Where Angels Fear To Tread [DVD] 
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Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Rupert Graves, Helen Mirren The widow Lilia Herriton meets a young man when she visits Italy and marries him. The man is only a dentist without a good name, and Lilia's relatives are clearly unhappy with her choice. Lilia dies while giving birth to a son, and two relatives travel to Italy to take care of the baby, expecting no trouble from the father.
..The story`s constant and unexpected turns do provide rewards, but the real value of the film is in the richness with which it presents moral and emotional conflicts, laying them out with sensible realism and power..- DVD laser --DVD Laser --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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I didn't see this film when it came out (don't know why) whereas have seen all the others, so wondered if this was a dud. Quite the opposite. According to the Radio Times Guide to Films Directory the film was made by the same team that made Brideshead, which is high recommendation indeed. Directed by Charles Sturridge the cast are magnificent & almost perfect: Helen Mirren, Judy Davis, Rupert Graves, Barbara Jefford and an aptly cast Giovanni Guidelli, as beautiful and Italian as his character should be. Helena Bonham Carter plays Miss Abbott: initially appearing too young and too pretty for this classic English spinster. But this wasn't a bit of type casting and she executes her role with great passion and conviction. It is a classic Forster tale about the narrowness and brittle fragility of the English Middle Classes at the beginning of the 20th century and how destructive their power can be. A sad little tragedy, beautifully filmed. I highly recommend it.
I do not want to spoil the story by detailing it too much, but suffice to say that a still-youthful widow (Helen Mirren) leaves for freedom and sun in a small town in Northern Italy (I did not see exactly but think Tuscany, judging by the shots of Florence/Firenze). She marries a much younger and impecunious Italian dentist, then dies, leaving a baby. The horrid (obviously meant to be repressed, power-seeking etc) English in-laws think the baby should be, so to speak, beaten into becoming an "English gentleman" and cannot see that the Italian father could possibly object to selling his baby, more or less.
The film is dramatic, beautifully acted and filmed but, to my mind has the one flaw that, in the last say 15 mins of the story, the people concerned seem to act in a way that, to me, did not ring true emotionally or psychologically. Well, I may be wrong and I would not want to put anyone off seeing the film because of that.
The story is captivating and the scenes, costumes and direction are all first rate. I find that this film is of great quality and belongs perfectly well with the other E.M. Forster adaptations. Perhaps some are biased because this isn't marked Ivory Merchant? I wouldn't know that it wasn't Ivory Merchant. It is of equal quality. The direction, script, and actors make this story very plausible. It would have been a greater box office success but it was not publisied as much as "Howard's End". I still find it a superb film and highly recommend it.
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