6.4/10
1,991
18 user 10 critic

Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991)

After a rich Edwardian widow impulsively marries a handsome but poor Tuscan dentist and dies in childbirth, her English in-laws try to gain custody of the baby.

Director:

Charles Sturridge

Writers:

E.M. Forster (based on the novel by), Tim Sullivan (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Graves ... Philip Herriton
Helen Mirren ... Lilia Herriton
Helena Bonham Carter ... Caroline Abbott
Barbara Jefford ... Mrs. Herriton
Judy Davis ... Harriet Herriton
Thomas Wheatley Thomas Wheatley ... Mr. Kingcroft
Sophie Kullmann Sophie Kullmann ... Irma
Vass Anderson Vass Anderson ... Mr. Abbott
Sylvia Barter Sylvia Barter ... Mrs. Theobald
Eileen Davies ... Ethel
Siria Betti Siria Betti ... Hotel-Keeper
Giovanni Guidelli ... Gino Carella
Anna Lelio Anna Lelio ... Perfetta
Luca Lazzareschi ... Spiridione
Sergio Falasca Sergio Falasca ... Carriage Driver
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Storyline

Around 1906, the widow Lilia Herriton (Dame Helen Mirren) meets a young man when she visits Italy and marries him. The man is only a dentist without a good name, and Lilia's relatives are clearly unhappy with her choice. Lilia dies while giving birth to a son, and two relatives travel to Italy to take care of of the baby, expecting no trouble from the father. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sensuality, violence and theme | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Judy Davis won the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in this movie and Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives (1992). See more »

Goofs

In a scene outside on the veranda in Gino's house in Italy, Lilia (Helen Mirren) has her back to the view of the countryside. At one point, when the camera is on her, a white van can be seen driving along the road in the distance. It is clearly a 1990s-era vehicle, moving much faster than automobiles of the era could have. See more »

Quotes

Caroline Abbott: Do you want the child to stop with his father who loves him but will bring him up badly, or do you want him to come to Salston, where no-one loves him but he will be brought up well?
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Soundtracks

Lucia di Lammermoor
(excerpts)
Music by Gaetano Donizetti (as Donizetti)
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User Reviews

 
~*Another Forster Classic Brought to Film*~
2 April 2000 | by TanechkaSee all my reviews

Charles Sturridge's adaption of E.M. Forster's classic novel is well in line with such other greats as "Howards End", "A Room With a View", and "A Passage To India". As with all of Forster's work, "Where Angels Fear to Tread" treats the topic of Edwardian British society with poignancy and humour.

Cultures clash when Philip Herriton is forced by his mother to retrieve the only child of his dead sister-in-law, Lilia, from its Italian father. The baby represents both the English and Italian way of life, and the ensuing struggle over it is an analysis of just how futile our own nativist prejudices can be.

Such a sensitive topic is dealt with by a charming cast. Rupert Graves is perfect as a man transformed by his horrific experiences; Helen Mirren is both laughable and lamentable as the tragically flighty Lilia; Helena Bonham-Carter is the soul of goodness, and Judy Davis (a Forster veteran from "A Passage to India") provides comic relief as stuffy Harriet. These fine performances are matched with a beautiful score by Rachel Portman and even more beautiful Italian vistas courtesy of Mr. Sturridge.

Stimulating and provocative, I highly recommend this film to those interested in either Forsters' work or the imperialistic inclinations of the British circa 1900.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

28 February 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Where Angels Fear to Tread See more »

Filming Locations:

Cuna, Siena, Tuscany, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$42,404, 1 March 1992

Gross USA:

$1,403,033

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,403,033
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
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