When a teenaged girl moves to England, with her brothers and parents into the ancient Canterville Hall, she's not at all happy. Especially as there's a ghost and a mysterious re-appearing bloodstain on the hearth. She campaigns to go back home, and her dad, believing the ghost's pranks are Ginny's, is ready to send her back. But then Ginny actually meets the elusive 17th-century Sir Simon de Canterville (not to mention the cute teenaged duke next door), and she sets her hand to the task of freeing Sir Simon from his curse. Written by
Virginia 'Ginny' Otis:
When a gentle girl can win a prayer from out the lips of sin/when a child gives up tears and the barren almond bears/when the silent chapel bell sounds the ghostly sinners knell/then shall all the house be still, and peace shall come to Canterville.
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Despite what some people have said about this TV movie, it was my impression that it was simply magnificent. Patrick Stewart is in his Element in Shakespearean characterization and this is among his finest roles. Neve Campbell brought a warm sensitivity to the role of Virginia and gave a moving performance. The script was first rate, and contrary to what some have said, playing this story in a modern setting works remarkably. That is one of the strengths of great literature that it can be shaped to different times. I was riveted to this production, I having forty years or more since I saw the Charles Laughton version. I can highly recommend this version as a great film and a great family film.
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