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The Wings of the Dove (1997)

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An impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover, befriends an American heiress. When she discovers the heiress is attracted to her own lover and is dying, she sees a chance to have both the privileged life she cannot give up and the lover she cannot live without.

Director:

Iain Softley

Writers:

Henry James (novel), Hossein Amini (screenplay)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Helena Bonham Carter ... Kate Croy
Linus Roache ... Merton
Alex Jennings ... Lord Mark
Charlotte Rampling ... Aunt Maude
Ben Miles ... Journalist 1
Philip Wright ... Journalist 2
Michael Gambon ... Kate's Father
Alexander John Alexander John ... Butler
Alison Elliott ... Milly
Elizabeth McGovern ... Susan
Shirley Chantrell Shirley Chantrell ... Opium Den Lady
Diana Kent Diana Kent ... Merton's Party Companion
Georgio Serafini Georgio Serafini ... Eugenio
Rachele Crisafulli Rachele Crisafulli ... Concierge
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Storyline

Kate Croy's mother was born to wealth and privilege, but she threw it all away to marry Kate's father, a penniless opium addict who admits to having stolen from his wife. After her mother's death, Kate is offered an opportunity to return to the life her mother gave up. There is a condition, however: Kate must sever all of her old ties, not only to her father, but also to her lover, the muck-raking journalist Merton Densher, whom she has promised marriage. Kate reluctantly agrees to this, and in the meantime becomes friendly with "the world's richest orphan," Millie Theale, an American making the Grand Tour. Desperate to see Kate, Merton crashes a party that she and Millie are attending, and Millie is attracted to him. When Kate learns that Millie is dying, she comes up with a plan to have her cake and eat it too...but all does not go as planned. Written by RK

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A couple with everything but money. An heiress with everything but love. A temptation no one could resist.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Las alas de la paloma See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$183,610, 9 November 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,718,385, 12 April 1998

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,000,000, 22 February 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax, Renaissance Dove See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The paintings Millie sees in the gallery with Merton and Kate are Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss" (1907), and Klimt's "Danae" (1907). See more »

Goofs

The tile pattern on the Underground stations the train passes through at the beginning of the film are identical in pattern and color for each station. Each station on the Piccadilly line had its own tile pattern and color scheme so that the illiterate could still recognize their station without needing to read the station name. See more »

Quotes

Kate Croy: These wretched aristocrats can't even heat their houses.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Rent it
25 November 1998 | by iago-6See all my reviews

I can't believe there are only two comments for this film. It's a subtle film and a rare one in which your feelings for the characters change. I have read the book, and seen all the other films made of Henry James novels, and this one is by far the best at translating at least some of the moral ambiguity at the heart of most James novels.

Helena plays a woman forced to give up her boyfriend Merton because he has no money. She meets and befriends a wealthy, but terminally ill American, Milly. She decides that Merton will court Milly, inherit all of Milly's money when she dies, and have the funds to marry Helena. The film is about Merton's moral awakening as he realizes how horrible what he's doing is, and WHO Helena's character really is.

You would have to read the novel to understand how difficult it is to adapt this material, and what a great job they really have done. Bring your hankies for the scene near the end (not in the novel, actually) in which Merton apologizes to Milly. This invented scene crystallizes all of the emotion and makes the movie fulfilling in a way a straight working of the novel could not have been.

Helena is good, but her character is simplified somewhat from the book. I think this should have at least been up for Best Picture. See it.

--- Check out website devoted to bad and cheesy movies: www.cinemademerde.com


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