6.3/10
1,741
14 user 30 critic

The Bostonians (1984)

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

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie starred three actresses who had won Academy Awards for acting. In a supporting role in the film, Jessica Tandy later won a Best Actress Oscar for Driving Miss Daisy (1989), whilst in a lead role in the film, Vanessa Redgrave had previously won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Julia (1977). Also in a supporting role in the film was Linda Hunt, who had previously won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Year of Living Dangerously (1982). See more »

Goofs

After a title card has advised us we are in New York City in 1876, Olive Chancellor writes a check for Mr. Tarrant, dated September 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 From the Journals of Jean Seberg (1995) See more »

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.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1984 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bostonians See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,009,700

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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 »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed