IMDb > Florence Nightingale (1985) (TV)

Florence Nightingale (1985) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Down 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Ivan Moffat (teleplay) and
Rose Leiman Goldemberg (teleplay) ...
View company contact information for Florence Nightingale on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 April 1985 (UK) See more »
The fact-based story of the pioneer of nursing known as 'the Lady with the Lamp'. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Missed opportunities with a difficult subject matter See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order)

Jaclyn Smith ... Florence Nightingale

Claire Bloom ... Fanny Nightingale

Timothy Dalton ... Richard Milnes

Timothy West ... William Russell

Peter McEnery ... Sidney Herbert

Stephan Chase ... Dr. Sutherland
Ann Thornton ... Parthe Nightingale

Jeremy Brett ... William Nightingale
Jeremy Child ... Dr. Hall (as Jeremy Childs)

Brian Cox ... Dr. McGregor
Patrick Drury ... Henry Nicholson

Lesley Dunlop ... Joanne

Michael Elwyn ... Dr. Menzies

Julian Fellowes ... Charles Bracebrige
Lorna Heilbron ... Selina
Wolf Kahler ... Gunther
Richard Leech ... Lord Ragland
Ellen Pollock ... Lady Monteagle
Marjorie Yates ... Trude
Geraldine Alexander ... Marianne Nicholson
Denis Lill ... Dr. Howe
Emma Vansittart ... Elizabeth Herbert (as Emma Watson)
Madeleine Christie ... Mrs. Glover
Erin Geraghty ... Iris

Andrea Evans ... Mrs. Brent (as Andree Evans)
Jacqueline Reddin ... Mary Kennedy
Carol Gillies ... Nurse Davis

Richenda Carey ... Committee Lady
Fanny Carby ... Thin Lady
Aimée Delamain ... Older Committee Lady (as Aimee Delamaine)
June Ellis ... Mrs. Burbage
Peter Burton ... 1st Member
John Quarmby ... 4th Member
Stephen Churchett ... Dr. Clark
Paul Williamson ... Army Doctor

Patrick Murray ... Young Soldier
Mark Jefferis ... Young Soldier
Kenneth Waller ... Hall Porter

Martin Phillips ... Wounded Soldier
Tim Seeley ... Officer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Taryn Kay ... Dancer (uncredited)

Derek Lyons ... Dying Soldier with Florence (uncredited)

Lucien Morgan ... Cavalry Captain (uncredited)
Adam Tomlinson ... General's Aide (uncredited)
Frank Wylie ... Dr.Hector Gavin (uncredited)

Directed by
Daryl Duke 
Writing credits
Ivan Moffat (teleplay) and
Rose Leiman Goldemberg (teleplay)

Ivan Moffat (story)

Produced by
Gerald W. Abrams .... executive producer
Ron Carr .... producer
Jennifer Faulstich .... associate producer
Anthony B. Richmond .... producer (as Tony Richmond)
Original Music by
Stanley Myers 
Cinematography by
Jack Hildyard 
Film Editing by
Bill Lenny 
Casting by
Rose Tobias Shaw 
Production Design by
Harry Pottle 
Art Direction by
Mark Nerini 
Set Decoration by
Terry Parr 
Costume Design by
Marit Allen 
Makeup Department
Alan Brownie .... makeup artist
Jan Dorman .... hair stylist
Production Management
Nick Anderson .... production executive
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Terry Bamber .... third assistant director
Peter Price .... first assistant director
Gerard Wall .... third assistant director
Art Department
Mark Hedges .... props storeman
Sound Department
Robin Gregory .... sound recordist
Eddie Stacey .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Butler .... key grip
Brian Ellis .... first assistant camera: second unit
Nigel Ellis .... second assistant camera: second unit
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Philippe Pickford .... wardrobe supervisor (as Phil Pickford)
Editorial Department
Simon Harris .... assistant editor
Music Department
Mark Berrow .... musician: violin
Fiachra Trench .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Bobby Blues .... production accountant
Robert Easton .... dialect coach
Marion Gray .... production coordinator
Marjorie Lavelly .... continuity

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
140 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Timothy Dalton and Jeremy Brett replaced actors who dropped out at short notice.See more »
Florence Nightingale:When I was seventeen, I heard a call from God. He spoke to me, Mr Milnes. Now, you can laugh if you like.
Richard Milnes:And what precisely did God call upon you to do?
Florence Nightingale:I don't know. That's what torments me. Something more, to be more than a pampered, wealthy, little girl. Somehow, to use the gifts I have to serve, instead of going dancing and to parties.
See more »
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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Missed opportunities with a difficult subject matter, 17 May 2009
Author: Mark Krasselt ( from United States

The life of Florence Nightingale--one of the great intellectual titans this world has ever known--is fascinating and dramatic, and one fraught with sacrifice, courage, and great sadness.

As someone who spent two years with the subject through research and by writing and completing a full-length spec script on Nightingale (written and registered before NBC's TV movie was available on DVD), I viewed this film more as series of missed opportunities and plodding digressions, distinguished more by what the left out or glossed over or ill- advisedly reinvented than by what they left in.

Overall, the teleplay was fine for what is was up until the point Florence arrives in the Crimea. Once in Turkey, however, the biopic simply falls flat on it face, finding little drama and even less resolution. While I completely understand that not every nuance of history can be examined and budgetary constraints determined structure and style, the teleplay failed to capture even the essence of any real tension vs. resolution. Everything just neatly fell into place while real life and real history is far messier.

For instance, watching the movie, one is left with the feeling that while FN's mother may have had some disagreement with her choice in career, she was generally okay with it. In fact, their arguments were frequent and very loud--a veritable boxing match that was constant and damaging. Florence rather despised her mother and the matronly traditions she stood for.

Florence herself did not make a connection between the sickness of her men and the "sickness" of Barracks Hospital. In fact, Florence, or the British Army, did not understand (or believe) that airborne or water-borne diseases existed, hence no alarm was made by the decaying carcasses contaminating the water supply.

While the teleplay did mention that God was her inspiration and that he "spoke" to her, the film leads you to believe He did this on this one time. In fact, her writings reveal a deep and unbridled relationship with God and many incidents of "conversation", the most dramatic one being on her 30th birthday after a particularly mystical trip to Egypt and Greece. Florence's struggle with the meaning and message of her belief in the Divine mandate is one of the key--some would say flaw, others would say divinely sacrificial--aspects of her character that is the hardest to digest and/or dramatize.

In the 20 years since the teleplay, there have been several major works published on her life and times, and these have aided immeasurably in our understanding of the complex nature of Florence Nightingale. And I don't want to mistakenly fault the teleplay for not having the benefit of future research. History changes as events reveal themselves over the blanket of time.

Yet, the drama failed to exploit the information it had on hand at the moment to any large degree, taking a middle of the road stance based more on mythology than real life. It did further injustice by embellishing the myth even more with Hollywood half-truths.

And it could be that the complexity of her life is too difficult for any one film to examine. Many are mystified by her, as she both mesmerized and infuriated people all at the same time--perhaps herself most of all. She is both scion and Saint, linguist and mathematician, prolific researcher and writer, a mystic, a healer, and beacon of hope to generations, a national heroine.

When you are all that, where is there room for the "real" you?

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