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The Scarlet Woman: An Ecclesiastical Melodrama (1925)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  December 1925 (UK)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 8 users  
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The Pope and Cardinal Montefiasco plot to bring England back within the fold of the Catholic Church. Montefiasco decides to do this by first converting the Prince of Wales, then arranging ... See full summary »

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Title: The Scarlet Woman: An Ecclesiastical Melodrama (1925)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Derek Erskine ...
Archibald Gordon ...
Earl of Botley
John Greenidge ...
Prince of Wales
Terence Greenidge ...
Father Murphy, S.J.
Guy Hemingway ...
Pope (as Septimus Nixon)
Arden Hilliard ...
Baptisto Illiardo
...
Beatrice de Carolle
William Lygon ...
Earl of Kettering (as Michael Murgatroyd)
Sibbald Malcolm ...
Smeaton Welks
John Sutro ...
Cardinal Montefiasco
Alec Waugh ...
Chiara Montefiasco
Evelyn Waugh ...
Dean of Balliol / Lord Borrowington
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Storyline

The Pope and Cardinal Montefiasco plot to bring England back within the fold of the Catholic Church. Montefiasco decides to do this by first converting the Prince of Wales, then arranging the murder of leading Protestants on St Bartholomew's day. The Prince falls under the influence of the homosexual Dean of Balliol, an ally of the Cardinal, but may yet be saved by his love for cabaret girl Beatrice... Written by Marcus Pitcaithly

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Short | Comedy

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December 1925 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
Good review - minor quibble
1 March 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

A most informative review. One minor quibble: Waugh was at Hertford College, a slightly less glamorous college than Balliol.

FYI the British Film Institute has *The Scarlet Woman* in its Mediatheque archives, and it will apparently be available to view at the NFT from 14 March 2007.

Slightly absurdly, I cannot submit the above comment unless it runs to 10 lines of text. I cannot think of anything else to add, other than to recommend other dramatisations of Evelyn Waugh's work. The best is probably *A handful of dust*, which starred James Wilby, Rupert Graves, Kristin Scott Thomas, Judi Dench, Anjelica Huston, and Alec Guinness. The most over-rated is the Granada TV production of *Brideshead revisited*, although it is much better after the first two episodes - basically long lingering shots of Oxford and a lot of mincing in silk shirts - and it settles down to the real themes of the novel.

Waugh looked back on the novel towards the end of his life with mild dissatisfaction, as, written during rationing in WWII, it reflected an unhealthy obsession with food and luxury. The Granada production falls headlong into this trap, wasting the best part of three hours attempting to evoke the styles and surfaces of the inter-war period.

Channel 4's recent (2001?) dramatisation of *The Sword of Honour trilogy* is best ignored. It unsuccessfully condenses three novels into three hours of screen time. (This is only slightly less absurd than fitting all 12 books of *A dance to the music of time* into eight hours.) And in interviews before broadcast, the main actors and screenwriter apparently thought the main message of the book was Guy's enduring love for Virginia - an absurd conclusion to anyone who devoted even half their attention to reading the words on the pages while looking at the book.


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