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England, 1904. A young lawyer from London, Mr. Ashton (James Wilby) and his best friend are hiking across Dartmoor. As he twisted his ankle, Ashton is forced to seek help at a nearby farmhouse and stay there for a few days. Innocent beauty Megan David (Imogen Stubbs) catches the attention of Ashton. He decides to stay longer, and he and Megan fall in love, much to the displeasure of Megan's aunt (Susannah York) and her loutish son (Jerome Flynn). Before Ashton leaves the farm, he vows to return and take Megan away with him. Written by
This film, though little noticed by the general moviegoing public, is a beautifully photographed and acted masterpiece. It is a bittersweet tale of lost love, based on a short story ("The Apple Tree") by John Galsworthy. Most of the film, in writer Penelope Mortimer's skillful adaptation, is presented as a flashback -- sandwiched by an introduction and coda that are devastatingly poignant. Piers Haggard directs with a lighthanded touch that makes the characters seem utterly real. I cannot recommend this film too highly. Every time I view it, I am overwhelmed anew by its intense vision of human nature. A gem!
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