Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘kate nicholls’


Standing next to the Duchess’s (Susan Hampshire) portrait, with a glimpse of the windows beyond which is the grave, Mary (Kate Nicholls asks her father why he wants to make her miserable for the rest of her life)

Dear friends and readers,

So I come to the end of a three-year journey. The first time I rewatched Pallisers 12:26 (about 2 years ago now) I cried or was near tears several times; the second time I was more composed, but nonetheless choked with moving emotions. It’s utterly different in sources from Trollope’s The Duke’s Children, where our sorrow is for the Duke’s loss, and we are kept at a distant irony by the close (the Duke will make up his mind to see Tregear’s arrogance as courage and then Gerald makes the usual mindless remark) which also includs Mary’s quiet non-hierarchical wedding.

In this film we cry for a death, we are relieved to experience a wrong righted, and watch life go on at the close in an upbeat moment as the Duke prepares to return to London political life and office.


What the Duke (Philip Latham) sees in the series’s final moments: out those windows: winners all, the two couples, Mary and Frank Treager (Jeremy Irons), Isabel Boncassen and Lord Silverbridge (Lynn Frederick and Anthony Andrews)

Just before he settles down to a new blue book and anticipating a return to Parliament and politics on a level he is comfortable with (Bungay, Roger Livesey, the last voice-over):


Dusk, anamnesic music, the Duchess’s portrait, genius loci of that place.

For these last two blogs I will provide a summary and transcripts (this blog) and conclude with a final commentary on 12:26 and the series as a whole (the next).

As Pallisers 12:25 centers its climaxes on Silverbridge and his father, so 12:26 picks up the Lady Mary story and makes her a replacement for her mother: the long big scenes in this part focus on the Duchess’s attempt (failed) to secure Mary’s independence: she dies trying to do this and tell Plantagenet she wants Mary to marry whom she loves. The sorrow and pity is she does not do this since she knows he’ll be unsympathetic, so they do not understand one another to the last. The mid-scene long crisis is Mary’s defying her father, and the final powerful one, Mrs Finn persuading him a few yards from Glencora’s grave.

12:25 is given over to concentration on Silverbridge growing up and clashes with father so 12:26 concentrates on Mary as compensation for what happened to her mother; Kate Nicholls the muse of this part.

Episode 41: Medical Shock

Sene 1) Dark night in carriage, hurrying along to Matching, Silverbridge emphatically distressed over mother’s illness; we are to remember him as the “lovely boy” of the early episodes; we have seen this wood before, but in daylight. Invented scene.

Scene 2) Matching, front room, downstairs, Mrs Finn and Duke listening to doctor. The simple cold has become pneumonia, source The Duke’s Children, Ch 1, p 4 (Penguin edition by Dinah Birch). Duchess needs to eat and keep down food to regain strength; soporific for sleep; Mrs Finn grasping the medicine tightly.

Scene 3) Glencora in her bed, scene has a tiny core in DC, Ch 2, p. 8 but wholly in character insofar as the characters are concerned even if Trollope does not practice these protracted death scenes.

Establishment shot: Glencora lying down, very ill, looks feeble, fingering a framed photograph, four more by her bedside. Mrs Finn comes in, the Duke follows.

Duchess (low voice): “What did the doctor say of me?”
Mrs Finn: “That you must eat and then you must sleep.”
Duchess: “I’m not hungry” (hollow voice)
Duke (worried, authoritative): “Oh Cora, you must try now please.”
Mrs Finn: “Please, Glencora.”
Duchess: “I can’t take … ” (she rises every so slightly, murmuring but looking as if she’s looking to say or do something but is not quite sure what it is)
Mrs Finn looks up and Duke takes soup and spoon to other side of bed
Duchess leans on him: “Planty, there is something I’ve wanted to ask you for some time … now have proper arrangements been made about money for Mary.”
Duke: “Oh, my dear, now don’t you worry about that now; you try some of this.”
Duchess (sitting up more, becoming as vehement as her strength permits): “I must worry. I know that everything has been settled for the boys, but what is to be done for our girl.”
Duke: “My dear, I propose to set aside a fund from which she’ll be paid a regular income and later on … ah … when she marries (she looks ill at these words) a suitable settlement will be made.”
Duchess (through teeth, though voice soft): “Could she not have something that is truly her own?”
Duke: “Her income will be ample.”
Duchess: “Will she be able to control her own capital? I know that I was never able to control mine.”
Duke: “My dear, the girl is … “[noises form his throat]
Duchess worse suddenly.
Mrs Finn (to her): “Here I think you should have your draft now my dear.”
Duchess having trouble breathing. She lays back.
Mrs Finn: “Quickly.”
Duke wipes her forehead, Mrs Finn gives her something by mouth; she pushes it away, but something is got down, and her hand goes to her forehead as she lays there.
Duke grasps her shoulder with his hand.
Duchess bangs on the covers. “Planty, will she be able to control her own capital?”

Duke: “My dear (his fist gets tight) the girl’s barely 19 … now we can’t place the funds in her own hands and until she’s more mature …”
Duchess: “Well, I want to be sure of one thing. That should our Mary’s happiness depend upon her marrying a poor man want of money need not prevent it.”
He looks up at Mrs Finn, and she looks at him as if to urge him to reassure the Duchess. She nods and he listens.
Duke: “Mary’s future will be cared for in every respect.”
Duchess (whispers): “You promise me.”
Duke: “Yes. I promise.”
She nods.
He leans down to kiss her.
Duke: “Now you you must rest.”
Duchess (groan) “Ah.”
He gets up to move away. He walks round her bed.
Duke: “Good night, my dearest.” Looks at Mrs Finn.
She nods and fixes the cover and pillow.
The room grows slowly darker.
Duchess: “Don’t go, Marie.”
Mrs Finn sits down on the bed, puts her hand in Duchess’s.
We leave the pair of friends together in semi-darkness.

Scene 4) Morning, Matching front room, Duke’s face asleep, in evening dress still, we hear birds, and he wakes slowly, rises, looks out window (so much by that window, now morning light through green), and the sons come in; his genuine relief, and suddenly playing father, “if they tidy up …”;

Scene 4) Glencora’s bedroom, she is up and better, eating soup, talking with Mrs Finn, dialogue and sentiments from DC, Ch 2, p. 8; vows to tell husband this very day.

Scene 5) Matching Front room, later, Duke with flowers, Gerald to him, mother better, Gerald’s immediate future told, Oxford in fall, study with tutor this summer; Silverbridge rushes in haggard; the doctor says they must come now.

Scene 6) Glencora’s bedroom; moving death scene, long as each grown child comes over to be bid adieu, and then the father. Camera catches the ring between them at the last

She says she remembers when he gave her that (1:1, mentioned in DC, Ch 46 p 294).

Her last words are her attempt to spare Mary.

Duchess: “Mary now.” Mary comes over, sits down on bed:


Her words to the effect don’t leave us

Puts her hand on her mother’s. “Yes, Mary. Listen, Planty.”
Mary: “Please stay, mama.”
Duchess: “Mary must have …”
Duke: “I’ll take care of Mary, my darling.”
Duchess: “Listen, Planty. Mary … must … ” (her eyes close). His hands are tight over hers, he kisses her hand. Watching his face we see recognition she’s gone. Camera then shows whole room from Mrs Finn’s angle.
He puts her hand down.

Episode 42: Very sad day.

Scene 7) dissolve into church top where we saw wedding bells, blue sky, procession, profoundly moving scene of burial with camera following coffin as words spoken, purple flowers on top (the colors which dominates the dresses of the women in the part — black remains Mrs Finn’s colors)

and then moves from face to face, against light blues and white: from Duke, to Silverbride, to Gerald, to Mary (holding back grief), to Bungay (old and sad), to Marie (grave look), back to Duke (grim quiet).

Scene Eight) Grave landscape dissolves to camera on the window of the room from the outside which we perpetually saw in 1:2 with Lady Glen so miserable and imprisoned; now his face glimpsed as he looks out where his wife’s grave is not far.

Scene 9) Inside Matching front room, in comes Mary, looking older, father waiting for her, says very warm, “I’ve missed you these past months”; after embrace she looks intently at him but he’s no idea, Mrs Finn and Duke left to talk; she says she’s failed, Mary pining and she must give over her charge, from DC, Ch 1, pp. 5-6 her strong reluctance); he asks her to stay so plaintively since her husband will be absent for some months yet. She agrees to.

Scene 9) Matching, front room, window seat, Mary and Mrs Finn:


Mrs Finn (Barbara Murray) and Mary rocking

Mary confides her love, source DC, Ch 2, pp. 9-14; we see Mary’s firmness and her fear “he might take against the match”; determined it will be Mr Tregear who will tell.

Scene 10) Boncassen’s front room where dance took place. Isabel walks in in purple, again joke about how he should be at commons and isn’t (works hardly at all: “we do like our politics to go rather slowly”); on the surface it’s a light flirting scene, and Silverbridge declares his love; this is very different from Trollope’s book where it’s impetuous, DC, Ch 39, p 253. In book we are still asking if he’s “in earnest”; he seems still sudden and impulsive and flirting with Mabel still.

By contrast, in film he’s rejected Mabel in previous part and is very seriously in earnest; grown up we are to feel. She begins her insistence that he must tell his father, one source, DC, Ch 70, pp 442-44: the utterance love may be a great misfortune omitted (alas), Isabel does say his father must approve of her first; Ch 53, pp. 340-41. So the book’s undercurrents of scepticism about Silverbridge’s own character, and about the loss and dismays of love are lost from the film.

Partly this is done because 12:25 has emphasizes Silverbridge’s relationship with his father, his growing up sheerly as a male; here space and time are given over to Mary versus her father, with a small left-over remnant of Lady Mabel’s loss.

Episode 43: Broken Hearts.

Scene 11) Matching front room, powerful confrontation of Mary with father. She is so firm and precisely the opposite of her mother in 1:1; with dignity and firmness she demands explanations from father who straight -on forbids. Lady Mary means to have her own way and will, DC, Ch 8, p 54 (he is a gentleman, money enough), Chapter 24, p. 149 (lines straight from this); cruelty of father from Ch 11, pp. 73-74. Lady Mary’s story as important in book as Lady Mabel’s [I can imagine Davies would have tried to give equal emphasis to Mary, Mabel and Isabel].

Establishment shot: Duke comes into familiar room and gives his coat and cane to Collingwood; Mary comes in with Mrs Finn and helps him take it off.

Mary: “Papa. Dear papa.”
Duke: “Oh Mary, my dear.”
Mrs Finn: “A pleasant surprise, Duke.”
Duke: “Yes, yes, I trust it may prove so.”
Mary taking his coat off: “Silverbridge is not come down with you?”
Duke: “No.” He looks at her.
Mary: “I suppose he’s too busy at the House of Commons” (this is supposed to be a joke but it doesn’t come out that way most of the time.)
Duke (stern tone): “Well, I am not concerned with your brother at the moment, Mary. I am more concerned …”
Mrs Finn: “Perhaps Duke, you would prefer me … (offering to go)
Duke: “Oh, no no no I’d particularly like you to remain Mrs Finn.”
He offers his arm to his daughter; she looks frightened as she gently takes it. They walk into room and sit.
Duke: “Now Mary, you come here and sit down by me.”
Mrs Finn worried look passes by them and sits on chair near by.
Duke: “Now Mary, you know Mr Tregear?”
Mary: “Of course I know him, papa, he was with us here down at Matching only a few months ago.”
Duke: “Yes, yes, well I understand that he was invited down here as a friend of Silverbridge.”
Mary: “As a friend of to us all, papa.”
Duke: “A friend perhaps. Now Mary he came to me and day or two ago in London and he told me that (eyes flitting …. ) Oh, Mary, uh is this true?”
Mary: “Yes papa.”
Duke: “Do you mean to say that you’ve engaged yourself to this young man without my knowledge or approval?”
Mary looks back to Mrs Finn.
Mary: “Or course you were to have been asked, papa.”
Duke: “Yes, yes, so I have been. What sort of casual self-confidence (sputters) what I … was it a matter of course would I agree to such a trivial request? Well I’ll tell you this … (rises, hits thigh) as a matter of course well it’s impossible. Now you understand that, do you not?”
Mary: “No, papa. (shakes her head). I do not understand it” (firm, calm, quiet)
Duke: “Then you will begin to understand it from this instant. Now this engagement is out of the question. And I will not have it thought of.”
Mary: “But papa I should not have allowed Mr Tregear to go to you unless I loved him.”
Duke: “Well, then you conquer your love (rough voice). It’s disgraceful.”
Mrs Finn (rueful, doubting voice): “Disgraceful, Duke?”
Duke: “Yes, Mrs Finn, I am sorry to use such a phrase to my own daughter, but it is so (shaking head intensely). However (to Mary) if you will undertake to be guided by me and if you promise never to see him again, then I will if not forget it, then at least pardon it. And be silent. Oh, I will excuse it (he has risen and is walking around the back of the couch so we see Duchess’s portrait now) because you’re young and because you were thrown imprudently in his way.”

She turns and follows him with her body and looks up at him beseechingly yet firmly.

Duke: “Well, Mary.”
Mary: “How can I? When of all the people in the world I love him the best.”

He looks taken aback, hand on forehead shielding his face, walks by, rubs himself, sits down next to her again.

Duke: “Oh, Mary (shakes head, murmurs) Do you not know he is not fit to be your husband?”
Mary; “No, papa.”
Duke: “Well then I don’t think that you can have thought very much either about it or his position or mine?”
Mary: “He is a gentleman, papa.”

Duke: “But so is my private secretary, oh there is not a clerk for one of our public offices does not consider himself to be a gentleman. Well, the curate of the parish is a gentleman (noise), eh, the apothecary who issues a drought for you. Now then Mr Tregear oh he may write Esquire after his name with the rest of ’em, but he is no more than a penniless loafer [the loafer is Silverbridge we know]
Mary [indignant]: “He has a good degree from Oxford.”
Duke: “And he has nothing else.”
Mary (reproachful): “Papa! as you well know, Mr Tregear is a gentleman in the same sense as yourself or Silverbridge. So there can be no objection as to his rank and as for money, well there need be no difficulty there because I’ve got enough for us both.”

He looks at her.

Mrs Finn’s anxious voice heard: “My dear [cautioning) you will have only what your father chooses to give you.”
Mary: “He can give it without trouble.”
Duke: “Nevertheless, it is mine to give or mine to withhold.”
Mary: “I understand that much of it was mama’s.”
Duke (enraged): “You will allow me to understand about all that.” (He gets up from couch.) “Now, Mary , you will promise me that there shall now be an end to this Mr Tregear.”

Mary shakes a little, also gets up and walks and turns. “I love him. and I’ve told him so. And I will I must be true. I cannot bear to give you pain, but in this matter I mean to have my way.”
Duke: “You mean to have your way?”
Mary: “Certainly I do. Papa, I shall never marry while you forbid it, but you can never make me say I do not love Mr Tregear, and if you do not yield at last I shall think you very cruel.”

He stands off further. Walks off, then faces her as we do (camera lengthens from her and we see her standing by her mother’s picture.

Mary: “Why should you wish to make me unhappy for the rest of my life.” She bows low and walks out past him (see still which opens this blog).

Scene 12) Parliament, again Sir Orlando Drought seen downstairs, we are in upstairs gallery with Duke, and Silverbridge comes over to join him; sources Silverbridge with Duke in gallery above Commons; you ought to listen to your Chief, DC, Ch 26, p. 161; Silverbridge dismayed and says he cannot talk about it here sir, so

Scene 13) Duke’s study at Carlton Terrace, Duke and Silverbridge; Silverbridge says how Drought has asked him to speak to get back at father, and won’t have it, DC, Ch 67, p 423 (told to Tregear rather than the father), Ch 78, p. 497 (Silverbridge tells father), and rest of dialogue between father and son and much taken from it, ch 67, pp. 424-26. The jejeune political talk about how rich have to share added; Silverbridge’s attitudes have changed slowly and usually indicated in quips to Tregear or advice ot his brother. “I won’t rush it sir.” Two men so confident in position in life, and now with one another:

But father again brings up Mabel, he’s inviting her down to Matching and Silverbridge doesn’t have heart to tell him except that he will have something to say soon, idea in Ch 51 (the get-together of them all does happen in DC).

Scene 14) Matching front room, Duke and Mrs Finn looking out at Mary gazing at mother’s grave:

Another conversation about Mary, sources, from Duke and Lady Cantripp, DC, Ch 24, p. 151 , Ch 50, p. 316 also Duke and Mrs Finn’s scenes from DC, ch 41, p 265 becomes Mrs Finn arguing on Mary’s behalf: she “suffers frequently and terribly from sick headaches;” “surely you do not wish to break her heart”; he admits how his refusal to let his daughter marry a commoner is contradictory to his political creed; he says he is determined, so now she brings forward her final ammunition: she tells him the Duchess gave it her blessing.

Episode 44: Acceptance.

Scene 15) The club, Silverbridge and Dolly, source: Dolly’s desire to marry Isabel brought to an end in DC, Ch 69, p. 435-36 when Silverbridge told and easily sweeps the older lower rank man aside, Dolly does tell that Tifto did it, last we see of Dolly whom series opened up with.

Scene 16) Boncassen’s sitting room in London, Isabel sitting reading, Silverbridge to her. Sources: really very short, the briefest of annotations for this (as opposed to book where these romance scenes are protracted) and an imitation of Framley Parsonage bit brought in. Isabel will accept Silverbridge only when the Duke takes her by the hand. See DC Ch 70, p 444, Isabel says his father must approve of her first; Ch 53, pp. 340-41.

Scene 17) London room of Lady Mabel Grex, Silverbridge comes to put an end to it, again from DC, Ch 59, p. 377-78 and forbid her and say he’ll support her (curious addition to Trollope: you’ll never want); Silverbridge visits Mabel to tell her to keep away too:


The last of Mabel (Anna Carteret)

Again very brief for the film’s interest is in

Scene 18) Matching front room, Silverbridge versus Duke. The major sources are DC, Ch 60, pp. 384-87 (Duke told it’s all over with Lady Mabel Grex, Ch 61, pp. 386ff, Ch 71. The scene also dramatizes the inward distinctions Duke makes when talking of equality to Isabel Boncassen, DC, Ch 48, pp 310-11; and the same argument against loss of rank in Ch 60. It comes early in the novel in Mary’s story, and in the novel it’s Mabel’s inward life we witness at the last.

So the basic chapter is called “bone of my bone” and this phrase is repeated hoarsely here, only here Silverbridge counters with liberal thought (while Mary did simply on the grounds of her love), which again brings forward the idea that the privileged govern that others might be prosperous and above all free … Ch 15, letter on p. 99 (used in 12:25, episode 37, after Silverbridge’s first win). How good of them. In the final moment the camera’s close-ups present Silverbridge facing his father and juxtaposed to portrait of Lady Glen.

Episode 45: A New Age.

Scene 19) The priory ruins, Mrs Finn and Duke walking, Mrs Finn’s eloquence to the Duke, and his gratitude to her DC, Ch 1, p 4, Ch 41, p. 265-66, Ch 66, pp 416-418 (Burgo Fitzgerald never mentioned specifically anyone but Duchess).

Establishment shot: we are inside the whitened ruined priory and hear birds cawing.

We glimpse Mrs Finn walking with a cane, a grim desolate Duke also with a cane next to her; she seems to hesitate to turn and talk until camera fully on her (in the book it’s the study)

Mrs Finn: “If it if it can be of any comfort to you, Duke (soft), the Duchess would never have wanted Silverbridge to marry Mabel Grex. She said so often before she died.
Duke: “I am determined in this, Mrs Finn. Now would Cora have wanted him to marry Miss Isabel Boncassen?”
Mrs Finn “She wanted her fine son to be free to choose whom he should love, and Duke, she wanted the same freedom for her daughter.”
He turns (close up): “Why?” (whispered)

Shot of the two of them.

Duke: “Why didn’t Cora tell me sooner. Why did she deceive me, Mrs Finn?”
Mrs Finn: “She did not deceive you, Duke Have I not made myself clear? She was trying to tell you the very moment that she died. Duke, of late I have been with Mary daily, almost hourly. I will not say that this will kill her now while she is young, but a broken heart may bring the sufferer to the grave after a lapse of many years.

He turns away with twisted look on face. We watch him walk away and see them medium shot, their whole bodies at a medium distance from us

She comes up to him again and from another angle begins again:

Mrs Finn: “How will it be with her, Duke, if you should see your daughter live beside you like a ghost for the next twenty years. If you should see her die faded and withered before her time, all her life gone without a joy [romancing marriage, children presented as the only happiness, not seeing there are and were then others] because she loved a man whose position in life was displeasing to you. In doing your duty to your position, Duke, can you be satisfied that you are doing your duty to your child?”

Again he turns, walks away.

Mrs Finn: “Shall I leave you, now?”
Duke: “Yes, perhaps it would be better.”

We see her turn and look so elegant from the side, poignant, yearning to make an impression, respectful

Duke (tight lips): “Whether I agree or disagree, I will not try to tell you now (thick voice), but this at least must be said, I owe you a debt of gratitude which I cannot express in words.”
Mrs Finn (shakes her head): “Your grace …”
Duke: “Now all that you have trouble yourself to think and feel in this matter, all that true friendship has compelled you to say to me, I shall not easily forget. My children are indeed fortunate in securing the love of such a friend as you.” [book has him referring only to one child and that Mary]

Silence.

Duke: “And now you may go to Mary (he turns) you will go to Mary, if you please, and you tell her that Mr Tregear may come here as soon as he may wish.”
Mrs Finn smiles. But she presses on: “Your grace … and Silverbridge … what of him … ?”
Duke breathes in hard (close up, some anger at this pushing): “Madam, Silverbridge is my heir, the next Duke of Omnium. I shall decide that for myself on my own.”

Both shot together; she curtsies, not ironic but respectful; she moves away. The camera on his face shows him so hurt (silent close up).

Scene 19) Now camera shifts to focus on Duchess’s grave, same blue sky, same day, his shadow is outlined on the wall, and then we see him walking there (from the back), then we watch him look down at the grave, face dark, then the camera on the gravestone and we see the carved names, and then back to close up of sorrow

Scene 20) Matching front room: from resolution DC, Ch 72, 454-57, which scene includes Duke’s saying how he had a hard time accepting Isabel; Duke gives Isabel ring he gave his wife; DC, Ch 72, p 456. The camera first on Duchess’s portrait, and then the Duke below looking at that, Silverbridge wary with Isabel looking scared behind him enter, the touching scene where he gives the ring, thus coming full circle with 1:1.

Scene 21) Quick scene out of room, in the hall, they kiss and steal away.

Scene 22) Back to Matching, front room, he looks at Duchess’s picture once again, closes box quietly, we hear birds, he goes over to bow windows and looks out with stern face.

Scene 23) From a distance, through the windows with Duke

we see before the ruins, near the grave, the two happy couples (Duchess fostered), all greens, greys, and purples; women kiss, men shake hands; back to he smiles as he lets go, picks up letter (DC, Ch 78, p 496 a narration of Mr Monk asking Duke and Duke finally assenting) and we hear voice-over of Bungay now responding to an apparent yes letter that happened between Episode 44, Scene 18 and this. Bungay delighted Duke going to join. Our long-time friend, the Duke sits where we can see our heroine’s picture and the window, and the series theme music starts for one last time as he’s reading a blue book (see still at opening of blog).


Her gravestone

Next: final commentary

Ellen

Read Full Post »


10:20, the deep congenial (loving) friendship of Lady Glencora and Madame Max (I originally meant to make this my avatar)

Dear friends and readers,

I’ve returned to my study of the Palliser films in more earnest than I have done since last November. My first goal is nearly fulfilled: to understand this series for real — by which I mean I have really gone beyond sheer impressionism and can support all I say by concrete detail.

Here now is a newly revised thumbnail outline of the whole series, aligning each part to the particular novel and identifying the particular characters and stories in each. The major stills of this blog all come from an elegiac endpoint at the close or a climax of the major stories: Lady Glen and Madame Max now Duchess and Mrs Finn; Duchess and Duke, Phineas and Marie Finn; Phineas’s speech defending the Duke. The minor (so to speak) story stills are in media res moments: an election-campaign scene (George Vavasour’s money sluiced); the wrenching away of Frank from Mabel; the unkind mockery of Lord Fawn.

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


11:23: The Duke confessing he is glad the Duchess has no thought of resigning from her job (his wife); late in marriage as presented in films

Major Story 1: 1:1-3:6: Small House at Allington (a few chapters) and Can You Forgive Her?, begin Phineas Finn; the Plantagenet, Lady Glen & Burgo Fitzgerald story overriding arch

1:2 to 3:5 is the George/Alice/Kate Vavasour story; Vavasour story set adrift in 3:6 (CYFH?);
3:6 transitional from Plantagenet and Lady Glen story to Phineas matter (CYFH? combines with Phineas Finn)


1:2: George Vavasour’s election campaign manager and the publican are reluctantly splitting the money they have sluiced from their duped candidate

Major Story 2: 4:7 to 6:12: Phineas Finn, or the first part of the Phineas matter, the overriding arch story, with the Brentford family, Lady Laura & Kennedy, Violet and Chiltern matter a subsidiary parallel; the story does not exist apart from Phineas’s; Madame Max is a linchpin combining the Lady Glen/Plantagenet/Palliser matter with Phineas’s story) (PF)

Like 3:6, 6:12 is transitional: begins The Eustace Diamonds; we have the end of the Phineas/Lady Laura matter (PF) and beginning of Lizzie Eustace/Fawn in earnest (ED); 7:13: the Lizzie Eustace and her suitors and hangers-on story (what’s left of ED after much chopping and alteration; no Lucy Morris, no Lady Fawn, no Lucinda Roanoke) (so ED); 7:14: transitional: it carries on as Lizzie’s story but also has Mary’s death early & by its end we are in the thick of Phineas’s story once again (ED and Phineas Redux)


11:22: Late marital happiness of Phineas Finn and Madame Max; she says it’s better when they do without each other now and again

Major Story 2 continues: 8:15-9:19: Phineas Redux, begin The Prime Minister; Phineas story second phase, with the death of the old Duke, destruction of Lady Laura, Madame Max’s rescue of him and their marriage, Chiltern supports Phineas, Palliser & his other allies stands aside; in 8:16 first episode of clash of Duke with his two sons (PR, some anticipation of PM (especially Palliser romance, children and parents’ interaction which is newly invented pre-DC material). The two major stories are intertwined but here it’s the second that is emphasized.

8:16-9:18: Adelaide-Gerard Maule love story, Fawn a second suitor. If not the shortest inset story (if one regards Lord George de Bruce Caruthers and Jane Carbuncle as a separate story, theirs is as short), it’s striking for the one story where closure occurs off stage. The last we see of them Adelaide is in tears, and Gerard has marched off after insulting her. Onstage we are shown the Duke giving in to giving them Madame Max’s legacy, but they themselves are dismissed. Do the short stories undercut the complacency of the Palliser story? No. They are variants on it.


11:23: Phineas’s high moment defending the Duke in the midst of a jeering and uncomfortable parliament

Major Story 1, second phase, with grown children and death of protagonist: 9:19-12:24: The Prime Minister; begins the long trajectory of the later years of Palliser story in the political arena as seen mostly from the domestic or private point of view (PR still and now PM much changed). Phineas matter is still here in the form of Marie Finn’s friendship for the Duchess, her role as a chorus, and his climactic defense of the Duke (as surrogate for the Duchess) in parliament.

10:20-11:23: is the Emily Wharton/Ferdinand Lopez story; ended more than set adrift as man commits suicide and woman retreats to father’s arms in 11:23 (a PM story which actually takes over Trollope’s PM at times)

12:24-26: The Duke’s Children, with ending of The Prime Minister. The ending of the Palliser story, with emergence of Silverbridge and Mary as new generation, and death of the now Duchess of Omnium in 12:26 (more PM and DC, with Silverbridge-focused matter (with his father, Tifto, Isabel Boncassen) and Mary-focused matter (with Frank). Much omitted with Mrs Finn taking Lady Cantripp’s role and her own.

10:21, 11:21, 12:24: the Mabel-Frank substory fitted into an introductory (where Silverbridge following mother’s orders ejects him from castle) and two charged scenes, one in Venice moving swiftly and silently and one powerful one in 12:24


11:24: Frank Tregear and Mabel Grex (I can’t show those which are excised altogether), as it happens a proto-Henry James sinister one; in the book they have begun by being after their respective sibling partners’ money

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

The reader will see I have identified an outline for 2 overriding stories: 1) the Pallisers and 2) Phineas Finn and Madame Max, the central figures. What often become or are the main stories in the 6 novels figure here frequently as contrasting or parallel substories. One of the 6 novels, The Eustace Diamonds, is interwoven into Major Story 2, or the two Phineas novels. It may seem perverse in me not to present ED as a third major story, but I’m trying to get at the underlying outline and major hinge points which hold the 26 episodes together.

I’ve also identified the inset novellas, some longer, some shorter, which are mostly set adrift. I no longer attempt to count them as they intertwine. The most savagely-cut sub-stories are found in The Eustace Diamonds (which however itself becomes not quite a substory) and The Duke’s Children (ditto): of Frank Greystock and Lucy Morris’s governess world, the Lucinda Roanoke parallel; Frank Tregear and Mabel Grex as a pair taking over Silverbridge and Mary, and Mabel’s tragedy. Mrs Greenow and her suitors are omitted altogether.

These decisions were partly taken because these characters do not affect the major hinge-points of the Palliser and Phineas’s story (by contrast for example, one cannot eliminate Lizzie Eustace’s story because her husband, Emilius, killed Bonteen when Bonteen attempted to defend Lizzie and her property from Emilius).

It might also be a particular actor is so effective, that his part increased, e.g., Derek Jacobi asks both Madame Max and Adelaide Palliser to marry him: the first is narrated briefly by Trollope; the second is not there at all, but substitutes for Spooner (a burlesque story in PR), and may be modelled on Mr Collins asking Elizabeth Bennet to marry him in Pride and Prejudice. I surmize Fawn’s part grew when Jacobi came on board and the parts were filmed; he was inserted into political parties, political table talk (ironic) and a humiliation before the prince at the political club. Jacobi is often mentioned when people remember watching the films from years back; the character, Fawn, (alas to me) emerges as the unmanly man of the series (a quietly gay allusion to Swinburne makes the one character who might be gay, Lopez, sympathetic insofar as he is isolated and without connections):


7:14: The familiar metonymy of character=bird in the cage is common in these films, but not likened to a man: Fawn is here set upon one of the domineering women of the films, Clara Hittaway, his sister in Trollope’s ED

Nevertheless, it’s telling that it’s a male role that is increased, and one that addresses the problem of “manliness” and manly success in the series (Clara is telling Fawn to advance on all fronts immediately; Fawn: “But Clara, she has withdrawn her position …”). And we miss out three major women: Mrs Arabella Greenow (comic), Lucy Morris (poigant), Lucinda Roanoke (bitter), with the story of the fourth scattered into near disarray, Mabel Grex (tragic). As I’ve suggested before, one can see the novellas as presenting a series of men trying to make it in the world and (in different ways) failing. While Raven did make a much more upbeat story, he kept the discomfort of Trollope’s comfort romances for men firmly in place.

*********

Journalizing 4/16: I read, skimmed, and rearranged and (in my notes at any rate) somewhat revised my understanding of the arrangement of the six novels, their main and subplots, from 1:1 to 8:17. I’ve decided that before I go on to summarize and comment on the last two parts of the series (12:25 and 12:26), I will go back and outline the ending of the Phineas Redux matter (9:18 and 9:19), as well as the opening of The Prime Minister (10:20), and insert these summaries into that blog. Then I’ll move on to the center of The Prime Minister, which contains the Ferdinand and Emily Lopez story, and the first snatches of the Frank Tregear, Mabel Grex, Mary and Plantagenet (yes that’s his first name) Palliser or Silverbridge stories (10:21, 11:22, 11:23)

I have at least properly done 12:24, the first of the three parts of the Palliser series where most is based on The Duke’s Children.

Then I’ll be ready to I’ve study 12:25 and 12:26. I’ve just reread Trollope’s The Duke’s Children and loved it. I mean to write two blogs on the two last parts adapted from this book.

Then the whole matter (all the blogs I’ve written over the last three years) will go up on my website.

I hope then to return to my movie project on the Austen films which now exists as a a long draft chapter called Seeking Refuge: The Sense and Sensibility films; I mean to finish that and send it out to a publisher.

Ellen

Read Full Post »


Our heroines whose names at this point are: Glencora, Duchess of Omnium (Susan Hampshire) and Mrs Marie Finn (Barbara Murray)

Dear Friends,

I’ve put on this blog a summary of the episodes of this part (An Elegiac Culmination), prefaced by situating it in the whole series, and containing several transcripts of key scenes, quotations from others, and stills.

Tonight I add a commentary.

General remarks:


Silverbridge (Anthony Andrews) salutes his sister, Mary (Kate Nicholls), Lady Mabel (Anna Carteret) and Mrs Finn on this cold sunny day (see the blanket)

When we get to Pallisers 12:24 and move finally out of the Prime Minister and into Duke’s Children, the mood of this series changes radically. It becomes idyllic-elegiac, and picturesque. This last book is the most changed by Raven for Raven does not kill off the Duchess until the final episode. He shows her sinking; she looks old and she is continually taking medicines, but she is there and very active. He changes the meaning of the book.

We saw in reading Trollope’s novel, The Duke’s Children, its weakness is its real backstory and passion about the Duke’s dissatisfaction with his marriage finally and this is not brought to the fore. Too painful for Trollope to make a front story because perhaps a parallel with his own marriage. In the book the Duchess’s use of Mary as a vicarious substitute which leads the Duke to reject Tregear passionately.

Here in the film we have instead a deeply loving couple, different no doubt, but sharing grief, loss, outlook. This Duke has no backstory. And the forefront is his struggle with Silverbridge. It is significant that people writing about Trollope’s book before the series write eloquently, movingly, and sentimentally about the Duke v Silverbridge as central to the novel. John Wiltshire says one thing movies often do is make visible how the average person wants to see a novel.

But Raven does more: The Duke’s Children is one of Trollope’s more Victorian novels in some of its attitudes and Raven to put this across uses a mood of bright comfort and high idealism. He has only a fragment of Tregear so he is turned into a poignant lover of Mary which is then contrasted to Lady Mabel Grex’s loss of Frank and her unwilling to marry the boy.

All the proto-feminism of Trollope is erased here: we haven’t a woman who is not given a choice she wants and therefore no place; instead she is made somewhat superficially cynical and wavering with a desire to become Tregear’s lover-mistress again, and we have pairs of young lovers contrasted, and it’s clear Silverbridge and Mabel are the mismatched pair against Frank and Mary’s deeply felt yearning and Silverbridge and Isabel’s bright young hope and energy. This lays the groundwork for the wet dream of the the American girl which takes over (and replaces the function of Madame Max as superfemale in the European movie style)

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


Facing it (defeat, later life): Duke (Philip Latham) and Duchess in their bedroom suite late at night

The duke and Duchess’s story:

Raven sees the Duke as noble, but also someone who would be lost, vulnerable, and something of a butt because he’s no networker and is not complicit or corrupt himself; he lives in a way others regard as dull; watching him talk with Phineas Finn through a window, his son, Silverbridge tells Lady Mabel he looks far older than his age. The implication is Silverbridge wants to enjoy life more and thus look younger.

For Trollope the character is this way too: but Trollope also identifies with the Duke, recognizes himself in him and critiques society for more than its materialistic corruption. All along, as Raven once said in an interview, the central figure for Raven has been the Duchess: it’s paradoxical, as Raven in part turned the series in many stories of gentleman attempting to succeed in the world.

Silverbridge is contrasted to his father and Anthony Andrews as Silverbridge gains gravitas when he is contrasted to the Duke’s deep idealism and genuine thought on the one hand and Dolly Longstaffe’s disillusioned cynicism and insight on the other.

There are two scenes between Silverbridge and his father, in the first Silverbridge tells of his desire to marry Lady Mabel and the Duke approves; the second is a central linchpin of the episode — and a powerful dramatic one. The Duchess’s disapproval of her son’s choice (what happened to that idealistic young girl of 1:1? we are to ask) contrasts with his father’s approval; his father’s dismay at his lack of altruism and depth contrasts with his mother’s way of regarding politics as a matter of family sheerly and individuals.

All this is true to Trollope’s conception, only it’s not in the Duke’s Children as the Duchess dies in the book’s first paragraph.

There is no contrast of the Duchess and Lady Mary. They are shown to love and glimpses of a deep relationship seen fleetingly, but there are so few scenes between them. The first is about entering the world together; the others about love affairs, Silverbridge for Marbel and Lady Mary for Frank. The Duchess identifies with her own lost love, not the girl in front of her for herself quite. Except for Marie Finn and the Duchess, at no point in all the series do we see women’s friendships as central to their lives beyond the early courtship before marriage, not even their family ones – as a mother-daughter pair would be. Lady Mary seems more acutely aware of her father: she worries lest Silverbridge upset him further; wants Tregear to appear to be serious and earnest before her father. Once her mother approves of Tregear at the close of 11:22, all is settled. I do not forget the Duchess early on we see her preparing an album to read with her daughter — in effect home-schooling her.

The culminating great scenes of the whole series as such are really the very long ones between the Duke and Duchess, which punctuate the series throughout. Sympathetically presented as they are, Phineas Finn and Madame Max (aka Marie) Goesler Finn are secondary hero and heroine. So their enjoyment of their park and grown children and the deeply felt scene at mid-point in the episode as the two learn to live with their loss of power are final moments in a 24 episode long story.

The film story began with a forced marriage between two very unlike people, deeply unsympathetic who had found people congenial to them, and we have experienced a long and rocky road with much estrangement and times of alienation, especially on the deep-feeling Duke’s part, and dogmatic uncomprehending insistence on his own way; for the Duchess it’s been frustration, deep and unending, at first an intense lack of fulfillment of her impulses and then when she had the chance for her ambition, and her desire to show off and have people admire her and feel on top and be ahead, she is thwarted, not appreciated, stopped, partly out of her own adequate judgement Trollope wants us to see, but also that (in the films this is there more unqualifiedly as the book’s anti-semitism and xenophobia has been cut) her protegee never had a chance. But now they are grown old together and have come to understand and appreciate one another.

Trollope’s critique of marriage becomes in the Raven team hands a reinforcement of submission and repression to family aggrandizement and social mores, for there are no such coming together loving scenes between the Duke and Duchess (and very moving they are) in either Phineas 2 or The Duke’s Children — for that matter 8:15 over the Duke’s death are invented and elaborated semi-original scenes too.


Phineas (Donal McCann) and Marie, secondary couple, standing out in the group of friends and family, and standing by

These scenes of Duke and Duchess are contextualized by three or four shorter between the Duke and Bungay, the Duke and Phineas and Bungay and Marie Finn and the Duchess. In all we see how the Duke has come to enjoy power and doesn’t want to let go because he wants to leave his mark on the society; he wants to have done something good and decent and far-reaching. Bungay says it was enough to hold on and provide peace. Phineas and Marie Finn’s views are simply that the Duke and Duchess have done what they could and now that their followers are tired of doing nothing exciting (bustle), nothing for war, for advancement of themselves, they have to let go and be glad they have escaped unscathed relatively, gotten what they could out of it.

The Duchess is as unwilling to let go as the Duke; and in their final long scene together she cries out more than he about their retirement which he has finally accepted before the scene begins.

It’s done in their bedroom with a mirror nearby and often we see her through the mirror — a device used repeatedly in films when women are at the center of the scene: it’s suggested in film studies that this shows how women judge themselves as they imagine society sees them, and invent an identity or assume one society imposes or wants them to enact, or they want to enact in order to be accepted.

Among these contextualizing scenes (for the Duke and Duchess) is the held-over the long scene in The Prime Minister (Chapter 68, “The Prime Minister’s Creed”), where Phineas and the Duke go for a walk in the park and talk politics. This is an important scene in PF2 and it is here too.

What is fascinating is how Trollope remains in generalities far more than the Raven team and how the Raven team update what’s said in Trollope to be a conservative message for the 1970s. In Trollope the Duke and Phineas remain in philosophical generalities like Monk does in his letter (the parallel moment in Phineas Finn when Monk defines what is meant by representative government and faces that it means government which includes the mediocre, the stupid, those who “represent” all the feelings and interests of their constituences. He does not think of lobbyists as we have them today :)):

In Trollope the implications have to do with income and property redistribution finally, it’s never made explicit. The Duke is simply a staunch liberal who wants to see more justice, noble loving hearts, clear intellect and egalitarian feelings spread through the earth and then produce legislation. In Raven’s film this is made explicit; he felt he could not remain vague. Palliser is talking of something that would bring about or call for redistributing property and rights and advantages and privileges. It’s Phineas who in both book and film says he is not sure he wants to go beyond fairness. The Duke says as people born to such privilege do they dare argue they deserve this and argue the others don’t (are ontologically inferior is what is meant) and not try to help others and also argue for their rights too, and work towards it. The Duke says this will increase happiness for all, but admits especially those without advantages.

Phineas’ reply in the film is that even those without advantages may not want egalitarianism, and it won’t make them happy to get rid of distinctions, not at all. Raven and his team are careful not to have Phineas argue the conservative view itself, and the Duke turns to his beautiful landscape and we see his luxurious room and remember how lovely his lifestyle and he says he wouldn’t want to give what he has up and maybe has the luxury of hoping for egalitarianism while he knows it will not happen for a long time to come.

This may seem far away from the 1970s, but the costume drama hides the agenda here. Bungay in his scene with the Duke argues (as he’s done before in the film and again not so explicitly in Trollope’s book) that English people don’t want revolution; they want things to remain at peace and orderly. This is Raven’s 1970s Toryism, for he has taken no poll.

Beyond contextualizing our aging hero and heroine this way, their life and times, the relationship and types the Duke and Duchess represent are shown visually and comically. The Duchess is to go out riding in a carriage with Lady Mary and Marie Finn with her sons and Frank Tregear on horseback. She is late dressing herself exquisitely. She does don a beautiful (alluring to my eyes) hat. How she loves coming out and Silverbridge telling her how lovely she looks. Then she refuses her seat in the carriage and instead takes the reigns away from her footman servant and leads the band herself on the top seat.

It’s touching: the young Lady Glen is there yet; this is just the sort of thing she loved from the beginning. After their dialogue the Duke and Phineas walk out and see the group. The Duke hurries over to take his wife down from her perch (lovingly of course) and worries that the young men’s race will hurt them. It’s just the sort of way he has of fretting over her health when she was pregnant in the early episodes. In character still.

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

The second generation of heroines: the deep feeling Mary and Lady Mabel (these are the center for Raven, and Isabel Boncassen, so delightful for Trollope to conjure up as an old man, is marginalized as exotic, foreign) talk of their heroes, Tregear and Silverbridge and Mary of her father

This is matched by the scene where Silverbridge tells Tregear he must give it up; this is chosen to be dramatized twice (much earlier when the Duchess objected we had a version of this) as befits a series about gentlemen coping:

Then there is the Duke’s Children, or second generation material. How are we asked to see this in the film? Early in the episode is the very moving scene with Frank where she implies she is offering herself to him sexually again, and he refuses not on the grounds he does not love her or could not again, but that he cannot tear himself between two women.

This romance is not in Trollope; Trollope’s Tregear is harder and would not sentimentalize this way; we are not sure about any sex, and he is now bound to and wants Mary for herself and also what she can bring. Trollope’s feminism is also gone; he really does have Mabel lament she has nothing to do with her life; this is a new motif with him; he shows her in a bleak gothic castle with Miss Cassewary at the end of DC. Here she is simply cut and dismissed by Silverbridge (I like that as in Trollope he is nowhere as likeable as he is in this series). Her need for money as central motivation is in both book and film.

About half-way through the episode we have the scene between Silverbridge where he asks Lady Mabel to marry him and she refuses; while short, it is strong and powerfully emotional. They play at courtship and it’s lyrical and sweet at moments (not hard in the way of Trollope); still, she tells him she cannot marry without love, yet at the end relents to say when he is grown up, harder, to come again. Alas, she does not in the film realize harder means he will not come again. In the book we are told of further proposals (not dramatized) which she refuses; they do not occur here. In the final scene she is regretting having said no because now Isabel will get him.

David Lean says most of the time don’t pay attention to the end of a movie or an episode. It’s a sop for the masses, an upbeat piece tacked on to please nervous backers and distributors. This episode shows that. It’s in the middle of the episode that the great moments arise. I think mini-series and soap opera don’t work in the way of commercial singleton films and the middles and endings are important.

Once again, in Trollope’s Duke’s Children as we have it together (only 3/4s of the original book) the books’ hero is the Duke and he stands alone at the center of the children the Duchess left him who have been brought up by and resemble her. In the book the Duchess is least linked to Lady Mary because she sympathized strongly with the love affair with Tregear remembering her own. That’s why in the book the Duke is against it.

We see 20th century attitudes again (as we did in earlier episodes when we saw the Duke misbehaving in front of his son and the Duchess trying to mediate and “spoiling” her sons): the older folks Duke and Duchess are suffering badly over their loss of power but hide it from the children. It’s presented that adult parents hide all sorts of realities from their children. That’s a modern ideal or even norm perhaps in some places, but not then. Major Tifto is marginalized, not central in the early way of the book which weighs Silverbridge’s decisions about male friends as heavily as it does his relationship with his father and choice of Isabel over Lady Mab. Then both Duke and Duchess involve themselves in Silverbridge’s choice: is she presentable, they ask (as if he had to get a middle-management joy through giving dinner parties). It’s almost funny in the way the material lends itself to these anachronisms.

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

As to technologies: how daring are the close-ups of Susan Hampshire and Philip Latham. Not until very recently did cameras come close to the faces of heroes and heroines (who we are to admire and want to be I suppose, identify with) to show their aging faces, slack skin, pock marks, blemishes of all sorts. This is also seen (a little farther off) for Phineas and Madame Max and Dolly to show them as aging, but not close up.

This is radical, an approach not seen until about 4 years ago.


Visuals have a logic of their own dependent on the particular actor/actress: they chose the yearning Nicholls for daughter of the originally brightly idealistic Lady Glencora; she is in dark green to deepen the pastoral green of the part. She contains in her a haunted spirit and is the visual genius loci of the part. This is why I began the first posting on this part with her

No it’s no Brideshead, The Jewel in the Crown, or Love for Lydia, 11-13 episodes of daring pictorialism and new techniques of various sorts, but I think the Pallisers is not written about in depth because (like the year-long Forsythe Saga), it was so ambitious, and is so difficult to remember, let alone apprehend precisely.

Onto Pallisers 12:25.

Ellen

Read Full Post »

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.”

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

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.

    74Pallisers32017HeHatesIt
    “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.”

    74Pallisers1020Duketolditsnotforhimtoask
    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

    Read Full Post »