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The American (1998)

TV Movie  |   |  26 December 1998 (UK)
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After the horror of the Civil War, 'ignorant' Christopher Newman made his fortune. He travels to France is search of cultural treasures. He won't get past the Paris nightlife. After an ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Madame de Bellegarde
Aisling O'Sullivan ...
Henri de Bellegarde
Mrs. Bread
Noemie Nioche
Marquis de Bellegarde
Phillip O'Sullivan ...
Marquis de Cintre
Ian Fitzgibbon ...
Tom Tristram
Joe Pilkington ...
Armand Nioche
Gen. Packard
Alison McKenna ...
Mrs. Tristram
Anita Reeves ...
The Duchess
David Heap ...
Stanislas Kapp


After the horror of the Civil War, 'ignorant' Christopher Newman made his fortune. He travels to France is search of cultural treasures. He won't get past the Paris nightlife. After an affair with a haughty painter, he falls in love with the daughter of the late marquis de Bellegarde. She was married off and traumatized by her abusive late husband for the family's sake. Her elder brother supports their ruthless mother, but junior Valentin is besotted with the artist and strikes a partnership with Christopher. Written by KGF Vissers

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26 December 1998 (UK)  »

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Amerykanin  »

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As good as we can get today
27 February 2015 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Disc one of Henry James Collection. My heart goes out to everyone who has to adapt a James novel for the screen. Henry James played his cards so close to his chest that it's hard for contemporary viewers to understand what's going on, even if they can adjust to Victorian moral standards. Just what is happening in those frequent tense interviews at the Bellegarde house between Christopher and these aristocrats? To make everybody's motives clear requires taking liberties--sometimes great liberties--with the novel. I was pretty content with the results, even though they made me think of Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet in QUILLS at times.

Matthew Modine is an actor I've always liked, and here he doesn't disappoint me. He plays this modernized script as though he was born to it. I especially savoured his reaction to the degenerate Count that Mme de Bellegarde wants Claire to marry. Diana Rigg as the mother is doing a variation of Lady Dedlock in Bleak House; effective enough but it's a weak part. Aisling O'Sullivan as Claire looks pretty but lacks dramatic intensity. This is for Henry James completists who can overlook the melodramatic touches.

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