In Victorian England, Laura and her half-sister Marian are entwined in a terrifying web of deceit. Laura's doppelganger, a mysterious woman dressed all in white, may hold the key to unlock the mystery.
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Late one night, Walter Hartright meets a mysterious woman dressed in white who bestows a cryptic warning. Hartright takes up the post of drawing teacher to half sisters, Marian and Laura. He is startled to find that Laura bares a striking resemblance to the woman in white. Later, Laura's marriage to an aristocrat puts them all in the middle of a sinister plot.Written by
The best version of the book and outstanding as a dramatisation too
As an adaptation The Woman in White(1982) is very faithful to the book(which is a masterpiece)- not that that is essential when it comes to adapting source material- without too faithful or bogged down, it is also the only adaptation of the book that does that. As a dramatisation it is outstanding and one of the better period dramatisations of the 80s, with the slightly rushed final episode being its own detriment and even that is not enough to mar everything else that is so brilliant here. The script is thoughtful and tightly compressed, often sounding like the writing being lifted out straight from the pages of the book, it develops the characters very well too, Count Fosco is every bit the immoral man as he should be(while appearing to others as the opposite). The story takes its time to develop, but considering as it's a lengthy book and how far from easy to adapt it is that is beneficial. It is a good length, with all the themes and most situations intact and with all the emotional resonance, and is not too tedious at all despite the deliberate pacing. Visually it is an evocative adaptation with everything looking beautiful and in a way that you feel that you have been transported back in time to the time and place, a great atmosphere and fluid photography. It has been criticised on Amazon for being dated and poorly lit, that was not the case with me who thinks that it has held up well. The music is appropriate and lovely to hear, though sometimes the sound is on the hollow side. The direction makes the drama compelling and is sympathetic to the emotions that fill each scene. The acting is superb, especially from a strong-willed Diana Quick, Alan Badel's creepy and sinister(without forgetting the subtlety) Count Fosco and Ian Richardson's memorably languid and authoritative Mr Fairlie, every bit a nervous wreck. Jenny Seagrove is simply enchanting, Georgine Anderson has the right degree of iciness as Madame Fosco and Daniel Geroll is good too. Overall, outstanding and the best version of the book by some considerable margin. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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