7.3/10
11,867
37 user 3 critic

Northanger Abbey (2007)

A young woman's penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart.

Director:

Jon Jones

Writers:

Andrew Davies (screenplay), Jane Austen (novel)
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2,690 ( 344)

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Geraldine James ... The Voice of Jane Austen (voice)
Michael Judd Michael Judd ... Pastor
Julia Dearden Julia Dearden ... Mrs Morland
Gerry O'Brien ... Mr Morland
Felicity Jones ... Catherine Morland
David Brittain David Brittain ... Gothic Villains
Patrick Ryan ... Gothic Villains
Sylvestra Le Touzel ... Mrs Allen
Desmond Barrit ... Mr Allen
David Sheehan David Sheehan ... Cheeky Man
William Beck ... John Thorpe
Liam McMahon ... Sedley
Mal Whyte Mal Whyte ... Rude Man
JJ Feild ... Henry Tilney (as J J Feild)
Myles Breen Myles Breen ... Mr King
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Storyline

When Catherine Morland is given the opportunity to stay with the childless Allen family in Bath, she is hoping for an adventure of the type she has been reading in novels. Soon introduced to society, she meets Isabella Thorpe and her brother John, a good friend of her own brother, James. She also meets Henry Tilney, a handsome young man from a good family and his sister, Eleanor. Invited to visit the Tilney estate, Northanger Abbey, she has thoughts of romance but soon learns that status, class and money are all equally important when it comes to matters of the heart. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | abbey | bath | mansion | estate | See All (37) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

ITV [UK] | PBS [United States]

Country:

UK | USA | Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'abbaye de Northanger See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The white and blue muslin day dress Felicity Jones (Catherine Morland) wears reading in Bath is the same costume worn by Samantha Bond (Maria Bertram) walking with Mr. Crawford in Mansfield Park (1983), and by Allie Byrne (Lady Kiely) in Sharpe's Battle (1995). See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Henry Tilney meets Mrs. Morland, he virtually drains his glass, which is then refilled ("I should like to pay my respects"), and drained again ("Perhaps Miss Morland"). See more »

Quotes

Henry Tilney: Your imagination may be overactive, but your instinct was true. Our mother did suffer grievously and at the hands of our father. Do you remember I spoke of a kind of vampirism?
Catherine Morland: Yes.
Henry Tilney: Perhaps it was stupid to express it so, but we did watch him drain the life out of her with his coldness and his cruelty. He married her for her money, you see. She thought it was for love. It was a long time until she knew his heart was cold. No vampires, no blood. But worse crimes, crimes of the heart.
Catherine Morland: It was ...
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Connections

Featured in The Story of the Costume Drama: Picture Perfect (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

The First of April
Traditional
Performed by The Pemberley Players
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Watchable and enjoyable period piece
16 June 2007 | by LouE15See all my reviews

Huzzah! - another adaptation: for Austen fans there can never be enough. Still…I gulped a little when I heard that ITV were doing a Jane Austen season. ITV tend to drastically abridge their period dramas, and they can end up slightly cheap-looking, losing integrity when contrasted with the more solid and sober (and timeless?) productions of the BBC.

Northanger Abbey was Austen's first proper novel, but her last to be published; very much a turn of the (19th) century novel, showing some of the roughness of that time, before ladies became entirely encased in the strict rules society saw fit to impose. It's fitting that a cheeky, confident and funny writer (Andrew Davies) gets to have a bit of fun with this one some 200 years later. In it, Catherine Morland, a young, naïve girl from a quiet village, gets her first taste of many things on a trip to Bath, and learns both life lessons and something about love through her contact with two very different families she meets there; the grasping, manipulative Thorpes and the thoughtful and sophisticated Tilneys.

The two leads, Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland, and J J Field as Henry Tilney, are beautifully cast. Felicity Jones' youth, pretty looks and inexperience served her character very well. Her 'modern' tone has been criticised, but whilst an older actress might have delivered the lines with greater accuracy, we'd have lost Jones' juvenile wonder and humour. She delivered (almost all) her lines nicely, and although at moments she looked almost simple, staring up blankly with her mouth open, in a way this was appropriate. Nothing in Catherine Morland's previous limited experience prepared her for the life of Bath or for a family like the Tilneys – she may well gape. I loved the dream sequences where her constant absorption in Gothic horrors spills over into her imagination: her reading was teaching her to look for horror everywhere.

J J Field was wonderful in the BBC's recent adaptation of Philip Pullman's excellent "The Ruby in the Smoke", and shows again that he can play the leading man with great charm and naturalistic ease - a long career in the making I think. Re-reading the book I'm struck by the affectionate details with which Austen made Henry Tilney lovable, such as his messy rooms and his keen sense of humour. I think Field goes a long way towards putting this on screen, despite shockingly ill-fitting clothes and a script very constrained for time, missing dialogue which would have drawn out his growing attachment to Catherine. Austen has Henry tell Catherine that she "is superior in good nature to all the world". In this version her youth and looks alone seem to be the reason for her appeal.

The minor characters were mostly well-played and well drawn; especially Eleanor Tilney, who brought great dignity to her role. Some concessions have certainly been made to an audience deemed incapable of reading subtlety or of tolerating lengthy or literary dialogue. But certain additions were really funny and delightful: Catherine rolling her eyes and curling her lip at Captain Tilney's rudeness; her little sister announcing, hand on hips and with a nice swing of her little head; "CATHY. Mama says will you bring Mr Tilney to the DRAWING room." Her withering glare at Henry when they are all seated, in awkward silence, is genius: go girl.

Adaptations don't need to be slavish. The BBC's rather lurid 1986 version took just as many liberties, and more than warranted a revisit. Overall I found this a delightful adaptation, delivered with verve and spirit, so well done ITV, please, more of this, less of the abridged and dumbed-down rubbish!


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