Alan Rickman is a great virtue - and a great problem
Alan Rickman was apparently the second choice for the part of Obadiah Slope. I have no idea who the original selection was - but I bet he's been kicking himself ever since!
In the book, Slope is portrayed as a somewhat uneasy cross between a buffoon and a disturbing snake in the grass. Every time he threatens to become too dangerous, Trollope proceeds to undermine him again.
I believe that the reason why Rickman was offered the part is because the director wanted an actor who could come across as amusing and sleazy, yet plausibly creepy - and sexy.
Slope HAS to possess a great deal of animal magnetism, as this is what explains the extremely strong reaction he produces in otherwise respectable ladies of whatever age.
Rickman certainly gets THAT across - in spades. He may not be conventionally good-looking - but he's totally incapable of playing an asexual character.
Problem is, he ends up completely overwhelming Mrs Bold's other two suitors. Any heterosexual female viewer with any sense will keep shouting at the screen: "You daft bat! Forget Arabin! It's Slope you want!!!!!"
I agree, Arabin is far better served by the book than this adaptation.
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