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Cause Celebre [DVD]
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Helen Mirren gives a searing performance alongside David Morrissey in this powerful adaptation of Terence Rattigan's radio and stage play. Based on the true story of a crime of passion that shocked 1930s Britain, Cause Célèbre features support from Harry Andrews, David Suchet, Oliver Ford Davies, Clive Swift and Geoffrey Bayldon, and is adapted for television by Ken Taylor (Lady Chatterley) and directed by the BAFTA-winning John Gorrie. Alma, the unhappy young wife of distinguished architect Francis Rattenbury, a man in his mid-sixties, begins an aff air with the couple's eighteen-year-old handyman, George. As the affair grows in intensity, the naïve and inexperienced George finds himself possessed by an uncontrollable jealousy; the result is murder, and a harrowing courtroom drama that will scandalise a nation and engulf Alma in despair.
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Top Customer Reviews
I READ THE BOOK,'MURDER AT THE VILLA MADEIRA' BY SIR DAVID NAPLEY SOME TIME AGO.
THE FILM STICKS TO THE FACTS WHICH IS THE ALL IMPORTANT REQUIREMENT.
EXCELLENT PERFORMANCES BY ALL TAKING PART.
BUY WITH CONFIDENCE.
The real life circumstances are certainly dramatic enough, public feeling outraged by the middleaged woman's affair with an eighteen year old.
Unfortunately this 1987 production creaks: slow paced and wordy, betraying its Rattigan stage origins; curiously uninvolving, despite its illustrious leads. That infatuation, at the core of it all, never convinces. Unless the adolescent played by Morrissey was in reality a strapping hulk looking about twenty five, the actor is miscast - making a mockery of court references to "a boy" and media vitriol about the seduction of one so young, so vulnerable.
An interesting cast, Harry Andrews impressive as ill-fated Francis, David Suchet excellent as a barrister. The court scenes come over well (despite the distracting hum - what WAS that noise?).
Helen Mirren and David Morrissey are amongst the country's finest actors, but "Cause Celebre" does not see them at their best.
A bit disappointing really.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Helen Mirren always good value but not her best role probably streets ahead of the tv stuff on offer nowPublished on 28 Aug. 2013 by ozzie girl
We could not play the Zone 2 DVD on our American DVD playwer but I still look forward to seeing it.Published on 25 May 2013 by Grace Caruso