Lillie Langtry, trapped in a loveless marriage, takes full advantage of her beauty, attracting many lovers and admirers including the Prince of Wales and Oscar Wilde. As her husband slowly ... See full summary »
Yorkshire in the 1880's: Joe Skinner marries Lily Whitmore, the woman he has long admired, to give a name to her illegitimate child by Lionel Fillmore, the opportunistic son of an ... See full summary »
Tide of Life follows the fortunes of young housekeeper, Emily Kennedy, as she learns about relationships with three very different men. Forced from home of her first employer, Sep McGilby ... See full summary »
Set in 1913 Northumbria, England, the story is about Robert Bradley, a strong-willed young worker at a Jarrow shipyard, who arrives home one day to find that his father has died. At the ... See full summary »
In 1895, women were not expected to work - or even know about - medicine. Women were expected to work as house-wives, mothers, teachers and nurses. One woman was determined to change that. ... See full summary »
On the eve of World War I, Agnes Conway manages both the business and the problems of her troubled family. She finds the strength to break class barriers and help her sister Jessie marry a ... See full summary »
Follows the novels of Anthony Trollope. Beginning with the forced Marriage of Susan Hampshire's character, Glencora, the lives of the friends and children of this couple are the subject of ... See full summary »
Lillie Langtry, trapped in a loveless marriage, takes full advantage of her beauty, attracting many lovers and admirers including the Prince of Wales and Oscar Wilde. As her husband slowly drinks himself to death, Lillie embarks upon a sensational career as a somewhat talented yet beautiful actress in Britain and the United States. Throughout her life she attracts rich and sometimes brutal lovers, endures financial ruin and scandal, yet maintains her dignity, elegance, and a certain amount of her beauty until the end of her life. Written by
The series takes place from 1868 to 1929. See more »
The truth is that I really do love you, yet it is the curse of my nature that I can desire but not possess beauty. It must always be just out of reach. I've wept for you and for myself.
If you let me, I would show you I'm more real than the goddess you imagine.
That is the one truth that I am frightened of.
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Engrossing biography of famed beauty/actress Lillie Langtry
Watching this on video it is hard to believe it dates from 1978 - it looks as modern as today in its production values. Perhaps all there is to give it away is the habit of using videotape only for scenes shot within the studio, resorting to film when out of doors or on location (the very poor quality of the film, its grain, washed out colors etc, were typical of the stock of the time and can be jolting when sandwiched between scenes of the impeccably crystal clear video stock). Francesca Annis plays Lillie with grace, charm and a certain calculated iron will - we rarely like her or what she does, but she is never deliberately cruel or offensive. She is out for number one but manages to make all the men in her menagerie feel she is devoted to their wishes. With almost a dozen lovers under her belt in her long career, she cashes in on her beauty when discovered in the London society of the 1870s and parlays it into the life of the courtesan, eventually gaining prestige by going on the stage and touring America many times over. Annis amazingly plays Lillie from adolescent tomboy through awkward young wife, self-assured celebrity and finally doddering old age - with not a single wrong note. The make-up in the last few episodes of both Annis and Denis Lill (Bertie)are extraordinary. Along the way we have Jennie Linden's marvelous supporting work as Bertie's ex and Lillie's lifelong friend, Patsy Cornwallis-West and Peter Egan's perfect dramatization of the effete and erudite Oscar Wilde. The sets are gorgeous and the costumes sumptuous - each one impeccably designed. This is a most interesting and educational look at an era and the survival of one very clever woman within its midst. One of the BBC's best mini-series.
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