Seldom seen even on its release as a telefilm in 1977, 'The Ambassadors' remains a memorable and touching entry in the James-on-film canon. But it is not only for James completists, literature buffs, or for fans of Masterpiece-Playhouse-type programmes. Its subtle ironies have great appeal. The playing of Scofield and Remick (as Maria Gostrey) is wonderful; the settings tasteful, and the costumes apt. There's another 60s semi-icon, Gayle Hunnicutt, bouffed up to the nines in there too.
In terms of comparison to other James films, it's closest in feeling to 'The Europeans', perhaps because of the re-appearance of Lee Remick, one of our most underrated cultural ambassadors, as Eugenia. If it's given a last-night revival showing, set the VCR.
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