Aired Sunday April 13th, 2008 at 8:00 pm
A young Englishwoman falls in love but doesn't realize it in E.M. Forster's gently satirical romance set in Italy and England in the early 20th century. MASTERPIECE CLASSIC presents an all-new adaptation of "A Room With a View," airing Sunday, April 13, at 8 p.m. on KUED-Channel 7.
Forster's most popular novel was adapted by Andrew Davies (four films in PBS' "The Complete Jane Austen"; "Bleak House"), who adds a coda to the author's tender love story by imagining the poignant aftermath that must have been.
Elaine Cassidy (Ghost Squad) stars as Lucy Honeychurch, a passionate but inexperienced young woman on the Grand Tour with her prim, unmarried chaperone Charlotte Bartlett. Father/son actors Timothy (Sweeney Todd) and Rafe (Hot Fuzz) Spall play Mr. Emerson and his son, George, also on the Grand Tour but out of place among their fellow English tourists, due to their working-class origin and socialist views.
The story opens in Florence, where Lucy and Charlotte arrive at their pensione to discover that they have not been given rooms with a view, as promised. Mr. Emerson and George graciously offer to vacate their rooms, which have splendid views. This forthright act of kindness fills Charlotte with distress and Lucy with intrigue.
Lucy's acquaintance with George deepens when he rescues her from a dead faint after she witnesses a street murder. The plot further thickens when he impulsively kisses her in a field of violets overlooking Florence - an outrage witnessed by Charlotte, who immediately decamps with Lucy for Rome.
The action then moves to Windy Corner, the Honeychurch home in England, where Cecil is a houseguest, having just announced his engagement to Lucy. Fate brings the Emersons back into the picture when they rent a nearby cottage. George soon repeats his original outrage, and Lucy is thrown into a quandary: Should she go through with the marriage to Cecil, an insufferable snob? Or should she listen to what she thinks her heart is telling her about George?
Originally published in 1908, A Room With a View is a lighthearted tribute to all that Forster loved about Italy and family life in England, with the less-cherished aspects of English society veiled in parody, much in the spirit of Jane Austen.
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