Francis Ashby, a senior Oxford don on holiday alone in the Alps, meets holidaying American Caroline and her companion Elinor, the blossoming Irish-American girl she adopted many years ... See full summary »
Francis Ashby, a senior Oxford don on holiday alone in the Alps, meets holidaying American Caroline and her companion Elinor, the blossoming Irish-American girl she adopted many years before. Ashby finds he enjoys their company, particularly that of Elinor, and both the women are drawn to him. Back at Oxford he is nevertheless taken aback when they arrive unannounced. Women are not allowed in the College grounds, let alone the rooms. Indeed any liaison, however innocent, is frowned on by the upstanding Fellows. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
The character of Miss Hartley was originally a much older woman and the role was offered to Anne Bancroft who turned it down. Ellen Burstyn was then offered the part before the character was completely rewritten. See more »
An excellent film about 19th century university life.
There is plenty of atmosphere in this film. It portrays the conflict that occurred in the universities of the day (1866) between the traditional and the newer blood that was required to bring the universities into the modern world. It is almost an allegory showing the old world (Oxford) as it battles against the influence of new ideas represented by the new world (the 'American Friends'). Michael Palin is excellent in the role of Mr. Ashby. Throughout the film he portrays in a wonderful manner the bewilderment of facing the challenge of coming to terms with new order represented by Mr. Sime (Alfred Molina) in the challenge for the presidency of the college. In the end he follows his heart (and probably his head as well) and leaves the old world to its devices. Well worth watching.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?