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The Flame Is Love (1979)

Linda Purl is a turn-of-the-century American heiress who, while en route to her betrothal to an English Duke (Timothy Dalton), encounters love and intrigue in the arms of a French journalist (Shane Briant).

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Emmaline Nevada 'Vada' Holtz
...
Pierre
...
Marquis de Guaita
...
Narrator (voice)
...
Duchess of Grantham
Paul Lavers ...
Duke of Grantham
Kathleen Barrington ...
Nancy Sparling
Helena Carroll ...
Charity
...
M. Worth
John Franklyn ...
Verlaine
Jim Fitzgerald ...
Toulouse-Lautrec
Maureen Toal ...
La Goulue
Alain Christie ...
Arthur Rimbaud
Meryl Gourley ...
Mrs. Holtz
Peadar Lamb
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Storyline

Linda Purl is a turn-of-the-century American heiress who, while en route to her betrothal to an English Duke (Timothy Dalton), encounters love and intrigue in the arms of a French journalist (Shane Briant).

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based on novel | See All (1) »

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Drama

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Release Date:

15 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'amour est une flamme  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

One of the greatest unintentional comedies ever
5 January 2011 | by See all my reviews

There are two ways of looking at "The Flame is Love". It is both an awful, awful historical romance/made-for-TV coming-of-age story and a brilliant, if accidental, comedy. While there is no doubt that this film was intended to be a serious adaptation of a romantic novel, and therefore fits comfortably into the first category, it's impossible to watch it without laughing a lot.

The story revolves around the young and impossibly naive Vada (Linda Purl), an American heiress who is sent to Paris with her poor cousin en route to England, where the fiancé she has not yet met, a duke, awaits her arrival. Her cousin is injured before getting to Paris, and Vada continues on unchaperoned. In Paris she meets the Marquis de Something-or-other (Timothy Dalton) and Pierre the Journalist (Shane Briant). As with other Barbara Cartland films, the heroine falls in love at first sight and there's very little suspense in that department. The villainous marquis, who happens to be the leader of a group of Parisian socialite Satanists, plots against Vada, and Pierre must save her from danger while they fall even more in love. Perhaps the most hilarious aspect of the film is the wonderful narrator, who translates French poetry for the viewer ("Love is the flame. The flame is love.") and keeps us up-to-speed on what's going through the characters' heads ("Vada could not know that Pierre was on his way... And Pierre could not know that Vada knew..." "If this was Pierre, she would have been *enchanted*. But this was not Pierre."). Add some fabulously out-of-nowhere plot twists near the end, and the obvious utter seriousness of the actors and filmmakers (except perhaps Dalton), and you get one hysterically funny and worthwhile movie.


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