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FANNY HILL

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


A bawdy romp based on the 18th-century erotic classic

Screenwriter Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bleak House) brings all of his sly, stylish wit to this adaptation of 18th-century Britain’s most notorious novel.

With a mischievous glint in her eye and plenty of knowing winks, Fanny relates her journey from wholesome naïf to worldly woman. After losing her parents to smallpox, the poor country girl travels to London, where she falls into prostitution under the guidance of an infamous madam. Forced to take a series of lovers to survive, Fanny learns to relish sensual delights -- but reserves her heart for her one true love.

Showing a playfulness that matches her beauty, newcomer Rebecca Night sparkles in the title role. Samantha Bond (The World Is Not Enough), Alison Steadman (Pride and Prejudice), Philip Jackson (Agatha Christie’s Poirot), and Hugo Speer (The Full Monty) join her in this unabashedly sexy tale of one woman’s appetite for independence and pleasure.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, biography of screenwriter Andrew Davies, and program previews.

Amazon.com

The bodice-ripper that begat all bodice-rippers, John Clelland's 18th century book, Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, has finally been given the screen adaptation it deserves. This 2007 British TV presentation is cheeky and very erotic, yet subtly emotional and painstakingly costumed and set. Fanny herself, played by young, appealing newcomer TK Night, narrates the film, which goes a long way toward defusing what is essentially a tale of a woman forced into prostitution to live. The way this Fanny tells it, she has a rollicking good time learning about her own, and others', erotic lives--whilst fitting in rather splendidly in 18th century London. The narration, with true relish in Night's voice, helps overcome the distaste one might have of the human slavery angle (much like Pretty Woman's neo-feminist Julia Roberts did in that film). So the viewer is allowed to sit back and savor the sensuality, and the film's real romantic thread, without guilt.

"Virtue is always preferable to vice," says the pragmatic Fanny, "but we can't always choose, can we?" Andrew Davies, the prolific screenwriter who produced Bridget Jones and many Jane Austen productions, among many others, adapted the book and has managed to preserve the sensuality alongside the true longings of our heroine. The production may shock some fans of BBC period dramas, as the nudity and sexual content are far more explicit, and regularly occurring, than in most. But it works here, as the point is that Fanny enjoys her sensual side and that learning and growing helps her form what it is she truly wants. The sets and costumes are lush, and the cast is spot-on, including Night, as well as supporting actors Hugo Speer, Emma Stansfield, and Alex Robertson. Near the end, Fanny muses, "As to the moral of my story… Must one always have morals?" Apparently not--at least not to have a splendid time, which this Fanny Hill more than delivers. --A.T. Hurley

Stills from Fanny Hill (click for larger image)





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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rebecca Night, Alison Steadman, Philip Jackson, Hugo Speer
  • Directors: Andrew Davies
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001D11A2W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,271 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "FANNY HILL" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on October 20, 2008
Format: DVD
Although John Cleland's 1748 version of "MEMOIRS OF A WOMAN OF PLEASURE" was written while in prison for debt and subsequently banned in Britain for over 200 years because of its sexual theme, it has been filmed several times since the obscenity ban in the U.S. was lifted only in 1966.

What is often overlooked because of the scandalous controversy of the source material, is the drama, wit and charm and especially the feel good ending of the episodic melodrama itself.

This new to DVD version won raves when it was originally broadcast. The Times (UK) called it "Beautiful, sensual and extremely witty."

Screenwriter Andrew Davis, lauded for his sexy adaptations of classics like "Brideshead Revisited," "Pride and Prejudice" as well as pop fiction bestseller "Bridget Jones's Diary" does not shy away from keeping the sexuality at the forefront of Britain's first erotic novel.

Fanny -- newcomer Rebecca Night -- shines in the title role. And we believe her as she relates her journey from wholesome innocent to worldly wise woman. In a nutshell, the story is her journey from orphaned country girl virgin to London prostitute under an infamous madam. In order to survive, she enthusiastically takes a series of lovers while somehow protecting her heart for her true love.

Beautifully photographed with wonderful period detail, the overt atmosphere of ever-present sensuality is still eye-brow raising but necessary for the tale. Without the nudity and strong sexual scenes the story would not be Fanny Hill's.

James Hawkes' direction is smooth and he makes Rebecca Night's transformation from dewey country girl to wise but not hard-hearted woman believable.

This fable resonates on a lot of levels -- it's not about the beauty of prostitution and [...] with a heart of gold, but rather that anyone can be redeemed.

Extras include Behind the Scenes footage, interviews, previews etc.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Todd M. Barty on September 8, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This gorgeous adaptation of "Fanny Hill" starring the equally gorgeous Rebecca Night and an appropriately gorgeous supporting cast is a faithful adaptation of the book that is by turns funny, bawdy and dramatic.
The story tells, in detail, the story of country maiden Fanny's journey to London, her erotic adventures and her discovery of true love.
Whereas previous adaptations have focused on the bawdiness and gotten Fanny and everyone around her naked as quickly as possible, this shows a tad more reserve in its development of Fanny's character. While the brothel scenes all have an obligatory smattering of nudity, Fanny only reveals herself nude for the first time in her first love scene with Charles, the man who is the love of her life. The film seems to strengthen the message that while sex can be a lot of fun, true love is ultimately a virtue and a reward beyond the physical pleasures of sex.
The supporting cast, especially Alison Steadman, are suitably colourful. See this one!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Chlanda on July 2, 2009
Format: DVD
This adaptation of the book was, for a tv movie, surprisingly explicit, and featured the lovely Rebecca Night (though I'd like to have seen more of her, and heard her talk less, in the movie). She's got a nice combination of innocence and seductiveness [if I might put it that way] and she's got a lovely figure. Other characters were nice too. It's too bad I didn't see anything of Ms. Louisa Clein's figure, which was nicely displayed in Island At War. I can tell you though, if this had run on tv (especially in Missouri) they'd have cut half of it. Still, not bad.
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Format: DVD
I had heard a lot about the real 'Fanny Hill', but had never read it John Cleland never really made any money for his efforts but a lot of lawyers have as this has been the subject of many a trial for obscenity.

It must show how far society has changed as this comes nowhere near indecent and on the 'filth' Richter scale gets about a 3.5. That said it is stupendously made and as ever with the BBC there is a great attention to period detail. I think that may be where the overall problem is, in that the grime and filth that was typical of the period it is set in, has been airbrushed out. Compare it to 'The Libertine' for example, there is muck and detritus everywhere and one gets a real sense of what 'bawdy' means, this is lacking in this production which tries and succeeds to portray a classy courtesan rather than an opportunistic upwardly mobile prostitute. And I use the word in the period sense of being a working lady and not in the modern pejorative way.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Maureen on December 15, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you are into period piece movies (even if you are not) this is a must see! It's about a young English country lady who is lured into the city by a 'so-called' friend & is soon taught the wicked ways of prostitution. It starts with her innocent, quiet & trusting in others & slowly she learns what she has become & what her life could turn out to be! This movie is meant for an older audience as there is much talk of sex & there is a fair share of nudity. Really interesting & quite funny @ times! The British sure know how to make a quality film! Enjoy!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Johnson on April 1, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Fanny Hill
This movie has a little bit of everything in it.
I was never bored watching it.
Rebecca Night and Alison Steadman do not dissappoint.
Superb Acting on both their parts.
Loved the supporting cast and lovely costumes also.
It does have nudity, but the human body is a beautiful thing right? :)
If you like movies that tell a story, this ones for you.
For all I know it could've been true.
Enjoy It!
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