Young Jolyon's affair with his former nanny is now widely known and he asks his wife Frances for a divorce. Old Jolyon has become aware as well and takes his son to task for abandoning ... See full summary »



(novel), (dramatisation)


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Porter ...
Mischa De La Motte ...
Clifford Parrish ...
Deddie Davies ...
Jenny Laird ...
Campbell Singer ...
Ursula Howells ...
John Barcroft ...
Fanny Rowe ...
Susan Pennick ...
Joseph O'Conor ...
Nora Swinburne ...


Young Jolyon's affair with his former nanny is now widely known and he asks his wife Frances for a divorce. Old Jolyon has become aware as well and takes his son to task for abandoning their values and their way of life. Frances for her part doesn't plan on taking this lying down and visits her husband's love nest in Chelsea to see if she can talk sense into Helene. Old Jolyon tells his son that he has to break it off completely with his mistress but the younger Jolyon chooses to take his chances. Old Jolyon as a result removes him from his will. Soames meanwhile once again visits his client Mrs. Heron and this time gets to meet her beautiful daughter Irene. He is clearly taken with her and wants to see her again. In London a pregnant Winnifred, married all of four months, finds something shocking in her husband's jacket. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

12 October 1969 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Family Disapproval
30 August 2015 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

From the holistic presentation of the Forsyte family in the first episode, Donald Wilson's dramatization skillfully allows us to get into a detailed view of its members. 'A Family Festival' soon turns into 'A Family Scandal' manifested in strong disapproval of one couple's misconduct...

The opening scene of the episode places a viewer in the right atmosphere for the events to come. We see Jo (Kenneth More) on his way from Chelsea, from his mistress to Mayfair, to his wife. He is drowned in dilemmas and reflections about how to go his own way and push some limits of acceptability within the formidable unit of society, his unique family. His notions about the Forsytes and the contradictory values they reveal, primarily the notion of practical vs. ideal morality, set the tone for the episode and the identity of a man who can think, can see the reality critically and who does not fall within the ambit of some prefabricated rules. The disapproval of the established order society soon becomes 'a judged phenomenon.' His ideas occur to be particularly modern for our time and easily identifiable. His evident guilt is the fact he fails to turn up at the festival, the wedding of Winifred (Margaret Tyzack) and Dartie (Terence Alexander). Yet, his pursuit actually appears to manifest itself in a desperate struggle not to pretend any longer. Feeling already condemned by his family and, foremost, his wife Frances (Ursula Howells), he makes a neat plan of speaking his mind to all... Will he manage that?

'A Family Scandal,' as such, is another episode which adapts Galsworthy's first part A MAN OF PROPERTY. It can be seen from the standpoint of three major themes: first, Jo and Helene's plot and the people involved, in particular Old Jolyon (Joseph O'Conor) and Frances (Ursula Howells); Soames (Eric Porter) with his visit to the Herons' and his first meeting with their step daughter, young, beautiful Irene (Nyree Dawn Porter), the moment that incarnates "the disturbance that Beauty effects in the lives of men" (Galsworthy); and father-son relations revealed perfectly with Jo and Jolyon vs. Soames and James. Those aspects are neatly worn in clever lines and wonderful depiction of tense conversations.

In an almost flawless scene of dramatic tension and one of the very best moments of the episode, Jo presents to his father Jolyon his unique perspectives of happy vs. unhappy life. The point that differs them most is honor. As described by Galsworthy as having "a patriarchal look" and being "a master of perennial youth," Old Jolyon highly objects to his son's ignorance of the contract, the duties and the responsibilities. When Jo meets his father's reactions, he poses a question: "Where do you stand, father?" O'Conor creates a tremendous sophistication of the character: seemingly is a true Forsyte for whom family growing in prosperity is a supreme value, a superior goal; yet, we have some slight hints of the fact that he will become a promising man of tolerance in future. Moreover, we get a special link between the two. A relationship that absorbs doubts, bitter words, contradictions; yet, builds upon mutual honesty. On the contrary, we see Soames and his father, James (John Welsh) who display a clear level of formality in their relations. With their legal background and attachment to materialism, they resort to utterances like "What you say is just precisely what I have said." And Soames' mother, Emily (Fanny Rowe)? Just resorted to some chit-chats among ladies. Those relations beautifully copy the attitudes towards women from the two men.

While Jolyon wants to live his life with one woman (what already was the theme of the previous episode), Soames drifts... and is lucky (or unlucky...) to meet young Irene, "a concretion of disturbing Beauty impinging on a possessive world" (Galsworthy) - a truly remarkable relationship to come filled with a true 'volcano' - storms of affection, bitterness of desires unfulfilled and confusions of mutual misunderstanding. Soames and Irene, in their first scene here, display their very best of the series highlighting the aspect of two different individuals. The two see 'a volcano' in totally different ways. One badly wants the other and the other badly wants to be left 'independent.' Irene focuses on the musical aspect of her personality (as a Pole, I was happy that she mentions Paderewski among greatest musicians), Soames focuses on the legal aspect of his personality. Undeniably, where music meets the law, things are bound to turn pretty complex...

Frances, Jolyon's wife, and Helene have another scene of sheer brilliance. Two women and the theme of their conversation is one man, for one a husband, for another, a lover. What evokes from Frances' authoritative behavior is the lecture she gives this 'common little governess.' She embodies the most 'typical of the Forstytes." A suitable irony combined with dramatic tension go along with excellent performances of the two. Some minor scenes are no short of entertainment as well, including George at aunt Ann's. George (John Barcroft) is clearly a different representative of the younger generation, who, as a matter of fact, considerably differs from all the rest. Aunt Ann is interested in what the young ones are doing... The final scene between Winifred and Monty Dartie can smell trouble...

It seems that the young marriage no longer delight in blissful agony but face a test of honesty...Will they stand that test?

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What did Irene say to Fleur? sapphiremyst
Where is the bridge? robert-95-764440
Forsyte Saga (1967) wcromptonkinsey
What would've happened if....? tiderolls
coulourizing jameskelly23
Why did June.... tiderolls
Discuss A Family Scandal (1967) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: