The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Gillian Raine ...
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Moira Redmond ...
C.P. Wilson ...
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Rosaleen Linehan ...
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The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.

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Biography | Drama | Music

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6 January 1993 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Shot in 11 days. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Cukrowicz: [lighting a table lighter, which flames high] Lord! What a torch!
Violet Venable: So shines a good deed in a naughty world, Dr. Sugar.
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User Reviews

One of Maggie Smith's finest small screen performances
8 November 1999 | by (Stoke on Trent, UK) – See all my reviews

Mrs. Venable has to be one of Maggie Smith's most powerful small screen performances, her rendition of the crippled yet revenge ridden widow is a gothic portrayal which is matched with an equally memorable Natasha Richardson as Catherine. Every facet of this Richard Eyre production reeks of class, the supporting cast are divine with Rob Lowe turning in an understated Dr. Sugar who is pressured to perform a dangerous lobotomy on Catherine in return for substantial research funding by Venable. As the film progresses the viewer is drawn into the tense narrative and the final scene where Catherine is summoned to the house to relive the death of Venable's son before the unbelieving harridan is just phenomenal. Only seen once on BBC2 back in November 1993, this film surely deserves a video release or even a repeat showing. Why it has only had one British outing is beyond me.


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