New York Times - 10/02/1979
Based on the novel by Henry James, THE EUROPEANS takes place in 1840s New England where a cultured but nearly destitute sister and brother, raised in Europe, arrive at the doorstep of their rich but innocently isolated American cousins. Hoping to exchange her sophistication for financial stability, Eugenia (Lee Remick) begins a manipulative wooing of bachelor Robert Acton (Robin Ellis) while her bohemian brother, Felix (Tim Woodward), falls for Gertrude Wentworth (Lisa Eichorn). The puritanical Acton is attracted to Eugenia's artful ways but cannot find it within himself to trust her overt sensuality.
With sumptuous cinematography, director James Ivory subtly articulates the emotions that surface in this Jamesian battle between cosmopolitan mores and stony New England rectitude. Producer Ismail Merchant had difficulty finding financial backing in the United States, and THE EUROPEANS was eventually funded by England's National Film Finance Corporation. However, when it was chosen as the only British entry at the Cannes Film Festival, the British film community disassociated itself from the movie, considering it not to be British enough. Despite this, THE EUROPEANS became a success for Merchant Ivory Productions in Europe as well as America.
Based On A Novel |
Family Interaction |
Theatrical Release |