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Masterpiece Theatre: Northanger Abbey
Masterpiece Theatre Northanger Abbey
Actors: JJ Feild, Felicity Jones
Director: Jon Jones
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Television
NR     2008     1hr 26min

In Austen's gentle parody of gothic fiction, Felicity Jones (Meadowlands) plays romance addict Catherine Morland. Invited to a medieval country house that appeals to her most lurid fantasies, she forms a close friendship w...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: JJ Feild, Felicity Jones
Director: Jon Jones
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Television
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Family Films, Drama, British Television, All Made-for-TV Movies
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 01/22/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 26min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 84
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Shim F.
Reviewed on 2/18/2008...
This is a good version of "Northanger Abbey".
It's eay to understand what their saying.
Unlike some old Masterpiece movie you get and their talking in old English.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Aimee M. (AimeeM)
Reviewed on 1/26/2008...
Great Movie! Best adaptation of the novel I have seen. This particular version has been edited for the television... frankly it is BETTER this way!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

The best of the recent Jane Austen adaptations. An absolute
Marcy Gomez | Kansas City, USA | 12/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This version of Jane Austen's novel "Northanger Abbey" is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. I've seen 3 out of the 4 new adaptations of Jane Austen's novels ("Sense & Sensibility" will not be broadcast in the UK/US until Jan. 08), and this is - in my opinion - the very best of them all.

What the early 80's version of "Northanger Abbey" (starring Peter Firth and Katherine Schlesinger) lacked, this version more than makes up for. NA 07 (as it is fondly known among Janeites) stars newcomers Felicity Jones (Servants), JJ Feild (Nicholas Nickleby, Ruby in the Smoke), William Beck (Robin Hood) and Carey Mulligan (Pride & Prejudice), and British tv and stage veterans Liam Cunningham, Sylvestra LeTouzel ('80s Mansfield Park) and Gerry O'Brien. Screenplay is by Andrew Davies, who also penned the well-loved and swoon-inducing period drama favorites Pride & Prejudice (1995), Daniel Deronda, Doctor Zhivago (2002 tv version), Middlemarch and Wives & Daughters. True British period drama fans do not need introduction to him or his work.

Those have read the books know the story. For the novice, the story is as follows: young 17-year old Catherine Morland accompanies the wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Allen to Bath for her first introduction to Georgian society. She meets the charming Henry Tilney and gregarious John Thorpe who both vie for her attentions, and befriends John's sister Isabella and Henry's sister Eleanor. She meets General Tilney (Henry's father), who mistakenly takes her for an heiress. After the whirlwind social life of Bath, she is invited by the Tilneys to their country estate, Northanger Abbey, where - due to the influence of her fondness for gothic novels - she thinks up some fanciful ideas about the General. She falls in love with Henry, but her fancies and the General's discovery of her family's true social standing land her in trouble and threaten to tear her and Henry apart.

This adaptation triumphs in many ways. Fans of the novels know Henry Tilney as one of the most memorable and well-loved of Jane Austen's heroes. He is charming, outgoing and witty as Mr. Darcy is serious, proud and aloof. Henry as played JJ Feild is aptly charming, handsome and swoon-inducing. Young and naive Catherine is played perfectly by the delightful, lovely and talented Felicity Jones. JJ and Felicity have an undeniable chemistry that echoes through every scene that they share. They are - beyond a doubt - perfectly cast. Also well cast are the lovely Carey Mulligan as the ambitious, shallow Isabella and William Beck is perfectly sleazy as her brother John. Liam Cunningham adds a certain gravity to the role of the imperious General Tilney while Sylvestra Le Touzel and Julia Dearden are endearing and often funny as the flighty Mrs. Allen and maternal Mrs. Morland.

The screenplay blends romance, satire, humor and drama perfectly while still staying true to Jane Austen's novel. The costumes and production values are top-notch. The only things I could really find fault on was that I wish ITV had made this into a 2 or 3 hour miniseries (instead of only 1.5 hours) and that Bath was actually used for the Bath locations. Viewers like me who have actually been to Bath will be able to tell the difference. And there is certainly enough material in Ms. Austen's novel to warrant a longer running time.

Nevertheless, this is an excellent period drama and is rightly one of the best Jane Austen adaptations since the 1995 versions of Pride & Prejudice, Persuasion and Sense & Sensibility (though I also admit a fondness for Pride & Prejudice 2005 & 1980, and Emma (with Gwyneth Paltrow)). Of the 3 recent adaptations that will be shown in Masterpiece Theater in 2008, this is my favorite. "Persuasion" comes next, and "Mansfield Park" comes last. Time will tell how the new version of "Sense & Sensibility" will compare to these three. As it stands, however, "Northanger Abbey" is an absolute gem and a crowd-pleaser that is sure to delight period drama fans. I trust that female (and some male) viewers will become a JJ Feild fans after they see this."
Beware, this is a cut version of Northanger Abbey (2007)
R. C. G. Soria | Mexico City, Mexico | 01/21/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Of the 3 adaptations produced by ITV in 2007, Northanger Abbey was the best (or the least bad to be honest). I have received the DVD now and I notice to my disappointment, anger and outrage that PBS is cheating its public by selling a cut version of the adaptation. PBS had acknowleged it was going to broadcast a cut version, but it had also promised that the full and complete version would be in the DVD, and that is NOT true. They are selling the cut version only. So beware, do not order this DVD unless you want only an incomplete version. Furthermore, it is advertised as close-captioned, and that is not true, there are no subtitles nor close caption in this DVD"
Finally, a version of Northanger Abbey I can enjoy!!
randomartco | Greater Washington D.C. area | 01/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Northanger Abbey were all three done as 90 minute iTV adaptations this year, and Northanger Abbey I like second best, just behind Persuasion (it was a tough choice for me: read my review below and you may understand why). I was so extremely thankful that someone had FINALLY undertaken to make a new version of Northanger Abbey! (the 1986 version being so difficult to enjoy)...although I must say I sincerely wish they had undertaken to make a longer version, with less editing of the book, and more accuracy!

On a trip to Bath Catherine Morland meets two men who immediately become interested in her romantically: Henry Tilney and John Thorpe. Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland is a great choice: she is so sweet and innocent and yet imagines such dark and sensual goings on in her dreams as well as during her trip to Northanger Abbey, ancestral home of Henry Tilney (JJ Field). The wild imaginings and fantasies of Catherine that are sparked by her love of gothic romances (novels), lead her down a path that may change the course of her future!

Content: there are some things to be aware of: mild swearing (few uses of d*mn), some cleavage shown, a scene were Catherine dreams of a man coming into her presence while she is in a bath (she takes his hand and leaves the bath), nothing shown; there is a scene where a woman is covered by sheets and it is implied that she and a young man have just had `relations' together; there are mentions of possible schemes & violence, which turn out to be untrue; there is a lot of sexual innuendo, and fantasies of swordfights, etc., but all in all it is kept to a fair minimum.

What a nice, new adaptation of Northanger Abbey! Finally we have a halfway decent adaptation of this book to enjoy on the screen: I give them extra points for this alone, and then have to subtract some for things like the overtly sensual content and the switching of 'Udolpho' for 'The Monk', but really, I am just so pleased to have A VERSION of Northanger Abbey to watch on a regular basis (I'm sorry, I just can't very often stomach the older BBC version in this instance), I can almost forgive anything. The casting is so well done and the story played out very well (with most all the key points, and I'll give them their 'errors' and omissions) that I must say bravo for a job FAIRLY well done!
"