Jane Austen in Manhattan (1980)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  July 1980 (UK)
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Two teachers vie for the right to stage a play written by Jane Austen when she was twelve years old.



(libretto Sir Charles Grandison), (libretto Sir Charles Grandison), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lilliana Zorska
Michael Wager ...
George Midash
Tim Choate ...
John Guerrasio ...
Katrina Hodiak ...
Kurt Johnson ...
Victor Charlton
Philip Lenkowsky ...
Charles McCaughan ...
Nancy New ...
Ariadne Charlton
Bernard Barrow ...
Mr. Polson
Lee H. Doyle ...
Mr. Jarvis (as Lee Doyle)
Bella Jarrett ...
Miss Klein
Naomi Riordan ...
Mrs. Polson


Two teachers vie for the right to stage a play written by Jane Austen when she was twelve years old.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance



Official Sites:




Release Date:

July 1980 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Jane Austen  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was made and released about 180 years after its source amateurish unfinished stage play "Sir Charles Grandison" had been written by Jane Austen around 1800. See more »


Featured in The Wandering Company (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

A very boring movie about arts funding and theater troupe acting out
31 July 2005 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

This very long1980 movie isn't the worst Merchant/Ivory/Jhabvala movie (that would be "Jefferson in Paris") but is numbingly dull even to an admirer of many of their movies. I'd assign blame mostly to Jhabvala's screenplay about two radically different troupes vying for the chance to première a (real) recently discovered play written at age twelve by Jane Austen. From what we see of it, Austen wasn't much of a playwright at age 12 (who is?!).

Jhabvala imagines a charismatic experimentalist Svengali (Robert Powell) pitted against a socially well-connected aging actress whom he had used and abandoned earlier (Anne Baxter in her last big-screen role paying off the sins of Eve Harrington?). She wants to stage an operatic version. It defies plausibility that the experimentalist actors have operatic voices, but the audience has to simply accept that, while trying to care about any of the characters struggling to survive whimsical arts patronage. I could muster a bit of sympathy for Baxter, and more for the very handsome spurned husband played by Kurt Johnson, but couldn't care less about the "star" played by Sean Young (in her first screen role) or about which absurd production got supported and mounted off- Broadway.

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