprawled under Chopin's piano is an
image I can still see today...and Chakiris playing the delicate,
coughing & sickly Polish pianist, always trying to make music amid the
often chaotic dramas around him.
This was terrific pairing. Rosemary Harris played the often abrasive, overpowering man to Chakiris's sensitive and increasingly frail Chopin. As I recall, I first doubted Chakiris could play this role, but he was perfect. Jeremy Irons has never failed to execute. (See if you can find a wonderful movie he made called "Moonlighting," in which he plays the head of a Polish group of contractors smuggled into London to secretly work on the houses of rich elite. Of course, like most illegal immigrants they are paid nothing for their work.)
I don't understand why Notorious Woman is not available. My goodness, if you can rent Duchess of Duke Street and Upstairs, Downstairs why not this treasure?
A fascinating historical personality makes for a stellar miniseries. Yes, it was definitely in color. Rosemary Harris is indeed a wonder, and for masculine eye candy there is George Chakiris ("West Side Story") and Jeremy Irons. Oddly enough, though I currently am a huge fan of Irons I didn't realize he was in this production until I read his biog here on IMDb. George was a feminist of sorts, a woman author assuming a male first name and boldly wearing pants, though she dealt with the usual problems of women since time began (relationship woes, unruly offspring). One of my all-time favorites in the show's tenure, along with "I, Claudius" and "Lily" (Francesca Annis as Lily Langtry, the most celebrated babe of her era).
I remember how wonderful this mini-series was too, and have wanted to
see it again. It is a fantastic film about a great artist and
personality. Rosemary Harris is perfect as George Sand and the sets and
costumes were gorgeous. This is a great, inspiring biography.
I urge others who feel the same way to take a few moments now and go to the BBC America website, AND the BBC UK website and to the respective Contact Us page, and tell them you would like the series available on DVD! It amazes me that this great series is sitting in an archive deteriorating and they have not rebroadcast it or released it on video after all these years!
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