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Cause célèbre (1989)

When a woman's husband is murdered by her lover, they are both tried for murder. The prosecution claims that she is the mastermind behind the crime, but she has an ace up her sleeve.

Director:

John Gorrie

Writers:

Terence Rattigan (play), Ken Taylor (adaptation)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Mirren ... Alma Rattenbury
Harry Andrews ... Francis Rattenbury
David Suchet ... T.J. O'Connor K.C.
David Morrissey ... George Bowman
Norma West ... Irene Riggs
Geoffrey Bayldon ... Mr. Justice Humphreys
Clive Swift ... R.P. Croom Johnson K.C.
Oliver Ford Davies ... J.D. Casswell
Gillian Martell Gillian Martell ... Joan Webster
Edmund Pegge ... Constable Bagwell
David Simeon David Simeon ... Inspector Carter
Neil Jeffery Neil Jeffery ... Christopher
Joe Anderson ... Little John
Adam Blackwood Adam Blackwood ... Ewan Montagu
Alan Rowe Alan Rowe ... E. Marshall Harvey
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Storyline

When a woman's husband is murdered by her lover, they are both tried for murder. The prosecution claims that she is the mastermind behind the crime, but she has an ace up her sleeve.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 May 1989 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Causa célebre See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Anglia Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final acting role of Harry Andrews. See more »

Soundtracks

Roses of Picardy
(uncredited)
Music by Haydn Wood
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User Reviews

A Sad Judicial Tragedy
15 November 2004 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

Terence Rattigan liked to do plays based on actual crimes. He is best known for THE WINSLOW BOY, based on the 1911 Archer-Shee Case involving the social ruin of a naval cadet and his family when the cadet is accused of stealing postal money orders from his fellow cadets. It was twice filmed (both times quite well). CAUSE CELEBRE is based on the 1935 Alma Rattenbury - George Stonor murder case. Alma was a somewhat talented woman (she composed popular songs) who married Francis Rattenbury, an architect (his various public and private buildings in Vancouver are still part of the city's skyline). Francis was older than Alma, and she began an affair with Stonor, a handyman they hired. One night Stonor shot Francis, and he died in a couple of days. Stonor was arrested, and then so was Alma. It sort of resembles the Thompson-Bywater tragedy in 1922, but Alma was shown to have had nothing to do with the shooting. Stonor, however, was found guilty and condemned to death. Alma could not stand the loss of her young lover. She went down to a river near her home, and stabbed herself to death. Ironically, due to his age, Stonor's sentence was reduced to life imprisonment. Eventually he was released. However, in the 1980s (he was still alive) he was arrested on a morals charge. The play of course only deals with the events in 1935.


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