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The French Lieutenant's Woman [DVD] [1981]

4.3 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

Price: £4.44 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Hilton McRae, Emily Morgan, Charlotte Mitchell
  • Directors: Karel Reisz
  • Writers: Karel Reisz, Harold Pinter, John Fowles
  • Producers: Geoffrey Helman, Leon Clore, Tom Maschler
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish
  • Dubbed: French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Feb. 2002
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UQVT
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,319 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

DVD Special Features:

Original theatrical trailer
Interactive menu screens
Chapter search
Languages in Dolby Digital: English
Languages in Mono: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
Subtitles: French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Englsih for the hard of hearing, German for the hard of hearing
1.85:1 Widescreen 16:9 version

From Amazon.co.uk

With The French Lieutenant's Woman writer Harold Pinter and director Karel Reisz take an experimental spin on John Fowles' magnificent novel set in Victorian England, and come up with something puzzling. Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep play the forbidden lovers in Fowles' story, but in a parallel story line they also play contemporary actors performing those characters in a movie production and having an affair of their own during off-hours. Got that? Considering that Fowles himself presents alternative endings in his novel, something equally eccentric is called for here. But little is accomplished by this intertwining of a fictional past and present, and the opportunity to do justice to a great story is lost. On the plus side, Irons and Streep are instantly striking as a natural couple on screen, and their presence makes watching this film easy enough despite the larger problems. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Outside of marriage, your Victorian gentleman could look forward to 2.4 [sexual encounters] a week," Mike (Jeremy Irons) coolly calculates after Anna (Meryl Streep) has read to him the statistics according to which, while London's male population in 1857 was 1 1/4 million, the city's estimated 80,000 prostitutes were receiving a total of 2 million clients per week. And frequently, Anna adds, the women thus forced to earn their living came from respectable positions like that of a governess, simply having fallen into bad luck, e.g. by being discharged after a dispute with their employer and their resulting inability to find another position.
This brief dialogue towards the beginning of this movie based on John Fowles's 1969 novel succinctly illustrates both the fate that would most likely have been in store for title character Sarah (Meryl Streep in her "movie within the movie" role), had she left provincial Lyme Regis on Dorset's Channel coast and gone to London, and the Victorian society's moral duplicity: For while no virtues were regarded as highly as honor, chastity and integrity; while no woman intent on keeping her good name could even be seen talking to a man alone (let alone go beyond that); and while marriage - like any contract - was considered sacrosanct, rendering the partner who deigned to breach it an immediate social outcast, all these rules were suspended with regard to prostitutes; women who, for whatever reasons, had sunk so low they were regarded as nonpersons and thus, inherently unable to stain anybody's reputation but their own.
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By RR Waller TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD
Actors Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Hilton McRae, Emily Morgan and Charlotte Mitchell under Karel Reisz's superb, sensitive and fluid direction bring Harold Pinter and John Fowles screenplay to the screen in stunning fashion. Some of the scenes will live in the memory for a long time, so powerful are the visuals and, even now, writing this, I can see some of Reisz's iconic images of this great film.

Set in 19th Century England it is the story of a chance meeting between Sarah (Streep), an eerily beautiful woman, and Charles (Irons), a biologist about to be married; they have a brief but passionate affair but her deep sadness and past force her to leave him. Without giving too much away, the film works on two chronological levels, switching seamlessly between the two parallel stories which mirror each other in many ways.

Visually, this film is stunningly beautiful and haunting in the way the story of Sarah, a Victorian outcast, unfolds to reveal her history.

A great film and, at these prices, a real bargain.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved this film when it first came out. Kept missing it when it was shown on TV. Finally bought it and sat enthralled as the story unfolded. Did not notice the time passing - never made it to the kitchen to put the kettle on, never mind take the time out to make a cup of tea. Completely forgot a DVD can be stopped!!! Just brilliantly acted and the settings are delightful. Loved the modern twist. The two endings were very skillfully done too. Can not rate it highly enough. It has to be seen.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A fine cinematic telling of John Fowles quality historic/hysteric novel with sterling performances by Streep and Irons who seem to have a peculiar chemistry on,and probably off, set. It's about a lovelorn historical female who waits endlessly for the return of her former French lover and who eventually falls in love with a middle class fossil hunter who then deserts his staid wife for what seems to be a scarlet woman. First time I've actually seen Irons explosively angry at anything (He was pretty anaemic e.g. in Brideshead, true to the character). Plotwise, the film actually plays in two parallel universes with the historical relationship and modern actors' relationships alternating throughout. You have to guess how each will turn out.
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Format: DVD
An early success for Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, The French Lieutenant's Woman is an interesting piece of meta-cinema that undermines itself a bit by using this technique, but also gains a certain amount by way of texture and reflection on changing attitudes to love and commitment. For most of the film the Victorian story of Charles engaged to Ernestina, who meets Sarah and falls in love with her at first sight - and what a sighting it is - dominates, and does command the viewer's thought and emotions in equal measure; it keeps cutting to the love affair between the actors, Mike and Anna, who are both married ... This pull of the established relationship is shown to work in surprising ways, and the pay-off is certainly intriguing. Carl Davis's music is used brilliantly throughout, but never more so than in that final scene - or indeed on the Cobb at Lyme Regis, scene of that moment referred to above where Sarah turns round in a hooded cape and there stands Charles, having ventured along the stone walkway to bring her in from danger, the waves crashing over his path and spume flying, and the timeless look in her eyes like the eye of the storm. It is certainly something he has never seen before, man of the world though he undoubtedly is ... Such moments do have a sheer cinema magic, and it is a magnificently wrought tale. The visual style is a bit like Truffaut in Ann and Muriel, although I don't think Karel Reisz quite pulls off the same consistent visual flair as Truffaut; while the theme of forbidden love and shame makes it a parallel with Maurice, perhaps. (Seventy minutes into the film a winning messenger boy appears in the street with a message and the stage seems set for a touch of Maurice set a few decades earlier ... but he delivers his note and is not seen thereafter ...Read more ›
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