In a Florence pensione circa 1900 with English guests, George Emerson (Julian Sands) and his dad (Denholm Elliott) offer their rooms with views to Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) and her chaperone, Charlotte Bartlett (Dame Maggie Smith). Lucy and George get acquainted, but Lucy returns to England. George and Lucy meet again, but now she's engaged.
Helena Bonham Carter,
Filmmaker David Lean is scouting locations in Tahiti for a feature film about the famous mutiny on the HMS Bounty. His property master, Eddie Fowlie, discovers the whereabouts of an anchor ... See full summary »
It's the early 1920s. Britons Adela Quested (Judy Davis) and her probable future mother-in-law Mrs. Moore (Peggy Ashcroft) have just arrived in Chandrapore in British India to visit Adela's unofficial betrothed, Ronny Heaslop (Nigel Havers), who works there as the city's magistrate. Adela and Mrs. Moore, who long for "an adventure" in experiencing all India has to offer, are dismayed to learn upon their arrival that the ruling British do not socialize, let alone associate, with the native population. Such people as the Turtons, Mr. Turton (Richard Wilson) being Ronny's superior, who openly thumb their noses at the idea in their belief that the Indians are an inferior people. They are further dismayed to see that Ronny adheres to that custom in not wanting to jeopardize his career. At the local white only club, Adela and Mrs. Moore find a like-minded Brit in the form of Richard Fielding (James Fox), the school master at government college, he who offers to organize a small, but truly ...Written by
Peggy Ashcroft was initially reluctant to take the role of Mrs. Moore. She told Sir David Lean, "Mr Lean, I'm 75 years old." "So am I", he replied. Although she had recently worked in India on The Jewel in the Crown (1984), she said, "I thought, 'Oh dear, I really don't want to do it', but it's very difficult to turn down a Lean film." See more »
The visiting British women, in addition to a band, are treated to reed instruments which resemble (South Indian) naadaswarams and not local Bihari music, though everybody including Fielding speaks Hindi and Urdu. When Dr Aziz is being felicitated for his freedom, the music is in Hindu Marathi - "Govinda Ala re," a music reserved only during Janmashtami ( Lord Krishnas' birth) in Maharashtra, whereas the audience is predominantly Moslem. See more »
Indian crowd member #1:
[pointing at Mr. Fielding and Adela leaving in the carriage]
That was Mr. Fielding!
Indian crowd member #2:
And Mrs. Moore!
Entire Indian crowd:
Mrs. Moore! Mrs. Moore! Mrs. Moore!...
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Multi-layered masterpiece from the great David Lean
E.M. Forster's multi-layered masterpiece is on the surface the story of a young woman and her passage through India. On another level it's the story of India's independence from British rule. And there are other themes as well: mysticism, reincarnation, the clash of eastern and western cultures and religion. Only master director David Lean could reveal all the levels and he succeeds in this film.
You can watch this film once for each of the levels and always see something new. The sequence of the trip to the Marabar Caves and what happens there is one of the most mysterious in all of film.
Like Kubrick and Hitchcock, Lean can tell a story yet somehow depict things beneath the surface which ads to the richness of the film and gives it a depth all other films lack. It's not an epic like Lean's masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia but it's still a terrific film.
Alec Guinness is superb as Professsor Godbhole, teacher/guru/who is he really?. With Judy Davis as Adela Quested, Victor Banerjee as Dr. Aziz H. Ahmed, Peggy Ashcroft as Mrs. Moore, and James Fox in a terrific performance as Richard Fielding.
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