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A Hazard of Hearts / Lady Hamilton

172 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Helena Bonham Carter, Diana Rigg, Richard Johnson
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Tgg Direct
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A8AXXG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,365 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

239 of 240 people found the following review helpful By Char Brontay on June 17, 2009
Format: DVD
This review is based only on the movie A Hazard of the Heart (or Hazards of the Heart) which I found in our local library. (I didn't see the second movie, but other reviewers mention that one being "trash.")

It's been a while since I've seen a movie I liked as well as this one. (I'm a fan of some of the Masterpiece Theatre classics, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, etc.) This movie was made in the late 1980's. The setting is 1800's England.

Central to the movie was a sweet romance (just tender looks, hand holding, and kissing scenes similar to Pride and Prejudice).

The icing on the cake for me included villains, "haunted" and extraordinarily beautiful mansions, breath-taking English countrysides (often experienced via horseback), magnificent paintings and period dress, sword fights and a duel, hidden passageways, surprises, and decent acting (Helena Bonham Carter, in the lead, has a gift for expressing what she is feeling, without any words). Like Pride and Prejudice, the story even includes a big dog (a Great Dane, I think).

The male lead, introducing handsome Marcus Gilbert, was extremely good.

The supporting cast were favorites --Christopher Plummer, Diana Rigg, (as the villain mother), and Stewart Granger (as the lovable father).

The story begins when a father (played by Plummer) gambles away everything he possesses, including his daughter (played by Bonham Carter) and her dowry, to a sinister character named Lord Ruten (sp?) (played by Edward Fox).

Tables are turned when handsome Lord Vulcan (played by Gilbert), issues a challenge.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By CodeMaster Talon on November 25, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this movie approximately 1000 times as a child. That's not hyperbole. "A Hazard of Hearts" is my Mom's favorite movie and when I was a child we watched it nearly every day. I'm watching it right now, and I'm not remotely bored. We sit around and recite huge patches of the dialogue, laughing at the silliness and sighing over the romance.

Written by Barbara Cartland but differing strongly from the novel, "A Hazard of Hearts" charts the misadventures of spunky, intelligent Miss Staverly, played with radiant adorableness by a very young Helena Bonham Carter. As we open our story Miss Staverly's Papa is busy gambling away her home and her hand in marriage (her maid Eudora senses "something wrong"). Only a throw of the dice saves her from marriage to the dastardly Lord Rutum (Mr. Fox, in one of the most loathsome villainous turns I can think of), but out of the frying pan into the fire--she finds herself won by the forbidding yet handsome, mysterious yet romantic Lord Vulcan (what a name), and he dispatches her off to his magnificent yet creepy mansion (Secret passageways! Underground tunnels! A hidden casino! An ever-growing stockpile of bodies in their own personal cave!) to be watched over by his not entirely sane and definitely ruthless Mother, played by Diana Rigg, in the performance of her career (Favorite Lady Vulcan scene: stabbing a smuggler while sporting an enormous pink satin bow on her head. Even by Rigg's standards, a watershed moment.).

This film is chock full of character actors and screen legends (Stewart Granger! Christopher Plummer!), the costumes are elegant and ever so slightly wacky (I love the loopy, mud-splattered hat Serena sports on her frantic ride to Justin's side), and the plot at once clichéd ridden and utterly original.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Susan B on November 12, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Even though the filming is old, the love story is very good and I loved the actors. Plus it is refreshing to see a movie with a love story that is sweet and innocent and not passionately portrayed. I would love to see this redone someday.
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67 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Leigh Powell on January 18, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Hazard of Hearts is a decent storyline and good acting and plot. It is the second movie "Lady Hamilton" that draw the rating down -- way way down if it were to be evaluated by itself. Imagine 1960's Italian dubbed filming, fuzzy-edged picture. The lead female character is supposed to be irresistible to everyone--with her fake hair and really thick eyeliner--even to the female monarch. The other characters -- well, I was reminded of "Hercules" with Steve Reeves from whatever timeframe that was. If you pay $5 for the package, just ignore the second film and enjoy the first. Romance in the Barbara Carland style.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By maskirovka VINE VOICE on August 27, 2009
Format: DVD
This review is for "A Hazard of Hearts" only (the other movie I have not seen). I got it out of Netflix because Helena Bonham Carter is one of my favorite actresses --she combines spunk, spirit, class, and sex appeal in one fiery little package (Tim Burton is a lucky man!).

<spoilers>

"A Hazard of Hearts" strikes me as a classic Gothic romance, the sort of story that you'd see in the bookstore next to the Harlequin romances featuring a young heroine on the grounds of a gloomy castle, being watched from a balcony by a handsome, brooding "Darcy-esque" young man.

Helena Bonham Carter plays Serena,the daughter of a nobleman who commits suicide after losing her in a reckless wager to a lecherous peer (played by Edward Fox). Her virtue is saved by Justin, a mysterious but handsome young peer. But he professes indifference to Serena. Will Justin and Serena fall in love? Will the evil peer triumph? What do you think? "Hazard of Hearts" is hardly an unpredictable movie, but it is quite fun to watch and the acting impeccable and the production values quite high.

As for Bonham Carter's performance, it was quite good, and an indicator of even better work lying ahead for her. The only thing that works slightly against her is the fact that she doesn't really look her age at the time (21). There are moments in the film, where I would have guessed her to be in her mid-teens. Given the actor paired with her does look his age (29), they seem a bit mismatched..it would have been smart to have paired her with a younger looking male lead...I think if they had done that, the word "jailbait" might not have popped up in my mind when I saw them embrace).

Also, I thought the score was a bit overdone, but that might have been intentional.

But "A Hazard of Hearts" is good fun nonetheless.
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