A Woman of Substance charts the life of Emma Harte, from kitchen maid at the beginning of the 20th Century, to respected business woman and Grandmother in the 1980's. From humble beginnings... See full summary »
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1   Unknown  
1985   1984  
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Young Emma Harte (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Major Paul McGill (3 episodes, 1985)
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 Emma Harte (3 episodes, 1985)
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 Laura O'Neill (3 episodes, 1985)
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 Edwin Fairley (3 episodes, 1985)
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 Joe Lowther (3 episodes, 1985)
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 Adam Fairley (3 episodes, 1985)
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 Frank Harte (3 episodes, 1985)
Christopher Gable ...
 Arthur Ainsley (3 episodes, 1985)
Christopher Guard ...
 Gerald Fairley (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Winston Harte (3 episodes, 1985)
Del Henney ...
 Jack Harte (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Olivia Wainwright (3 episodes, 1985)
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 Murgatroyd (3 episodes, 1985)
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 Blackie O'Neill (3 episodes, 1985)
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 Adele Fairley (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Paula McGill Amory (3 episodes, 1985)
Joris Stuyck ...
 David Kallinski (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Elizabeth Harte (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Bruce McGill (3 episodes, 1985)
Megs Jenkins ...
 Mrs. Turner (3 episodes, 1985)
Harry Landis ...
 Abraham Kallinski (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Henry Rossiter (3 episodes, 1985)
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Storyline

A Woman of Substance charts the life of Emma Harte, from kitchen maid at the beginning of the 20th Century, to respected business woman and Grandmother in the 1980's. From humble beginnings Emma Harte starts her business with a small shop, but over the next twenty years she expands her stores and invests in the growing textile industry in Leeds. By the time of World War 2, Emma is the head of a major retail and manufacturing empire, but she has struggled all her life to find love. After an illegitimate daughter and two marriages, she finally meets the love of her life, Paul McGill, but their affair is cut short by a tragic accident, leaving Emma with his daughter. In the 1980's Emma faces one of her biggest tests - her childrens attempt to remove her as head of her company, but Emma is far from the senile old woman they think she is - she is determined to stop them at all costs. Written by Stacey Mitchell

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 November 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Des Lebens bittere Süße  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(5 episodes) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As of 2010, 25 years after it was first screened, this is still the highest ever rated programme on Channel 4 in the UK - peaking at 13.84 million viewers on the third night - 4th January 1985. See more »

Goofs

The transatlantic liner Queen Elizabeth on which Paul McGill says he is booked to go to the USA in 1939 was not completed until 1940 and did not enter commercial service until after WW2, about 1946. He may have meant the Queen Mary. See more »

Quotes

Young Emma Harte: [to Gerald, after he has attempted to rape her early in the film] I mean to ruin you... all of you. The entire Fairley family.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Hold the Dream (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Nice period piece
4 April 2000 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

As "chick" movies go, this is tops. The performances are very touching, giving life to many of the characters. Jenny Seagrove absolutely shines as Emma; with all the foolish mistakes she makes, you still root for her. Peter Chelsom gives a completely heartbreaking performance as the sheltered and confused Edwin. Liam Neeson, Gayle Honneycutt are convincing; and some of the voice dubbing (particularly the children seem to have "adult" voices) sounds very uneven. The costumes and settings are fabulous. After all, this is a made for TV mini-series, so given that limitation, this is quite outstanding! Blame the book for the anti-clamatic ending, not the film makers or actors. Watch the movie, then read the book to fill in the blanks. You'll agree, the movie is a really on-target adaptation for the most part.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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