6.6/10
573
14 user 3 critic

American Friends (1991)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | April 1993 (USA)
Francis Ashby, a senior Oxford don on holiday alone in the Alps, meets holidaying American Caroline and her companion Elinor, the blossoming Irish-American girl she adopted many years ... See full summary »

Director:

Tristram Powell

Writers:

Michael Palin (story), Michael Palin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bryan Pringle ... Haskell
Fred Pearson ... Hapgood
Michael Palin ... Reverend Francis Ashby
Alfred Molina ... Oliver Syme
Susan Denaker ... Mrs. Cantrell
Jonathan Firth ... Cable
Ian Dunn ... Gowers
Robert Eddison ... Rushden - The President
David Calder ... Pollitt
Simon Jones ... Anderson
Charles McKeown ... Maynard
Roger Lloyd Pack ... Dr. Butler (as Roger Lloyd-Pack)
John Nettleton ... Groves
Trini Alvarado ... Miss Elinor Hartley
Connie Booth ... Miss Caroline Hartley
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Storyline

Francis Ashby, a senior Oxford don on holiday alone in the Alps, meets holidaying American Caroline and her companion Elinor, the blossoming Irish-American girl she adopted many years before. Ashby finds he enjoys their company, particularly that of Elinor, and both the women are drawn to him. Back at Oxford he is nevertheless taken aback when they arrive unannounced. Women are not allowed in the College grounds, let alone the rooms. Indeed any liaison, however innocent, is frowned on by the upstanding Fellows. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Education in love

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language and sensuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amerikai barátok See more »

Filming Locations:

Kanton Wallis, Switzerland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Palin says that the plot was taken from a real-life incident involving his great-grandfather. See more »

Soundtracks

Schumann Lieder [Opus 25]
By Robert Schumann
Sung by Susan Denaker
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User Reviews

 
really needs a woman's touch
21 November 2013 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

It's 1861 Rev Francis Ashby (Michael Palin) is a senior Oxford teacher holidaying alone in the Alps. He meets the American family Hartleys. Young Elinor (Trini Alvarado) is especially taken with Mr Ashby. None of the teachers are allowed to marry. When Elinor and Caroline Hartley surprise him arriving at Oxford, they aren't even allowed to stay on the College grounds. Oliver Syme (Alfred Molina) is a scheming new-thinker, and becomes a challenger to the morally unblemished Ashby for the post of College President.

Michael Palin wrote the story, and probably has taken great personal stakes in this movie. It seems that much effort has been put into maintaining the authenticity in the relationship between the sexes. The monastic feel of college life can be a very trying watch. It's very stale and not very exciting. Even a great debate sound dry and uninteresting.

The woman's touch allows the movie to gain a bit of color. Michael Palin is painfully reserved. There is an intense love story amidst the sexual repression to be had, but the pacing is so slow that it never gains the energy to lift off. Palin and Alvarado need more time together. The movie gains some altitude when they are hiding in his room. However the emphasis keeps being pushed to the developing scandal rather than the developing romance. Instead of a love story, it's a story of propriety.


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