Oswald Alving is dying. His mother is anxious to keep the precise nature of his illness a secret.

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Oswald Alving is dying. His mother is anxious to keep the precise nature of his illness a secret.

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Comedy | Drama | Romance

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14 June 1987 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Famous actors in an early performance.
13 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The presence of the younger Judi Dench as Mrs. Alving assures a strong actress in the central role. She is wonderful, and is every inch the mother figure. The surprise is possibly the young Kenneth Branagh, before Hamlet and his other movies. He looks properly gaunt, and builds Oswald into a tragic figure just before the collapse. Michael Gambon (years before Harry Potter's Dumbledore) is sympathetic as the vicar/pastor. He almost makes the mention of insurance in act one work (one of the mechanics that Ibsen didn't disguise very well). He trades tirades with Dench and Branagh without a flinch less drama. The beautiful Miss Richardson finds just the right touch for her scenes, while her "father" was fresh off his appearance in the Elephant Man. This should be made available on DVD, it's that good.


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