Taglines: An intimate and exquisite probe of the feminist heart.
Adapted by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala from the novel by Henry James, Merchant/Ivory’s The Bostonians is set among the Back Bay uppercrust of the 19th century. Basil Ransom (Christopher Reeve), bored by his opulent lifestyle and his “proper” friends, is fascinated by his cousin, outspoken suffragette Olive Chancellor (Vanessa Redgrave). Basil and Olive’s mutual friend is likeable, gregarious Verena Tannant (Madeleine Potter).
Soon a triangle develops, albeit an unorthodox one: Basil and Olive both find themselves pursuing Verena, Basil because he is in love with her, and Olive because she wants to exploit Verena’s social connections and gift for public speaking to promote her own political ideology. Lurking in the background is Verena’s true love, poor-but-honest attorney Henry Burrage (John Van Ness).
The Bostonians is a 1984 American romantic drama film based on Henry James’s novel of the same name. The film stars Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Reeve, Madeleine Potter and Jessica Tandy. The movie received respectable reviews and showings at arthouse theaters in New York, London and other cities. Vanessa Redgrave received 1984 Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Actress, and the movie earned other award nominations for its costume design. It was filmed in Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, Belvedere Castle in Central Park, New York City, and Troy, New York.
This film was principally photographed at: The Library of the Boston Athenaeum, Gibson House Museum, Beacon Hill, Harvard University, Chateau-sur-Mer Newport Rhode Island, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Central Park (including Belvedere Castle), Martha’s Vineyard.
The Bostonians (1984)
Directed by: James Ivory
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Tandy, Madeleine Potter, Nancy Marchand, Barbara Bryne, Linda Hunt, Martha Farrar
Screenplay by: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Production Design by: Leo Austin
Cinematography by: Walter Lassally
Film Editing by: Mark Potter Jr., Katherine Wenning
Costume Design by: Jenny Beavan
Set Decoration by: Richard Elton
Music by: Richard Robbins
Distributed by: Almi Pictures
Release Date: August 2, 1984