6.7/10
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35 user 5 critic

That Forsyte Woman (1949)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 3 November 1949 (USA)
Love among the Forsytes is strange, full of tradition, melancholy and gold digging in this film treatise on Victorian-age rigidity and vestiges of a flawed society.

Director:

Compton Bennett

Writers:

John Galsworthy (based on book I of "The Forsyte Saga" by), Jan Lustig (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Errol Flynn ... Soames Forsyte
Greer Garson ... Irene Forsyte
Walter Pidgeon ... Young Jolyon Forsyte
Robert Young ... Philip Bosinney
Janet Leigh ... June Forsyte
Harry Davenport ... Old Jolyon Forsyte
Aubrey Mather ... James Forsyte
Gerald Oliver Smith Gerald Oliver Smith ... Wilson
Lumsden Hare ... Roger Forsyte
Stanley Logan Stanley Logan ... Swithin Forsyte
Halliwell Hobbes ... Nicholas Forsyte
Matt Moore ... Timothy Forsyte
Florence Auer ... Ann Forsyte Heyman
Phyllis Morris Phyllis Morris ... Julia Forsyte Small
Marjorie Eaton ... Hester Forsyte
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Storyline

Soames and Irene Forsyte have a marriage of convenience. Young Jolyon Forsyte is a black sheep who ran away with the maid after his wife's death. Teenager June Forsyte has found love with an artist, Phillip Bosinny. The interactions between the Forsytes and the people and society around them is the truss for this love story set in the rigid and strict times of the Victorian age. Written by erasmus

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To men she could be ice . . . or fire . . . or everything! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Forsyte Saga See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,710,000, 31 December 1949
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally Pidgeon was cast as Soames and Flynn as young Jolyon, but the actors felt they wanted to go against type and agreed to switch roles. See more »

Goofs

In an era of corset-wearing ladies there is a scene where Irene confronts Soames in his office about going on vacation. Garson is dressed in a Victorian nightgown and robe but in various scenes of her seated her bra straps are visible. See more »

Quotes

Soames Forsyte: I wish you'd allow me to choose your friends.
Irene Forsyte: As you choose my dresses?
Soames Forsyte: I think you'd admit that I've made you one of the best-dressed women in London. Surely you have no complaints on that score.
See more »


Soundtracks

The Lancer's Quadrilles: La Dorset
Composed by Spagnoletti
[the first dance at June's ball]
See more »

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User Reviews

Flynn Steals MGM 'Forsythe Saga'...
4 November 2003 | by cariartSee all my reviews

By the end of the 1940s, the WB had relegated one-time box office king Errol Flynn to 'B' movies, and offered him little studio support. While most of the stars under contract to the studio were still protected from unflattering publicity, Flynn's rape trial and subsequent revelations revealed a public far more tolerant of the star than the studio was, so Flynn was left 'to his own devices', and found himself the constant subject of scandalous headlines, a situation that became so intolerable that he would eventually sue 'Confidential' magazine, the most virulent of the 'scandal sheets'.

Therefore, when, negotiating a new contract in 1947, Flynn asked to be allowed to do one film a year away from the WB, the studio agreed, happily, more than pleased to let another studio pay the actor's salary and deal with his unsavory reputation. While the result of this new 'freedom' did not produce any Flynn 'classics' (KIM would be the best received of his work away from the WB), it did give him a seat at the table with Gable, Tracy, Hepburn, Garland, Taylor, and MGM's other legendary stars, when the studio celebrated their 'Golden Anniversary', in 1949.

THAT FORSYTHE WOMAN, Flynn's first film away from the WB, was a heavy-handed, ultimately unsuccessful adaptation of the first of John Galsworthy's trilogy of the rise and fall of a British aristocratic family, a popular series of works that would become the basis of the classic BBC series, 'Upstairs, Downstairs'. Offered his choice of the male 'leads' in the film, Flynn lobbied for, and got, the 'villain' of the story, the coldly ruthless Soames Forsythe, who marries MGM 'queen' Greer Garson, and proceeds to make her life a living hell. It was a major departure for Flynn, who had watched his roles at the WB deteriorate into a collection of jaded roués with a 'taste' for married women. While he acknowledged that he wasn't the easiest person to work with, he wanted to demonstrate, once and for all, that he was an actor capable of far more than leaping horses over cannons and swinging a sword. With Soames, Flynn proved he 'could deliver', even as a character you would be hard-pressed to feel sympathetic about.

As the men Garson would find comfort with, Robert Young (who had his own 'typecasting' problems, again playing a near juvenile when, in fact, he was older than Flynn!), and Walter Pidgeon (also playing a role younger than his actual age, but, as usual, winning Garson's heart), had to contend with poorly written, nearly cardboard roles (that Pidgeon 'comes off' so well is a testament to his often-overlooked acting talent...he was FAR more than just 'Garson's Leading Man').

Greer Garson, long 'typed' as the most aristocratic of MGM leading ladies, had to deliver some truly 'ripe' dialog, and her manipulation by 'class conscious' Soames seemed unrealistic and out of character, but she managed to survive the stodgy production with her reputation unblemished.

Filming was smooth and untroubled, and Garson was impressed by Flynn's professionalism (he was on his best behavior, for a change). He did, however, pull one memorable practical joke; in a very dramatic scene, as she packed to leave Soames, she opened a wooden wardrobe to discover Flynn, standing inside, naked, grinning from ear to ear! One NEVER pulled a stunt like that on a Major Star (Bette Davis would have had a tantrum), but Garson simply burst out laughing, appreciating Flynn's irreverence.

THAT FORSYTHE WOMAN would be one of Errol Flynn's favorite movies, even if it didn't turn his career around.


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