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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $4.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1985  
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hold the Dream (TV Movie 1986)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two-part, four-hour followup to "A Woman of Substance" with Deborah Kerr, now playing Emma Harte at age 80 in the last winter of her life and dealing with her granddaughter Paula, as well ... See full summary »

Director: Don Sharp
Stars: Jenny Seagrove, Stephen Collins, Deborah Kerr
Master of the Game (TV Mini-Series 1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Elderly Kate Blackwell looks back at her family's life beginning with her Scottish father Jamie McGregor's journey to South Africa to make his fortune in diamonds. The family history is ... See full summary »

Stars: Dyan Cannon, Harry Hamlin, Ian Charleson
To Be the Best (TV Movie 1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

The Barbara Taylor Bradford trilogy that began with A Woman of Substance ends with this epic tale! Paula O' Neill feuds with her cousins as she fights to save her grandmother's business-and struggles to salvage her marriage.

Director: Tony Wharmby
Stars: Lindsay Wagner, Anthony Hopkins, Stephanie Beacham
The Wingless Bird (TV Mini-Series 1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On the eve of World War I, Agnes Conway manages both the business and the problems of her troubled family. She finds the strength to break class barriers and help her sister Jessie marry a ... See full summary »

Stars: Claire Skinner, Edward Atterton, Anne Reid
Coming Home (TV Series 1998)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Drama series about the Dunbar and Carey-Lewis families, before during and after WW2.

Stars: Joanna Lumley, Peter O'Toole, Gruschenka Stevens
The Glass Virgin (TV Mini-Series 1995)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Set in 1870s England, the story tells of Annabella Lagrange and the terrible secret her wealthy parents have kept from her. When she finally learns the truth, she runs away and eventually ... See full summary »

Stars: Jan Graveson, Christine Kavanagh, Brendan Coyle
The Mayor of Casterbridge (TV Movie 2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

At a country fair, young hay-trusser Michael Henchard quarrels with his wife Susan, and in a drunken fit decides to auction off his wife and baby to a sailor for five guineas. The next day,... See full summary »

Director: David Thacker
Stars: Ciarán Hinds, Juliet Aubrey, Jodhi May
The Buccaneers (TV Mini-Series 1995)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Four American girls go to England to find husbands.

Stars: Carla Gugino, Alison Elliott, Mira Sorvino
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (TV Mini-Series 1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Based on a little known 1848 novel by Anne Bronte, Tara Fitzgerald stars as an enigmatic young woman who moves to 19th Century Yorkshire with a young son. Distancing herself from everyone ... See full summary »

Stars: Toby Stephens, Tara Fitzgerald, Rupert Graves
Middlemarch (TV Mini-Series 1994)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

This Masterpiece Theatre production, set at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, chronicles the life, loves, foibles and politics of the fictional English town of Middlemarch. Adapted ... See full summary »

Stars: Juliet Aubrey, Douglas Hodge, Robert Hardy
The Girl (TV Movie 1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In mid-19th century Yorkshire, Hannah Boyle is left with the family of Matthew Thornton, the man her dying mother claims fathered her. Ill-treated by Thornton's bitter and vindictive wife ... See full summary »

Director: David Wheatley
Stars: Siobhan Flynn, Jonathan Cake, Mark Benton
Stage Door (1937)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A boardinghouse full of aspiring actresses and their ambitions, dreams and disappointments.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Young Emma Harte (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Major Paul McGill (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Emma Harte (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Laura O'Neill (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Edwin Fairley (3 episodes, 1985)
John Duttine ...
 Joe Lowther (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Adam Fairley (3 episodes, 1985)
Mick Ford ...
 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)
...
 Murgatroyd (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Blackie O'Neill (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Adele Fairley (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Paula McGill Amory (3 episodes, 1985)
Joris Stuyck ...
 David Kallinski (3 episodes, 1985)
Meg Wynn Owen ...
 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)
Edit

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 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The store in London which is supposed to be "Harte's" is actually the real Harrods London. Harrods allowed the producers to film the actual store with a "Harte's" sign in place of the Harrods sign, both in green with gold lettering, and even in the same style of lettering. Interestingly, Harrods does not include an apostrophe on its famous sign, but the sign for "Harte's" does have an apostrophe. Harrods also gave permission for scenes to be filmed in the interior of the famous London store. 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 To Be the Best (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Great Stuff !
17 August 2003 | by (Ile-de-France / Paris Region, France) – See all my reviews

This has just become available on DVD for a very modest price in the UK and I would highly recommend it to all those who love "Family Sagas". There is a sequel "Hold the Dream" but it is useless to watch this if you haven't first watched "A Woman of Substance". The whole show, almost ten hours viewing in all will keep you glued to your armchair, and as there are some sad moments along the way, it's better to have your supply of kleenex beside you before starting to view !

The main actors in the series are magnificent, I have always adored Deborah Kerr, notably in "An Affair to Remember", and "The Innocents" and here she plays out the very believable rôle of the Old Lady. Her diction and facial expressions are magnificent, and here performance here just adds more confirmation to the fact that she is a great actress.

Jenny Seagrove, strangely beautiful, acts out the young Emma Harte with great conviction and Liam Neeson, very handsome, puts in a magnificent performance as Blackie. Despite the story being very long, the fact that there are so many twists and turns, and the fact that is is filmed mostly in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, one doesn't get bored for an instant.........

Naturally, a story of this length is bound to have some inconsistencies for example, Jenny Seagrove's accent seems to vary from Yorkshire to Posh Southern England and back on several occasions ! We see heavy rain falling from a bright blue sky ! Because the film spans so many years, some people grow up too quickly and towards the end, it gets a little confusing. But there is no point in dwelling inordinately upon these defects. The general impression is one of great satisfaction.

I can only hope this film will be available in all countries with corresponding language tracks and subtitles so that all will be able to appreciate it. It is said to be a "woman's film" as it shows a woman's struggle from "rags to riches" but I, as a man, certainly enjoyed it !!!










11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
favourite part daftdeb69
sequels daftdeb69
books daftdeb69
Missing scenes R_U_Spongeworthy
Great Chrisluvsfriends
Re-released 0n 8-9-08 spboschi
Discuss A Woman of Substance (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?