A grand hotel fallen into decay, two women with secrets and a dangerous political situation about to boil over - these intriguing elements all combine in this gripping drama from the ... See full summary »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Ian Charleson ...  Major Brendan Archer 2 episodes, 1988
Ian Richardson ...  Edward Spencer 2 episodes, 1988
Cathleen Delany Cathleen Delany ...  Miss Rice 2 episodes, 1988
Emer Gillespie ...  Sarah Devlin 2 episodes, 1988
Sarah Quarmby Sarah Quarmby ...  Faith Spencer 2 episodes, 1988
Jane Quarmby Jane Quarmby ...  Charity Spencer 2 episodes, 1988
Phillada Sewell Phillada Sewell ...  Miss Johnston 2 episodes, 1988
Matyelok Gibbs Matyelok Gibbs ...  Miss Staveley 2 episodes, 1988
Eric Francis Eric Francis ...  Mr. Norton 2 episodes, 1988
Lollie May Lollie May ...  Miss Bagley 2 episodes, 1988
Denys Hawthorne Denys Hawthorne ...  Boy O'Neill 2 episodes, 1988
Sean Bean ...  Captain Bolton 2 episodes, 1988
Susan Field ...  Mrs. Porteous 2 episodes, 1988
Dervla Kirwan ...  Viola O'Neill 2 episodes, 1988
James Ellis James Ellis ...  Murphy 2 episodes, 1988
Stella McCusker Stella McCusker ...  Mrs. O'Neill 2 episodes, 1988
Breffni McKenna Breffni McKenna ...  Ripon Spencer 2 episodes, 1988
James Gaddas ...  Pike 2 episodes, 1988
Martin Dempsey Martin Dempsey ...  Mr. Devlin 2 episodes, 1988
Fabia Drake ...  Mrs. Rappaport 2 episodes, 1988
Garrett Keogh Garrett Keogh ...  Evans 2 episodes, 1988
Duncan Bell Duncan Bell ...  Foster-Smith 2 episodes, 1988
Jonathan Scott-Taylor ...  Berry 2 episodes, 1988
Eamon A. Kelly Eamon A. Kelly ...  Dr. Ryan 2 episodes, 1988
Jerome Flynn ...  Matthews 2 episodes, 1988
Mark Conrad Mark Conrad ...  Mortimer 2 episodes, 1988
Julie Hale ...  Bridie 2 episodes, 1988
Julia Dearden Julia Dearden ...  Fidelma 2 episodes, 1988
Justin McCarron Justin McCarron ...  Padraig Ryan 2 episodes, 1988
Ann Marie Horan Ann Marie Horan ...  Maire Noonan 2 episodes, 1988
Charlie Roberts Charlie Roberts ...  Station Master 2 episodes, 1988
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Storyline

A grand hotel fallen into decay, two women with secrets and a dangerous political situation about to boil over - these intriguing elements all combine in this gripping drama from the producer of the hit mini-series, The Irish R.M. In 1919, Major Brendan Archer arrives in Ireland to reunite with his fiancée, Angela Spencer. Unfortunately, the family home, The Majestic Hotel, is a decaying shadow of its former self, as is Angela. Puzzled by the changes, Archer's attentions are soon drawn to her lively friend, Sarah Devlin, a passionate Irish Nationalist. They fall in love, but the Major soon discovers some disturbing aspects about their relationship, which threatens to explode into violence, destruction, and murder. Written by The Huffs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In politics, love is the first casualty

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1988 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Nevolje See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Michael Palin's diaries this was started filmed in early 1987 as a London Weekend Television drama with Palin as Major Archer, directed by 'Charles Struridge'. Other cast included 'Ian Richardson', Rosamund Greenwood, Rachel Kempson, Patience Collier, 'Gwen Nelson', 'Colin Blakley', Timothy Spall and Fiona Victory. Filming was curtailed after a week because of a strike. It was remounted with Ian Charleson as Major Archer. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of the Costume Drama: A Call to Arms (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

The Dashing White Sergeant
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lovely film
16 January 2010 | by angelofvicSee all my reviews

Set immediately after WWI and focusing gently around the troubles between the English and the Irish in Ireland, this layered saga rewards a viewer genuinely interested in the fate of its protagonist, the Englishman Major Archer (Ian Charleson). Major Archer's own mystifying and repeated "troubles" seem to eventually mirror the political troubles of British-occupied Ireland. And Ian Charleson gives a delicious performance that evokes just such an interest in his fate, no matter how eccentric his surroundings.

With Major Archer as the focus, this film makes wonderful viewing, as we see the British in Ireland through his eyes. And everything that happens to him, and the people around him, can also serve as metaphors of the times.

Major Archer's primary interactions are with a self-absorbed and outdated Englishman, Edward Spencer (played aptly by Ian Richardson) and his eccentric family, and a magnetic and coquettish Irish Catholic named Sarah (Emer Gillespie) whose charms Archer succumbs to. Sympathetic to the Irish cause, Major Archer has antagonists who are exemplified by the young and belligerently British Captain Bolton (Sean Bean). All three protagonists -- Charleson, Richardson, and Gillespie -- play their parts perfectly, and as the sprawling and multi-layered saga finally winds to a close, it feels moving and momentous.

This is Ian Charleson's last screen role, and a delightfully rich one. He plays the mild-mannered yet deep-feeling Major Archer with depth and with pitch-perfect affect. Lovely.

(Note: Americans and other non-Brits would do well to note that the term Sinn Féin is used frequently in the film; it is pronounced "Shin Fayne." This is the radical Irish Republican group, similar to the IRA. The slang term for the group is "Shinners.")


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