Fortunes of War (1987)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Drama | War
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Guy Pringle and his new wife, Harriet, are members of the English community in Bucharest, Rumania on the eve of World War II. The film catalogs and chronicles, after the war begins, the ... See full summary »

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Title: Fortunes of War (1987– )

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Episodes

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1  
1987  
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Harriet Pringle (7 episodes, 1987)
...
 Guy Pringle (7 episodes, 1987)
Charles Kay ...
 Dobson (7 episodes, 1987)
Mark Drewry ...
 Dubedat (5 episodes, 1987)
...
 Prince Yakimov (4 episodes, 1987)
...
 Lord Pinkrose (4 episodes, 1987)
Harry Burton ...
 Sasha Drucker (4 episodes, 1987)
...
 Simon Boulderstone (3 episodes, 1987)
James Villiers ...
 Inchcape (3 episodes, 1987)
...
 Castlebar (3 episodes, 1987)
Ciaran Madden ...
 Angela Hooper (3 episodes, 1987)
Desmond McNamara ...
 Galpin (3 episodes, 1987)
...
 Lawson / ... (3 episodes, 1987)
...
 Edwina Little (3 episodes, 1987)
Christopher Strauli ...
 Toby Lush (3 episodes, 1987)
...
 Aidan Pratt (3 episodes, 1987)
Elena Secota ...
 Sophie Oresanu (3 episodes, 1987)
Magdalena Buznea ...
 Despina (3 episodes, 1987)
Caroline Langrishe ...
 Bella Niculesco (3 episodes, 1987)
...
 Hadjimoscos / ... (3 episodes, 1987)
Mischa De La Motte ...
 Horvath (3 episodes, 1987)
Nicholas Amer ...
 Palu (3 episodes, 1987)
Sam Dastor ...
 Dr. Shafik (2 episodes, 1987)
Clifford Rose ...
 Professor Gracey (2 episodes, 1987)
...
 Mona Castlebar (2 episodes, 1987)
Glyn Grain ...
 Foxy Leverett (2 episodes, 1987)
Claire Oberman ...
 Mortimer (2 episodes, 1987)
...
 Corporal Arnold (2 episodes, 1987)
...
 Liversage (2 episodes, 1987)
...
 Phil (2 episodes, 1987)
Vladimir Mirodan ...
 Nikko Niculesco (2 episodes, 1987)
Jeremy Sinden ...
 Lord Lisdoonvarna (2 episodes, 1987)
Relja Basic ...
 Emmanuel Drucker (2 episodes, 1987)
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Storyline

Guy Pringle and his new wife, Harriet, are members of the English community in Bucharest, Rumania on the eve of World War II. The film catalogs and chronicles, after the war begins, the characters [diplomats, literary types, spies, penniless royalty, gays, lesbians] that cross and re-cross their path as they flee before the advancing Germany armies to Athens and then to Cairo. Written by Noble Bell <nbell@cc.memphis.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1987 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Koleje wojny  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(7 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The series where Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh first met. They would marry two years later. See more »

Quotes

Toby Lush: Guy, you know what Harriet reminds me of? Those lines of Tennyson; "She walks in beauty like the night, Of cloudless climes and starry skies."
Guy Pringle: Byron.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Timeshift: Alan Plater: Hearing the Music (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Bit of a Disappointment
16 October 2005 | by (Freeview, VT) – See all my reviews

A big novel's length is always a challenge to a film adaptation of the work. When six novels are involved, as is the case here (from Olivia Manning's The Balkan Trilogy and The Levant Trilogy), the task of adapting the work means most of it gets left behind. How to produce a script that retains some of the novel's uniqueness and flavor but is still coherent to viewers unfamiliar with the novel? Various solutions come to mind. For example, Volker Schlöndorff wisely bit off only the first third of Günter Grass's masterpiece, The Tin Drum, and created a film that at times exceeds its source material in power and impact. And against all odds, the young Ray Bradbury managed to extract key scenes and language from Moby Dick to come up with a script which, when coupled with a decent director (John Huston) and good casting choices (I'm thinking here of Orson Welles as Father Mapple), made a pretty decent movie.

Sadly, with Fortunes of War, casting works against the film. Where Guy Pringle is a big bear of a man in the novels, Branagh's sensitive Guy just isn't the same character. And where Harriet Pringle is a small and at times frail woman in the novels, Thompson's Harriet is, well, Emma Thompson. This is not a small matter. The novels' point of view is that of Harriet and what we get there is a detailed, personal, even intimate view of the Pringles' marriage. If you read these novels all in a rush, you almost become Harriet Pringle for a time, immersed in the details of her marriage, seeing the world through her eyes. There's a toughness to Harriet, but also vulnerability, something that Guy often misses as he plunges into one project after another. Little of this comes through in the film.

Of course something will get lost in the translation from the literary to the filmic – this is a challenge all film adaptations have to face. But in this film, the mismatch of the lead actors and the characters they play is simply too much to overcome.


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Originally 12 hours long? vgaines
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3-disc Collectors Edition DVD andiweaves
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