6.3/10
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The Romantic Englishwoman (1975)

What is real and what is fiction? Faced with writer's block with his novel, Lewis Fielding turns to a film script about a woman finding herself after his wife Elizabeth returns from Baden ... See full summary »

Director:

Joseph Losey

Writers:

Tom Stoppard (screenplay), Thomas Wiseman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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A tale of torrid and forbidden love between a couple in the English countryside.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenda Jackson ... Elizabeth
Michael Caine ... Lewis
Helmut Berger ... Thomas
Michael Lonsdale ... Swan (as Michel Lonsdale)
Béatrice Romand ... Catherine (as Beatrice Romand)
Kate Nelligan ... Isabel
Nathalie Delon ... Miranda
Reinhard Kolldehoff ... Herman (as Rene Kolldehoff)
Anna Steele Anna Steele ... Annie
Marcus Richardson Marcus Richardson ... David
Julie Peasgood ... New Nanny
Frankie Jordan Frankie Jordan ... Supermarket Cashier
Tom Chatto ... Neighbour
Frances Tomelty Frances Tomelty ... Airport Shop Assistant
Lillias Walker ... 1st Mealticket Lady
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Storyline

What is real and what is fiction? Faced with writer's block with his novel, Lewis Fielding turns to a film script about a woman finding herself after his wife Elizabeth returns from Baden Baden. She didn't quite find herself there but had a brief encounter in a lift with a German who says he is a poet. Now the German is in England, gets himself invited to tea where he claims he admires Fielding's books. Which one does he like the best? "Tom Jones." Amused at being confused with the other Fielding, the novelist works the German into the plot. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

26 November 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Inglesa Romântica See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David de Keyser replaced an actor who dropped out. See more »

Quotes

Thomas: The Englishwoman was the most romantic. All she wanted was everything.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Premio Donostia a Michael Caine (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE ROMANTIC ENGLISHWOMAN (Joseph Losey, 1975) ***
23 August 2006 | by MARIO GAUCISee all my reviews

From the film's title and credits, I had assumed it would be a hysterical melodrama but, in general, I was pleasantly surprised by the result! As expected from this director, it's a stylish film but not an easy one: in fact, it's been likened to Alain Resnais' LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD (1961) - though it's not quite that mystifying!

Still, the plot does blur the confines which separate fact from fiction, especially in the way novelist/screenwriter Michael Caine bases the affair between a man and a woman who meet while on holiday in a foreign city - and which we see enacted from time to time - on the one he suspects went on between his wife (Glenda Jackson) and a young German gigolo (Helmut Berger) in Baden-Baden. The latter, however, is not as naïve and innocuous as he seems to be; apart from being a crook, when invited by Caine to England, he insinuates himself into the couple's household: charming the nanny who takes care of their child, intriguing the apprehensive Caine (playing a character named Lewis Fielding, whereupon Berger presents himself as an admirer citing "Tom Jones" as his favorite novel - actually written by Henry Fielding!) but who still makes him his secretary, while Jackson is annoyed and evidently uncomfortable with the whole tension-filled set-up.

The three stars are excellent, but Caine's character is especially interesting; curiously enough, when presented with the idea for his script, he finds it boring and proposes to change it into a suspenser but, after realizing that the drama held greater resonance for him than he had anticipated, he is unaware of the parallel thriller subplot wherein Berger falls foul of his criminal associates (led by the smooth Michel Lonsdale)! The cast also features Rene' Kolldehoff (as Caine's extravagant producer), Nathalie Delon (severely underused, despite her "Guest Artist" credit) and Kate Nelligan (as a gossipmonger friend of the Fieldings).

The script by Tom Stoppard and Thomas Wiseman (from the latter's novel) is actually very funny, particularly Caine's explosive put-down of Nelligan on her very first appearance (though when Jackson eventually leaves him for Berger, she goes to see how he's doing and they make up), a society dinner in which Caine ends up drunk and Delon is mistaken for a hooker and, again, Caine's close encounter with gangster Lonsdale. Here, Losey also does some interesting things with his camera (Gerry Fisher was the cinematographer) and Richard Hartley's score is notable, too.

I've only watched this and MR. KLEIN (1976) from Losey's final period (1972-85), during which there were evident signs of decline; even if overlong and emerging, ultimately, as a lesser work, the film is more enjoyable - and rewarding - than could be gleaned from a mere reading of its synopsis...


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