6.6/10
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The Ebony Tower (1984)

A young artist goes to interview an older painter who lives in the south of France with two young women. He gets caught up in the painter's Bohemian lifestyle and begins examining his own ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Knights

Writers:

John Fowles (story), John Mortimer
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Laurence Olivier ... Henry Breasley
Roger Rees ... David Williams
Greta Scacchi ... Diana, 'The Mouse'
Toyah Willcox ... Anne, 'The Freak'
Georgina Melville ... Beth Williams
Yves Brainville Yves Brainville ... Jean-Pierre
Denise Bailly Denise Bailly ... Mathilde
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vincent Lindon
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Storyline

A young artist goes to interview an older painter who lives in the south of France with two young women. He gets caught up in the painter's Bohemian lifestyle and begins examining his own attitudes towards life and art. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 February 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Elfenbeinturm See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Toyah Willcox character Freak is seen reading a book which appears to be "The Ebony Tower" by John Fowles. See more »

Quotes

Henry Breasley: There was a young lady called Gloria who was had by Sir Gerald du Maurier, Jack Hylton, Jack Payne, Sir Gerald again, and the band of the Waldorf Astoria!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Celebrity Naked Ambition (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Miscast but still worthwhile
25 November 2007 | by graffmanSee all my reviews

This is an early TV-version of one of John Fowles' greatest stories, the first and longest in his collection of the same name from 1974. All highly recommended reading. And perhaps it belongs to a genre better read in retreat, than seen on any screen. Though the effort to make a film of it deserves attention, if not else just because of the archetypal abyss of the story.

The main drawback is that Olivier is terribly miscast. The great ham is no ailing but still dangerously masculine and sharp old Man, as the painter Henry Breasley is supposed to be. Someone like Richard Harris might have been a more congenial choice for the role. And even Roger Rees seems somewhat too anemic here. While Greta Scacchi is pretty perfect. I'd buy it on DVD anytime, if it was available by itself and not just as a bonus in an Olivier collection..


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