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A Woman of Substance 

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This mini-series charts the life of Emma Harte, from kitchen maid at the beginning of the twentieth century, to respected business woman and grandmother in the 1980s. From humble beginnings... See full summary »
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1  
1985  
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Jenny Seagrove ...  Young Emma Harte 3 episodes, 1985
Barry Bostwick ...  Major Paul McGill 3 episodes, 1985
Deborah Kerr ...  Emma Harte 3 episodes, 1985
Diane Baker ...  Laura O'Neill 3 episodes, 1985
Peter Chelsom ...  Edwin Fairley 3 episodes, 1985
John Duttine ...  Joe Lowther 3 episodes, 1985
Peter Egan ...  Adam Fairley 3 episodes, 1985
Mick Ford ...  Frank Harte 3 episodes, 1985
Christopher Gable Christopher Gable ...  Arthur Ainsley 3 episodes, 1985
Christopher Guard Christopher Guard ...  Gerald Fairley 3 episodes, 1985
Dominic Guard ...  Winston Harte 3 episodes, 1985
Del Henney Del Henney ...  Jack Harte 3 episodes, 1985
Gayle Hunnicutt ...  Olivia Wainwright 3 episodes, 1985
Barry Morse ...  Murgatroyd 3 episodes, 1985
Liam Neeson ...  Blackie O'Neill 3 episodes, 1985
Nicola Pagett ...  Adele Fairley 3 episodes, 1985
Miranda Richardson ...  Paula McGill Amory 3 episodes, 1985
Joris Stuyck Joris Stuyck ...  David Kallinski 3 episodes, 1985
Meg Wynn Owen ...  Elizabeth Harte 3 episodes, 1985
George Baker ...  Bruce McGill 3 episodes, 1985
Megs Jenkins ...  Mrs. Turner 3 episodes, 1985
Harry Landis ...  Abraham Kallinski 3 episodes, 1985
John Mills ...  Henry Rossiter 3 episodes, 1985
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Storyline

This mini-series charts the life of Emma Harte, from kitchen maid at the beginning of the twentieth century, to respected business woman and grandmother in the 1980s. From humble beginnings, Emma Harte (Jenny Seagrove) starts her business with a small shop, but over the next twenty years, she expands her stores and invests in the growing textile industry in Leeds. By the time of World War II, Emma is the head of a major retail and manufacturing empire, but she has struggled all her life to find love. After an illegitimate daughter and two marriages, she finally meets the love of her life, Major Paul McGill (Barry Bostwick), but their affair is cut short by a tragic accident, leaving Emma with his daughter. In the 1980s, Emma (Deborah Kerr) faces one of her biggest tests, her children's attempt to remove her as head of her company, but she is far from the senile old woman they think she is, she is determined to stop them at all costs. Written by Stacey Mitchell

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Woman of Substance See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(5 episodes) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As of 2010, this is still the highest rated mini-series on Channel 4 in the U.K., peaking at 13.84 million viewers on the third night, January 4, 1985. See more »

Goofs

The transatlantic liner Queen Elizabeth on which Paul McGill says he is booked to go to the USA in 1939 was not completed until 1940 and did not enter commercial service until after WW2, about 1946. He may have meant the Queen Mary. See more »

Quotes

Young Emma Harte: [to Gerald, after he has attempted to rape her early in the film] I mean to ruin you... all of you. The entire Fairley family.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Hold the Dream (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
High quality mini-series
30 April 2013 | by jjnxn-1See all my reviews

Engrossing saga of a determined woman's climb to the pinnacle of success. Usually having two actresses share a lead minimizes the impact of that role but the excellent match up of Jenny Seagrove and the great Deborah Kerr avoids that here since they share more than a passing resemblance. Both give strong performances again matching in temperament for a seemly whole. Another great thing about these older minis is getting to see actors who went on to acclaim just starting out or prior to their breakouts. Such is the case with Miranda Richardson, who went from this straight into Dance With a Stranger, and particularly Liam Neeson who is terrific as the stalwart Blackie. Even at six hours though it still seems like it scrimps on some of the more interesting aspects of her business success for conventional romantic complications. Overall though an interesting show. Also worth checking out are the special features, in particular the one with Diane Baker who was the producer of this as well as playing a role and offers good insights into what goes into getting something like this made. If you are a fan of the hers and remember her from her late fifties early sixties heyday its great to see her looking so wonderfully well and still so lively.


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