In this version of Henry James' novella "Daisy Miller", a young, bright and bubbly 19th Century American girl on her Grand Tour of Europe meets a fellow American, Frederick Winterbourne. Winterbourne is shocked by Daisy's modern behavior toward life, and spends his time with her trying to figure out if she's having innocent fun or on the path to becoming a fallen woman. Along the way, Winterbourne's judgment is helped and hindered by the other people in Daisy's life. Is Daisy really naive or naughty? Written by
Rebecca J. Burke
The SS CITY OF RICHMOND was built by Tod & McGregor of Glasgow in 1873 and launched same year. Owned by the Inman Line of Liverpool, she and her sister ship, SS CITY OF CHESTER, proved popular with passengers due to the emphasis on the quality of fittings and service despite not being as fast as other vessels. It was scrapped in 1896. See more »
Annie P. 'Daisy' Miller:
I'm a terrible, frightful flirt. Did you ever hear of a nice girl that wasn't? But now I guess you'll tell me I'm not a nice girl.
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Cybill Shepherd Miscast as Daisy in a shallow version of James novella
I agree with the reviewer who finds Ms. Shepherd utterly wrong for the part, and quite destroying the film. Henry James is a much more subtle portraitist of Americans abroad during that period than either actress or director could represent. For a start, someone so obnoxiously shallow as Shepherd's Daisy, and whose attempts at vivaciousness and flirtation so blatantly stagy, that the young hero must have been an absolute dill to have been so smitten. Nor is the actress so beautiful (or really young) as to make his sexual infatuation credible. Still it could have been worse, it could have been the worst "simperer" of all time, Mia Farrow cast in the role. That would have been a pill. However, possibly her special brand of naive vulnerability may have made Daisy more sympathetic. Thank good EVERYONE ELSE in the cast (apart from an uncharismatic and therefore unconvincing, Duilio del Prete as Gionavelli) is not only believable, but put in amazing performances, especially Barry Brown, Cloris Leachman, Mildred Natwick and Eileen Bannen, all perfect in their roles.
The theme of innocence destroyed by the social environment, not to mention evil schemers (as in Portrait of a Lady) or in this case, symbolically, the natural environment ("Roman Fever"), or even supernatural environment (as in Turn of the Screw) is a really central issue in many of James's novels and stories. To feel sympathy for the protagonist, she (as the protagonist often is) has to have not only innocence (which is misconstrued, exploited and/ or finally shattered), but also a kind of unshakable moral core. This could be as simple as a confident and self-possessed disregard of convention, or a genuine moral belief of the rightness of one's own actions. It is often represented as a subtle character trait.
Although these themes are indeed present in the film, Bogdanovich' simply fails to capture the quiet intensity of James's work.
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