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Taking place in pre-war England, aging sisters Ursula and Janet live peacefully in their cottage on the shore of Cornwall. One morning following a violent storm, the sisters spot from their garden a nearly-drowned man lying on the beach. They nurse him back to health, and discover that he is Polish. Communicating in broken German while they teach him English, they learn his name is Andrea and that he is a particularly gifted violinist. His boat was on its way to America, where he is headed to look for a better life. It doesn't take long for them to become attached to Andrea, and they dote on him. Other townspeople, however, have their suspicions, especially when he befriends a Russian woman, Olga. Written by
Maggie Smith and Judi Dench were performing together in a West End play when they received the scripts. They consulted each other, and decided to do the project. See more »
Coley is frequently mentioned as a cheap local fish. Locals confirm that coley was pretty much unknown in Cornwall in 1936 - far more likely would be ling or pollack. Additionally, "starry-gazey pie", of which the fish was to be an ingredient, is unique to Mousehole, about 30 miles from the supposed location in the film. See more »
[Ursula sits by Andrea's bed, watching him sleep. Dorcas bursts in]
[she glances at Andrea, then says just as loudly,]
Do you want tea?
Shh! You'll wake him up! I think I'll wait until Janet gets up from her nap.
Well, she's up.
Is she? She hasn't been long. All right, I'll be down directly.
[she turns back to Andrea]
He isn't gonna run off.
[Ursula shoots her a look. Dorcas slams the door as she leaves, waking Andrea]
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Special thanks to the people of Helston, Cornwall and the people of Cadgwith, Cornwall. See more »
Great & Marvelously Talented Character Actors in a Superb Drama
Who but Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith could play elderly sisters who don't particularly agree too much with each other's conventions utlizing such subtle acting talents? The script is terrific with lines thatare worthy of both great British stage and screen actors. Supporting characters present fine performances as well.
It's terrific to have such a quality drama that is true to the real lives of senior women who live in another culture outside of my own in the US. Forget all of the nonsensical bleeping of scripts loaded with cursing (even though I am no prude!). Such scripts lack the integrity of presentation of a superior English lexicon. Forget the loud, fast paced action that appeals to more violence-craving audiences than me. Forget wacky comics who'd use all sorts of gimmicks and graphics to create anything but a character close to any culture's true life.
Have a good look at the very strengths that abound in the whole of this film. The story plot line is a excellent one, I assure you. It goes like this: The ladies in lavender find a body of a young man barely still alive on the rocky, rough surf, beach in front of their old home. They take him in and nurse him to health. He turns out to be an extraordinarily gifted individual. When it is discovered that he is, the ladies have to face a harsh reality in order for him to realize his potential.
It is comparable to "Tea with Mussolini" in both quality of script, story, and especially cast. How it slipped under popularity radar when "Tea . . ." didn't, is a mystery. This is a film that needs to be viewed by any age group of people. There's nothing about it a child couldn't understand and plenty about it that senior people would relate to, as well. "Whales of August" with Bette Davis and Lillian Gish is a superior treasure.
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