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 »
Based on a little known 1848 novel by Anne Bronte, Tara Fitzgerald stars as an enigmatic young woman who moves to 19th Century Yorkshire with a young son. Distancing herself from everyone ... See full summary »
This Masterpiece Theatre production, set at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, chronicles the life, loves, foibles and politics of the fictional English town of Middlemarch. Adapted ... See full summary »
George 'Beau' Brummel, a penniless but witty London gentleman, maintains a refined lifestyle with his loyal servant, cook Robinson. Only the friendship of the unpopular Hanoverian heir and ... See full summary »
Set in 1870s England, the story tells of Annabella Lagrange and the terrible secret her wealthy parents have kept from her. When she finally learns the truth, she runs away and eventually ... See full summary »
Two sisters Beatrice(Bee) and Evangeline hit rock bottom when their father passes away leaving them in debt. Uneducated they strive hard to find jobs deemed worthy of their new guardian. ... 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 »
At a country fair, young hay-trusser Michael Henchard quarrels with his wife Susan, and in a drunken fit decides to auction off his wife and baby to a sailor for five guineas. The next day,... See full summary »
At the center of the story is Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city',... 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
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.
36 of 38 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?