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Cotton Mary (1999) - movie overview

Cotton Mary (1999)

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Plot Description

Release Date
 USA: Mar 17, 2000
DVD Release Date
 R1: Jan 30, 2001

Budget $3,500,000

MPAA Rating
Rated R for a scene of sexuality.

Running Time
2 hours, 4 minutes

Country France, UK, USA

Studio Merchant-Ivory Productions

More info on

Other Titles
• Cotton Mary

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Genre: Drama, Infidelity, Culture Clash, Period Piece, Doctor, Deception

Plot: In COTTON MARY, director Ismail Merchant explores the dynamics of being Anglo-Indian in post-colonial India. In 1954 British rule has officially ended in India but class-consciousness is still very much alive in the Macintosh household. After Lily Macintosh (Greta Scacchi) endures a painful pregnancy and delivery she becomes unable to breast-feed her baby daughter. Hospital nurse Cotton Mary (Madhur Jaffrey) comes to the rescue, secretly bringing the baby to her sister, a wet nurse, and uses the opportunity to become indispensably helpful and fulfill her ambitious desire to work in an English home. As an Anglo-Indian--she insists her father was a member of the British military--Cotton Mary ingratiates herself to Lily, considering herself more British than Indian. John Macintosh (James Wilby) is an absentee husband and father whose neglectful ways are fueled by the appearance of Mary's seductive niece, Rosie (Sakina Jaffrey, who is Madhur Jaffrey's real life daughter). Cotton Mary, whose nickname comes from her insistence upon wearing only British cotton, longs for acceptance by the white upper class members she serves while denouncing her Indian roots. Madhur Jaffrey, a long-time collaborator on Merchant Ivory productions, served as co-director of the film.

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 Directed by
Ismail Merchant
The Mystic Masseur, The Proprietor, The Goddess
 Written by
Greta Scacchi
The Player, Flightplan, Emma
Madhur Jaffrey
Flawless, Prime, Vanya on 42nd Street
James Wilby
Gosford Park, Howards End, De-Lovely
Sarah Badel
Just Visiting, Not Without My Daughter, Mrs. Dalloway
Gerson Da Cunha
Asoka, Water
Joanna David
Rogue Trader, The Soul Keeper, Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader
 Music By
Richard Robbins
The Remains of the Day, A Room with a View, Howards End

 Recommended Movies
Movie Title Agree Disagree
Passage to India, A (1984)
Indochine (1992)
White Mischief (1987)
Chocolat (1988)
Heat and Dust (1983)

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