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After a husband is accused of driving his third wife to suicide, his first wife Hedda, a troubled woman who can't hate or hurt others even if they had wronged her, is subpoenaed to testify on his abusive behavior during their marriage.
The daughter of a thief, young Moll is placed in the care of a nunnery after the execution of her mother. However, the actions of an abusive priest lead Moll to rebel as a teenager, escaping to the dangerous streets of London. Further misfortunes drive her to accept a job as a prostitute from the conniving Mrs. Allworthy. It is there that Moll first meets Hibble, who is working as Allworthy's servant but takes a special interest in the young woman's well-being. With his help, she retains hope for the future, ultimately falling in love with an unconventional artist who promises the possibility of romantic happiness. Written by
The plot of this film has nearly nothing whatsoever to do with Daniel Defoe's novel; in place of Defoe's brilliant and compelling heroine it substitutes bushels full of ersatz-18th century drivel, pretentious neo-Irish music, and annoying children. Nunneries in England? An unexplained Afro-British man sent on a mission to read a book to an annoying child across the sea? A charitable organization which adopts adult women only if they are virgins? I am certain that if one made a film of "A Christmas Carol" with no Scrooge, no Tiny Tim, and Bob Cratchit as an alcoholic schoolmaster with an illegitimate one-legged daughter living in Sweden, viewers would complain that the story had gone missing -- why not here? It's a shame, as Morgan Freeman gives a memorable performance even in a role which seems dislocated from history, novelistic and actual.
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