Search - Clarissa on DVD

Actors: Sean Bean, Saskia Wickham, Jonathan Phillips, Lynsey Baxter, Jeffrey Wickham
Director: Robert Bierman
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
NR     2005     2hr 36min

Based on the towering 18th-century novel by Samuel Richardson--the original tale of fatal attraction and the model for all literary dangerous liaisons to come--this acclaimed BBC production features an impressive line-up o...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Sean Bean, Saskia Wickham, Jonathan Phillips, Lynsey Baxter, Jeffrey Wickham
Director: Robert Bierman
Creators: John McGlashan, Bill Wright, Kevin Loader, Michael Wearing, David Nokes, Janet Barron, Samuel Richardson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Period Piece, Drama
Studio: Acorn Media
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 08/09/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1991
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 36min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 07/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)


Samuel Richardson's 18th century novel of vice and virtue, revenge and manipulation begins with famously virginal CLARISSA (Acorn) Harlowe inheriting her grandfather's huge estate. But she has no interest in wealth and passes it to her father, ignoring her siblings James and Bella.

Clarissa also claims no interest in marriage but notices her sister's current beau, the notorious lady's man Robert Lovelace. Angry and jealous at being passed over, and with their parents approval, James and Bella try to force Clarissa into marrying the repulsive Solmes, a man of "material advantage." That only pushes a desperate Clarissa into Lovelace's arms, a man she does not trust but who quickly becomes obsessed with her, even though all his tried and true seduction tricks fail.

So begins the great BBC production from the early 90s. Anyone who has seen it will surely remember the exciting twists and shocks of this magnificent miniseries now on DVD for the first time.

If it all sounds stodgy, don't be deceived, this is the granddaddy of all the dangerous liaisons copycats (including "Dangerous Liaisons").

Everything about this fast moving show is top notch: acting, screenplay, production values, and direction. I can't think of a better description of this absolutely riveting drama than the original press release: "Vice was his weapon, virtue hers. Love would destroy them both."

Even if British drama is not your cup of tea, sip this delicious brew.

Clarissa well worth the wait
Amy Wallace | San Rafael, CA United States | 08/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was reccomended this title a few years ago, before it came out on DVD. I searched high and low but found not a trace of it. Finally, I saw it was available here at long last! I purchased it without ever seeing a minute, and I was not too dissapointed.

This story is all about an heiress, Clarissa who is innocent enough to make you want to strangle her. She is the perfect lady, with morals and values. Of course, she runs into the most devious and seductive man who wants to charm her out of her virtues and her inheritance, while still sneaking around with her friends and relatives on the side.

Though the story begins a little slow, the costumes and settings are charming. The BBC always does an exquisite job of being period accurate when they make these long costume dramas! The house is gorgeous, the dresses are gorgeous, even the ugly men wearing HUGE puffy wigs are gorgeous.

A quick plot summary: Clarissa is the heiress to her father's fortune, which makes her sister and brother (possibly having an incestuous relationship?!?) VERY jealous and angry. They begin to plot against her. Enter Mr. Lovelace. Mr. Lovelace is a "bad guy", who was making advances on Clarissa's sister. He quickly breaks off their attachment to persue Clarissa, for her fortune at first. As time goes on, Clarrisa denied her inheritance, and tortured by her family to marry a toad-like suitor. When she refuses, all hell breaks loose. Mr. Lovelace undertsnads this predicament and offers to help Clarissa by running away with her. Throught the movie, Mr. Lovelace has to fight his true feelings for Clarissa (love) and his feelings to rape her (his usual way). His fight with his own feelings are apparent, and Sean Bean is excellent.

I will watch anything with costumes and a decent story though, so I will let you be the judge. If you enjoyed films like The Forsyte Saga, Dangerous Liasions, Valmont, He Knew He Was Right and other period BBC slow-moving sagas, then this DVD is for you."
I hated this movie.
Born-Identity | Los Angeles | 12/04/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Yes hated. I'm at a disavantage having not read the book, but I have to say this movie was not what I expected at all. I have never felt prompted to write a bad review EVER until now (sorry Sean Bean - whose work I usually love). I hate I bought the DVD instead of renting it first.

*The below review is my opinion and contains spoiler info*

I'm not the kind of movie watcher who has to have a happy ending because I understand it doesn't always happen in real life, so it doesn't have to happen for me in a movie. In addition to that, I also love a great character study even if some of the characters are of ill-repute. However, this movie was long, drawn out and ALL of the characters REALLY got on my nerves. I found myself not caring for, wanting to understand or LIKING any of them early on. I have no problem watching movies where in order for the story to unfold, the viewer must get a little dirty as he/she follows the characters. I found the characters exhausting in just TRYING to find any reason to care what each one did or didn't do next. The end result was disturbing in which you wanted to watch Brady Bunch afterwards just to get rid of the dark filthy oppressive feeling you had afterwards. Neither character was believable in their diligence to maintain or obtain what each lived for. Neither character was someone I could sympathize with (which is saying a lot since one of them was held down by a group while being raped! All for love?) I don't see how this movie can benefit anyone on any level. Again, I can only write an opinion based on this movie version, as I have not read the book. For all I know, the book may incite compassion and sympathy from it's reader towards one or all of the characters whether they are the victim or the victimizer. This movie does not. It makes you angry that you were ever introduced to either character, angry that it was ever put on film and angry that you wasted any of your time watching it."
Excellent Adaption of Samuel Richardson Tale
Maureen | Northeast | 07/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This BBC production of "Clarissa" is an excellent adaption of the 18th Century Samuel Richardson work. Excellent production values in regard to script, costume, and scenery. Sean Bean readily captures the seductive snake-like qualities of Lovelace. Saskia Wickham also gives a great performance that showcases Clarissa's innocence while losing none of her inner strength. This film imbues the Clarissa character with feminist sensibilities, though not in the modern sense of the word. This film would be a great addition to any college library."