Karel Reisz

The French Lieutenant’s Woman

The French Lieutenant’s Woman

An astounding array of talent came together for the big-screen adaptation of John Fowles’s novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman, a postmodern masterpiece that had been considered unfilmable. With an ingenious script by the Nobel Prize–winning playwright Harold Pinter, British New Wave trailblazer Karel Reisz transforms Fowles’s tale of scandalous romance into an arresting, hugely entertaining movie about cinema. In Pinter’s reimagining, Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep star in parallel narratives, as a Victorian-era gentleman and the social outcast he risks everything to love, and as the contemporary actors playing those roles in a film production, and immersed in their own forbidden affair. Shot by the consummate cinematographer Freddie Francis and scored by the venerated composer and conductor Carl Davis, this is a beguiling, intellectually nimble feat of filmmaking, starring a pair of legendary actors in early leading roles.

Film Info

  • Karel Reisz
  • United Kingdom
  • 1981
  • 123 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #768

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with actors Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep, editor John Bloom, and composer Carl Davis
  • New interview with film scholar Ian Christie
  • Episode of The South Bank Show from 1981 featuring director Karel Reisz, novelist John Fowles, and screenwriter Harold Pinter
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Lucy Bolton

New cover by Eric Skillman

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with actors Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep, editor John Bloom, and composer Carl Davis
  • New interview with film scholar Ian Christie
  • Episode of The South Bank Show from 1981 featuring director Karel Reisz, novelist John Fowles, and screenwriter Harold Pinter
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Lucy Bolton

New cover by Eric Skillman

The French Lieutenant’s Woman
Cast
Meryl Streep
Sarah/Anna
Jeremy Irons
Charles/Mike
Hilton McRae
Sam
Emily Morgan
Mary
Charlotte Mitchell
Mrs. Tranter
Lynsey Baxter
Ernestina
Jean Faulds
Cook
Peter Vaughan
Mr. Freeman
Colin Jeavons
Vicar
Liz Smith
Mrs. Fairley
Patience Collier
Mrs. Poulteney
John Barrett
Dairyman
Leo McKern
Dr. Grogan
Credits
Director
Karel Reisz
Produced by
Leon Clore
Screenplay
Harold Pinter
Based on the book by
John Fowles
Director of photography
Freddie Francis
Editor
John Bloom
Music
Carl Davis
Production designer
Assheton Gordon
Associate producers
Tom Maschler
Associate producers
Geoffrey Helman
Costume designer
Tom Rand

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