Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 1974. Copa del Oro, The Directors Company. Screenplay by Frederic Raphael, based on the story by Henry James. Cinematography by Alberto Spagnoli. Produced by Peter Bogdanovich. Production Design by Ferdinando Scarfiotti. Costume Design by Mariolina Bono, John Furniss. Film Editing by Verna Fields. Academy Awards 1974. National Board of Review Awards 1974.
The reign of Peter Bogdanovich as a notable seventies filmmaker was pretty much over when he released this wooden adaptation of Henry James’s novel. Cybill Shepherd makes a notably awful heroine as a young turn-of-the-century American girl who scandalizes European society with her forward and unconventional ways. The supporting cast is chock full of terrific performances, from Cloris Leachman as her mother to Eileen Brennan and Mildred Natwick as other upper-class women, but Shepherd’s shallow performance and the leaden pace kill it completely. Shepherd seems to think that speaking her dialogue very quickly instantly makes the character witty, but she never seems to know what it is that she’s saying. Lovely costumes as well, but despite all the positive aspects there is nothing good enough to make this film worth watching.