Fleur Forsyte and Michael Mont are married - her mother is absent and still living in Paris - and for all that she was once madly in love with Jon, who has gone off to Canada and the United... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
John Barcroft ...
June Barry ...
Jonathan Burn ...
Brenda Cowling ...
Mrs Perren
Geoffrey Denton ...
Sharman
Colin Douglas ...
Policeman
Ian Fleming ...
Lord Fontenoy
Derek Francis ...
Elderson
Susan Hampshire ...
Hubert Hill ...
Servant
Hugo Keith-Johnston ...
Newsvendor
John Kidd ...
Mr Danby
Henry B. Longhurst ...
Mothergill
...
...
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Fleur Forsyte and Michael Mont are married - her mother is absent and still living in Paris - and for all that she was once madly in love with Jon, who has gone off to Canada and the United States and is unlikely to ever return, she seems reasonably contented. Two years later, they are still happy but have no children, which is of some concern to Soames and Michael's father, Sir Lawrence Mont. Fleur has an innocent flirtation with the poet Wilfrid Desert who is madly in love with her. As a result of his connection with the aristocratic Mont family, Soames joins the Board of an insurance company but has serious concerns about the management of the firm and threatens to resign unless he is given more financial information. Meanwhile, George Forsythe is dying and dictates his will. Michael Mont for his part holds a senior position at a publishing firm that has just sacked Bicket, a packer in the shipping room, for stealing five copies of Desert's latest book. Bicket would like nothing ... Written by garykmcd

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Drama

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18 January 1970 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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A Family Darling
3 January 2016 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

And...as could be well predicted previously, the episode opens with Fleur's wedding. Michael Mont (Nicholas Penell), from now on a part of the Forsyte family, one of the most intriguing, interesting personalities, is her young handsome husband. His father, a distinguished gentleman, Sir Lawrence Mont (Cyril Luckham) will have much in common with Soames, the father of a family darling, Fleur. He is a true representative of the older generation for whom "anything splendid and fine is off." Remember, this is early 1920s. As much of pomp and fuss around the splendidly organized public event filled with airs, kisses and chit-chats, this marriage is surely more than alliance...

In this episode, dramatized by Anthony Steven and directed by James Cellan Jones, we get a very interesting depiction of certain contrasts. Although the episode's first moments revolve around Fleur and Michael's wedding, soon another couple is being introduced, the one who live in totally different conditions and who stand for a lower class of the English society of the time: Tony Bicket (Terry Scully) and his wife Victorine (Geraldine Shermann). The political background of Lloyd George's resignation marks this contrast even more powerfully. While the political correctness among the rich is transparent, the financial despair is evident among the poor. The Bickets live in poor conditions, to make a living, he sells balloons in the street but...what is quite eye-catching in their relationship is childlike honesty and childish dependence. Poverty makes them alert. At the same time, Fleur and Michael's relationship differs quite a lot. Luxury makes them idle, especially Fleur. In one memorable scene full of clever, cutting remarks which combines humour and sarcasm, Sir Lawrence Mont utters to Soames with simultaneous humor and worry: "I'd like a baby come before a dog. Dogs and poets distract young women..." They have a cute little dog and the poet...?

Here comes a dilemma. A young poet Wilfred Desert played with desirable passion, a neurotic instability and wild intensity by Robin Phillips. In love, or more in lust for Fleur whom he calls 'the flower he mustn't touch" (with reference to the French meaning of 'fleur'), he is a dangerous sensation, a new sensation, a temptation incarnate that Fleur, at first, seems to ignore but later finds really hard to resist. Along with her experience with Jon and, perhaps, true love to him (which will be displayed in later episodes more clearly), she is tormented by memories, passion and duties that are enforced upon her. Fleur and Wilfred's scenes display lovely chemistry and are played with vibrant emotions. Very worth seeing.

And Soames? In spite of his presence at the wedding and of Fleur's happiness at heart, we have a lovely development of his personality in slightly different circumstances. He is a member of the so called PPRS (the Providential Premium Reassurance Society) and, as a member of the board together with Sir Lawrence Mont, he displays his 'suspicious mind' even more dominantly than within the realms of family life. There is one Elderson (Derek Francis) whose doings prove striking ambiguity... Soames, as we all predict, is uncompromising and expresses his views with a stiff-neck revolving around doubts rather than confidence.

A sad touch though not deprived of a bit of sarcasm and amusement in the episode is the plot of cousin George (John Barcroft) labeled as 'a wit of the family.' We might be surprised as well as shocked a bit by the scene of his death. In a scene that combines a bit of gloom with a mixture of drama and comedy, Soames visits dying George. Not to tell him 'goodbye' but to put down his last will and testament. That moment of seriousness is also not deprived of cutting remarks. Anyway, it wouldn't be George, after all. His cigar and a perfect sense of humour conclude to a rather 'unconventional' picture of a dying man.

Some resort to their worlds, others move to their places of 'golden opportunities'. Yet others are absorbed by passion for a family darling, Soames' darling... Not a nice thing for a newly wed husband to hear from another man, a new Bossiney-like character: "I'll take her from you if I can..."

Great supporting performances by Brenda Cowling and Robin Phillips.


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