Wilfrid Desert tell Michael Mont that he is madly in love with Fleur and will take her away from him if the chance arises. Fleur tells her husband that he has nothing to worry about but she... See full summary »



(novel), (dramatisation)


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Episode credited cast:
Brenda Cowling ...
Mrs Perren
Ian Fleming ...
Lord Fontenoy
Derek Francis ...
Donald Gee ...
Hugo Keith-Johnston ...
Henry B. Longhurst ...
Clifford Parrish ...
Nicholas Pennell ...
Robin Phillips ...
Wilfred Desert
Terry Scully ...


Wilfrid Desert tell Michael Mont that he is madly in love with Fleur and will take her away from him if the chance arises. Fleur tells her husband that he has nothing to worry about but she continues her flirtation with Wilfrid and seems to like the attention. Soames raises the issue of children with his daughter Fleur but she doesn't think there's any hurry. At the insurance company, Soames insists that they drop all foreign investments as he is convinced there will be a major downturn. He convinces the Board to withdraw from European investments given the uncertain political climate there but has his suspicions about the managing director, Elderson. His instincts prove correct. Meanwhile, Bickett's beautiful wife Victorine visits Michael Mont to see if her husband could possibly give him his job back. He can't, but finding her attractive refers her to an artist friend, Aubrey Greene, as a model. Being a Socialist, he also seeks out Bickett to see what he might be able to do for him. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

25 January 1970 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

The White Monkey
30 January 2016 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

The title of the episode, derived from Galsworthy's first novel of the second volume of trilogy A MODERN COMEDY, draws an excellent parallel to the picture that we first saw at dying 'wit of the family,' cousin George (John Barcroft) in the previous episode and becomes now an object of interest in the Forsyte family.

Much in the similar fashion as the previous episodes, Anthony Stevens' dramatization puts greater emphasis on certain aspects that appear to predominate throughout the running 50 minutes. Here, it is Fleur's marriage to Michael compared or rather contrasted to Tony (Terry Scully) and Victorine Bicket (Geraldine Sherman). "The White Monkey" marks one of those episodes that have fewer public events on a more focused scenes that ai at highlighting certain important points.

We see Fleur as a pampered daughter of her father whose happiness lies at his heart to a great extent. She is not only pampered by this very attitude but also by wealth. Wilfred Desert (Robin Phillips), the artistic personality of "Family Wedding" does not seem to give up his passion for 'heartless beast' that he calls Fleur. In one of the most indicative scenes that can boast truly marvelous camera-work by Tony Leggo, he embodies 'passions to have' that we will later hear from Fleur's mouth. Michael, a man with 'a sense of proportion and humour' is too decent a man to react violently to all this mess. He directs his sight towards others. Although the wit of the family is dead (cousin George), Michael seems to bring all good qualities to life. Consider his scene with Bicket in the restaurant with oysters and shrimps: a wonderful meeting of two men of absolutely different backgrounds who can, anyway, understand each other. Michael is an outcast to the pomp of wealth and he will prove that in later episodes even more evidently.

In contrast come the couple short of money but full of affection and sacrifice: Tony and Vicky Bicket. To make a living, he sells balloons in the street where the adverts of dogs' food go with his offers: 'cheap balloons.' Some of them land in the hands of Soames who, in a famous and indicative scene, blows them in boredom and disappointment. The source of basic financial needs of the poor are merely a gamely toy for the rich. To earn some more money, Vicky sits in altogether, at the artist Aubrey Smith (played magnificently by John Bailey). By Jove! What a girl, one alleged Miss Manuelli sent by Michael...The echo of attractive innocence finds its beautiful realization in those scenes. Ms Sherman memorably combines timidness with curiosity. Mr Bailey portrays the artist's self esteem and delivers a brilliant, vibrant, lively performance filled with vitality, some neurotic elements and humour. What attempts to make her smile! These moments are truly the emotional highlights of the episode.

Meanwhile, we have an insightful study of Soames (Eric Porter). We see him not only as a caring parent or disappointed husband but as a member of the PPRS. With the idea of 'splendid isolation' and fear of foreign policy, he embodies his idea of property again, in this different context as a value closed within his four walls of reality. While Sir Lawrence Mont does not display any fears, the object of suspicion becomes one Elderson (Derek Francis). He is worth being watched at much closer rate but...is it of any help for Soames?

Young Butterfield (Donald Gee) along with family friend Gradman (Clifford Parrish) mark the wonderful tension of its final moments. A fanstastic story of eavesdropping is yet to arouse interest...

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