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I Capture the Castle (2003)

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A love story set in 1930s England that follows 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain, and the fortunes of her eccentric family, struggling to survive in a decaying English castle.



(novel), (screenplay)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sophie Stuckey ...
Cassandra - aged 7
Helena Little ...
Florence Jones ...
Rose (aged 10)
Harrison Ward ...
Thomas (aged 4)
Aubrey Fox-Cotton
Leda Fox-Cotton


The film follows 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain, and the fortunes of her eccentric family, struggling to survive in a decaying English castle. Her father is desperate to repeat the spectacular success of his first novel, but hasn't written a word for 12 years; her exquisite sister Rose can only rail against their fate, and their Bohemian step-mother Topaz is a nudist and no help at all. Salvation comes in the form of their American landlord Simon Cotton and his brother Neil. Although initially repelled by Simon, Rose is determined to make him fall in love with her and succeeds. A wedding is arranged and Cassandra is left on the sidelines as everyone around her is drawn into a maelstrom of interconnected relationships. But events spiral out of control, and before the summer ends she will experience frustrated desire, first love, and a broken heart. Written by <l_wuisan@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You can't choose who you fall in love with. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

8 August 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aihmaloti kardia  »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£138,142 (United Kingdom), 11 May 2003, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$51,970, 13 July 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,174,139, 28 September 2003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,403,151, 7 November 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This movie is supposedly set in Suffolk; Henry Cavill later starred as the Duke of Suffolk in The Tudors. See more »


The cooked ham Simon gives to Rose is a prop, judging by the ease with which Simon lifts it, the sound it makes when he puts it in Rose's arms, and the fact that no juice or grease drips on Rose's arms or dress. See more »


[first lines]
Cassandra: I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.
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References Pride and Prejudice (1995) See more »


Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind
Music by Dario Marianelli
Lyrics by William Shakespeare
Published by Air-Edel Associates Ltd
Performed by Rose Byrne
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Hit Or Miss Film -- Charming, But Spread Too Thin
6 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

An eccentric and well-born English family in the 1930's tries to cope with genteel poverty, while the two stunning teenage daughters of the family experiment with passion and romance.

Main thing you need to know: Romola Garai is not only lovely, she's an acting genius. Her fresh, innocent blond beauty rivets your attention, and she hits the right note in every scene -- curious, defiant, tender, lonely, confused, caring. She not only hits the right note, she often hits two or three right notes at once. Watch her animated facial expressions and you'll see she always gives you more than one emotion

The problem with this movie is that it tries to be too many things. One minute it's a sexy teen romance, like DIRTY DANCING (which also starred Romola Garai.) Then it's cerebral satire of long-forgotten intellectual types, like COLD COMFORT FARM. Then it's some kind of Masterpiece Theater type thing about newly rich Americans in England, and what fools they are for European elegance. Derivative themes and a thin plot with too many familiar stereotypes.

There are too many supporting characters, and aside from the luminous Romola Garai none of them are especially sympathetic. Marc Blucas was pretty good in JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB. Here he shows more muscle-power than talent. Henry Thomas is getting too old to be playing boyish and innocent. Bill Nighy as the eccentric dad has some authentic moments, but was a better patriarch in UNDERWORLD. ("Lycans, daughter. The lycans took my talent. Lucan and his kind . . spoiled my taste for f-f-f-fiction!")

There is one extremely interesting sub-plot about a local village lad the heroine thinks of as a friend, who worships her and is rejected. In an unexpected twist, a wealthy older woman seduces him and takes him to London, where he becomes a successful actor/model. The film handles this in a sensitive way, neither pitying the young man nor condemning him for giving in to his wealthy female protector. Unfortunately, this most interesting sub plot is only given a few minutes of screen time.

Summing up, then, this movie is something you must see only if you are a fan of the phenomenally talented Romola Garai. Other than that, it's really a hit or miss movie, and some parts are very thin.

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