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Reviews & Ratings for
"BBC Play of the Month" On Approval (1982)

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

amazingly funny for a period piece. the chemistry between players was the best!

9/10
Author: casasouthard from california
8 December 2005

where can i buy this at any price? there are so many less deserving things for sale that unless this one has gone to the Land of the Lost Films, please let me know if the company that owns it intends to make it available any time in the future. The chemistry between the 2 characters that the audience is supposed to like the least ends up creating the most delightful and ironic plot twist. Jeremy Brett is gone, but this work of his is one of his best. His starchiness was used to the fullest, and unlike the cryptic Holmes character he is so much known for, this is a romantic divergence from the typical role he played. In My Fair Lady, his singing voice was cut out of the film, and all that was left was fluff.... see this one ANYONE...if you can find it.

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Oh, how the quips fly!

9/10
Author: Aziraphale615 from United States
29 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of the wittiest things I've seen in a long time. Maria, a selfish, spoiled, wealthy widow, knows that Richard has silently loved her for a long time, but, as she tells her friend Helen, it's so difficult to know what a man will be like as a husband. Her solution? To take the potential husband "on approval," that is, to live with him (not in the modern day sense but in the stay-at-someone's-house-in-the-country sense)for a month and then decide. When Richard brings himself to tell Maria how he feels, she tells him that she'll only consider marriage if he agrees to go to Scotland with her and stay there for a month. He does, much to the chagrin of his friend George, Duke of Bristol, who can't stand Maria (she can't stand him either - they're too much alike). George, in the hopes of convincing his friend otherwise, also goes to Scotland. Maria's friend Helen, a pickle heiress who is smitten with George, goes along in the hopes that she may be the next Duchess of Bristol. After three weeks, scales fall from eyes and plans are hatched to make the good-hearted but spoiled widow and Duke into more lovable people.

The dialogue flies fast and furious - I'd give you a sampling but there are simply too many brilliant quotes to keep track of (the scene where George and Maria call a five-minute truce makes me laugh out loud every time). All the actors do brilliantly - I think this is one of Jeremy Brett's best roles. A throwback to the comedies of manners, where dialogue really sparkled and sizzled.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Wickedly, Deceptively Awfully Terribly Rich!

10/10
Author: richard.fuller1
20 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Maria is with Richard, Helen is with George. All four of them away in a winter cabin.

Richard believes that Maria is being deliberately cruel to show him how she can be at her absolute worst, but in fact, she has not a clue what he is talking about and feels he is terribly insulting when he asks her about her behavior.

Richard is quite shocked!

Helen, likewise, finds George to be intolerably self-centered and abrasive.

Helen and Richard then decide there is only one thing they can do.

With Penelope Keith as the horribly selfish Maria (pronounced Ma-RYE-uh) and the late great Jeremy Brett as George, you know that these two people were at their most insulting.

Lindsey Duncan, I thought at first was Mia Farrow.

The inability of Maria and George to realize what Richard and Helen were going on about and likewise, to hear Richard and Helen make their plan were both incredible to listen to, delivered by these four persons.

They were all brilliantly grand.

Truly a grand finale, that is for certain.

"I suppose I should warn you, I lock my door at night."

"Not to worry, . . . only the snow will be wanting to get in."

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