The best British period drama ever!
C. L. Pearce | London, England | 07/29/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this film, when it was first shown on British television and I just loved it. Having already been a big fan of the gorgeous Jean Marc Barr, star of the 1988 movie The Big Blue, I was intrigued to find the fanastic Frenchman playing the title role of St.Ives, a captain of the french army captured by the British in the Napoleonic wars. Starring a cast of the best actors Britain has to offer - Miranda Richardson (Blackadder), Richard E Grant (Withnail & I) and Anna Friel (Mad Cows) just to name a few, a witty and occasionally hillarious script, and a passionate and heart-warming love story, how could anyone not be entertained by this film. If you thought all British period dramas were stuffy affairs, all breetches and corsets, think again. St. Ives has everything from duelling brothers to an English Channel crossing hot-air balloon flight. A film that has a little bit of everything for the whole family to enjoy!"
Excellent...treat yourself to a little fun and romance....
Dianne Foster | USA | 04/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this film on a whim and will watch it more than once. The DVD version has been digitally mastered and is very beautiful--the blues and reds of the English and French uniforms, the greens of the countryside, the stunning blue of the hot air baloon, the white sand of the coast. Robert Louis Stevenson, a 19th Century English writer whose illustrious compatriots include Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Jane Eyre wrote ST IVES--the book the film is based upon. This tale is somewhat reminiscent of a Jane Austen story with its lover's angst, but it lacks Austen's irony and amazing plot twists. Also, Janie did not include the blood and guts and sex depicted on the screen in ST IVES--but did Robinson? In some ways, ST IVES is more akin to the French tales of the Ancien regime (VALMONT) than the English tales of the Regency period, but unlike the French stories, this tale is relatively upbeat (there are some deaths). Perhaps one might liken ST IVES to the Scarlet Pimpernel but the hero is a real Frenchman, not an English Aristocrat posing as one. St Ives is also fighting for Napoleon when he isn't dueling "wanabees" or chasing pretty women. One day, St Ives finds himself an English prisoner-of-war after back-slapping pal (his second at his numerous duels) unwittingly causes him to slide down an embankment into the waiting arms of British soldiers.St Ives captors transport him to Scotland, where he is placed under the watchful eye and lock and key of Major Chevening who is a bit resentful of having been kept out of the fracas on the continent. Chevening has been ineffectively courting the delicious Flora, niece of Miss Gilcrist. In an amazing turn of events, Miss Gilchrist (who is extemely worldly) and St. Ives are soon both coaching Major Chevening concerning his courting strategies. ST IVES is a hero, not the place with kits, cats, sacks and wives as I thought all these years, and the gentleman's name is pronounced "Santeff". Miranda Richardson is wonderful as Miss Gilcrist (she is related to the Redgraves and Natasha). Richard Grant is oh so funny as Major Chevening, and he and Miss Gilcrist have some very amusing scenes together. I had not heard of the two younger actors who play St Ives and his love interest, but they are also very good. The plotline of ST IVES is not as well developed as Austen's story PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, if it were it would be as well known, but it is as well developed as NORTHANGER ABBY. The characters are two-dimensional, but real enough that one cares what happens to them. The film's strengths include moments of sadness, humor, and above all lots of love-making."
A delightful and charming little film...
cymraess | Colorado | 06/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie in a hotel in Inverary, Scotland and it took me three years to finally figure out what it actually was called. I never forgot it and when I saw a preview on another movie I have, I immediatly ordered it. St. Ives is an utterly delicious romp. It is charming, funny, and romantic, with momemtary lapses in humour that so many comedies these days seem to lack. It follows the adventures of Jaques St. Ives (played with great skill by Jean-Marc Barr) one of Napolean's hussars. St. Ives, after contriving to get himself demoted in order to escape a number of duels inadvertanly tumbles into a camp of British soldiers and ends up in Scotland as a prisoner of war. There he meets charming Miss Flora and her wordly aunt (Anna Friel and Miranda Richardson) and comes across the uptight Major, played with hilarious British prudishness by Richard E Grant. After a daring escape, a run in with his long lost brother, and a balloon ride, everything settles nicely down to a very happy, sweet ending.The film is perfectly cast. Jean-Marc Barr traipses through it with suave French heroicism, and Miranda Richardson sparkles as an interesting combination of proper British lady and worldly adventureous. Anna Friel is fresh faced and innocent, her laugh is infectous and Richard E. Grant kept me laughing. Jason Iasacs is also notable as St. Ives' brother. It is a vividly shot film, with the colours bright and pure, and the soundtrack bounces along in perfect accordance to the light, humourous feel of the movie. In essense, this movie is a miniature feast for the eyes, and the heart."
St. Ives-What a rollocking romp through the countryside!
Stacy E. Tadlock | Roscommon, Michigan United States | 09/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...Just a whim that it might be good because I love the combination of literature and film. I want to tell you what a rollocking, fun ride this movie is, I was definitely not disappointed. The portrayal were fun and first rate, the story was exciting and funny. Everyone interested in Lit/film should run out and rent this film."