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The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)

Trailer
1:59 | Trailer
Wife and husband, both actors, play a couple in love from the Victorian era. Soon they begin to feel that fiction interweaves into reality.

Director:

Karel Reisz

Writers:

John Fowles (novel), Harold Pinter (screenplay)
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Stars: Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, Maria Conchita Alonso
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Sarah and Anna
Jeremy Irons ... Charles and Mike
Hilton McRae Hilton McRae ... Sam
Emily Morgan Emily Morgan ... Mary
Charlotte Mitchell Charlotte Mitchell ... Mrs. Tranter
Lynsey Baxter ... Ernestina
Jean Faulds Jean Faulds ... Cook
Peter Vaughan ... Mr. Freeman
Colin Jeavons ... Vicar
Liz Smith ... Mrs. Fairley
Patience Collier ... Mrs. Poulteney
John Barrett ... Dairyman
Leo McKern ... Dr. Grogan
Arabella Weir ... Girl on Undercliff
Ben Forster ... Boy on Undercliff
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Storyline

A film is being made of a story, set in 19th century England, about Charles, a biologist who's engaged to be married, but who falls in love with outcast Sarah, whose melancholy makes her leave him after a short, but passionate affair. Anna and Mike, who play the characters of Sarah and Charles, go, during the shooting of the film, through a relationship that runs parallel to that of their characters. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She was lost from the moment she saw him.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La amante del teniente francés See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$26,890,068

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,890,068
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Juniper Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

US library magazine 'American Libraries' described the film's source John Fowles "The French Lieutenant's Woman" novel as one of the "Notable Books of 1969". See more »

Goofs

While at the house in the Lake District, the reaction to Sarah being pushed to the ground by Charles is genuine; Meryl actually hits her head on the floor & when Jeremy acknowledges; she nods, giggles & reorients herself in position next to him. See more »

Quotes

Sarah: Do what you will. Or what you must. Now that I know there was truly a day upon which you loved me, I can bear anything.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Caution, Danger! (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude in C minor
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brooding, classy, evocative melodrama.
30 June 2005 | by Howlin WolfSee all my reviews

... Anyone who's read my earlier review of "Damage", and disagrees with the feelings I expressed there; THIS is how Jeremy Irons should be utilized to portray destructive longing! It's a bodice-ripper without the ripping going on - all internalised, *raw* emotion. It's gorgeously shot, too; and Streep makes good on her reputation in a poignant showing. I've never read "Wuthering Heights", but I couldn't help thinking of Heathcliff and the moors, nevertheless...

It reminded me of 'The Hours', only it has a less 'studied' feel to it. The realities of 'social exclusion' really hit home, but thanks to the great performances, we don't doubt the extremes shown. Love renders all other concerns as 'insignificant', when you're in its grip.

This isn't the kind of film I would normally like; but in my quest to sample as much that is acclaimed as possible, I ended up here. I'm glad I did. If you have romance in your soul, this is apt to get you, inside. I only left this out of my 250 list because due to being something of a 'grinch', I tend to side with LIFE'S version of how things end, rather than literatures; but oh well... !


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