6.2/10
1,077
23 user 21 critic

Daisy Miller (1974)

In this comedy of manners, Frederick Winterbourne tries to figure out the bright and bubbly Daisy Miller, only to be helped and hindered by false judgments from their fellow friends.

Director:

Peter Bogdanovich

Writers:

Frederic Raphael (screenplay), Henry James (story)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cybill Shepherd ... Annie P. Miller
Barry Brown ... Frederick Winterbourne
Cloris Leachman ... Mrs. Ezra B. Miller
Mildred Natwick ... Mrs. Costello
Eileen Brennan ... Mrs. Walker
Duilio Del Prete ... Mr. Giovanelli
James McMurtry James McMurtry ... Randolph C. Miller
Nicholas Jones ... Charles
George Morfogen George Morfogen ... Eugenio
Jean-Pascal Bongard Jean-Pascal Bongard ... Hotel Receptionist Vevey
Albert Messmer Albert Messmer ... Tutor
Jacques Guhl Jacques Guhl ... Polish Boy
Hubert Geoldun Hubert Geoldun ... Polish Boy
David Bush David Bush ... Man at Chillon
Henri Hubinet Henri Hubinet ... Chillon Guide
Edit

Storyline

It's the late nineteenth century. Annie Miller, more regularly referred to as Daisy, of Schenectady, New York, is on a grand tour of Europe with her mother, Mrs. Ezra Miller, her precocious adolescent brother, Randolph Miller, and their manservant, Eugenio. It is at their stop in Vevey, Switzerland that Daisy meets Frederick Winterbourne, an American expat studying in Geneva. Frederick has mixed emotions about Daisy. On the one hand, he is captivated by her beauty. On the other, he believes her to be uneducated and improper in her modern American attitude and behavior, she basically doing whatever she wants regardless of the possible perception of impropriety by those in Frederick's social circle. That latter view is shared by Frederick's aunt, Mrs. Costello, with who he is traveling. Conversely, Daisy finds Frederick to be stiff. Regardless, Daisy does allow Frederick to spend time with her as they move from Vevey to Rome, Italy in their individual parallel travels. Through this time... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She did as she pleased

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director-producer Peter Bogdanovich has said of showing the completed film to his partners at the Directors Company: "They thought it was a kind of a vanity production to show Cybill [Shepherd] off. If I'd wanted to do that I would have done something else. That was a pretty difficult role, and I thought she was awfully good in it. What some people didn't realize is that that was the way a girl like that would have been in 1875. She was from New York, she was a provincial girl. If you read the story that's what she is. If you read the original novel we hardly added anything. The movie is exactly the book. I added one sequence that I wrote that Freddy Raphael [Frederic Raphael] had nothing to do with. In fact Freddy Raphael [Frederic Raphael] had nothing to do with that script, it was so funny. There's two things he wrote. One idea was the little miniature painter and the other thing was having that scene play in the baths . . . Everything else was the book and I couldn't use his script cause it was really way over the top. Anyway, that's another story. We went to arbitration in England cause Freddy's English and so they were a little partial to him. They said I could have billing but it would have to say 'Additional Dialogue by' and I said I'm not going to give myself that". See more »

Quotes

Annie P. 'Daisy' Miller: I'm a terrible, frightful flirt. Did you ever hear of a nice girl that wasn't? But now I guess you'll tell me I'm not a nice girl.
See more »


User Reviews

 
sumptuous scenery, good performances, faithful to the original story
10 February 2010 | by paleolithSee all my reviews

Many reviewers here seem to have confused the story and characters with the film and the actors.

Yes, Daisy in the film is rather flat and monotonous. But that's a high compliment -- that the ravishing Cybill Shepherd could so accurately portray such a flat character. Henry James at one point describes Daisy's expression as a "light, slightly monotonous smile", in another her voice as a "little soft, flat monotone". He says late in the story that "there was always, in her conversation, the same odd mixture of audacity and puerility". No, she wouldn't be a very pleasant person to be around for long. But that was part of James's point: that our attraction to people (especially those of the opposite sex) often defies reason. Shepard makes the point well.

Some have commented that they wished the story had been filled out. Some of those apparently haven't read the story. One of those critics even places the story wrong by forty years. Though called a novella, it's barely more than a short story. In fact the film does a remarkable job of portraying the events and (more importantly) the characters very much as they are in the story. The great majority of the dialog in the film is verbatim from the story.

In some instances, the scenes and characters were significantly expanded from the James story. How far should a director go, if the aim is to film a classic story, not just to make something derived from that story? James's characters were pretty flat, a lot flatter than those in the film. One could justifiably criticize the film for telling the story far better than James did.

Do you think James's story is dated and flat in the modern world? Well, in many ways so do I. A polemical assault on discrimination based on manners and birth is truly dated. Yet an assault on personal discrimination remains fully current. The modern world is certainly not devoid of personal discrimination. Perhaps it's not often so ugly, not in the first world anyway, but prejudice is very much alive.

James's story is also unsubtle: two groups of people with differing views, one person caught with one foot in each camp, unhappy results. That's about it. Should one film the classic story, or build something different? It's a choice; great films have been made both ways. The choice for this film was unambiguous: to film the classic story.

The photography is truly gorgeous -- the film (at least the outdoor parts) was shot on location in Vevey, Switzerland and Rome, Italy. Despite the long stretches of dialog, including Daisy's run-on commentaries, one need not strain to understand the words. If the story were as good as the production and acting (several good performances) then this would be a 10. The faithfulness to the original weights it down.


13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

24 January 1975 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Dejzi Miler See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed