BBC Play of the Month: Season 14, Episode 5

The Wings of the Dove (1983)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 31 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

An impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover, befriends an American heiress. When she discovers the heiress ... See full summary »

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(dramatisation), (novel)
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Title: The Wings of the Dove (1983)

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Elizabeth Spriggs ...
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Rupert Frazer ...
Alan Rowe ...
Gino Melvazzi ...
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An impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover, befriends an American heiress. When she discovers the heiress is attracted to her own lover and is dying, she sees a chance to have both the privileged life she cannot give up and the lover she cannot live without. Written by Anonymous

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period piece | based on novel | See All (2) »

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Drama

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1983 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Version of The Wings of the Dove (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Late-period Henry James; not easy to like
26 February 2015 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Disc four of The Henry James Collection. This has been overshadowed by the film of 1997 with Helena Bonham Carter and Linus Roache as the unhappy lovers, a film which I found murky when it dealt with the motivations of Kate and Densher (but was crystal clear about sexual matters--that full Monty from Helena). I'm happier with this BBC version of 1979 with a cast of relative unknowns that does get into the morality of what Kate wants Densher to do, and why he feels so badly about it.

Lisa Eichhorn plays Milly very softly; her voice hardly goes above a whisper yet she manages to create an impression of integrity in the viewer. We see why Densher has a troubled conscience when he comes back from Italy. Suzanne Bertish as Kate is very callous sometimes, when she wants to impress Densher with her resolve, and vulnerable at other times with others. John Castle as Densher is the one weak link: he delivers his lines with a clenched jaw effect that is off-putting.

I admit that late-period James is not my thing. I started Wings and couldn't finish it--those sentences that seem to run on forever did me in. This is a good way to get into the story.


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