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, ... See full summary »
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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 main problem with this film is that it calls itself "Moll Flanders." It has very little to do with the Defoe novel. Moll Flanders, who in the novel appears as a resourceful, intelligent, fun-loving and talented woman is transformed here into a helpless fallen angel who has little control over her own fate. There is no mention in this film of her many husbands (as well as the clever ways she obtained them), her thieving career, her other children, her mother and brother, and generally everything else in the novel that was entertaining and meaningful. Robin Wright Penn is boring and anemic in a role that demands the opposite. Sentimental Hollywood has never before ruined a good story with such skill. If you want to get the full flavor of this great novel, do yourself a favor and watch instead the British adaptation with Alex Kingston, also from 1996.
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