6.4/10
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13 user 12 critic

The Bostonians (1984)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 5 October 1984 (UK)
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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

The climatic scene at the "Boston Music Hall" was actually filmed at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York, finished in 1875. The Boston Music Hall was pulled down in the 1950s. But the film required a civic hall with a pipe organ in it for plot reasons. While we see the 1882 Odell organ in the Troy hall, the organ itself didn't work very well in 1983, so the music was actually recorded on the organ at Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts. See more »

Goofs

After a title card has advised us we are in New York City in l876, Olive Chancellor writes a check for Mr. Tarrant, dated Septmber 13, 1875. See more »

Quotes

Miss Birdseye: [on Basil] Your cousin looks like a genius, my dear.
Olive Chancellor: It's only a distant cousin. He's a lawyer from Mississippi, he left his mother and his sisters behind and he's come to try to make his living in New York. He's not in sympathy, I'm afraid.
Miss Birdseye: Well, I've often found that people are only waiting for the light.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Wandering Company (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Merchant/Ivory offering falls flat
30 October 2007 | by chaplinj@hotmail.comSee all my reviews

Well meant production from the magical Merchant/Ivory/Jhabvala team. This one was made before they hit their stride, however. The first mistake was casting Christopher Reeve in the lead. He always looks like he's acting, there's nothing natural about it. His performance here is in par with cheap 70's pornography acting. He is supposedly classically trained as an actor, but I guess anyone who pays for and attends acting classes can say the same. Some have it and some don't, he doesn't. The costumes, art direction and sets are all lavish and appealing. The dialog is far too updated to make one believe that it's taking place in another century, it's almost like a high school production in that aspect. Redgrave and Marchand both give good performances, nothing remarkable at all, but acceptable. The rest of the cast is a mish-mash of mostly b-listers. Scriptwriter Jhabvala has proved herself time and again to be quite the artist, but the script here is flat. Perhaps the book it was based on is this dull and unconvincing. I was left simply unaffected by any message they were trying to convey about the period. I'm a fanatic when it comes to Merchant/Ivory pictures, but this one just didn't cut it. It seems they were more in their element with their amazing and opulent European productions. The quality of their American films seems to be quite cheap in production in comparison. I'm simply left wondering what a masterpiece this could have been had it been set in and filmed in England. If you're an Ivory/Merchant fan, stick with their better titles "A Room With A View" & "Sense And Sensibility", they both surpass this effort by leagues.


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