MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,739 this week

The Bostonians (1984)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  September 1984 (UK)
6.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,214 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 12 user | 11 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

A Boston feminist and a conservative Southern lawyer contend for the heart and mind of a beautiful and bright girl unsure of her future.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 07 Nov 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 26 Dec 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 26 Feb 2012
 
a list of 404 titles
created 21 Jun 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Bostonians (1984)

The Bostonians (1984) on IMDb 6.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Bostonians.
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Madeleine Potter ...
...
Mrs. Burrage
...
Dr. Tarrant
Barbara Bryne ...
...
Dr. Prance
Charles McCaughan ...
Music Hall Policeman
Nancy New ...
Adeline
...
Henry Burrage (as John Van Ness Philip)
...
Mr. Pardon
Peter Bogyo ...
Mr. Gracie
Martha Farrar ...
Mrs, Farrinder
Dusty Maxwell ...
Newton Tarrant
Edit

Storyline

19th-century Boston woman dedicated to the suffrage movement, meets a faith healer's daughter, a Mississippi lawyer also has eyes for the young woman. Written by Joyce Kavitsky <Kavitsky@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A BEAUTIFUL FILM . . . An intimate and exquisite probe of the feminist heart. [Australia Theatrical]

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

September 1984 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Bostonians  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The climatic scene at the "Boston Music Hall" was actually filmed at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York, finished in 1875. The Boston Music Hall was pulled down in the 1950s. But the film required a civic hall with a pipe organ in it for plot reasons. While we see the 1882 Odell organ in the Troy hall, the organ itself didn't work very well in 1983, so the music was actually recorded on the organ at Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts. See more »

Goofs

The invitation Basil receives to hear Verena give an address is for Wednesday, June 1, 1876. In 1876, June 1 fell on a Thursday. See more »

Quotes

Miss Birdseye: [on Basil] Your cousin looks like a genius, my dear.
Olive Chancellor: It's only a distant cousin. He's a lawyer from Mississippi, he left his mother and his sisters behind and he's come to try to make his living in New York. He's not in sympathy, I'm afraid.
Miss Birdseye: Well, I've often found that people are only waiting for the light.
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Californians (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Abysmal on all counts
6 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

With an uncompromising dedication to character, and a flair for graceful, richly-textured storytelling, Merchant-Ivory seemed incapable of mediocrity. And with the recent passing of Ismail Merchant, I've been thumbing through the company's stellar filmography with renewed appreciation. Adoring the costume drama, I donned my comfy slippers and International Coffee and settled into 120 minutes of Merchant-Ivory bliss.

What I got instead was The Bostonians, the MI treatment of Henry James' witty and satirical novel about the earliest days of the feminist movement. This production took a fun and biting social commentary and turned it into gooey melodrama. It failed to show the irony of a headstrong young feminist (daughter of a "mesmeric healer" and a chronic hypochondriac) allowing herself to be manipulated on all sides while falling for a dull, misogynistic Southern lawyer. It turned the classic Plutonic relationship with her feminist mentor into the clawing desperation of an aging lesbian. Script appeal seesawed between eating a mouthful of alum, and blowing butterscotch pudding out one's nose. Editing was at once jagged and lumpy, spending copious amounts of film on innocuous bits of business, only to slam the guillotine so close to some dialog that it made me wonder about my DVD player. And that's only the half of it.

Stiff and lumbering is all I ever expect of the now canonized Christopher Reeve, so this performance shouldn't have surprised me. But it did. Reeve was channeling some kind of Confederate Heathcliff with a little Mary Shelley thrown in for good measure. Reading his lines from crib notes apparently taped to the bottom of the camera lens, he never blinked nor gave the slightest indication of understanding his dialog. He seemed to be forever walking downhill, and was patently incapable of moving his head. On seeing this performance, one could almost believe that the future riding accident might actually improve his flexibility. The heroin, as played by a mush-mouthed Madeleine Potter, showed all the plucky conviction of a plate of cold baked beans (yes, with the little puddles of congealed pork fat floating on top). As for the usually magnificent Vanessa Redgrave (in the desperate aging lesbian role), I say 'let's just forget this ever happened.' The only redeeming performances were two tiny bits sent in by Linda Hunt and Jessica Tandy. I'd be surprised if their scripts totaled more than 150 words. It would seem the director didn't bother to load their bloomers with the 100 lbs of wet oatmeal like he did with everyone else.

In a way, it's a shame I only rented The Bostonians. I'll miss out on the gratification I'd have felt in putting it in the microwave. What a tragic waste of good couch time.


30 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Anything like the book? bubbly_rootbeer
Discuss The Bostonians (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?