6.6/10
567
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:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $4.99 (SD) on Prime Video

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

G.B.H. (TV Mini-Series 1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Michael Murray is an ambitious and charismatic politician, Jim Nelson is a much loved headmaster of a local school for disturbed children. When the paths of these two men cross, things are ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Lindsay, Michael Palin, Dearbhla Molloy
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In post-war Britain, food rationing continues, leading a married couple to become involved in the flourishing bacon black market.

Director: Malcolm Mowbray
Stars: Michael Palin, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In 1905, after 10 years of missionary work in Africa, the Rev. Charles Fortesque is recalled to England, where his bishop gives him his new assignment - to minister to London's prostitutes.... See full summary »

Director: Richard Loncraine
Stars: Michael Palin, Maggie Smith, Trevor Howard
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An uptight English writer traveling to Crete on a matter of business finds his life changed forever when he meets the gregarious Alexis Zorba.

Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Haskell
... Hapgood
... Reverend Francis Ashby
... Oliver Syme
... Mrs. Cantrell
... Cable
... Gowers
... Rushden - The President
... Pollitt
... Anderson
... Maynard
... Dr. Butler (as Roger Lloyd-Pack)
... Groves
... Miss Elinor Hartley
... Miss Caroline Hartley
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerikai barátok  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Miss Hartley was originally a much older woman and the role was offered to Anne Bancroft who turned it down. Ellen Burstyn was then offered the part before the character was completely rewritten. See more »

Soundtracks

Schumann Lieder [Opus 25]
By Robert Schumann
Sung by Susan Denaker
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A sensitive and well-judged period drama from Palin
30 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

Rev Francis Ashby is a bookish and retiring don at Oxford who reluctantly gives in to his colleagues insistences that he go for a holiday. Enjoying the peace and quiet in the Alps he is initially disturbed by the arrival of a group including an American woman (Caroline) and her teenager ward (Elinor). However, acting as their guide when the rest of the group returns to the lodgings, Ashby starts to fall for the darling Elinor but, after slight bonding, he is called back immediately due to the failing health of the college president. When his American friends come to Oxford to visit, their arrival throws the college into a tizzy and he finds himself in competition with others for not only the role of president but also for the hearts of his friends.

Watching this film for the third time since its release in the early nineties I decided to review it and, looking at the title page was astonished (yes, really) to see that only 106 people have voted on it. I know this is not a total representation of how many people have actually seen it but I was surprised how such a well-known film appears to be underseen (although it may say more about the demographics of those that use this site most). This is not to imply that it is an excellent film but it is a well paced film that is enjoyable on its own terms. For those expecting great sentiment you will be let down, likewise those expecting a Merchant Ivory film, or a very comic film but those open to a nicely sensitive little tale that is slightly comic but more enjoyable for being restraining and being very true to the Englishness of its subjects and the polite behaviour of the period.

Based on his own grandfather's diaries, Palin has done a good job as both writer and director to capture the period and deal with the subject in a way that is unshowy but not stale, sensitive and patient but never dull and comic without ever being so crude as to actually make you laugh out loud. It isn't fantastic of course but it is nicely lowkey and it is enjoyable for what it is. As actor Palin continues this good work and he delivers a very restrained and shy performance – even more amazing when you think this is a Python! Booth and Alvarado are both very attractive and restrained at the same time and effective if not memorable. Molina, currently playing a superhero baddie, plays a 'baddie' of another sort here and he pitches his character well to be dastardly while still keeping within the period. Support from Jones, Firth, Eddison and others is good and they all keep to the period and the material yet.

Overall this is not an amazing film or even a really good one, but what it is is a well written period drama that is delivered well enough to prevent it being dull and it comes over as a nice little film that is pleasing to watch even if it never sets the screen on fire. An undervalued little drama that is a well handled, very personal film from Palin who does very well in all three of his roles.


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

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial