Rumors abound that Irene Forsyte and Philip Bosinney are having an affair.Young Jolyon and Helene see Philip Bosinney and a beautiful woman meeting secretly. Young Jolyon had met Philip at ... See full summary »



(novel), (dramatisation)


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Episode credited cast:
Bart Allison ...
June Barry ...
John Bennett ...
Olwen Brookes ...
Lana Morris ...
Joseph O'Conor ...
Clifford Parrish ...
Eric Porter ...
John Welsh ...


Rumors abound that Irene Forsyte and Philip Bosinney are having an affair.Young Jolyon and Helene see Philip Bosinney and a beautiful woman meeting secretly. Young Jolyon had met Philip at his Aunt Anne's funeral but has no idea who the woman is. When they learn that it is Soames' wife Irene, Old Jolyon suggests that Young Jolyon should speak to Bosinney and as June's father, he feels obliged to do so. It's clear to him that Bosinney will continue his affair regardless of the impact on June. Soames meanwhile is upset at the ever increasing cost of finishing his house and tells Old Jolyon and June that he may have to seek a remedy through the courts. Old Jolyon and Soames' father James have a falling out over the issue. Irene thinks Soames is despicable and asks that she be released from her obligations to him, a condition she had imposed on him when he proposed to her. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

19 November 1969 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

15 October 2015 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

After the considerable sensation that the death of the eldest Forsyte appeared to be in the family when, as Old Jolyon states at the beginning of this episode, "affection over conventionality and respectability" seemed to unite the family members, divisions soon turn out to emerge. The 'wild Bucaneer' dares go against the majority and exceed his rights. Meanwhile, a wife of a Forsyte resorts to her 'safe heaven' away from her husband's house which she has never considered to be her house. Can there be a more saddening prospect for future?

Episode 6 titled 'Decisions' where some liberties are taken with the literary source and, indeed, not everything appears to be exactly the way as penned by Galsworthy, may well be considered a stupendously resonant achievement from the emotional and intellectual standpoint. Almost flawlessly dramatized by Donald Wilson, it truly prompts viewers to take sides.

Wilson nicely frames the plot against the backdrop of Robin Hill, the new house designed by the architect, a true nuisance for some of the more 'conventional' and 'stingy' Forsytes. That background stands for liberty over property, the theme that I have already highlighted in my review on the previous episode. Yet, the crucial question appears to arise...How is it all going to develop? Surely, it all results in...

...divisions...not only among the characters but also among the viewers. The first division that occurs to split the viewpoints the Old Jolyon within who actually breaks with the Forsyte family, contradicts his lifestyle and begins to fully identify with his son Jo, his daughter-in-law Helene and his granddaughter June. In one memorable scene, he states openly: "This is my family, what concerns them concerns me." It is actually the moment when we start to feel intense sympathy with that man who used to display certain coldness and strictness of morality before. But at last he stands for what is just and what is right. The next division is between the wild Bucaneer and many Forsytes, primarily Soames who gave the architect a free hand in the matter of the costs and, yet, is now outraged by the exceeded costs when the house is nearly finished. But, a real storm, a volcano erupted which combines the drama with psychology is IRENE.

Seen by Jo and Helene in the Botanical Garden with the architect, she 'breaks her marital oath' and soon all her doubts, decisions and fears are gone. The plot seems to reach the climax when she tells her husband that she has always loathed him. This is the moment that truly absorbs various reactions, you no longer watch this relationship indifferently. That leads to the true emotional milestone at the end of the episode and the famous rape scene.

Apart from many opinions about Soames' attitude towards Irene and Irene's attitude towards Soames, I would like to make a little point on that. In an interesting scene when Irene and her father-in-law, Soames' father James are going to see Robin Hill, we have a clash of two worlds that may exist next to one another but will never really go along. James, having noticed her hesitations, unstable decisions and having heard some of her complaints (mind you, never expressed openly) says in a little bit harsh manner "Don't expect any sympathy." She is his daughter-in-law, his son's wife, as he notes, and she should behave like one. Yes, he lectures her and believes that he is granted the undeniable authority to do that. By what? By conventionalized society.

Realism contradicts with sentimentalism, duties contradict with dreams, and reason with feelings.

Soames is, actually, a reflection of his father. That, of course, spreads to their perception of Robin Hill where they are both never able to grasp beauty of art but rather live the maxim of practical benefit. The thunders in the background in this scene beautifully mark the emotional resonance and, consequently, the events to come...

A remedy for all those divisions that appear so stark in this episode is the scene that Jo Forsyte an Philip Bossiney share. Although they do not agree on many issues (he actually visits the architect to find out what his intentions about June, his daughter, are), this is a conversation of two artistic minds: one being an architect and the other being a painter. 'Forsyte is a slave to property' and...they are the lucky ones, the few ones who can somehow grasp liberty within their passions. Irene's beauty is also accessible to them both, a beauty not that much to be possessed nor profaned but to be cherished and admired...

"Any man can have you, can't they? Well, I can too! You're my wife!" Irene hears from her husband and the sound of barrel organ appears to reveal the mockery and distortion that may lie in conventional oaths. What a conclusion to arising divisions!

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