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on November 16, 1999
It's easy to see why this movie won several TV British Academy Awards (BAFTAs). The acting is superb from all the actors (even down to the bit players), the music is superb, and the writing and direction are first-rate. The ending is also the best in any movie I have ever seen, and comes round too soon. For me, the story is about the relationship between two heterosexual men following the death of their wives - and how they both come to terms with their bereavement. Tom Courtney's Southgate (which won him the Best Actor BAFTA award) grieves immediately after his wife dies. However, Albert Finney's multi-layered Sgt.Major (also nominated for the Best Actor BAFTA) takes longer to come to terms with his life and loss. If you want to see the Best of British, this movie is one of those surprising little gems that only come around so often.
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on July 18, 2001
A story of two RAF World War II veterans who lost their wives in the same hospital on the same day, the film hatches into a work of reminiscence, mourning, moving on, deceit, and edges into a seemingly teasing plot of "what goes around comes around." Womanizing Squadron Leader Reggie invites the prudish and submissive Southgate to take over domestic duties and become a companion at the encouragement of a very sweet social worker. Whether dealing with the golddigging Joanna Lumley (remember Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous?) or coming to terms with a son's misery in prison, this film, while having low points, ends in a sweet, cheerful, and innocent manner. I definitely recommend it, and to think, I just found it by accident on a library shelf.
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on February 16, 2009
Shown on Masterpiece Theatre (during the Russell Baker years), this reunites two spectacularly fine actors of British cinema's "angry young man" era. The virile Albert Finney of Saturday Night & Sunday Morning, and the subtle Tom Courtenay of Billy Liar or The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, may come to mind again as you watch them in this twilight story of two widowers learning to live without their wives of forty years.

Finney plays something of a lion in winter, a self-approving type who still expects people to address him as Squadron Leader. Courtenay plays a gentler sort, whose cherished memories of the war years are related rather to the love affair with his wife than glory past. The characters here may remind you also of roles the actors played in their middle years in The Dresser -- Finney's vainglorious Shakespearean attended by Courtenay as his backstage dresser. The script and the acting in this humorous, human drama actually teach us things -- about love and friendship, about regret and grief, about old age, about companionship and dignity, about the poignant sweetness of an old Glenn Miller song. Beautiful.
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on April 27, 2005
When ex-RAF fighter pilot Reginald Conyngham-Jarvis (Albert Finney) and former milkman Roy Southgate (Tom Courtenay) both become widowers within minutes of each other, an unlikely bond between them begins to form. Both men are from the opposite side of the social spectrum, Reginald, verbose, and self confessed womaniser, nevertheless less fond of his late wife, no idea of domesticity,and Roy the dedicated husband, never looked at another woman, more outwardly gentle and caring, both begin to share the same house, the formation of an "odd couple" type of scenario.

The theme behind the relationships of this touching, superbly acted drama, based on Angela Lambert's novel, is both characters providing to the other what each person badly needs. As the story unfolds, both men have more in common than either thought, as they both harbour dark secrets of guilt over a lost child. Joanna Lumley is convincing as a local botique owner who sees Reginald, and the money she thinks he has, as a way of escaping from her own debt pressures.

At times humourous, other times sensitive and thought provoking, this wonderful drama is a tribute to the fine acting skills of the main performers, with excellent use of the haunting background music. A modern classic.
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VINE VOICEon February 18, 2010
Two elderly men are widowed on the same night in the same hospital. Pompous lecher Reggie (Albert Finney) and meek milkman Southgate (Tom Courtenay) would seem to have little in common, yet they become roommates at the suggestion of a social worker who thinks the situation will ease their grief. Reggie, however, starts bossing Southgate around and treating him like a servant while beginning a dodgy romance with a younger woman.

This well-intentioned "odd couple"-type drama almost hits a home run with top-notch acting from the two stars, but the script glosses over or eliminates much needed information and action. The supposed bond between the men never materializes and we don't know why Southgate allows himself to be bullied and treated like hired help. Courtenay is by far the more sympathetic of the two, giving a poignant performance as a truly grieving man with a family secret. Finney's blustery old windbag is quite rude and unlikable, but he does a good job playing him.

I think this could have been better with another half hour to develop the relationship between the two men. Still, this simple movie is quite watchable thanks to the talent and charisma of Finney and Courtenay.
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on December 28, 1999
A Rather English Marriage was truly one of the best movies that I have seen in a while. Joanna Lumley is terrific as Liz and is absolutely effervescent. Without giving the entire story away, the plot was basically about 2 older men who come together after their wives die. Then a woman comes into the life of Sgt. Major and her motives are questioned. Not that the ending was disappointing, but I was just personally disappointed because the ending wasn't as , well...happy as it could have been. Oh well, C'est La Vie!
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Reggie Conyngham-Jervis: You are a prissy little tight ass bastard aren't you, Southgate?
Roy Southgate: If you say so, sir.

Marvelous,humorous,sad and lovely; a few words to describe this film. Albert Finney plays Reggie, a Squadron Leader in the RAF during WWII, and he thinks of those years as the best of his life. He meets up with a man,
Roy, played by Tom Courtenay in hospital where both have wives who were dying. They saw each other several times and in fact, both wives died on the same day. Roy attends Reggie's wife's funeral. And, in respect, Reg attends Roy's wife's funeral. Both are visited by a social worker and on the second visit, she suggests that Reg and Roy move in together. Reg has a large home, his wife has left him a small amount of money and when he dies the house goes to a charity. Roy was a milkman of meager means and misses his wife dreadfully, They both think it over and decide this is a good idea.

Roy in fact becomes the subservient wife to Sir, Reggie, the Squadron Leader. Finney plays Reg as an overblown gent drinking and womanizing and hiding his true self. Roy is a good cook and loves caring for the home. Roy dislodges one night that he and his wife had sex every night of their married life. This notches him up higher in Regs eye. Reg tells him he has had more women than he can remember but Roy has had more sex than he did. The two have a day to day life with Roy caring for Reg and Reg going out every night drinking at the pub. And, then a lovely woman comes into the scene- obviously, she is looking for money, and Reg starts a relationship with this woman. Wonder how that turns out?

I absolutely loved this film. Albert Finney and Tom Courtney are perfect in their roles and play together so well. Finney as I said earlier plays an overblown guy and then when we least expect it, his expression changes and we can see in his face what he is really thinking. We know the sadness and the light with Finney's wonderful expressions. Tom Courtney plays it close to the vest and what you see is what you get.

Highly Highly Recommended. prisrob 06-01-09

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on May 21, 2009
This is one of those wonderful British films that are hilarious and poignant at the same time. One feels free to laugh at events which would ordinarily be sad, or even tragic. There is always, however, an underlying tenderness - an emotion which the British films can so effortlessly evoke.
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Reggie Conyngham-Jarvis and Roy Southgate are two very different Englishmen whose wives die in the same hospital at the same time. Reggie, a blustery and bumbling old RAF officer from a titled and wealthy family, doesn't have much money left and has few life skills like cooking. Roy is a retired milkman who can cook and clean house but has hardly any friends. A social worker suggests that Roy move in with Reggie, and the two agree to give it a try. The two men clash with and irritate each other, but gradually develop grudging respect and finally genuine friendship for each other.

This movie is a top-notch production with a superb cast. In the US it was originally shown on Masterpiece Theater. That's where I saw it first, and I have never forgotten it. There are some extremely amusing moments, chiefly involving Reggie (one of Albert Finney's greatest characters), as well as some deeply moving ones. Viewers will gain many insights about the British class system,but chiefly they will enjoy the rapport between the two main characters as they cope with the universal issues of growing old, accepting losses, and coming to terms with old tragedies.
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on July 20, 2013
I love my movie collection 97% was bought from amazon I will continue to collect and I do from this sight and all movies were in excellent condition whether bought pre-owned or brand new not once did I receive a broke or scratched movie . Just make sure you read about the seller that they have good scores and reviews.
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