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Passion (1996)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Musical, Romance  |  29 September 1996 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 235 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 3 critic

In 19th century Italy, a young soldier becomes shattered by the obsessive love of Fosca, his Colonel's homely, ailing cousin.

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(book), (based on the film "Passione d'amore" by), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Fosca
...
Giorgio
...
Clara
...
Colonel Ricci
...
Dr. Tambourri
Linda Balgord ...
Fosca's Mother
...
Major Rizzolli
William Parry
Christopher Peccaro
Francis Ruivivar
John Antony
...
(as Colleen Fitzpatrick)
Marcus Olson
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Storyline

Giorgio, a young soldier, is in love with the married Clara and becomes her lover. But they are separated when Giorgio is posted far away where he meets the unhappy unhealthy Fosca who develops a passionate love for Giorgio and tries to make him love her. Film of the Broadway production. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

29 September 1996 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine recalled on the DVD commentary that this show had huge problems in rehearsals, partly because Fosca was so unlikeable and partly because elements that were familiar to 19th century audiences appeared bizarre to 20th century audiences. Donna Murphy reminded the other commentators that at one preview performance, when Fosca collapsed, the audience applauded. See more »

Quotes

Giorgio: Love isn't so convenient, it isn't something scheduled in advance. Not something guaranteed you need for fear it may pass you by. You have to take a chance. You can't just try it out. What's love unless it's unconditional?
[He crumples Clara's letter]
Giorgio: Love doesn't give a damn about tomorrow, and neither do I.
See more »

Connections

Remake of Passion of Love (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

I Read
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Donna Murphy
See more »

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User Reviews

Extraordinary
22 August 2001 | by (York, England) – See all my reviews

There's a number of different reactions that I can imagine a viewer could experience whilst watching this musical. My own was that of complete surrender to an intense and beautiful, if unlikely and dramatically heightened, story. But when a story is so stylised, when it is pushed as far to an extreme as possible, I feel that it can be permitted to go anywhere and twist *anything*. There is a line in Sondheim's PASSION goes, "Love that thinks everything is pure, everything is beautiful, everything is possible...," and this is precisely what we must understand before PASSION can make sense.

The score in itself could accompany a ballet, wordless, and still be beautiful, I think (and I'm no huge fan of ballet). The lyrics are so fitting and right that they add yet another layer. I saw this filmed production about a year ago for the first time, before I listened to the album... but since then, I've become used to just listening to the 70 minute condensed version. Watching this again today reminded me just how amazing Donna Murphy is as Fosca, how stylised the whole show is visually, and simply of the value of *seeing* a work *intended* to be seen as well as heard, something a lot of musical fans can easily forget when access to professional productions can be so hard and expensive.

Obviously there are those to whom this will not appeal. It asks you to believe in that entirely fictional kind of love, the kind that, if we ever *do* feel it, always feels false and embarrassing in retrospect. But Sondheim is better than any trash novel-writer and he deals with this ultimate extreme by pushing it even further so as to be so close to the ridiculous that it becomes something else entirely - the narrowminded might still laugh, but if you're prepared to risk going deeper, the investment is paid off. The actors in this production, particularly Donna Murphy, completely absorb themselves in their roles and truly give their all, the final scene between Fosca and Giorgio being perhaps one of the most intense, painful, and beautiful moments on the screen, merely from the exhausted, "hopelessly in love" expressions on both actors' faces. The movie is beautiful if you can find a way to let it in. You'll find yourself, in the end, seeing the movie's true beauty, repeating the movie's most profound line, "I don't know how I let you so far inside my mind, but there you are and there you will stay, how could I ever wish you away?"


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