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Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) and Dr Patrick Schofield (Stuart Wilson), Scene of Darkness

Dear friends and readers,

A third blog on the unusually good police series, Prime Suspect: I’ve now watched The Lost Child, Scent of Darkness , which I want briefly to compare with Christopher Reid and Niall MacCormack’s Song of Lunch, a more typical heroine’s text (a 2 hour film from PBS Masterpiece theater this year), and the older fine mystery thrillers film adaptations of John LeCarre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Smiley’s People. So you see how I’ve been riveting myself into wakefulness in the late nights these weeks. These two new Prime Suspects continue the exploration of sexuality, women’s issues (here motherhood) and male violence against women begun in the previous three stories. They also develop Jane Tennison’s story more centrally.

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The last concluding shot of Lost Child

Lost Child

This is the fourth of the Prime Suspect Stories; they have changed format. Story 1 and 2 and 3 were mini-series, each with 4 episodes. Lost Child & Scent of Darkness are both two hours long, the Americanized format of mini-series that winston Graham complained destroyed the attempt to bring back Poldark in 1996. The briefer time frame does not seem to hurt these two Prime Suspect stories as they can do without the leisurely kind of realism the Poldark and other naturalistic books require, but we do get less development of the characters and events are sprung on us where the film-makers rely on the actor’s ability to persuade us this new inner self we didn’t see before was there all along.

Lost Child brings together pederasty and also motherhood — quite a combination. What happened is this: a child, little girl, seems to have been kidnapped from Susan Covington (Beaty Ednie) a mother who has continued to cherish the child just as much as she did before its father John Warwick (played by Adian Lukis wonderfully well – the Wickham archetype fits here) deserted them to have liaisons with more than one woman and moved North. A scene with Tennison shows him at first defiant and nonchalant, not denying he did it even if he lied and was nearby while the murder occurred: he spent the afternoon in bed with a woman who is engaged to marry someone else. Susan, the mother, is hysterical; she goes on TV begging for her child to be returned safely to her.

About half-way through for the first time I had begun to feel that in a way these series could pander to the bigoted paranoia of people, especially surrounding sexual experience vis-a-vis children. The suspect is someone she has also filmed in the park; her film and identification points to Chris Hughes (John Glenister) who served 14 years for molesting minors. I was troubled by the harshness of the response to Chris; I hasten to say I have no agenda for child molesters, only that Hughes was treated so brutally: one of the police officers, Jack Ellis (Tony Muddyman) beats Chris savagely upon trying to arrest him when Chris (understandably) tries to flee the ferocity of this bunch. Jane Tennison is as ferocious and will not listen to any alibis of Chris, especially since she finds he still indulges in saving photos of girls in albums. She is throughout dressed severely; in 3 she was homeliness and clutzyness itself; here she is repeatedly in tight cut black suits, her hair severe, knife-like puritanical elegance:

We are led to suspect Chris just as much by Chris’s relationship to his wife/partner Anne Sutherland (Lesley Sharpe). They seem not be be getting along. Ann seems to be hiding something; she falsified an alibi; Chris over-reacts to situations we see; he is sensitive man who has suffered a long time, was abused in prison because he was a pederast. He insists too strongly he’s fine now. Well, he’s not altogether; they have troubled sex. He saves pornographic magazines in a drawer.

The story seems to culminate in the police trying to wrest Chris/Glenister from his house where he is holed up and taking Anne and their two children, girls both, hostage. The police promise not to have snipers, but they lie and start to shoot; hysterical, he grabs a child and returns to the house.

Now here is where I saw I was wrong and the film was slowly leading us to see that even pederasts should not be pre-judged; they can change, reform; they deserve understanding, sympathy. Suddenly and without preparation to explain why we are led to think that after all Christ didn’t do it beyond that a psychiatrist, Dr Patrick Schofield (played by Stuart Wilson) says adamently in his view Chris/Glenister could not have done it. Somehow when Chris is chased down by the police Susan loses it. She goes hysterical in a new way when she sees Chris and his wife’s children. A long soliloquy brings out slowly how tired she had become of her daughter,, how relentless her life with her (from job to child care, to job again), how the girl irritated her by screaming, screaming, screaming, endless demands, never ceasing, never giving her a moment to herself.

The murderer was Susan. The mother suffocated the daughter. She was (we are to see) given no help and had herself to come up with the baby-sitting money. The roar of anger and distress that comes from her is stunning.

The show is about how insanely we react to child molester (who to be sure, those who are, can do awful things; that they are or can be suffering people too. But it’s also about how motherhood is experienced in our society and its phoninesss and pretenses (which Susan inveighs against in the long closing near soliloquy Tennison and her aide, Sgt [police officers) Chris Cromwell (played by Sophie Stanton) rejoins the show (she was in Episode 1 as Jane’s sidekick) and its hardships. What it asks of a woman.

The frame is important. It’s a “termination” — as it opens Jane has an abortion, a left-over from her love affair with an older lover, now married, was part of Prime Suspect 3. Jane is roaring mad at the death of this child because she has lost her own. The title refers to her abortion as well as the loss of Susan’s child.

I know audience members could be strengthened in their opposition to abortion and say, see how over-reacting made Jane blame Chris, and also liken Jane to Susan as two murderers. But that would be entirely false to the feeling of the series. Jane had a hard time getting time off enough for the “termination” — it’s called, and the child would get badly in the way of her career. This does not mean she does not feel bad too, at some level identify with Susan, not as a murderer but as someone in the grip of unfair choices There is too much sacrifice required of women as mothers.

It did need to be longer. We did not learn enough about Jack Warwick’s and Susan’s relationship nor Chris/Anne Sunderland’s. Susan’s confession was sprung too quickly. Still that Chris/Glenister’s innocence is sprung on us works very well. He is never idealized and on the surface could have been prosecuted, even found guilty. No sentimental ideals are pushed before us and a lot of cruel mindless over-reaction. The ambiguities made me think of James’s Turn of the Screw often read (wrongly) misogynistically.

Another effect of cutting the time for the story in the fourth season was indeed to focus on Mirren. She became a continual presence. The film-makers decided to marginalize the other police officers because they didn’t have time to cover them all. IN the next story she was made the focus deliberately.

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Jane (Mirren) and Patrick (Wilson) talking, she intently, he companionably (Scent of Darkness)

The Scent of Darkness

I did have trouble understanding it; that is to say, I couldn’t upon my first watching figure out how the murderer or quite why the murderer did what he did because so much was elliptical and just piled in. It was like watching a story meant to be 3 hours or 4 done in a couple of hours and 20 minutes.

Scent of Darkness had a different script writer, director, and producer: suddenly it all men; Lydna La Plante gone, Sally Head gone. But it was as strongly feminist as ever. By happenstance over on WMST-l the women were talking of how feminists are endlessly accused of being prigs and not have a sense of humor when the case is what’s said to be funny is really not funny to its victims (women in general) and helping to find books which showed this. Scent of Darkness opens with Tennison angry because a woman she wants promoted is not being promoted. The panel in front of her says that’s because this woman is not a team-player, doesn’t get along. Tennison asks for proof? “She has no sense of humor.”

Right.

But I also liked it and was eager to re-watch. I especially (I admit) liked the focus on Jane and giving her an on-going private life and relationship with the psychiatrist she had begun to like and trust in Lost Child: Stuart Wilson as Jane’s boyfriend and the relationship that was suggested. It appealed, and he as an older man (he was Ferdinand Lopez in Pallisers, and in Jewel in the Crown, the shit who impregnates Sarah and she knows better than to want to marry so by her mother and aunt is driven to have an abortion) who is amoral/immoral made empathetic by giving him kindness and acceptance and tolerance if not a will to commit.

Well, my second watching made the program not only make sense but showed the implicitly feminist scene that opened the program was the clue or twig developed for the rest. In addition, for the first time Jane Tennison was slightly more central than the murder story; hitherto her story has been parallel, going alongside sometimes, almost equal in the first program but not the center as it was here.

Basically it’s a reprise of Story or Season 1. Instead of Sergeant Otley trying to get rid of Jane, we have the chief detective in charge who makes the comment, “she had no sense of humor” to Tennison: David Thorndike (played by Stephen Boxer): Thorndike is intensely motivated to destroy Tennison’s career and not quite consciously decides that the two new murders of the first mini-series were not done by the man who Jane put in prison.
In other words, she was responsible for a tremendous miscarriage of justice then. He uses a book that has been published by someone whom George Marlowe fools.

So we have to return to the story matter and central theme of malicious brutal violence against women. What emerges is his time the real murderer is the jailor of Marlowe: there is a problem of probability here — perhaps why I didn’t get what was happening. The idea that jailor seems subject to Marlowe and is acting out Marlowe’s violence doesn’t quite wash, but this allows for Jane having to resolve an old case and return to its issues.

A problem this film had too was this time not all the actors returned. Richard Hawley has been in all the series and he was used centrally as someone loyal to her and that helped bind the films.


DI Richard Haskons (Richard Hawley)

Together they break a code, though since the case is hers, she is repeatedly hauled over the coals in public, reprimanded, taken off the case finally (when she insists she was right in the first place) and at last just about fired. So the humiliations of women a member of WWTTA said are so typical of women’s films are here in spades — but with a twist. We see the way she is made to kowtow, plead for herself, admit error are not only unfair, but shown to be wrong and partly the result of the misogynistic Thorndike. She she wins in the end because silently the intelligent and decent people (John Benfield as her superior, DCS Michael Kernan) are on her side. The very top man is just and lucid.

What I loved best was the slow development of her relationship with Stuart Wilson as Patrick Schofield — from missing a movie they neither of them wanted to see, to taking a bath together while they drink and smoke, to watching TV, to sleeping together, getting up in the morning. It really felt real this, though again we had to strain at the improbability that Patrick, a man who seems so ontologically on her side, would allow himself to interview and half countenance the author of the book who wrote the book saying Jane was wrong. This leads to Jane suspecting Patrick is betraying her and gives rise to powerful scenes of conflicting emotions (in this viewer too) as we watch them seem to break apart. They don’t.

This is one of the stories that has a happy-ish ending, not group exultation this time but Jane asking Thorndike to dance and then sneering at him before she returns to Patrick’s table. Very human.

Not that the violence against women is at all marginalized or the way Jane is almost fired and humiliated for good. I can’t say in real life she would have been fired, for in real life none of this would have happened in this way at all. It’s fairy tale this one, more so than the previous.


A kiss

Maybe it’s the men doing it made a love story and powerful or empowered woman (they would believe that) so central. Mirren was here more central than the previous 5 stories, only I do think without Stuart Wilson the depths of feeling at moments would not have been there. This too is part of a woman’s life and in this story Mirren could carry off having happiness in private as well as success in public.

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She (Emma Thompson) in Song of Lunch

I want to compare Mirren to Emma Thompson as archetypes. I watched the powerful Song of Lunch two nights ago and it has rightly been given favorable reviews: this one retells the story and slowly developing ironic poetic perspective. The film is an adaptation of a poem by Christopher Reid.

At first I loved it, then by the end I found myself angered by one of the two opposing themes or messages that were conveyed: the one where we are to despise the misery of “he” (Alan Rickman) as brought on by himself.


He (Alan Rickman)

I know you can take it the opposing way, but only by watching a good deal of the movie against the grain. In the movie Thompson plays an archetype she often does — not acknowledged. The headmistress, her teeth a kind of vagina dentata. she was that in spades in An Education. A part of this comes out in her as Elinor Dashwood, dry lone unmarried possible old maid. Here it grated strongly because she was not a victim (as in Wit) and was so sleek and well-adjusted, such a winner with her successful novelist husband, beautiful flat, life, daughters. Maybe Rickman was self-absorbed, narcissistic, felt sorry for himself, spoiled the lunch by his morbid behavior, but he was genuine and his faults preferable to her self-complacency, conventional success, coolness.

I suppose Reid maybe did hate “she” but the film makers made “she” our norm that is good not ambiguous, not cold, not the result of luck. In Mirren’s series we see the common fates of women.

So for me I much prefer the drunken, half-incompetent, often wretched (behind the scenes they fight and spoil things for one another) Wilson-Mirren archetype to this of Thompson, with what she demands of Rickman and he can’t come up to. I’m saying that at heart I find after all I’m preferring Mirren’s archetypal iconography fully than Thompson’s as developed by films with their pro-social, pro-conventional moral turns. Helen Mirren’s films have taught me something that I had not realized was part of Emma Thompson’s.

Lastly: the film adaptation of LeCarre’s Tinker Tailor (1979) and Smiley’s People (1982)


Smiley (Alec Guiness) and Peter Guillam (Michael Jayston)

I have been struck with how LeCarre through Hopcraft (Tinker Tailor) or Hopkins (Smiley’s People) is an inverse presentation of Lynda Plante’s perspective, or perhaps I should say she has reversed LeCarre’s. LeCarre is a rare male writer not to be a misogynist finally or anti-feminist. He is often deeply sympathetic to his heroines, makes them strong, independent, complicated. Not marginalized. Yet not central. As adapted into films, they are victims in the sense of LaPlante: the world stacked against them, men murderous. In Tinker Tailor by episode 3 one young woman who gets involved with the circus (spies) has been abducted, probably raped, tortured, killed. We never see her but the experience Ricki Tarr (Hywell Bennett drop dead beautiful in the Anthony Andrews mould) has galvanizes himself into action to expose the “mole.” We see Smiley (Alec Guiness) visit an old girlfriend, now retired from the circus because she found out too much and her hands are twisted from torture; she is clearly as old as she is utterly available. She is left with an old dog for company, “safe” in Oxford – lovely street off a fine park. The eldely actress reminded me of Dorothy Tutin. In Smiley’s People we have an older woman (Eileen Atkins) who has lived a desolate life separated from her daughter as the underlying motivating story. The same holds true of Meirelles Constant Gardener

Both Smiley and Wilson are presented as protective tender man (reminding me of Robin Ellis as Poldark in some of his behaviors to towards his two beloved women). Plante took their women and made them center repeatedly, made us see the torture, the rape, their desperate lives. The mode, the action, the implications, and the larger political issues are then feminized.

Ellen

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Nell Blaine (1922-96), The Cookie Shop (1986) — a favorite woman artist for me

Dear friends and readers,

On C18-l, a listserv I’ve been on since 1994 Jim Chevalier asked the question, “What were our research interests?” for the ostensible reason that then we could all know what areas we shared and what was the expertise or real terrains of the community. The motive was more to get people to write and thus keep the community alive with writing presences.

At first few answered, and there was an immediate tendency not just to cite pubilshed articles or books, but refer to a recent academic site where academic-style papers are published. One growing (it was asserted) by leaps and bounds: it’s a form of self-advertisement, face-book academic version. But, rightly, Jim said that he was looking for something different from the sort of thing allowable to articulate in papers. People did begin to offer a description, short usually of research interests conventionally understood (what X is publishing or working on right now or has done). But happily finally the listowner, suggested this was a hard question to answer and told of his research areas and interests as his life’s work over years of living, teaching, being alive.

So I wrote in too, and thought I’d put my posting here as a blog since this blog is turning into an academic-style one where I write in a familiar letter manner about my serious scholarly interests (as it might be put in describing a resume).

I agree with Kevin Berland that this is — or was — a hard question to answer as posed. Areas of research interest for people who do it as central to their lives over a long period of time morph as our lives morph so it’s not just a question of new areas of interest coming out of projects but the way we go about it changing. For me too some of the areas I’ve gotten involved in have been the result of relationships and events (meeting people and joining groups) so I was commissioned to write a book on Anthony Trollope for the Trollope Society and having spent five years on it altogether found myself a Trollopian and have stayed with it — going to two conferences with papers, and recently (last month) publishing a review of a book that emerged from one of these conferences. I do love the man’s books and have grown to like him too, but it was an external event or meeting someone that diverted or expanded my interests. And now I’ve published on George Eliot too (and love her novels and letters and criticism about her, and biographies) and moved out further to Margaret Oliphant.


John Atkinson Grimshaw, one of my favorite Victorian painters, this is Leeds, autumn 1893, Golden Light — a copy hangs on one of the walls of my room

While the career trajectory often demands that one stay within a given period or interest, it’s not been that way for me. Early on I changed areas too: I began as an Early Modern specialist with an interest in poetry, dropped that to move to the 18th century and wrote my dissertation on Richardson’s Clarissa and Grandison. There I can formulate it a usual way: I was gripped by the book (Clarissa), still am (!), but also interested to answer the question, how the modern novel with its deep subjectivity developed out of the earlier romance forms. I wanted to know how this creative mood whereby when a reader reads a novel she will think she is literally “in” the book somehow, lose a sense of the world around her, and imagine herself in this world to the point you have to be proded to half-wake up to reality. I thought it was located in the reveries of epistolary narrative. I’m still fascinated by epistolary narratives, but have moved on to gothic, female gothic, French novels (as important to this process of creating the modern novel). I love French literature, and especially texts by women from the later 17th into our own time. Never tire of them 🙂


Again Nell Blaine, this time Cosmos, Night Interior, 1976

No small joy for me has been 18th century picturesque and rococo art:


Canaletto, Northumberland House, 1752 (the wallpaper for this main computer I write on and look at all the time),

landscape poetry, but it also helped that Robert Adams Day advised me a paper I wrote on Clarissa had a dissertation topic in it and said he would be my advisor. It was that offer that drew me to the 18th century as the problem of finding an advisor and a topic to write about that would be acceptable by some authority was solved.

But I didn’t give up my poetry and in the end instead of writing a scholarly researched book translated the complete oeuvres of two Italian Renaissance poets; Vittoria Colonna and Veronica Gambara, and kept up that one too — I wrote a review of a recent translation of part of Colonna’s oeuvre. I’m interested in women’s poetry and wrote a series of essays on “foremother poets” for a poetry festival online organized by a group of women poets, an offshoot of a listserv; we (a larger group) then published an anthology of poems by us (one a person in the book) called Letters to the World. Anna Barbauld belongs here for me as a central woman poet only now beginning to be adequately read.


Giovanni Volpato and Louis Ducrois, The Temple to the Sybil at Tivoli, 1750s (the wallpaper for my laptop on my library table)

And one develops new interests — one which is partly the result of teaching is film studies, film adaptations of novels. Students and lots of people “get their stories” from movies nowadays, and movies influence how books are read or make visible how they are read at a given time, and I’m now engaged in a book project, the Austen movies — as well as an article project on Trollope, the Palliser films. And now I’ve grown fascinated with the work of Andrew Davies. My respect for him increases daily — or nightly. The other night I watched a masterwork by him (and Tristram Powell, the director, son of Anthony who wrote Dance to the Music of Time), Falling, an adaptation of a novel by Elizabeth Jane Howard (and I love and read all the time women’s memoirs and novels, an interest which began to be scholarly back with Clarissa).

I keep up with publications on the science of medicine (its history too) because I teach continually a course called Advanced Composition on the Natural Sciences and Technology. Often as much as a third of my class is made up of young and older adults who work in the worlds of medicine.

I see I forgot Austen. I first read her when I was 12 or 13 and have never stopped. She never fails me, and I keep my bookcase full of books by and about her, and essays and all sorts of things near my desk in my workroom. Close at hand, near to heart. In fact reading women’s memoirs and novels that come out of the Austen tradition or are like her books in their woman-centered point of view and interest in subjectivity and the private life impinged on by public are a need for me. I find comfort and strength in such books.


My favorite of all the heroines, Elinor Dashwood as enacted by Hattie Morahan in the 2008 S&S (by Davies and Pivcevic), in a moment where she sounds and has a facial and bodily expression like that of Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet

And also feminism. In the middle 1990s I had a conversion experience. I realized I had misunderstood the feminist movement, had (wrongly) seen it as a movement of elite women seeking to improve their career prospects and create power and prestige for themselves. This was the result of being here in cyberspace online and reading many woman’s postings and being on all sorts of lists. I realized feminism could and would help me, free me, enable me to understand what had happened to my in my life better and also read literature in a new way that made it meaningful for me, so that I could and did find myself in books in ways I could not see before — and for the first time. This has not changed what I read, but the way I read it and how I write about it. I could never have written the paper, “Rape in Clarissa” in the 1980s nor delivered it in public the way I did. Nowadays I discern four phases, here outlined, and these influence the way I see books and writing today too:

The first phase: officially visible started in 1848, in the US, by a conference in upper New York State, familiar to us in the suffragette movement where women asked for what in the western world is mostly at least in lipservice granted:

the vote, for career and education equality, for prohibition, critiquing the family structure strongly as such for hurting women physically and financially; this phase includes a demand for prohibition because when men, husbands and fathers are drunk, they don’t work and make money for the family, and they are frequently violent;

The second phase I’d sum up as the most radical and what makes feminism an object for attack, and is still hotly contested (this area includes discussions of say rape). Voices here are Catherine MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin, Simone de Beauvoir, Lilian Robinson, lots of famous names:

they moved to a demand for freedom for their bodies, they analyzed the role of sexuality and wanted to change the terms of sexuality and indeed the experience and said society was structured to give men power over women in each particular (the analogy would be with Marxists showing the economic basis of oppression), so a strong socialism model underlies this. It is this group of women who are called man-haters and prigs and accused of not liking sex. Well, they don’t like to be raped.

Third-phase sometimes seen as a reaction against feminism, and a qualification by women in order to deflect the backlash; here you paradoxically also find people like Linda Hirshman so insistent on getting power, be in corridors of power and angry too:

Motherhood is power once again (at least to some), if women find power in sexuality the way it’s done, that’s power (the argument against is this is no power the way it’s experienced, or only fleetingly); strong individualism (a US value), seek power for yourself and use it as you please; pro-families (best or to me most valued argued on the basis of how lower class and working women only get their self-esteem through their function in a family or as a mother); here you find women trying to reach out too beyond their class and race and ethncities.

And now post-feminism:

Refuge seeking, eclectic, sometimes seen as no feminism and a retreat, if so a sophisticated one. Examples found in Karen Joy Fowler’s Sister Noon, also Austen.

I say least about the last since the last has been least written about — as far as I know. I’d be grateful for any discussions of “post-feminism” others know of.

One more aspect of this morphing. Funny that I thought of Austen only at the end — so fundamental is she to me. I should also have brought out how we read and write differently about books and art over the years, so that not just areas of interest but how we go about them changes. Again there’s a conventional way of putting this: one takes up with say deconstruction or book history as this emerges in the scholarly world. But for me at least my engagement in such things does not come because they are there or fashionably spreading and bring up new ideas to use as perspectives. So if I nowadays bring in film studies perspectives, it’s not something external, or just that.


Emma Thompson, still my favorite actress, in a recent movie with Dustin Hoffman, Last Chance Harvey

So (I concluded on C18-l), I know lots about different things that are intertwined but also sometimes seem divagations … but are anything but. They are my life.

Ellen

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74Pallisers32021WeMustGoOutThere
“We must go out there” (and face the world, a young and older woman’s entrance into the world, last still from 10:20)

Dear Friends,

Though it’s been a number of months (again) since I last posted about the 1974 BBC Pallisers series, I am still working my way slowly through all the Parts. I’ve decided I can’t both try to write a book on the Austen films and keep up thorough analyses of the Palliser series in blog-essay format. What I’m doing now is carrying on reading the Palliser novels whole and then carefully taking down the screenplays of each hour episode, comparing the texts of the screenplays and actual dramas to what I find in the novels: the series continues to be a commentary type.

What I’m doing now is writing blogs Parts 18-26 (Volumes 9-12). This blog is on three parts; the part after that (10:21) will either have a blog to itself or two blogs. And so it will go after that.

I left off at 8:17. In a nutshell, 8:18 and 8:19 bring us to the end of Phineas Redux, with some striking changes: for example, a ghost scene where it is made explicit that Phineas (Donal McCann) did long to do away with Bonteen (Peter Sallis), so that the inferences from the novel are altered to something far more disillusioned at the same time as far less ethically demanding.

I would call these two episodes “Phineas’s ordeal” and they correspond in Victorian melodramatic detective terms to Meredith’s “Beauchamp’s Ordeal.”

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I take our first transcript from such 9:18. First to situate or contextualize it, here is a barebones outline of 9:18:

9:18 Phineas Redux: first half of trial ordeal.

Episode 1: Finn’s Case: scene 1) PM’s chambers (?), conference room, Palliser and Erle defend Phineas, Bunay there reasoning, PM will not listen to talk of Emilius, wants the case over with, assumes Phineas guilty; scene 2) Carlton Terrace, Madame Max and Duchess, some from PR, II, Ch 54, pp. 124-31. Madame Max deep distress; evidence against Phineas, Palliser and Monk, Madame will go to Prague against their advice; Duke must believe in law; scene 3) high bench, judge remands Phineas; scene 4) Portman Square, Lady Laura’s distress, her brother, Chiltern, and father’s lack of sympathy with her; Lady Chiltern also seeks to repress Laura, who will visit Phineas in prison she declares; scene 5) Phineas in prison (depressed, despairing), with Monk at chess, from PR, II, Ch 55, pp 133-35; Beauchamp’s Career and American Senator allusion.

Episode 2: Love and Death: scene 6) Carlton Terrace, Duchess and Adelaide, Burgo’s letter from CYFH?, Ch 42, pp. 452-53. Duchess regrets loss, but asserts Planty never out of her heart since she grew to love him; Adelaide’s announcement of her and Maule’s engagement; Duchess’s supposedly comic-anxious responses; scene 8 [I skipped a number], Portman Square, Lord Brentford Laura, from PR, II, Ch 52, p. 102-4, 108-10: father acrimonious, resentful of son, says Phineas a murderer, Laura at solitaire defends, telegram to say Kennedy is dead; scene 9) Phineas’s prison room, alone, from PR, Ch 55, pp. 133-34, voice-over of prayer, even Chiltern does not believe him; scene 10) Portman Square, Laura at solitaire, men delighted at Loughlinter, money, from PR, Ch 52,pp 104-110 (narrative turned into scene): Chiltern waxes angry, tells her Phineas has Madame Goesler, she livid; scene 11) Phineas’ prison room, Laura walks in, from PR, II, Ch 55, pp. 135-141. Moving; she tells of husband’s death; he thinks of his coming death; she asserts she believes him innocent; Erle wrests her away

Episode 3: Investigation: scene 12) Park Lane beflowered room, Madame Max, the great invented scene [see transcript just below] with Mrs Meager, from PR, II, Ch 56, pp. 143-46. Learns of key, of coat; scene 13) Bonteen front Room, Mrs B and Lady Eustace in mourning, bits from PR, II, Ch 51, pp. 168-172; also Ch 72, pp.291-92. Reading news, trial delayed; Loveybond, lawyer, tells her Mr Bonteen right; they have brought back wife of Mealyus and documents, jailed for bigamy and Lizze bursts out Emilius the murderer (lawyer regards her as bloodthirsty, Mrs Bonteen as having caused her husband’s death); scene 14) Carlton Terrace, Duchess and Marie pour over map, Marie off to Prague, from PR, II, Ch 66, pp. 150-51, 154, grand moment, they kiss

Episode 4: Coin and Court: scene 15) PM’s chambers, Palliser, PM. Bungay, Monk asks for postponement of trial, new evidence, from PR, II Ch 58, pp. 158, where question of Duchess’s support of Phineas discussed between 2 dukes (Bungay, Palliser); trade problems invented as now threatening election, loss of Bonteen at Board of Trade is in another part of novel; scene 16: Carlton Terrace; Adelaide practices walking before Duchess, from PR, I, ch 18, p 157; Ch 21, pp. 189-90. Maule Abbey solution; scen e 17) Portman Square, from PR, II, 60, pp. 177-78, Monk and Chiltern persuade newly introduced Chaffanbrass to speak to Phineas; scene 18) Phineas’s prison room, from PR, II, Ch 60, pp. 180-84. Chaffanbrass and Phineas; noble aim of Phineas, narrow one of Mr Chaffanbrass (“they ain’t worth it”); ominous note at close (“if we can”); scene 19: Courtroom (25 minutes of episode left), from PR, II, Ch 61, pp. 184-86, full scene, Chiltern and Violet are us; accusation and Monk’s testimony with Chaffanbrass’s protest and Sir Gregory Grogram’s determination. Wholly original replaces Ch 61, pp. 188-93. Ambiguous evidence, e.g., Monk says Phineas “bitterly angry”, life preserver scene retold

Episode 5: Cloaked Figure: scene 19 continues: Courtroom, Superintendent Worth’s evidence (from narrator’s account of what court believed, Chaffanbrass’s angry interjections, steps down, Fawn’s evidence, PR, II, ch 62, pp. 197-203, Ch 63, pp. 206-7 (about coat itself), film much kinder to Fawn, Chaffanbrass badgers every bit of the story, first cloak brought forward; scene 20) Portman square: PR, II, Ch 71, pp. 189-90; Laura not allowed to testify, Chiltern and Violet’s pessimism, end on Laura’s face.

The thing to keep your eye on is how this melodramatic scene is changed It is derived from Phineas Redux, II, Ch 56, pp. 13-46, but with considerable changes and much original dialogue. The Original takes place in Meager household, includes Amelia the daughter, reveals the life of the lodging house directly.
Here the key is the relationship between the women which builds in the comfort of Madame Max’s house, and it through this built-trust that Mrs Meager reveals the unexpected important fact that there was another grey coat in the vicinity, one Mr Emilius could have worn. An irony is the women are more effective outside the established logical allowances of probabilty. The acting of barba Murray and Sheila Fay as the two women takes us beyond Trollope’s text where there is no such intimation and also the screenplay:

  • 1. Establishment shot: Madame Max’s table with yellow flowers. We have seen how she likes yellow flowers before (in all the scenes in her room these are there).
    2. Mastershot: two women walking in through the door, dialogue happening.
    Marie: “Now let us be quite clear about this, Mrs Meager.
    Mrs Meager looks round her suspiciously.
    Marie closes the door. “Mr Emilius lodged with you some time back. only after the murder, but you are sure he was back before the murder.
    Mrs Meager startled from her absorbed looking round at these beautiful apartments: “Hmmm? Uh oh yes ma’am that is quite true.”
    Marie: “Now we know he went to Prague and that he was back sometime before the murder happened.”
    Mrs Meager: “Uh yes ma’am back in the best room at 6 and 8 a week.”
    Marie (very earnest). “Now Mrs Meager, I want you to think very carefully about this. Was there anything at all odd in Mr Emilius’s behavior? Anything anything before he went to Prague or after he came back.”
    Mrs Meager (melodramatic expression, twisted and tight): “Odd?”
    Marie: “Anything he may have said? Something in his room. Something you may have seen (she goes over to pik up a purse and bring it back to the table) in his room?
    Mrs Meager: “Well, ma’am. there was just one thing.”
    Marie (puts down purse ostentatiously). “Mmmm?”
    Mrs Meager: “When he went away to that foreign part what you said he took his key with him.”
    Marie. “Oh” (gestures Mrs Meager to sit down)
    Mrs Meager (sitting) Ah which he hadn’t got no right ah seeing as how he wasn’t paying for his room while he were gone.”
    Marie. “Well perhaps he was just forgetful.”
    Mrs Meager: “Well that’s what he said later, ma’am, but he wasn’t usually forgetful. Anyways there was me and the front attic and any body else in the house there was just the one key between us all. That’s why I remember it so particular.”
    Marie’s face (close up): “So you only had the two keys.”
    Mrs Meager: “Yes, ma’am.”
    Marie take up the coin and puts it in front of Mrs Meager.
    Mrs Meager (then talks on): “And Mr Emilius had run off with one so there was the whole pack of us fighting over the other until Mr Emilius gets back and says eh’s ever so sorry in his best religious voice but that he forgot and left it in his drawer.”
    Marie. “But he hadn’t.”
    Mrs Meager: “No, ma’am, in ourline we is obliged to know about drawers.
    Marie: “So. He must have had it with him all the time.”
    Mrs Meager nods.
    Marie. “Hmmmn (put another coin on the table). “Poor Mrs Meager. what a very difficult life you must have (see still on groupsite page).
  • 74Pallisers917MrsMeagersHardLife

  • (More coins clinking on table. Mrs Meager’s face acknowledges the truth of this). Now can you remember anything else about Mr Emilius?”
    Mrs Meager: “Well, eh though not exactly about him, ma’am, but um there has been some talk about a coat” (suddenly eager, the sympathy extended has also had its effect).
    Marie alert: “Indeed there has.”
    Mrs Meager: “Well, ma’am, my husband, Mr Meager, he’s not ‘ere very often, but he does sor tof flit in and out from time to time. Well it just so happened that he flitted in on the day beforfe the murder and when he flitted in see he was wearing this coat.”
    Maried (sharp): “What coat?”
    Mrs Meager: “The coat there has been all the talk about, ma’am, a gray sporty sort of coat (Marie’s face is quivering).
    Marie: Have you told this to the police?”
    Mrs Meager: “No, maa’m, in our parts we is not overly keen on talking with the police.”
    Marie: “Well … (she looks down at purse, and more coins are put out). “Never mind, Mrs Meager (camera on pile of coins) “What happened to the coat?”
    Mrs Meaeger: “It spent the night in the house, ma’am, along with Mr Meager, a gallon of port and a bottle of Dutch gin.”
    Marie: “So. Mr Emlius could have borreowed the coat while Mr Meager was refreshing himself.”
    Mrs Meager: “an ‘im none the wiser, filthy sot.”
    Marie: “Where is it now?”
    Mrs Meager: “Oh well …. (stuble sounds) that’s har dto say, ma’am … I mean now the summer’s really coming I pawned it for sure.”
    Marie: “But it was definitely in the house on the night of the murder.”
    Mrs Meager: “Yes, ma’am, I saw it on the sofa before I went to bed.”
    Marie: “Mmmm. (faint music) (put more coins on table) Now. Mrs Meager send for your husband, find out where he pawedn that coat and redeem it at once and take it to that address.”
    Mrs Meager; “Not the police, ma’am, I hope.”
    Marie: “No no. A nice kind gentleman who is my solicitor and who will show himself to be (she pushes oisy coins on table towards Mrs Meager) most grateful.”
  • The women’s shared sympathy is strong. The best moments are in Fay’s face, for example the peculiarly tense look from actress’s face comes when she is telling of coat, of pawning, of her fears of police, and particularly her tones when describing Mr Meagre as a filthy sot. Much she has had to endure.

    The allusions to political novels in 9:18 and 9:19 anticipates Raven’s development of Trollope’s later political novel, The Prime Minister. No longer will we look at issues but at the workings of personal politics in the upper class and how coteries function, an important theme in Trollope’s own The American Senator, also alluded to in 8:17-18. Material bringing in the growing up of the Pallisers’ children is interwoven in conversation. Also Lady Glen’s tearing a letter from Burgo (from 1:1), the Duke’s memories of how his wife did not love him and wanted to flee shortly after they married.

    ***************************

    Again I will situate or contextualize 9:19 and 10:20 with a barebones summary.

    9:19: Second half of trial, Phineas’s vision and depression, wedding, PM transition in Arcadian gardens once again.

    Episode 6: Defensive Proof: Scene 1) courtroom, now defense, PR, II, Ch 53, pp. 206-10: Chaffanbrass harangues on hearsay nature of Fawn’s evidence, brings forth second cloak, Phineas’s holding out life preserver called “jocular”; Monk still there, and Duke testifies to Phineas’s character; scene 2) Carlton Terrace, Duchess reading People’s Banner, Phineas’s life on a thread, from PR, II, Ch 58, pp 161-62 (some of this chapter went into 9:18, Episode 4, Scene 15); Duke reassurres, accepts, brings up problems at Board of Trade; business about him asking her to clean Gresham’s shoes; scene 3) courtroom, PR, II, Ch 53, pp. 212-13; Grogram making strong case against Phineas (Bonteen blocking his advancement); telegram, Chaffanbrass shouts to bring all to halt; judge protests, Duke of Omnium intervenes to explain who lady is,

    Episode 7: Prague evidence: scene 4) Phineas’s prison room, Phineas, Monk, Chiltern, Phineas’s great distress and anxiety, inclination to dismiss Madame Max’s efforts and man named Peter Prasker; scene 5) courtroom; now there is no such scene in PR, a hint on p. 227: Madame Max’s testimony and fun over latin by Judge triumphing over Chaffanbrass; Prasker asked to make a copy, identifies Emilius as the man; acquitted rom PR, II, Ch 67, pp 239-40; Phineas’s continued depression and even bitterness, Chaffanbrass congratulates

    74Pallisers919ChaffanbrasscongratulatesdevastatedFinn

    but Phineas remains stunned and at long last showing how shattered and appalled he’s been; almost paralyzed he is taken out by Palliser, cf PR, II, Ch 67, pp. 233-34, 241-43 (book has Chiltern, Cantripp, Low); scene 6) the streets, Phineas re-enacts the night, from PR, II, Ch 68, pp. 245-47; even in grey coat; the major departure where ghost says Phineas wanted to do it, and Phineas doesn’t deny that, just says he didn’t; Duke of Omnium turns up and pulls Phineas away

    74Pallisers919BonteensGhost

    Episode 8: Pained Freedom: scene 7: Phineas’s lodging house room, substitute argument by Palliser where he says they all believed him innocent but doubt is inevitable for it shows people are frank with themselves, and brings up how his wife could have run away (the same as a murder?); letter which Phineas says disturbed him in I, Ch 71, pp. 280. In book it’s Monk and Low and about Phineas’s depression directly, PR, II, Ch 68, pp. 249-52; scene 8) Parliament before the door, Finn walks in and is congratulated by Erle (who interrupts another topic, all shake his hands; cf PR, II, Ch 73, pp. 295-96; scene 9) Matching Priory; Madame Max in lovely grey-blue light by those windows, to her Duchess,

    from PR, II, Ch 68, p 248; Lady Glen says Phineas recovered and Madame Max had better snatch him up; Madame Max does not snatch people up; in come Phineas, PR, II, Ch 74, pp. 302-2, 354; Duchess removes herself and at long last he tells her how he loves her, they kiss and hug tightly, sway

    Episode 9: Offers Revealed: scene 10) Prime Minister’s chambers (or conference room, not clear what it is), trade, foreign affairs, election crisis; Duke glad at offer of Board of Trade; Monk puts in word for place for Phineas, Gresham shrugs; 11) Matching Priory: Marie, Duchess, planning wedding, Phineas with letter, Duchess leaves, Phineas not sure he wants it, not sure he’s wanted by Gresham; Marie “you are quite right” (perfect mate all right): in book he meets with Marie after refusing offer; 12) Prime Minister’s chambers/conference room, from PR, II, Ch 77, pp 337-39, Phineas says no p. 350 (much later in book); just about new dialogue, PM’s annoyance, cannot forget defection over Tenant’s rights even if now the thing is a done deal; Phineas brave and sincere: he was falsely accused, he’s troubled in his mind, PM sneers in effet; resembles Crawley and Grantly (terms in which discussed); Gresham polite at end, offered it, Finn walks off silently; scene 13) Matching Priory, from PR, I, Ch 22, pp. 190-92 (one sees how Raven could skip about): Gerald tells of scene (that occurs in PR) and sneer at Lady Glen; Gerald unkind, Adelaide slaps him, he walks off, she cries desperately; scene 14) Portman Square: long beautiful walk, with words from PR, II, ch 70, and again 78, pp. 347-9 condensed into one beautifully acted but necessarily inadequate scene. Probably Raven does not feel for her and sees her as unfair, transgressive; she remembers all that has happened (when he turned to Violet) but words are taken from cliched (I worshipped you when I should have worshipped god) showing Raven is not himself reliving or feeling this for real (afresh)

    Episode 10: Hope and Peril: scene 15) Carlton Terrace, major change again, for Palliser persuades Finn to take office, it will restore confidence in him, they will work together, Phinaes is won over; scene 16) Matching front room: scene of four of them, two couples as winners, where Duchess persuades Duke to let Adelaide have the income older Duke of Omnium meant for Madame Max, from PR, II, Ch 76, pp. 321-22 (no such scene but the details are from book, and this is what happens; I feel actors getting a kick out of not caring about 20,000 pounds; sudden telegram from Gresham, government in trouble and Duke must return; ending of cheer on Phineas still looking forward first to honeymoon, and Duchess to go find and tell Adelaide 16) Arcadian gardens around Matching: the wedding, jokes about wedding albums, photos, mild satire on modern ritual”

    It’s a funny scene between Dolly (Donald Pickering) and the Duchess (Susan Hampshire) where he informs her what such picture albums left on tables for others to see are for.

    74Pallisers919TheWeddingPhotos

    Dolly then mentions he hears Duchess’s sons both “great characters at Eton, particularly Silverbridge”; the walk in front of the building (parallel for transitions into Phineas, 3:6, and and Eustace, 6:11); political choral dialogue in great tent afterwards between Erle and Dolly on coming election, Erle serious about trade, Dolly mocks (“twade”); scene 17) Matching. Duke and Duchess, private quiet room at night, what to do, the boys are away, office is gone; moving dialogue of tender affection and respect = love, no equivalent in Trollope

    The Prime Minster itself is begun more in earnest with this political talk of Barrington Erle (Moray Watson) and Dolly at the wedding and then in the final touching nightime scene between the now Duke (Plantagenet, Philip Latham) and Duchess (Lady Glen, Susan Hampshire) who have grown to love tenderly, value, esteem one another despite great differences in attitudes. They talk of what they will do outside the political world, thus telling us they care intensely about it and will rejoin.

    ***************************

    In 10:20 the Lopez story is begun, denuded of many characters (as was Frank Greystock’s story in the Eustace Diamonds parts) and is to be fitted into the political and sexual vision of this part. There are strong hints (never elaborated), again through allusion (to Swinburne) that part of the mystery of Lopez is he’s homosexual. The Lopez story vies for space as at the end of the part we have the entrance of Lady Mary (Kate Nicholls), Silverbridge (Anthony Andrews) and Frank Tregear (Jeremy Irons) into the films, Silverbridge having been thrown out of Oxford (for painting a master’s house red), Lady Mary a close loving daughter with her mother, and the two young men (hinted) a strong loving friendship (they go to Venice in a later part, living there together).

    The strongest scenes in the part are those which dramatize the relationship between the Duchess and Duke, and I give a transcript of the last one in the part. First a summary of the part to situate this scene:

    10:20: Lopez introduces; the Duchess’s way of politicking

    Episode 11: Call to Office: scene 1) The Club, Dolly and Erle; 4 years have passed; liberals out for “bungling money,” a coalition forming (invented information dialogue; scene 2) Carlton Terrace, private sitting room we’ve not seen before (piano, place to sew, coffee table); from Prime Minister, I, Ch 6, pp. 50-51 (all narration with only hints of this fully dramatized scene): Palliser gravely tells; and when she first looks at him, she sees how ill he is.


    Susan Hampshire as Duchess registering strain on her husband’s face

    But when he tells her the news, she’s intensely awed, exhilarated, excited, exultant; if it were not “cowardly” he’d “avoid this task” if he could; he talks of memory of when he gave up office for her, he doesn’t have gifts for this; she vows to work for him; scene 3): hall before throne room, Duke and Bungay go in; scene 4) Carlton Terrace, return to same sitting room, Duchess and Mrs Finn, from PM, I, Ch 6, pp. 54-56. Duchess’s plans to be hostess, closely taken from book, except added is modern Tory point of view on places; Duke’s idealism an obstacle, Mrs Finn his beliefs ingrained from the workings of his own mind.

    Episode 12: Pain of Power: scene 5) Carlton Terrace, front drawing room where we’ve seen them entertaining, Duke and Duchess, from PM, I, Ch 7, pp. 56-58. Closely from book, Duchess asks to be Mistress of the Robes, refused on grounds she’s his wife, and he doesn’t want to exercise power in this way unless he must; she is hurt, angry; then from, PM, Ch 7, p. 59, also Ch 63: Bungay enters, and they must allot the postions again versus “ideals” and “moral vision”; scene 6: The club, Dolly reading paper and Erle pouring wine, from book and dramatizing narrated material, PM, Ch 63, talking of who gets what, “not many Tories” says Dolly; oh we’ll have Sir Orlando Drought; Lopez’s first entrance, snobbish disdainful reaction of Erle, Dolly mocks “you the pillar of the liberal party;” but also moves to exploit Lopez’s insider info, PM, I, Ch 11, p 95) Lopez wangling invitation to Duchess; scene 7) another room in club, where Everett Wharton playing solitaire, from narrator, PM, I, Ch 2, pp. 17-22, pp. 22-24 (this is substitute of modern talk): Everett’s desire to wangle a seat, but his father won’t pay; Lopez’s cynical motives v Everett’s unthinking naive defense (“somebody must make the laws”), Emily Lopez’s target, father won’t like it

    Episode 13: Expansive Plan: scene 8) Carlton Terrace, again sitting room, Duchess sewing, Duke walks in from PM, I, Ch 8, p. 68: he gives Mistress of Robes to Duchess of Jersey, Finn gets Ireland, with Duchess’s regret Mrs Finn might accompany him, leads to PM, Ch 11, pp. 89-91, she gains permission to open Gatherum where they can entertain up to his new position; he reluctantly agrees; scene 9) London park, the invented picturesque stroll, Duchess and Mrs Finn encounter Lopez and he recites Swinburne which Mrs Finn gets but Duchess does not, Duchess says she will take this young man up, Mrs Finn suspicious of this unknown man, dubious plan; rich women in beautiful park and elegant man supposed to be contrast to dialogue; scene 10) Sexty Parker’s office, from PM, I, pp. 14-16. Sexty’s character, Lopez’s unknown background, bullies the man (with his “missus and three children”) into cosigning for “750 quid.” Some dialogue taken from book.

    Episode 14: A Proposal: scene 11) Mr Wharton’s chambers, Lopez proposes himself as suitor to Emily, from PM, I, Ch 3, pp. 29-31, angry resentful old man, will not countenance man with background he doesn’t know (Protestant gentleman necessary; Lopez says he’s Portuguese, English mother, where educated, his business in trading stocks; father “gambling;” by end of scene Lopez angry in face, Wharton grim; scene 12) Wharton home, front hall, PM, I, Ch 4, pp. 36-38, Everett going out to dine at club with Lopez, Wharton remarks it’s injurious to purse; sexy Emily glimpsed coming down stairs; dressed as a man’s toy; scene 13) Wharton’s study, son still there but leaves after Emily comes in, PM, I, Ch 5, pp. 43-46, Wharton tells Emily of Lopez’s visit, and Emily says she loves him, Wharton it cannot be (“no family … adventurer … doesn’t belong”); she (he’s English, educated, lives with gentleman as gentleman, Everett’s friend); no no no, she asks him to look into it, not to make her unhappy for nothing and he agrees sternly; she looks grateful and trusting; scene 13) long entry by coach of Duke, Duchess, Mrs Finn into gatherum castle; different stone building from Matching, has walls and gate around building. From PM, I, Ch 19, pp. 157-58; we see workmen, raking sand; scene 14) grounds further out around castle, Duke walks and sees workman, he on parapet

    Episode 15: scene 15) Gatherum, a sitting room, PM, I, Ch 19, pp. 158-59; a dramatization of Duchess’s housekeeping, Pritchard and Duchess go to the numbers, the problem with chef (artist, bohemian), Duchess wants to say she wishes she didn’t have to go through this, Mrs Fin “it would have broken your heart;” and we see grown Mary for first time; innocent and loving mother (she greets each child with open arms and delight in face, each reciprocates fully), they talk of Silverbridge as 18 and needs to pass exam; Duchess looks out, he hates waht we have done, wants to pass if off as “a few friends,” Marie’s concerned face; scene 17) Duke’s time walking through grounds, from PM, I, Ch 19, pp. 159-62. Powerful comic ironies as he is told it’s not for them to decide; scene 18) upstairs private sitting room in Gatherum, Duchess in purple with white apron; this is powerful clash transcribe below, heavily invented and yet close too, taken directly at high points; his distaste, apology but continued distress, her anger, hurt, not resolved at all; scene 19) back to gardens; camera catches big machine making flat lawn, the tents, and we watch people coming through gate, getting out of carriages; scene 20) upstairs sitting room, Mary dressed up, waiting Silverbridge dramatic opening of door, brings Tregear, the attraction between Mary and Tregear, story of how he’s been expelled, so Duke’s Children, Ch 1, p,. 3, Ch 18, pp. 113-14: Duchess asks if Tregear sent down too, oh no, seems more worried about father and not bothered deeply about how Silverbridge refers to himself lightly as “a fellow,” proposed they go to a tavern to stay out of the way until she tells father, Palliser arms, the tale told and Mary laughs, Duchess smies, Tregear rueful,Silverbridge makes a naughty face, but she says father will not see the joke; they are pushed away, with our hearing Tregear’s voice, “yes, Mary, and the two women link arms to confront world. The sense is of something hard but worthwhile winning.

    **********************

    Now chose I chose this scene because if you compare its ultimate major source (Prime Minister, Vol 1, Chapter 19), you will discover that surprizingly little is actually taken from the original scene, key phrases and sentences, some memorable hot words (“vulgarity”), and much is invented. The scene feels as if it were Trollope and anticipates the ending of PM where indeed we find that the Duke has learned to like power and does not want to give it up. I can imagine people hunting for the full scene in the book, and finding themselves a little startled to see how much original development there is here.

  • From Prime Minister, I, Chapter 19, pp 162-63
    Scene 18: A sitting room at Gatherum Castle
    Establishment shot: Duchess laying on couch, in heavy duty white apron, tired
    He walks in quickly; she sighs and smiles upon seeing him, does not move.
    Duchess: “I’ve never geen so tired in my entire life. I’ve just planned every menu for the entire month, making sure that no guest should have the same dish twice. And I have been into every bedroom and moved most of the furniture with my own hands.:”
    Duke: “Oh, was that necessary, Cora?”
    She begins to get up.
    Duchess: “Well, if I’d gone to bed instead, the world would have gone on I suppose. Well, people must eat and some of the more important like Sir Orlando are staying a week or more, which makes it very difficult. Well, you wouldn’t want Sir Orlando to have the same dish twice. It mght choke him.”
    Duke (turns). “Hmmm. (Has looked at papers scattered and piled on the desk.) Cora, so far … now I’ve always let you have your own way in everything.”
    She is now sitting and looks up at him as he straddles himself.
    Duchess: “You’re going to scold. I know you are going to scold. I shouldn’t have said what I did about choking Sir Orlando. Don’t worry I shall sing to him like a siren for the next seven days.”
    (She does not understand what he is protesting or is wishing it were something other than it is.)
    Duke: “Cora (louder). Now I don’t like what you’ve done out there. That’s not necessary.”
    Duchess: “People do make changes in their garden without necessity.”
    Duke: “Yes. But these have been made to impress our guests. Now had you done it to gratify your own taste, I’d have said nothing at all. No, no, even though I think you might have told me what you intended.”
    Duchess (beginning to get very excited from within): “What!? When you’re so burdened with work you don’t know where to turn.”
    Duke: “I’m never so burdened that I (dark face) cannot turn to you. Now what distresses me is this. Those thing which were felt to be good enough for our friends before are not felt to be insufficient (he paces). It’s cause of this (points up) this post I hold.”
    Duchess (very close up shot): “You agreed that we should entertain at Gatherum.”
    Duke: “Hey I did not (half cough) agree you could dig up half the country round. Hey. In order to make a display. Hey I’d almost have said there’s ah well there’s a vulgarity about this which offends me.”
    Duchess (unusual close up now). (She begins to look askance and deeply offended with an expression of intensity unusual to her.) (She rises her body a little.) (Whispers the word). “Vulgarity? How dare you?”
  • 74Pallisers1020DuchesscalledVulgar

  • Duke (suddenly backtracks, backs literally a step, and gets a kind of smile on his face): “Stammers. My my dear … I … I retract the word (smiles deprecatingly, placatingly as we watch him watch her) (holds up hand). Now I never really said it. I used it in the conditional sense, the optative mood. ‘I had almost said …'” (quoting himself)
    Duchess: “Oooh … you … said it all right. Vulgarity indeed. (She swallows). (Whispers loud fiercely) Yes. Of course it’s all vulgar but you don’t think that I do it from any pleasure that I get from it. The lavishing of smiles on butchers and tinkers must always be odious and vulgar. You cannot have power and remain untainted. It is impossible to be be both public and private at the same time. You must submit to vulgarity or cease to be the first minister.”
    Duke (from within is regathering his forces together): “My dear, I would remind you of this. There is no personal ambition (very intense face)”
    Duchess: “So you have always said yet you enjoy ooh how you enjoy telling us all what is best for us” (concise kind of pointed enunciation).
    Duke (now unusual close up to his face as she has hit him with a truth we have seen — we have seen her let him bully his sons and herself)
  • 74Pallisers1020DukeHurt

  • Duchess: “Nothing now would persuade you to let it go.”
    He looks sad, remorseful, hurt, she now turns and looks like she feels bad, moves over slightly to himi with gesture that seems about to reach to him to soften what she has just said but then stands still.
    Duchess: “Oh.”
    He walks in front of her before the camera and by. He picks up his hat and cane from her desk and then walks out.
    She has tears in her face (because she is doing it partly for him), like a little girl, her face scrunches up.
    He shuts door with a snap. She tears up and looks away.
    Then with a sudden fierce gesture and deep sound from within, she pushes and throws all the papers across her desk and to the ground.

  • The acting of Latham and Hamsphire is at this point superb. He often makes wordless sounds and his body language replaces words; he has become the older Duke over the year.

    I do not think Hampshire usually that powerful an actress; the type she plays is one who is guarded and makes a point of living on the surface in front of others, but in this rare moment in the series, she drops her mask and we see her intensely grated upon as she hears the word “vulgarity” from the Duke as a description of all her hard work fixing up the grounds, turning the castle into a super-hotel, being a hostess who is all smiles. In the still I have included her lips and the right side of her face just begins to move into a hard sneer of deep offense and irritation.

    Much of scene between Duke and Duchess not in the book but it could have been and feels so right; he writes what Trollope could have and makes us think it’s there. It’s almost there 🙂 Much is invented.

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    “He hates it,” the Duchess observing the Duke wandering about the gardens of Gatherum Castle

    In the audio-commentary by Emma Thompson to the 1995 Miramax Sense and Sensibility film (directed by Ang Lee), she remarks that the Atlas scene between Elinor (Emma Thompson), Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant) and Margaret (Emilie Francois) has seemed to some viewers who know the novel to be so like Austen that they ask where in the novel does it occur. For my part I find it too sweet for Austen, but there are other scenes (between Elinor and Marianne, Kate Winslett, for Lucy Steele and Mrs Jennings (Elizabeth Spriggs) where you think the scene is close to Austen’s own and when you go back find much has been changed or invented. Thompson says she is most delighted when people ask her to tell them where in Austen’s book this dialogue or scene occurred when there is no such line or quite this scene. She feels she has performed the ultimate function of recreating Austen for us.

    So perhaps Raven, only he has changed the inferences of the whole hour by new additions, scenes which are quite different, important eliminations and allusions. But I must save the discussion of this for when I come to the end of writing out all the screenplays and after I have written two chapters of my much longed-for (meaning me, meaning I do long to do it) “The Austen Movies.”

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    Comic moment of what Duchess might be seeing: Duke told it’s not for him and the workman to ask questions about what’s being done to the grounds

    Ellen

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