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Summer's Lease
Summer's Lease
Actors: Rosemary Leach, Gabrielle Anwar, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., Susan Fleetwood, John Gielgud
Director: Martyn Friend
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2005     3hr 40min

A family vacation in Tuscany leads to intrigue and mystery in a Masterpiece Theatre presentation written by John Mortimer (Rumpole of the Bailey) and starring Sir John Gielgud in an Emmy Award(r)-winning role. — The m...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Rosemary Leach, Gabrielle Anwar, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., Susan Fleetwood, John Gielgud
Director: Martyn Friend
Creators: Remi Adefarasin, Tariq Anwar, Colin Rogers, John Mortimer
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Acorn Media
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/28/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1989
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 3hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Summer's Lease At Last!
L. Bernhard | Seattle, WA USA | 08/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I caught this mini-series on PBS in the 80's and I have never forgotten it. I have, in fact, longed to see it again so much that for years I searched the internet for copies of it and hassled the people at Scarecrow Video. At last, I saw that it was available and snatched it up as soon as I could. Not only was I NOT disappointed with the show, I was even more intrigued and enchanted by the mystery and the wit and of course the lucious scenery of the Tuscan villa and surrounding landscape. Its a wonderful blend of Italian and English sentiment and character. While waiting for this to be available I read the Mortimer novel on which it was based and even that paled in comparison to this production!"
Vicki F. Miller | Richmond VA | 08/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I remember this mini-series on Masterpiece Theatre when it was shown in 1989. I loved the scenery (Italy/Tuscany) the terra cotta planter, the beautiful Tuscan architecture. Plus Sir John Gielgud was terrific as the "libidnous father" who weasles an invite to come along with the family. There's a plot, and of course, there's art: Piero della Francesco Renaissance artist, actually photographed in situ, and an almost documentary depiction of the Palia in Sienna. I studied in Tuscany some years later, and when I went to the town square in Sienna, I knew I'd seen it before (site of the Pallia). The dialogue is absolutely masterful at times. The author is the same as the one that wrote "Rumpole of the Bailey". (Sorry Senior moment--can't remember it--John Somebody.) The father/Gielgud at one time exclaims, "Oh! This coffee is as cold as chastity!."

I invited several of my girlfriends over to view this (yeah, it's a bonafide chick flick!!). We had vodka and caviar and then a cookout. Don't miss it!"
A Fine Mystery For Anglophiles And Italophiles
John D. Cofield | 01/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Summer's Lease is a nicely done mystery series produced in the 1980s by the writer/playwright John Mortimer based on his novel of the same name. Mollie Pargeter is a forty-something London housewife who rents an Italian villa for the summer holidays. Neither her barrister husband (who is conducting a semi-respectable flirtation with a former client) nor her three daughters are very enthusiastic, but Mollie insists and they all wind up in Tuscany at the Villa "La Felicita," along with Mollie's father Haverford Downs, an ancient roue who writes a column for a magazine.

Immediately mysteries crop up. A host of eccentric characters appear, all of them cagey about the whereabouts of the owners of the villa, who are nowhere in evidence beyond some odd instructions, pictures, and lists. The water supply is shut off and the swimming pool become a murder site. And what is the significance of all the references to Piero della Francesca, especially his painting of "The Flagellation?" Mollie is fascinated by it all, and stoked by her rereading of Sherlock Holmes' "The Copper Beeches," begins to investigate. Eventually she discovers the truth, not just about "La Felicita" but about herself and her marriage as well.

The mystery is complex and takes some time to unwind, and in typical British fashion much is left for one to ponder and work out on one's own. The scenery is gorgeous (especially the scenes of the Palio in Siena) and most of the characters appealing, and the outcome, while sad and somewhat equivocal, is satisfying and leaves one happy for Mollie."
You have a bad batch of DVDs, I believe
Judith A. Matthews | Okemos | 11/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dear Amazon - I'd be happy to review this product, however BOTH copies I ordered were corrupted and unwatchable. Because I was traveling a lot, I wasn't able to return them to you in time. However, I just want you to know that you may have a bad batch of this DVD."