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The Bostonians (1984)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 5 October 1984 (UK)
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1:23 | Trailer

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A Boston feminist and a conservative Southern lawyer contend for the heart and mind of a beautiful and bright girl unsure of her future.

Director:

James Ivory

Writers:

Henry James (novel), Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Reeve ... Basil Ransome
Vanessa Redgrave ... Olive Chancellor
Jessica Tandy ... Miss Birdseye
Madeleine Potter ... Verena Tarrant
Nancy Marchand ... Mrs. Burrage
Wesley Addy ... Dr. Tarrant
Barbara Bryne Barbara Bryne ... Mrs. Tarrant
Linda Hunt ... Dr. Prance
Charles McCaughan ... Music Hall Policeman
Nancy New ... Adeline
Jon Van Ness ... Henry Burrage (as John Van Ness Philip)
Wallace Shawn ... Mr. Pardon
Peter Bogyo Peter Bogyo ... Mr. Gracie
Martha Farrar Martha Farrar ... Mrs, Farrinder
Dusty Maxwell Dusty Maxwell ... Newton Tarrant
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Storyline

19th-century Boston woman dedicated to the suffrage movement, meets a faith healer's daughter, a Mississippi lawyer also has eyes for the young woman. Written by Joyce Kavitsky <Kavitsky@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A BEAUTIFUL FILM . . . An intimate and exquisite probe of the feminist heart. [Australia Theatrical]

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1984 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

En kvinnas röst See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,009,700
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Reeve said of this film in his autobiography "Still Me" (1998): "[Producer] Ismail [Merchant] could only afford to pay me $100,000, less than a tenth of my established price at the time. I insisted that the money was not an issue, that this was the kind of work I ought to be doing, but my agent told me, 'If you do that picture with those wandering minstrels, it will be one foot in the grave of your career'. ... I cheerfully ignored their advice". See more »

Goofs

The invitation Basil receives to hear Verena give an address is for Wednesday, June 1, 1876. In 1876, June 1 fell on a Thursday. See more »

Quotes

Olive Chancellor: Don't you believe in the coming of a better day that it's possible to do something for the human race?
Basil Ransome: Hmm, well... what strikes me most, Ms. Olive, it's that human race's got to bear its troubles.
Olive Chancellor: But that's what men say to keep women in the position they have made for them.
Basil Ransome: The position of women is nothing but to make fools of men.
Olive Chancellor: Don't you believe in our emancipation?
Basil Ransome: I'll tell you after the meeting.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dawson's Creek: The Bostonians (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Timeless
8 September 2011 | by detleffish-2See all my reviews

The other reviews really don't get that this is a very subtle expose on gay relationships in this era. Was Henry James gay? Did he live his perspective through this story of the Bostonians…?. And imagine writing about women's rights movement intertwined with gay women of the day- a man writing in the 1800's! WoW – how progressive even today in 2011 people still debate the legitimacy of gay relationships (not me-please note I am happily married heterosexual). This is in amazing film. Period accurate and an incredible story about the dynamic of class – to be the lover of a women of means but who is really drawn to a traditional marriage – if he has the means to support her. Watch this from that perspective. It's remarkable to think that this was written in the late 1800's and that this film was done in the 1980s – so way ahead of its time. And then look at Christopher Reeve and how he took this movie to break out of his Superman stereo type…. Pretty incredible. I think the naysayers here really didn't get the historical significance of this film. Its an amazing film. Thank you Merchant and Ivory…you are amazing.


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