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The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) - movie overview

The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)

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(16 votes)
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Plot Description
Shooting Locations

DVD Release Date
 R1: Sep 4, 2001

MPAA Rating

Running Time
2 hours, 7 minutes

Country UK

Studio Juniper Films, United Artists

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Other Titles
• The French Lieutenant's Woman

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Genre: Drama, Infidelity, Love, Period Piece, Showbiz, Suspense, Culture Clash, Love Triangle

Tagline: She was lost from the moment she saw him.

Plot: In this dramatic film, director Karel Reisz and screenwriter Harold Pinter adapt the complex romantic novel by John Fowles, THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN. Set in 1867, Sarah Woodrough (Meryl Streep), a beautiful young woman, is condemned by society and driven into a deep melancholy because of her tragic affair with a French lieutenant. Fowles adds depth and texture to the story by including direct historical asides and scientific lessons by Charles Smithson (Jeremy Irons), a wealthy amateur paleontologist and follower of Charles Darwin. In addition, there is a film within the film in which modern-day (1981) characters Anna (Streep) and Mike (Irons) provide comments on the characters they're portraying, and a little history, but primarily provide a parallel story as they enter an adulterous affair of their own. The contrast between the Victorian and the contemporary affairs, at first jarring, is beautifully staged and photographed. Streep's two performances, as the passionate Sarah, with her beautiful head of pre-Raphaelite hair and as the cool, modern Anna, never converge; the distinctness of the division between the two characters symbolizes the almost unconscious perception that however distant a person feels from his repressed Victorian sexuality, it's still connected to him,

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French Lieutenants Woman0161 months ago
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 Directed by
Karel Reisz
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Sweet Dreams, Who'll Stop the Rain
 Written by
John Fowles
The Collector, The Magus
Harold Pinter
The Handmaid's Tale, The Tailor of Panama, Mansfield Park
Meryl Streep
Adaptation., The Deer Hunter, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Jeremy Irons
The Lion King, Kingdom of Heaven, Die Hard: With a Vengeance
Leo McKern
Ladyhawke, The Blue Lagoon, A Man for All Seasons
Richard Griffiths
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Hilton McRae
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, Max Headroom
Emily Morgan
Ne quittez pas!
Charlotte Mitchell
Village of the Damned, The Man in the White Suit, Satan's Skin
 Music By
Carl Davis
The Phantom of the Opera, Greed, Intolerance: Love's Struggle Through the Ages

 Recommended Movies
Movie Title Agree Disagree
Possession (2002)
First Wives Club, The (1996)
Sophie's Choice (1982)
Hours, The (2002)
Weight of Water, The (2000)
Jude (1996)
Carmen (1983)
Far from the Madding Crowd (1967)

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