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...
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As her children plot the takeover of her retail empire, Emma Harte plans her own counter-moves against them. Emma started life as a maid in the home of Adam Fairley, the wealthy local mill owner. She...
Now in Leeds, the pregnant Emma Harte learns that Blackie O'Neill has gone to Ireland to care for a sick friend. She finds a place to stay but has tried everywhere to get a job with no success. Her ...
As Emma Harte's empire grows, she arranges her assets in such a way as no one knows she is the buyer, noting that most men don't like dealing with a woman on business matters. The various layers of ...
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 »
In the 1830's in northern England, Riah Millican, a widow with three children, takes a job as housekeeper to a reclusive former teacher, Percival Miller. Miller makes Riah the gift of a ... See full summary »
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 »
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.
Tide of Life follows the fortunes of young housekeeper, Emily Kennedy, as she learns about relationships with three very different men. Forced from home of her first employer, Sep McGilby ... See full summary »
In mid-19th century Northumberland , 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 ... See full summary »
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 »
Yorkshire in the 1880's: Joe Skinner marries Lily Whitmore, the woman he has long admired, to give a name to her illegitimate child by Lionel Fillmore, the opportunistic son of an ... See full summary »
Charlotte Bronte's classic novel is filmed yet again. The story of the Yorkshire orphan who becomes a governess to a young French girl and finds love with the brooding lord of the manor is ... See full summary »
Seperated from her prostitute mother as the woman flees on foot down the filthy mid-19th century streets of Newcastle from the police, ten year old Millie is taken under the wing of rag ... See full summary »
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 »
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
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 »
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 »
[late in the film, after Emma has purchased everything the Fairleys once owned]
How can you cold-bloodedly set out to ruin someone?
Young Emma Harte:
That was my plan, but you did it yourself, really. I just helped you along the way.
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Engrossing saga of a determined woman's climb to the pinnacle of success. Usually having two actresses share a lead minimizes the impact of that role but the excellent match up of Jenny Seagrove and the great Deborah Kerr avoids that here since they share more than a passing resemblance. Both give strong performances again matching in temperament for a seemly whole. Another great thing about these older minis is getting to see actors who went on to acclaim just starting out or prior to their breakouts. Such is the case with Miranda Richardson, who went from this straight into Dance With a Stranger, and particularly Liam Neeson who is terrific as the stalwart Blackie. Even at six hours though it still seems like it scrimps on some of the more interesting aspects of her business success for conventional romantic complications. Overall though an interesting show. Also worth checking out are the special features, in particular the one with Diane Baker who was the producer of this as well as playing a role and offers good insights into what goes into getting something like this made. If you are a fan of the hers and remember her from her late fifties early sixties heyday its great to see her looking so wonderfully well and still so lively.
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