Sunday, August 28, 2011

90'S FOCUS : THE CLANDESTINE MARRIAGE ... 1999 ...

PORTMAN ENTERTAINMENT
Presents
A UNIVERSAL PICTURES RELEASE
THE CLANDESTINE MARRIAGE
Starring
NIGEL HAWTHORNE as Lord Ogleby
JOAN COLLINS as Mrs Heidelberg
TIMOTHY SPALL as Sterling
PAUL NICHOLAS as Richard Lovewell
NATASHA LITTLE as Fanny
TOM HOLLANDER as Sir John Ogleby
EMMA CHAMBERS as Betsy
MARK BURNS as Capstick
CYRIL SHAPS as Canton
RAY FEARON as Brush

Associate Producer's - Nigel Hawthorne / Joan Collins
  Director of Photography - Denis Crosson B.S.C
     Screenplay by Trevor Bentham
         Adapted from the Play by George Coleman / David Garrick
            Music by Stanislas Syrewicz
                Edited by George Allers
                   Art Director - Mark Canner
                      Costumes by Deirdre Clancy
    Produced by Steve Clark Hall / Rod Gunner / Jonathan B Stables
                             Directed by Christopher Miles
                                             ~~~~~~~~~
You are cordially invited to a marriage of two families. The Sterling's.. all city money, but no class! The Ogleby's... all class, but no money!! But who is marrying who? With young Betsy in love with a servant.. Fann'y husband to be, in love with himself.. not to mention Lord Ogleby, who has his eye on anyone! It's a riotous recipe for a Clandestine Marriage!
(c) 1999 .. Universal .. 89mins .. Reg 1 dvd from Ventura Distribution
'The Clandestine Marriage', was first performed as a play in 1776 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. A production starring and directed by Nigel Hawthorne appeared at The Queen's Theatre London in 1995. Joan attended a performance of this production and loved it.
"I first saw the play on stage in the West-End. Both Nigel and Trevor were friends and afterwards at dinner I told them how much I loved the piece. I love the character of Mrs Heidelberg and told Nigel that if he ever got the film together, I wanted to play her! It is an absolutely beautiful film, very funny and quite eccentric, with a witty twist on the way society behaved."
The film was shot on location at Stanway House, in Gloucestershire. But filming was almost abandoned when the money ran out. A major investor, who was due to plough 6.5 million into the production, failed to come up with the bulk of the money. To keep the production rolling, Nigel put £50,000 to cover immediate expenses. He then persuaded Joan to help and she managed to get a loan of £350,000 from her own bank, with an additional £150,000 from her agent. Both Nigel and Joan had great faith in the film, Nigel recalled..
"If you commit yourself to a project, then you commit yourself because you believe in it. You don't do it for the money."

USA DVD COVER
 Joan loved the film so much, she was determined the film would be completed.
"I play Mrs Heidelberg, a very strong, very imperious woman. A pseudo aristocrat who has gone from being a poor woman from London's Blackfriars, to somebody very rich in Holland. She is a very different character for me. I have done all manner of parts over the years, but people don't think of me in this kind of role. When I look back on my career, it seems to have had three distinct phases. I started off as a babe, became a bitch and now I'm playing an old bag!"
The film got some good reviews....
FILM REVIEW....
UK VIDEO SLEEVE
'A rare attempt to put a restoration comedy on screen. "The Clandestine Marriage! is a pleasing, if slight piece of work. Deirdre Clancy's costumes and Martin Childs production design, remain the highlights of the film. The comedic talents of veterans Spall, Hawthorne and even Collins are also called well into play. Hardly profound, but certainly enjoyable.. "The Clandestine Marriage" deserves attention..
VARIETY ....
"More coin could have put a real shine in 'The Clandestine Marriage', a likeable and generally well played costume comedy, whose attributes are too often limited by the obvious penury of it's budget. Unlike many costume comedies, 'Marriage' sets up and positions it's characters with simplicity and clarity. The humour is handled with such style by a talented cast, that by final curtain, a real warmth has developed for these quirky, hopeless figures, trapped by social strictures, partly of their own making."
The film has excellant performances, with stunning photography and a fabulous music score by Stanislas Syrewicz, I purchased the cd before the film's release and it is still a joy to listen to. 'The Clandestine Marriage' was available on video in 1999, but has yet to get an airing on dvd, other than a region 1 release a few years ago. The film does turn up on tv and it is certainly worth catching!

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