Rose Hindmarsh finds herself at the centre of a controversy when she meets author Sarah Maloney as she investigates the life of Mary Swann, an obscure poet who was brutally murdered in a small town in rural Ontario.

Director:

Writers:

(novel),
Reviews
5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Century (1993)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Paul Reisner, a young doctor, becomes a researcher in a prestigious medical institute. He feels he has a chance to be part of a movement of unending progress in science and civilization. ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Poliakoff
Stars: Charles Dance, Clive Owen, Miranda Richardson
St. Ives (1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1813, Capitaine Jacques St. Ives, a Hussar in the Napoleonic wars, is captured and sent to a Scottish prison camp. He's a swashbuckler, so the prison's commander, Major Farquar ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Hook
Stars: Jean-Marc Barr, Miranda Richardson, Richard E. Grant
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A young marchioness who loves the way of free-thinking and flatterers invites an author into her house who pretends to seduce her...

Director: Anna Maria Tatò
Stars: Ivan Bacciocchi, Jean-Claude Carrière, Axelle Cummings
Busted (TV Movie 1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Jon Amiel
Stars: Alan Rickman, Michael Feast, Lorna Heilbron
Screen Two (1985–2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Producer Kenith Trodd was part of a 1984 team brought together to study how the BBC should respond to Channel Four's pioneering efforts in making films for both television and theatrical ... See full summary »

Stars: Geoffrey Chater, Roger Brierley, Bernard Hill
Wah-Wah (2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set at the end of the '60s, as Swaziland is about to receive independence from Great Britain, the film follows the young Ralph Compton, at 12, through his parents' traumatic separation, ... See full summary »

Director: Richard E. Grant
Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Miranda Richardson, Emily Watson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Jack and Judy are husband and wife, and Howard is Judys father. They live in some fictional undemocratic and repressive country, and tell us a story about their lives, mostly from Jack's ... See full summary »

Director: David Hare
Stars: Mike Nichols, Miranda Richardson, David de Keyser
Saint-Ex (1996)
Biography | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Poetic biography of author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Director: Anand Tucker
Stars: Bruno Ganz, Miranda Richardson, Janet McTeer
A Dance to the Music of Time (TV Mini-Series 1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Anthony Powell's 12 volume novel sequence "A Dance to the Music of Time" has been dramatised for television.

Stars: Gillian Barge, Nicholas Jones, Simon Russell Beale
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A stormy relationship, complicated by the strictures of 1950s social class and gender roles, ends in death. Based on the life of Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Britain.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Miranda Richardson, Rupert Everett, Ian Holm
Tom & Viv (1994)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1915, T.S. (Tom) Eliot and Vivienne Haigh-Wood elope, but her longstanding gynecological and emotional problems disrupt their planned honeymoon. Her father is angry because Tom's poetry ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Gilbert
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Miranda Richardson, Rosemary Harris
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Continuing the story of Aurora Greenway in her latter years. After the death of her daughter, Aurora struggled to keep her family together, but has one grandson in jail, a rebellious ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Harling
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Bill Paxton, Juliette Lewis
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rose Hindmarch
...
Sarah Maloney
...
Stephen
...
Brownie
Sean McCann ...
Homer
...
Cruzzi
...
Morton Jimroy
...
Jean
Meg Hogarth ...
Mrs. Cruzzi
Suzanne Coy ...
Publisher
Joyce Gordon ...
Rose's Friend
William Lynn ...
Rose's Friend
Lynne Deragon ...
Brownie's Assistant (as Lynn Deragon)
Reiner Schwarz ...
TV Interviewer
Michele Muzzi ...
Bookstore Fan
Edit

Storyline

Rose Hindmarsh finds herself at the centre of a controversy when she meets author Sarah Maloney as she investigates the life of Mary Swann, an obscure poet who was brutally murdered in a small town in rural Ontario.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 1997 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Das Geheimnis der Mary Swann  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

dead poets
10 April 2004 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

That the director of this feature has a background in documentaries is not surprising given that the treatment is character rather than plot driven, however as a piece of drama it fails.

The main problem is that nothing really happens, or rather Anna Benson Gyles and screenwriter David Young allow any potential action to wither away. The set-up has potential, with the murder of a Canadian poet and the introduction of Sara Moloney (Miranda Richardson), an American commissioned to write an investigative biography which irks Rose Hindmarch (Brenda Fricker), the local librarian. There is a mystery to unfold, however one that does not involve the poet's killing, which flashbacks suggest, and even a subplot with the lover of the American writer and another involving cancer don't have any impact. If the director is trying to parallel a tone with that of poetry reading, her climax is counter-productive. These are poems we never want to listen to. The film's best part is a flashback over a fish-soiled manuscript, even if accompanied by a voice-over of what we see.

There are narrative contrivances such as having Sara listen to opera as she works (!), and bemoaning the theft of her computer when she has barely made notes. However there is some humor. The dead poet Mary Swann is described as "She was not exactly a yacker". When asked if Sara thinks Mary was a marginal person, she replies "I guess that depends where you think the center is". And there is a laugh over fans distaste as they are served typical food Swann would have eaten at the library's symposium.

Another major problem is with the performances of Richardson and Fricker, who never connect. They compete in acting reflectively, with Fricker the winner since she isn't as verbally mannered as Richardson is here. Richardson displays a physical poetry that Fricker lacks, for example in the way she walks down a hallway with an injured knee, however she cannot put sugar in her tea without over-acting it.

Presumably the figure of Mary Swann is fictional, however her doomed countenance in black and white photographs suggest far more than what is delivered here. No wonder poets think they are never appreciated in their lifetime.


3 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I simply love this movie ilzamaria
Discuss Swann (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?