The Bostonians

1984

Drama / Romance

0
IMDb Rating 6.3 10 1776

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 19, 2021 at 01:22 PM

Director

Cast

Vanessa Redgrave as Olive Chancellor
Wallace Shawn as Mr. Pardon
Linda Hunt as Dr. Prance
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.1 GB
1204*720
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
2 hr 2 min
P/S 6 / 24
2.03 GB
1792*1072
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
2 hr 2 min
P/S 14 / 26

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 8 / 10

The World of Henry James

Henry James has not been an easy author to bring to the screen. The Heiress has been one glorious exception and even with the fine production values that Merchant/Ivory brought to The Bostonians it still doesn't quite measure up to The Heiress in glorious black and white.

That being said The Bostonians is great window on the world of Henry James and the upper class society in which he moved in New York and Boston. James was a great evaluator of human nature even of the love that dare not speak its name.

Stripped of all the trimmings about the emerging women's movement what we've got here is a triangle with a lesbian twist. Vanessa Redgrave got an Oscar nomination for Best Actress with her portrayal as an intellectual leader who feels she hasn't the voice to articulate the issues surrounding suffrage and all the other inequalities women endured back then. She latches on to a protégé in the person of Madeline Potter recently shilling for her faith healer father Wesley Addy. What she cannot, dare not articulate is the physical attraction she's feeling for Potter.

Redgrave is simply marvelous as the frustrated, possibly even latent lesbian. We're never sure if she has or will ever consummate her feelings. This is Boston of the 1870s-1880s where such things are frowned there even more than most places in the USA.

Vanessa's rival for Potter is Christopher Reeve a devilishly handsome young blade from the south who has come north to seek his fortune as a lawyer. As for Potter she's not sure of what she wants or even that Redgrave's interest in her is more than politics.

Linda Hunt and Jessica Tandy have a pair of good roles, The Bostonians is great in terms of roles for women. Tandy is an aged old soul who rejoices in the changes in America she's seen in the 19th century of which she remembers most of. Hunt is her nurse/companion who is a shrewd observer of the events around her and Tandy.

The Bostonians also got a nomination for Costume Design and the shooting in Boston and New York are fine. Boston has kept a lot of the same look Henry James knew in certain areas of the city and James Ivory made great use of Central Park in New York and some of the structures there that were put up in the time of Henry James.

I won't say what happens other than to say that Vanessa Redgrave does find it in herself to articulate her cause. As for the rest you have to watch this very fine production to find out.

Reviewed by toast-15 10 / 10

A delicately performed ode to a James Masterpiece

I'm giving this a 10 because, 1) I think it's a good film and 2) some have not been fair with the rating of this film so I'm balancing it out.

I love this film. Decades ago, I used to read a lot of Henry James. The funny thing about a James novel is that it always leaves you scratching your head. James' brother, William, was a psychiatrist I believe, and it seems that Henry may have been using a little psychological gamesmanship while crafting many of his intriguing characters. For example, The Turn of the Screw is a book that rather famously has an open ending: one chilling, the other supernatural. Which will the reader choose? I bring this up because "The Bostonians" is also up to interpretation and this is where the actors, especially Reeve, give us another dimensional glimpse into their characters. On the one hand, this film can be taken as a love story, and a good one at that. On the other hand, however, one has to wonder if Reeve's character truly loves his target or is he just trying to "possess" her and therefore, keep her from becoming the vessel of all that he despises. Is she a conquest or a lover? Basil Ransom, Reeve's character, has just come from the South in a post civil war era. All that he knew as a child growing up in Mississippi is gone. He visits his cousin Olive played by Redgrave, at her request, only to find that she, unlike himself, is still very well off, her life is remarkably unchanged since the war's end. But she immediately comes to despise him for his beliefs. She refers to him as the "Enemy". Even though the Civil War is over, she is thinking of another kind of war, the war of the suffragettes. And in true James fashion, even this is complicated by Olive's perceived homosexuality as opposed to Reeve's clearly hetero thoughts and ideas. She sees Ransom as a threat to her own happiness with Verena (Potter). So there are layers of motive here for Olive's hatred of Ransom.

Ransom's beliefs, however, are what he clings to relentlessly, purposefully, deliberately, because they are all he has left of his bygone era. His history, his lifestyle, has died. He has already suffered the loss of one war, will he see this new challenge as an opportunity to finally win? Indeed, toward the end, as he puts the black cloak over Verena's head, the look on his face could be that of a warrior admiring, and protecting a hard fought prized possession. Or is it the look of tenderness as that of a lover beaming at his cherished bride? You decide. That's what James would have wanted.

Oddly, Verena becomes, not a human with her own ideas but rather a vessel for other people to live out their own thoughts and ideas. It is ironic because she speaks publicly and passionately about the exact opposite yet everyone that surrounds her, from her parents to a local reporter, to Olive and Ransom... they all want something from Verena, they are all using her but she seems oblivious to it all. In the end she finally seems to make a decision purely for herself but again, perhaps not.

An interesting scene plays out between two characters played by Nancy Marchant and Redgrave, they seem to be brokering the future of Verena but in the end, Olive (Redgrave) decides to hide away with her. The ending could have been quite different but selfishness apparently won out. Here again, motives are not exactly all that they seem. They both agree they are for equal rights of women yet the dialogue is all about using Verena as a chess piece to further their own goals. It is a masterpiece of irony and hypocrisy.

Linda Hunt as the already liberated female doctor who does not particularly care for speeches and the "movement" seems to inhabit the role and without a word seems to highlight the hypocrisy of others. She is remarkably believable and seems to breeze through as if she really does live in the time and place set in the movie. Her character is already liberated but doesn't see the need to preach it from the pulpit, she just lives it. She's very happy, without a man, with her own medical career, but no one seems to notice except Ransom. Ransom gets along very well with her and they immediately become friends.

Christopher Reeve, Vanessa Redgrave, Linda Hunt, and Nancy Marchant did this Henry James novel proud; and that's no easy task.

Reviewed by suchenwi 8 / 10

Escape from Planet of the Women?

I didn't know what to expect from this movie, but threw the DVD into the player for good luck. And I was pleasantly surprised.

The very first thing I liked was the backdrop of the opening credits: hands and feet operating an organ, plus the resulting sound. (Two hours later I knew that anticipated a part of the final act).

Then came more surprises - the setting in 1875 New England offered unusual sights, and mostly all in female-dominated surroundings. For a sensationalistic title, I thought of "Planet of the Women" - with a lone alien, Basil, playing his game in the middle.

The basic story was of course not surprising: boy meets girl, they go through assorted troubles, finally girl escapes from captivity, they ride away together. I can't explain the chemistry between them, but that may be because "love" is no natural science. In any case, a strong mutual attraction was amply demonstrated.

In contrast to most other movies, "eye-candy" women were rare, but then there were interesting types, like Dr. Prance and Miss Birdseye. Why Olive came to be how she was, remained a riddle to me.

And then the dramatic final act in the music hall. Strong images that will stay in my memory - and I consider the main purpose of a movie to deliver strong images.

Cost/benefit: most IMDb reviews are negative, and the movie was probably so unpopular that I could pick up a bargain DVD at the shop for 50 cents. Given that an empty DVD box costs 40 cents, the net price was 10 cents - and for me at least, it was worth it a hundred times :^)

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