The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) Poster


The original novel does not feature the subplot of the actors playing the parts in a modern day film. The novel did, however, feature three alternate ending from which readers could choose their favorite. Creating two parallel story lines allowed the filmmakers to include two of those endings, one happy and one tragic.
The Cobb is the old harbor wall at Lyme Regis where we see "that scene" as Sarah / Anna stands on the harbor wall as the waves crash around her. It was deemed too dangerous for Meryl to get up onto the Cobb while the waves were crashing. So any distance shots actually have one of the art directors standing in for her. The close ups were done in the safety of the studio.
Wendy Morgan was offered the role of Mary but accepted a stage play instead.
The role of Charles was first offered to James Fox, then returning to acting after a decade working for an Evangelical Christian movement. He turned the part down "for moral reasons".
An attempt to adapt the novel was made in the 1970's, to star Vanessa Redgrave, but a satisfactory script couldn't be written, and funding was a problem.
Harriet Walter filmed a major featured role, which was totally deleted from the final print.

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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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