Academy Award-winner Jim Broadbent stars as Alfred Salteena, 'an elderly man of 42,' who falls in love with young Ethel Monticue at first sight. To impress her, he treats Ethel to a visit at the sumptuous country house of ... more »Lord Bernard Clark, the only lord Alf actually knows. Their ensuing adventures in London's colorful high society reveal the young author's alarmingly keen insights into class, the foolishness of adults and the power that young girls have over men. DVD Features:
Written in 1890 in an exercise book by a young Daisy Ashford at the age of nine. Full of spelling mistakes, each chapter was written as a single paragraph. Decades later, she came across the manuscript, and lent it to an ill friend. From there it passed through several hands until a publisher came across it in 1919. Even today, it remains in print.
This young lady's imagination far outreached her years. The characterization is concrete and complex and even things like sexual politics are included, as well as minute details of class distinction, and human nature. As well, the deeper knowledge that the person who is best for us is often not the ones we are most passionate about. At it's center, the novel really is concerned with peoples' search for happiness in their own existences. And layered over these dramatic elements are absurdities, naiveties, and things an adult wouldn't always be paying attention to, which, I think, has made this an enduring tale.
This 2003 BBC production has a slew of British acting royalty, all up to the bizarre task. There's also a 1968 musical, and a 1984 movie, as well as several stage play incarnations of The Young Visiters. As you can see, the novel has been reverently dramatized.
Missed the point
A. Griffiths | London | 07/27/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is the second time Daisy Ashford's famous book has been filmed for UK television. Sadly, this is the less succesful version. The whole appeal of the original book was seeing and hearing about the world through the words of a nine year old Victorian girl. Her unique spelling, opinions and ideas - mostly romantic notions about how adults in love behave - make for hilarious reading.
This BBC TV production changes much of the original material to suit it's own purposes, which completely obliterates the artless innocence of the book. Worse still, they have actually made up new lines, supposedly in the style of the original book, and yet actually left out many of Daisy's original and memorable lines of dialogue along the way! They have also added new characters and even devised new mis-spellings that Daisy Ashford never included...what a mistake! It's impossible to embellish a piece of work as original as "The Young Visiters" just for the purposes of padding it out into a full length movie...it's a unique piece of work that sprung from the mind of a nine year old girl, and written circa 1890 - what script writer today could possible emulate that with sufficient accuracy?! So, the overall result is a mildly amusing but perplexing comedy of manners with the characters delivering odd speeches and unfathomable mannerisms, and seemingly unable to spell when they write letters to each other. As a TV programme, it just doesn't make the charm of the book come to life.
The previous version was made way back in 1984 and seems to have disappeared completely now, but it was in fact better than this effort, plus it starred Tracey Ullman, who was hilariously well cast as the pompous Ethel. And the cast got to concentrate much more on the original immortal dialogue, unlike those roped into this mess. None of the humour stands out in the new version, even though it has a stirling cast and a big budget. If you watch this and enjoy it, that's great, but in my opinion the spirit of Daisy Ashford's book has been all but wrung out of it."
This Movie is Hilarious and Heart-Warming...
MexiCon | Los Angeles, CA USA | 11/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was delightfully surprised at how funny and touching this movie is. The movie seems as though it is straight out of Tim Burton's mind. Very entertaining and such a fantasy. You need to show your family this movie."
T. Singh | USA | 01/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I first heard of this story through watching the US version of BBC I knew I had to watch carefully so I wouldn't miss the show! I'm so glad to be able to get this on DVD. The story is absolutely charming. I love the scene where Ethel is dancing with the three young men. I also enjoyed watching actors who aren't all Hollywood plastic. Ethel has got to be four and a half feet tall or maybe she's exactly 5 ft. I love one of the last lines. "Ethel grew quite a buldgy figure but her husband loved her anyway." Charming!"
Family Entertainment at its Best
R. Crane | Washington, DC United States | 02/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is incredible yet true that "The Young Visiters" was based on a book written by a nine year old in 1890 in twelve days. To be so young and have such sophisticated ability, both as a writer and as a social observer, is remarkable.
This is a charming, family oriented movie that is not a Disney production. It is a "feel good" heart-warming story about a lonely "old" man, Alfred "Alf" Salteena, (age 42) and an ambitious social climber, Ethel Montacue. Alf and Ethel meet on a train, and he deliberately entices her by implying that he hob-nobs with royalty and nobility. Nothing could be farther from the truth as he is in fact a butcher's son, lacking proper manners, etiquette and at a loss what to do or say in almost any social situation. However, he is willing to do whatever it takes to attract and marry Ethel.
Ethel decides to visit him for the purpose of meeting eligible nobility, and in turn he keeps his promise by contacting an earl and arranging for them to visit his palatial estate. Through this connection, everyone's life is changed in unexpected and enchanting ways.
This movie is a wonderful experience and should be enjoyed by all ages. Bill Nighy and Hugh Laurie's performances add sparkle to the story. Whether it is true to the book or as good as a previous version, is irrelevant. On its own it is a marvelous way to spend a few hours. "
Old World Innocense and charm
J. A. Tibbetts | 10/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a delightful movie. To think the book was penned by a 9 year old English girl in 12days and has never been out of print.I bought the movie because I love Jim Broadbent,he plays the old gentleman of 42. It was very amusing and is a safe bet for young and old audiences alike."