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Cotton Mary (1999)

R | | Drama | 17 December 1999 (UK)
A British family is trapped between culture, tradition, and the colonial sins of the past.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lily MacIntosh
Cotton Mary
John MacIntosh
Sarah Badel ...
Mrs Evans
Riju Bajaj ...
Gerson Da Cunha ...
Doctor Correa
Mrs Smythe
Blossom (Mary's sister)
Gemma Jones ...
Mrs Freda Davids
Firdausi Jussawalla ...
Mr. Panamal
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal ...
Nadira ...
Prayag Raj ...
Abraham (as Prayag Raaj)
Inspector Ramiji Raj


1954, the Malabar Coast. British and Anglo-Indian identities blur when an English-woman with a neglectful husband births a sickly baby. Cotton Mary, a hospital aide and moralizing Anglophile who claims her father was a British officer, takes over the infant's care and, without a word to the mother, takes the baby daily to her sister to nurse. Mary moves into the English household, taking over more and more duties as she plays on the mother's fatigue and lack of spousal counsel: in effect, Mary colonizes the English household while she pilfers its stores and tells tall tales to her own family. For how long can Mary sustain her rule before the Englishwoman stands on her own feet? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

17 December 1999 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A házvezetőnő  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,680 (USA) (17 March 2000)


$299,351 (USA) (20 October 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


As Theresa is walking along with the procession she passes an Indian boy in the crowd who waves at the camera. See more »


Features Aar-Paar (1954) See more »


That's Amore
Written by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks
courtesy of Music Sales Corporation (ASCAP)
Four Jays Music Publishing Co.
Leosong Copyright Service Ltd
BMG Entertainment International
Famous Music Publishing
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An English - Indian community

In India, in the 50s, an English housewife gives birth to a premature baby. An Anglo-Indian nurse looks after it from then on, using it to secure her position in the family sphere. This somewhat overlong portrait illustrates rather simply the quest for identity of an English - Indian community.

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