6.4/10
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The Europeans (1979)

It's the mid-nineteenth century. Adult siblings Felix Young and Eugenia Munster were born and raised in Europe and have a somewhat bohemian lifestyle reflective of their travels throughout ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Helen Stenborg ...
Mrs. Acton
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Augustine
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Storyline

It's the mid-nineteenth century. Adult siblings Felix Young and Eugenia Munster were born and raised in Europe and have a somewhat bohemian lifestyle reflective of their travels throughout Europe. Felix, who has little money, is interested in painting and the arts. Eugenia is a baroness by marriage. They decide to travel to New England to meet their maternal uncle and their three cousins, the Wentworths, for the first time, the Wentworths who live just outside of Boston. The Wentworths are highly puritanical, the uncle in particular who looks to a neighbor, Mr. Brand, to provide a moral compass to his three children, especially the shy Gertrude, who Mr. Brand wants to marry. The Wentworths are somewhat suspicious as to the reason for their relatives' visit, but nonetheless the uncle puts them up in a neighboring house on their property. While Felix enjoys the company of his cousins - especially Gertrude - Eugenia is a bit more standoffish and cognizant of the real reason for their ... Written by Huggo

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Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

8 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los europeos  »

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1.78 : 1
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Trivia

Director James Ivory has said of this film on the Merchant Ivory Productions official website: "The Europeans (1979) was the first of Merchant Ivory's period adaptations that could be called 'state-of-the-art' in its approach to the film's look, and it was characteristic of all the rest to come. Most of the talented, highly disciplined, and extremely knowledgeable crew who were in the wardrobe and hairdressing and makeup departments were English, and like the late Judy Moorcroft, the film's costume designer, had been trained at the BBC. The art department of The Europeans (1979) was, however, headed by an American, Jeremiah Rusconi, who had never worked on a film before. But whether English or American, all these artists had long previously steeped themselves in the Victorian past by way of old photographs, paintings, and extant evidence - had taken almost an archaeological, or a scientifically detached approach to the film's overall design, which made it stand out at a time when most period films, particularly ones made in America, looked pretty sloppy. For instance, in this film the actresses, as a matter of course, were required to be tightly laced up into corsets with stays (which made them stand, walk, and sit right), and were not allowed to fiddle with their own makeup, or to surreptitiously put on lipstick or eye shadow, etc. or dictate how their hair would be dressed (when it came to our twenties films, the rule was reversed: no brassieres and lots of makeup). I heard the costume designer and hairdressers collaboratively discussing 'the line', that all-important silhouette that ran from the top of an actor's (or actress's) correctly coiffed head, to the tips of his (or her) shoes, which defined the historical period exactly to within a year or two. Judy Moorcroft was subsequently nominated for an Oscar for her work on The Europeans (1979), and Rusconi was nominated for a BAFTA award, the British equivalent of the Oscar. It was these two artists who laid the foundation, as it were, of Merchant Ivory's "production values" in the re-creation of the past". See more »

Connections

Version of Matinee Theatre: The Europeans (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Trio, Opus 17
Composed by Clara Schumann
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User Reviews

 
Beautiful Costumes...otherwise odd
10 April 2002 | by See all my reviews

Ok, maybe I missed something, but the movie seemed very odd to me. The actors and actresses were either lethargic or over-hyper, and seemed to lack sincerity. So after the first five minutes, I gave up trying to follow the plot and concentrated on the costuming instead, which was fabulous. Period movies (especially ones made pre-1990) tend to care less about authenticity, and more about what looks good to the modern eye. This one was a pleasant surprise. In fact, the clothes were so good that I even wonder if they didn't use originals. I want to know, where did they get those incredible fabrics?? The hair, which is where most movies trip up the worst, was quite good except on the blonde lady (who looked like she stepped out of a 1979 issue of Vogue). Less black eye makeup would have completed the stunning job. All in all, I would recomend this movie to anyone at all interested in the look and feel of 1850s new england life, as a superb example of authenticity.


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