4.8/10
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8 user 3 critic

Jane Austen in Manhattan (1980)

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

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Writers:

(libretto Sir Charles Grandison), (libretto Sir Charles Grandison) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lilliana Zorska
...
Pierre
Michael Wager ...
George Midash
Tim Choate ...
Jamie
John Guerrasio ...
Gregory
Katrina Hodiak ...
Katya
Kurt Johnson ...
Victor Charlton
Philip Lenkowsky ...
Fritz
Charles McCaughan ...
Billie
Nancy New ...
Jenny
...
Ariadne Charlton
Bernard Barrow ...
Mr. Polson
Lee H. Doyle ...
Mr. Jarvis (as Lee Doyle)
Bella Jarrett ...
Miss Klein
Naomi Riordan ...
Mrs. Polson
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

July 1980 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Jane Austen  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was an adaptation of a play "Sir Charles Grandison" that Jane Austen wrote as a fourteen year old teenager circa 1800 and not first published until 1980, the year the film was released. It had been adapted from the book "Sir Charles Grandison" aka "The History of Sir Charles Grandison" aka "Sir Charles Grandison or The happy Man, a Comedy in 6 acts" (1753) by Samuel Richardson. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Wandering Company (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

Austen on Stage
30 April 2016 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

Having acquired the rights to a play penned by Jane Austen during her childhood, an avant-garde theatre director attempts to do justice to Austen's words and "bring her up-to-date" while a former associate tries to convince his actors to perform the play more traditionally in this little seen Merchant-Ivory film. Robert Powell, fresh from 'Harlequin' (where he played an equally hypnotic character), is solid as the avant-garde director in question who believes that "we all live in clichés" and that his fey vision is faithful. Anne Baxter in her last big screen performance is also well cast as his former associate. It is not, however, always interesting to watch them argue source material fidelity and with much talk and limited atmosphere and action, 'Jane Austen in Manhattan' has found a reputation as Merchant-Ivory's nadir. Such an assessment may be a little harsh, however, this is very much one of those films where the story behind it is more fascinating than the movie itself. Apparently James Ivory acquired the film rights to Austen's play without having even read it. Upon reading the play and finding it insubstantial for motion picture (Austen was, of course, very young when she wrote it), Ivory almost passed it up until Ruth Prawer Jhabvala suggested making a film about those who wish to and attempt to perform the play - not unlike 'Adaptation.', to which the film sometimes has been compared. This in turn renders 'Jane Austen in Manhattan' one of Merchant-Ivory's most intricate efforts, and if a failure, it is certainly an ambitious one.


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