5.3/10
451
13 user 27 critic

Cotton Mary (1999)

A British family is trapped between culture, tradition, and the colonial sins of the past.

Directors:

Ismail Merchant, Madhur Jaffrey (co-director)

Writer:

Alexandra Viets

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Greta Scacchi ... Lily MacIntosh
Madhur Jaffrey ... Cotton Mary
James Wilby ... John MacIntosh
Sarah Badel Sarah Badel ... Mrs Evans
Riju Bajaj Riju Bajaj ... Mugs
Gerson Da Cunha Gerson Da Cunha ... Doctor Correa
Joanna David ... Mrs Smythe
Neena Gupta ... Blossom (Mary's sister)
Sakina Jaffrey ... Rosie
Gemma Jones ... Mrs Freda Davids
Firdausi Jussawalla Firdausi Jussawalla ... Mr. Panamal
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal ... Matron
Nadira ... Mattie
Prayag Raj Prayag Raj ... Abraham (as Prayag Raaj)
Captain Raju ... Inspector Ramiji Raj
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Storyline

1954, the Malabar Coast. British and Anglo-Indian identities blur when an English-woman with a neglectful husband births a sickly baby. Cotton Mary, a hospital aide and moralizing Anglophile who claims her father was a British officer, takes over the infant's care and, without a word to the mother, takes the baby daily to her sister to nurse. Mary moves into the English household, taking over more and more duties as she plays on the mother's fatigue and lack of spousal counsel: in effect, Mary colonizes the English household while she pilfers its stores and tells tall tales to her own family. For how long can Mary sustain her rule before the Englishwoman stands on her own feet? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A házvezetőnő See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Cochin, Kerala, India See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,680, 19 March 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$299,351, 22 October 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

As Theresa is walking along with the procession she passes an Indian boy in the crowd who waves at the camera. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the theatrical version, the scene when Rosie (Sakina Jaffrey) and John (James Wilby) have sex and are caught by Mary (Madhur Jaffrey) at 1:43, Rosie is nude. In a version shown on the Sundance Channel, Rosie is wearing a slip during the entire scene. See more »

Connections

Features Aar-Paar (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

That's Amore
Written by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks
courtesy of Music Sales Corporation (ASCAP)
Four Jays Music Publishing Co.
Leosong Copyright Service Ltd
BMG Entertainment International
Famous Music Publishing
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User Reviews

 
An Anglo-Indian nurse becomes sociopathically covetous of her British masters' lives in 1957 India
12 February 2001 | by Derek-27See all my reviews

First of all, the worst and most misrepresentational cover art for any video, ever. The characters and fleshy situation depicted are incidental to the film.

A movie with an utterly unlikable protagonist, and no one to identify with or get behind as an audience member. It all ends up feeling as self-important as its title character. The only reason I didn't turn it off was that nothing was on television until after the tape ran out.


4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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