6.5/10
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Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991)

After a rich Edwardian widow impulsively marries a handsome but poor Tuscan dentist and dies in childbirth, her English in-laws try to gain custody of the baby.

Director:

Charles Sturridge

Writers:

E.M. Forster (based on the novel by), Tim Sullivan (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Graves ... Philip Herriton
Helen Mirren ... Lilia Herriton
Helena Bonham Carter ... Caroline Abbott
Barbara Jefford ... Mrs. Herriton
Judy Davis ... Harriet Herriton
Thomas Wheatley Thomas Wheatley ... Mr. Kingcroft
Sophie Kullmann Sophie Kullmann ... Irma
Vass Anderson Vass Anderson ... Mr. Abbott
Sylvia Barter Sylvia Barter ... Mrs. Theobald
Eileen Davies ... Ethel
Siria Betti Siria Betti ... Hotel-Keeper
Giovanni Guidelli ... Gino Carella
Anna Lelio Anna Lelio ... Perfetta
Luca Lazzareschi ... Spiridione
Sergio Falasca Sergio Falasca ... Carriage Driver
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Storyline

Around 1906, the widow Lilia Herriton meets a young man when she visits Italy and marries him. The man is only a dentist without a good name, and Lilia's relatives are clearly unhappy with her choice. Lilia dies while giving birth to a son, and two relatives travel to Italy to take care of of the baby, expecting no trouble from the father. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sensuality, violence and theme | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

28 February 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

E.M. Forster's Where Angels Fear to Tread See more »

Filming Locations:

Cuna, Siena, Tuscany, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$42,404, 1 March 1992

Gross USA:

$1,403,033

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,403,033
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Rita Kempley in The Washington Post, the film's source "Where Angels Fear to Tread" novel by E.M. Forster, and his second book, "A Room With A View", were both "inspired by Forster's first trip to passionately sunny Italy early in the century". See more »

Goofs

In a scene outside on the veranda in Gino's house in Italy, Lilia (Helen Mirren) has her back to the view of the countryside. At one point, when the camera is on her, a white van can be seen driving along the road in the distance. It is clearly a 1990s-era vehicle, moving much faster than automobiles of the era could have. See more »

Quotes

Gino Carella: I'm your husband!
Lilia Herriton: And I have the money!
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Soundtracks

Vaga luna che inargenti
(uncredited)
Music by Vincenzo Bellini
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User Reviews

 
A major disappointment
1 April 2008 | by rch427See all my reviews

I believe I've seen every film adaptation of Forster's work, and I have to say that this is probably the worst of the lot. It has none of the charm of "A Room With a View", and none of the poignancy of "Howards End". Instead, it's a long, slogging story with shrill characters that I could not muster a shred of empathy for. Many of the characters (particularly the elderly Mrs. Harriton and Harriet) are played so far over-the-top that they border on farce. The character of Gino is underdeveloped, which makes the way some characters come to feel about him ring utterly false.

Forster was a homosexual, an Italophile, and scornful of Edwardian British mores and (perceived) hypocrisy. I have no problem with any of those things, but in this, his first novel, it's as if his main intention was to telegraph these things to the audience, and he sets his characters up to that end, but it's never convincing as the natural actions of real humans. If you must watch it, enjoy the Tuscan scenery while you can, but you may want to fast forward through the second-half. For completists only.


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