Sunday, November 15, 2009

My favourite literary adaptations: #14

~No. 14 - The Inheritance~

The Inheritance

What would be your reaction if a new, complete Jane Austen novel - written when she was in her teens - were discovered? Well, that's what happened in 1988 - only the author in question was Louisa May Alcott, not Jane Austen. The book - The Inheritance, written when Alcott was just seventeen - was first published and hence made available to the public for the first time in 1997. In the same year, a TV movie adaptation was aired. The movie makes some pretty major changes (some might say improvements) from the book, but essentially it's still the same story and characters.

The Inheritance

You know, I always find the plot synopsis part of a review rather boring (and often confusing) to read. Besides, it spoils the story. So in this series of reviews, I'll try to avoid writing about the plot, and just focus on the movie itself, and my thoughts on it.

The Inheritance
The evil Ida Glenshaw (Brigid Brannagh). . . 

Technically, this isn't that great a movie. Period drama is something that the British do remarkably well - sadly, not so the Americans or us Aussies. The script isn't that great; some of the acting is good, while some of it is honestly pretty bad! The costumes and sets are nice, but not stunning.

The Inheritance
Meredith Baxter and Tom Conti

And yet, it works. As I said, some of the acting (particularly from the actors playing the two "baddies") is sub-par, but the chemistry between the two leads is good, and Tom Conti's and Meredith Baxter's performances were genuinely good. The story may be predictable, but it's sweet, and besides, it's refreshing to find a family-friendly love story that isn't Austen or Gaskell. . . 

The Inheritance
Thomas Gibson as the handsome hero. . . 

It's several degrees less brilliant than most BBC miniseries, but several degrees less cheesy than your average Hallmark movie. In other words, whatever its shortcomings may be, I would still heartily recommend The Inheritance to anyone looking for a clean, enjoyable romance. It's also a movie for all ages - my grandparents loved it, as did my younger brothers and sisters!

The Inheritance
Agh! I couldn't find any HQ pics of the heroine! Here she is, on the far right.


Eldarwen Failariel said...

I own this movie!!! =D That's so cool, because I didn't think anybody else knew about this movie/book. Everyone I asked said, "I don't know what you're talking about". Wow! :0 Great pics!

Briar said...

I just watched The Inheritance for the first time recently. The plot was very predictable, but I enjoyed the movie thoroughly.

Andy Moore said...

can see why you've got The Inhereitance down so low on the list, it's pretty cliched and the acting wasn't that good... we watched the new Sense & Sensibility yesterday though, and it was fantastic apart from the first few seconds (ahem).

do you have links to episodes 5 and 6 of the new Emma? I couldn't find them. Thanks.

The Editrix said...

Andy - yeah, on second thoughts I should probably have put The Inheritance down at #15 and The Railway Children at 13 or 14. . . bit late now, I guess.

Oh cool! Glad you liked S&S - yes, we always skip to the opening credits when watching ep. 1. . .

There are only 4 episodes in the new Emma, and you can watch them all here:

Eldarwen - true, not many people know about this movie, which is a shame, because it's a great chick-flick type movie, without any inappropriate content.

Briar - yep, my thoughts exactly! :-)

EchoOfMercy said...

I love that movie. I watched it at a friends house. Though it was very predictable, I guessed every single major plot line before it happened.:P

Anonymous said...

"The Inheritance" is a fantastic little unknown that my mom and I first found on television -- it took us eons to finally have the chance to see it again and since then have purchased on DVD. The film is actually better liked at my house than the original novel, but then I love most all of Alcott's movie adaptations; "Little Women" (the 1994 version only!) and even "An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving" is a cute story.

Whenever a new Hallmark is released, I try to find it as I enjoy those also ... anything clean deserves credit, in my opinion. :-)

Rebekah said...

I have been wanting to see that movie - and now I want to see it even more! It sounds like it would be a sweet movie and I always love it when a movie has nothing inappropriate in it ... :)

To the KING be all the glory!


"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

Miss Jen said...

I'll have to put this on my to-watch list! :)

Many Blessings~ Jen

The Editrix said...

Anonymous - yes, I think the movie does actually improve on the book in a few ways. The book is good (especially considering the author was only 17!), but it's nowhere near as good as Alcott's later classics.

And yes, I'm bit of a sucker for Hallmark movies, too. :-) Some of them are actually pretty good - like "The Magic of Ordinary Days".

Rebekah and Jenny - I think you'd both very much enjoy it. :-)

Ruth said...

This movie is such a sweet little gem - as you say, not as good as a top class British production, but enjoyable nonetheless as is. Thanks for the great post!

liv said...

I've been browsing for the past 20 mins and really enjoy your blog! We have similar tastes in movies- I love the Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell movies! I just watched Cranford.... Loved it!

God Bless =)


Alexandra said...

Love this one!!! Not too many people know about it, which is a shame...but it's lovely. Leaves much to be desired, yes, but lovely. Wish Cari Shayne was in more...she's lovely. And Thomas Gibson looks just like this college guy I had a crush on when I was eight. Kind of funny. ;-)Brought back funny memories.

Natasha Atkerson said...

Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog(and for following!) I personally loved this movie (I don't own it, my sister rented it on Netfilx. I have always enjoyed Lousia May Alcott's storys, there more "heart warming" than Jane Austen. Although I do love Jane Austen's books! I read the entire works of Jane Austen (approx. 1,200 or so pages!!!) Of course it did take me a few months! : )
In Christ,
(S&S Forum- MissNatashaAtkerson)

Bria said...

This is an all time favorite of mine! I could watch it then put it back in again.

The Editrix said...

It's lovely to hear from you all! :-) I'm glad you all enjoyed this movie as much as I did.

Alexandra - LOL! :-D

Charleybrown said...

Love this film! I recently watched it 3 times in a week, totally unlike me to do so! I love Cari Shayne's portrayal of Edith - so sweet and noble.