It is now 1886 and with her grandfather's permission, 17 year-old June Forsyte becomes engaged to architect Philip Bosinney. Old Jolyon sets conditions on their marriage - Philip must earn ... See full summary »



(novel), (dramatisation)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mischa De La Motte ...
Bart Allison ...
Michael Mulcaster ...
Maggie Jones ...
John Caesar ...
Olwen Brookes ...
Doctor Dewar
Nora Swinburne ...
John Barcroft ...


It is now 1886 and with her grandfather's permission, 17 year-old June Forsyte becomes engaged to architect Philip Bosinney. Old Jolyon sets conditions on their marriage - Philip must earn £400 a year before they can marry - but otherwise approves. Young Jolyon, who hasn't seen his daughter for eight years, is shocked and a bit upset to read about the engagement in the newspaper. Helene has been feeling unwell of late but otherwise they are very happy. Rumors abound about Soames and Irene Forsyte who, after four years of marriage, are now said to sleep in separate bedrooms. Theirs has not been a happy marriage and Irene has never been able to return the love he once professed for her. She and June have become close and at a family occasion to introduce Philip to the rest of the Fosryte clan, Philip and Irene meet. Soames begins to wonder if June may be a bad influence on his wife. He is also thinking of building a new home for himself and Irene far front he center of London. Written by garykmcd

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Drama | Romance




Release Date:

26 October 1969 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Winner at the Forsytes'?
8 September 2015 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

"In Swithin's orange and light-blue dining-room, facing the Park, the round table was laid for twelve.

A cut-glass chandelier filled with lighted candles hung like a giant stalactite above its center, radiating over large gilt-framed mirrors, slabs of marble on the tops of side-tables, and heavy gold chairs with crewel worked seats..." that is how John Galsworthy begins "Dinner at Swithin's" - Chapter 3 of THE MAN OF PROPERTY and, seemingly, the episode of the same title bears much resemblance with the literary source. However, it is not merely the dinner at uncle Swithin's that appears to be the centerpiece in Constance Cox's dramatization of the episode...

It is 1886, a slightly new situation at the one gives anything away for nothing, especially the family's secrets but nothing remains unnoticed where 'social gossip' plays a decisive role. Servants... 'They tell...'

Four years have passed since Irene and Soames got married and their marriage appears to be a disastrous mistake. They have separate rooms. Although they have become the subject of social gossip to a certain extent (but I will come back to them later in the review), we are all absorbed by another couple where the Forsyte principles do not meet much approval. This is young June Forsyte (June Barry), now 17 years old, and an architect of debatable income but undeniable talent, "the wild Buccaneer" - Phillip Bossiney played with brilliant appeal and clear diction by John Bennet.

One of the crucial scenes of the episode is Bossiney's visit to June's grandfather Old Jolyon (Joseph O'Conor). The distinguished gentleman stages a scene of memorable elegance and neat precision. He asks the young architect "Why do you want to marry my granddaughter?" and, in a flamboyant manner, gives him a glass of Madeira that he calls "wine of aristocracy." The condition for giving permission to marry his granddaughter is typically Forsyte-like. Money plays the role. Can he take it? Will he be a winner at the Forsytes' who always stick together in their supreme value of money?

The elderly ladies along with young female members of the saga share a very elegant scene when young June pays a visit to aunt Anne's (Fay Compton) and tells many 'original' facts about her fiancé. But her father? Does 'the outcast to the family' deserve any information? Jo merely gets to know that his daughter is engaged to be married from the papers. Pay attention to the excellent moment when Old Jolyon comes to his old place, the 'Hotch Potch' Club. There, the barrier begins to break. How accurately the whole development of mutual understanding is incorporated into the scene that foreshadows reconciliation. 'How are you my boy?' is asked with such affection that it is an almost perfect moment, something viewers wait for and desire. Note their scene in the cab and the way the camera shows them both within one frame (not unintentionally). A subtle pearl amongst the loud noises of social events, like...yes, the title dinner at Swithin's.

Something needs to be said about uncle Swithin played with a skillful mix of emotions by George Woodbridge. Galsworthy describes him as a man with "impatience of simplicity, a love of ormolu and a man of great taste." We see him in focus as he prepares the table for dinner, counts the seats and, with his identifiable humour, makes a spicy comment on two glasses for 'Mrs Soames.' Most characters appear at the dinner at half past seven (consider the clock that introduces the scene). The eldest ones also turn up, except for aunt Anne who has, in her brother's opinion, become more shaky. Little details reveal so much about single personalities. George (John Barcroft) amuses us with his notices, Irene rouses interest with her calmness and jewelry, Soames raises suspicions with his exaggerated observation, aunt Juley inspires lovely humour first mistaking a hat with a cat and then quoting a 'motto of the middle class,' uncle James (John Welsh) makes June speechless by his notes on...fresh air and the right value of money and 'the wild Buccaneer,' with his original ideas is no winner at the Forsytes'. He embodies art over price, a personality concerned more with beauty of harmony than matters of money. As described by Winifred, he is 'clever, modern, difficult to please.' He is, though, going to be employed as an architect of a house in the country. He doesn't win with his opinions on 'Stucco!' and at the man of property's. But he wins at two women's... Quite unexpectedly... Will that be a fair game to play? But let me come back once again to the couple that raises more interest...Irene and Soames.

In two very meaningful scenes that they have in this episode from both the visual and dramatic point of view, Irene asks Soames after his persisting question about the reasons for June's visit "Must everybody want something when they come?" This marriage situation appears to depict a case of serious mistrust. Consider the positions of their bodies (especially his hands) and the whole conversation which appears to be very interesting and open for interpretations. In another scene, however, Soames appears to show more affection, or at least pretends to do so, and appreciates her gown. She stays like a marble. She displays no emotions whatsoever and we see that all 'make-it-happen' is bound to fail. "Whatever you do, whatever you give me, there is nothing!" Quite a sad thing for a husband to hear from his wife.

Another moment worth consideration is the scene of Jo, Helene and Dr Dewar (Garry Marsh). A very straightforward talk with a doctor and not any 'uncommon' situation...

The final moments of the episode leave behind all additional aspects and the successful dinner at Swithin's is about to come to an end. Our attention is more focused on two men where on Sunday meeting, law will meet architecture...

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