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The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)

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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 ... See full summary »

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Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sarah and Anna
... Charles and Mike
Hilton McRae ... Sam
Emily Morgan ... Mary
Charlotte Mitchell ... Mrs. Tranter
... Ernestina
Jean Faulds ... Cook
... Mr. Freeman
... Vicar
... Mrs. Fairley
... Mrs. Poulteney
... Dairyman
... Dr. Grogan
... Girl on Undercliff
... 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:

Language:

Release Date:

16 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La amante del teniente francés  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$22,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Karel Reisz and writer Harold Pinter wrote and developed the film's screenplay throughout the year of 1979. 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

[describing how she became the French Lieutenant's mistress]
Sarah: Soon he no longer bothered to hide the nature of his intensions towards me. Nor could I pretend surprise. My innocence was false from the moment I chose to stay. I could tell you that he overpowered me, he drugged me. But it was not so... I gave myself to him.
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Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude in C minor
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A wonderful movie
31 July 1999 | by See all my reviews

This film is visually fascinating as well as dramatically satisfying. Every camera shot is breathtaking - this includes both stories.

The script is brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed the post-modernist self-awareness - the blurred line between one reality and the other calls the entire experience into question. But I knew I was watching modern actors playing in a period piece and I was still caught up in the story, both stories - which mirror each other and make you wonder which character is influencing which performance. Irons gets to play two obsessive roles, something he seems to be really good at. Streep is enthralling and brings a third dimension to two enigmatic roles perfectly suited for her.


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