IMDb > "House of Cards" (1990)
"House of Cards"
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany creditsepisode listepisodes castepisode ratings... by rating... by votes
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsmessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summaryplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

"House of Cards" (1990) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1990-

Photos (See all 15 | slideshow)


User Rating:
8.9/10   4,290 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for House of Cards on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 March 1991 (USA) See more »
Francis Urquhart is the chief whip of the Conservative party. When Margaret Thatcher resigns as leader... See more »
Won Primetime Emmy. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Rise Of Francis Urquhart See more (33 total) »


 (Series Cast [23])

Ian Richardson ... Francis Urquhart (4 episodes, 1990)

Susannah Harker ... Mattie Storin (4 episodes, 1990)

Miles Anderson ... Roger O'Neill (4 episodes, 1990)
Alphonsia Emmanuel ... Penny Guy (4 episodes, 1990)

Malcolm Tierney ... Patrick Woolton (4 episodes, 1990)
Diane Fletcher ... Elizabeth Urquhart (4 episodes, 1990)
Colin Jeavons ... Tim Stamper (4 episodes, 1990)
Damien Thomas ... Michael Samuels (4 episodes, 1990)
William Chubb ... John Krajewski (4 episodes, 1990)
Kenneth Gilbert ... Harold Earle (4 episodes, 1990)
Christopher Owen ... McKenzie (4 episodes, 1990)
David Lyon ... Prime Minister Henry Collingridge (3 episodes, 1990)
Kenny Ireland ... Ben Landless (3 episodes, 1990)
James Villiers ... Charles Collingridge (3 episodes, 1990)
Isabelle Amyes ... Anne Collingridge (3 episodes, 1990)
John Hartley ... Greville Preston (3 episodes, 1990)

Nick Brimble ... Corder (3 episodes, 1990)
Nicholas Selby ... Lord Billsborough (2 episodes, 1990)
Tommy Boyle ... Stephen Kendrick (2 episodes, 1990)
John Arnatt ... Sir Jasper Grainger (2 episodes, 1990)
Richard Braine ... Kevin Spence (2 episodes, 1990)
Hugh Dickson ... Dr. Andrew Christian (2 episodes, 1990)
Angela Rippon ... Newsreader (2 episodes, 1990)

Series Directed by
Paul Seed (4 episodes, 1990)
Series Writing credits
Andrew Davies (4 episodes, 1990)
Michael Dobbs (4 episodes, 1990)

Series Produced by
Jeremy Gwilt .... associate producer (4 episodes, 1990)
Ken Riddington .... producer (4 episodes, 1990)
Series Original Music by
Jim Parker (4 episodes, 1990)
Series Cinematography by
Jim Fyans (4 episodes, 1990)
Ian Punter (4 episodes, 1990)
Series Film Editing by
Howard Billingham (4 episodes, 1990)
Series Production Design by
Ken Ledsham (4 episodes, 1990)
Series Costume Design by
Rosalind Ebbutt (4 episodes, 1990)
Series Makeup Department
Helen Barrett .... makeup designer (4 episodes, 1990)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nigel Taylor .... first assistant director (4 episodes, 1990)
Series Art Department
Chris Ferriday .... properties buyer (4 episodes, 1990)
Rosemary Turner .... graphic designer (4 episodes, 1990)
Series Sound Department
Gordon Lester .... film recordist (4 episodes, 1990)
Michael Narduzzo .... dubbing mixer (4 episodes, 1990)
Jonathan Rowdon .... dubbing editor (4 episodes, 1990)
Barrie Tharby .... film recordist (4 episodes, 1990)

Lionel Strutt .... adr mixer (unknown episodes)
Series Stunts
Tina Maskell .... stunts (1 episode, 1990)
Gareth Milne .... stunt arranger (1 episode, 1990)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Wood .... gaffer (4 episodes, 1990)
James Grimes .... grip (2 episodes, 1990)
Series Casting Department
Anne Henderson .... casting adviser (4 episodes, 1990)
Hayley Murt .... casting adviser (4 episodes, 1990)
Series Other crew
Ernest Armstrong .... political advisor (4 episodes, 1990)
Ellen Fraser .... script editor (4 episodes, 1990)
Katharine Gatt .... trainee production assistant (4 episodes, 1990)
Karen Jones .... production assistant (4 episodes, 1990)
Amanda Neal .... assistant floor manager (4 episodes, 1990)
Deborah Saban .... assistant floor manager (4 episodes, 1990)
Lesley Williams .... location manager (4 episodes, 1990)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
226 min (4 parts)

Did You Know?

Francis Urquhart's catchphrase "You might very well think that; but I couldn't possibly comment" (meaning "Yes, but I'll deny everything if challenged") has become part of the English political language. "Urquhart's Avoidance" is as widely known as real-life political euphemisms such as "he wants to spend more time with his family" ("he's been sacked or resigned in disgrace") and "he's been economical with the truth" ("he's told blatant lies to save his own skin").See more »
Francis Urquhart:[Following fatal bomb blast in the street] Don't worry, no-one we know.See more »
Movie Connections:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
15 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
The Rise Of Francis Urquhart, 23 December 2009
Author: Matthew Kresal from United States

I'm a sucker for both British television and political thrillers in general. So having heard much about this miniseries, the first of a trilogy of miniseries's, I have been looking forward to seeing this for some time. Having seen it, I found that my expectations have not only been reached but surpassed as well. House Of Cards is one of the finest examples of the political thriller that you are likely to see anywhere.

If there is any single element that makes this miniseries as much of a success as it is, it is lead character, Francis Urquhart as played by actor Ian Richardson. Richardson plays Urquhart as a modern day (modern day being an alternate version of late 1980's or early 1990's UK) version of Shakespeare's Richard III. Urquhart is a man who,as the Chief Whip who feels unappreciated by the Prime Minister he helped to elect, sets out to bring down the Prime Minister, and then take the job of for himself. Like Richard III, Urquhart does this by laying out traps, rumors and blackmail while all the while delivering soliloquies to the audience relaying them to us the viewer. For all intents and purposes, Urquhart is a man we should hate as he does all of those things. Yet it is Richardson makes this work incredibly well and makes Urquhart a man who is ruthless yet immensely charming and likable nonetheless. It is a compliment to Richardson and his skills that he can make it all work, especially the soliloquies, while being evil yet charming all at the same time.

Backing Richardson is a fine supporting cast as well. There's Diane Fletcher as Urquhart's wife who, like Lady Macbeth, pushed her husband and his plans along which makes her a character that is almost as fascinating as her husband. There's Susannah Harker as the young, attractive reporter Mattie Storin who begins using Urquhart as a source before they start going in a dangerous direction which leads to an incredible finale. There's Miles Anderson as Roger O'Neill and Alphonsia Emmanuel as his girlfriend Penny Guy who both end up snared by Urquhart's traps and end up victims of that. There's Colin Jeavons as Urquhart's protégé Tim Stamper who has a marvelously sleazy feel to him. Last but not least there's David Lyon as the targeted Prime Minister Henry Collingridge and James Villiers as his brother Charles, who end's up being part of Urquhart's plans. Theses are only a few of those amongst others in what is a fine cast backing a great leading man.

House Of Cards is also blessed with fine production values as well. There's some fine production design by Ken Ledsham who creates the worlds ranging from the Houses of Parliament, 10 Downing Street, press rooms and beyond. There's the cinematography of Jim Fyans and Ian Punter which brings a fine sense of atmosphere and shadows to the world of the miniseries. There's also the music by Jim Parker, especially with the main title and end title pieces which serve as a perfect start and closing to the four episodes of the miniseries. All of this, under the direction of Paul Seed, makes for some fine production values to the miniseries.

Last but not least is the script. Andrew Davies adapts Michael Dobbs novel into a fine political thriller about the effect of power on one man and how far he will go to gain power. There is a definite Richard III vibe running throughout the entire miniseries as Urquhart decides to seize power and begins to lay plans to do so. As a consequence, the plot can get fairly complex at time with Urquhart playing numerous plans at once which will require the viewer to pay just a bit more then perhaps they usually would. Also, Davies knows how to write fine dialogue especially for Urquhart including the famous line "You may think that, but I couldn't possibly comment." The script never fails to deliver right up to the shocking finale.

House Of Cards is a fine example of what the political thriller can be. From the performance of Ian Richardson as Urquhart, the performances of the supporting cast, good production values and a fantastic script as well. It is a complex story with a complex protagonist that takes a look at power and its ability to corrupt and how far one will go to achieve it and is a fine one at that.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (33 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for "House of Cards" (1990)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Filming Locations JDAILEY-2
Imagine that, this one is even better than the US version Illusionati
Locations of filming motezart
Is FU actually sexy? MrCandy
Blu-ray version - House of Cards Trilogy philbarker
American vs. UK DVD timings burgarman
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Il divo Gandhi "The Line of Beauty" "The Final Cut" The Ghost
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Episode guide Full cast and crew Company credits
External reviews News articles IMDb TV section
IMDb Drama section IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.

You may add a new episode for this TV series by clicking the 'add episode' button