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Robert Louis Stevenson's St. Ives (1998)

Jean-Marc Barr , Miranda Richardson , Harry Hook  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jean-Marc Barr, Miranda Richardson, Richard E. Grant, Anna Friel, Michael Gough
  • Directors: Harry Hook
  • Writers: Allan Cubitt, Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Producers: Christine Ruppert, David M. Thompson, James Mitchell, Jean Labib, Jonathan Cavendish
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2001
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NB9X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,117 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Robert Louis Stevenson's St. Ives" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Starring screen favorite Miranda Richardson (SLEEPY HOLLOW, THE CRYING GAME) Robert Louis Stevenson's ST. IVES is a witty, romantic comedy in the spirited style of EMMA and AN IDEAL HUSBAND. During the Napoleonic Wars, a handsome French officer, Captain Jacques St. Ives (Jean-Marc Barr -- DANCER IN THE DARK), is captured in battle and brought to a prisoner of war camp in Scotland. Once there, adventure and daring await when he meets and falls in love with a beautiful local woman (Anna Friel -- ROGUE TRADER), befriends the prison camp's British Major (Richard E. Grant -- SPICE WORLD), and discovers his long-lost grandfather living just down the road

Not to be confused with the Charles Bronson vehicle of the same name, St. Ives--All for Love when it debuted on the BBC--is based on St. Ives: Being the Adventures of a French Prisoner in England, by Robert Louis Stevenson. The irreverent tale revolves around the exploits of Captain Jacques St. Ives (Jean-Marc Barr from The Big Blue). In 1813 he's captured by the British and thrown in jail; things aren't all bad, however. While there, he meets the droll Miss Gilchrist (Miranda Richardson) and her lovely niece, Flora (Anna Friel), who take an interest in the prisoner. For Jacques and Flora, it's love at first sight--although Major Chevening (Richard E. Grant) had his eye on her first. Not long afterward, Jacques escapes and makes an enemy out of his long lost brother Alain (Jason Isaacs), who's been living in Scotland and looking to take over the family fortune upon the death of their grandfather (Michael Gough, Alfred from the Batman series); Jacques thought Alain had been killed with their parents during the French Revolution. The escaped prisoner represents a threat to his brother and to the major, and things can only get worse for him... or can they? St. Ives looks and feels much like a Masterpiece Theatre production, but with a more humorous bent (as well as a little nudity). Sometimes the humor works (mostly when Richardson and Grant are on the screen), sometimes not (Barr is less consistent), but it's rarely as stuffy as most other literary adaptations. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful and charming little film... June 16, 2004
I saw this movie in a hotel in Inverary, Scotland and it took me three years to finally figure out what it actually was called. I never forgot it and when I saw a preview on another movie I have, I immediatly ordered it.
St. Ives is an utterly delicious romp. It is charming, funny, and romantic, with momemtary lapses in humour that so many comedies these days seem to lack. It follows the adventures of Jaques St. Ives (played with great skill by Jean-Marc Barr) one of Napolean's hussars. St. Ives, after contriving to get himself demoted in order to escape a number of duels inadvertanly tumbles into a camp of British soldiers and ends up in Scotland as a prisoner of war. There he meets charming Miss Flora and her wordly aunt (Anna Friel and Miranda Richardson) and comes across the uptight Major, played with hilarious British prudishness by Richard E Grant. After a daring escape, a run in with his long lost brother, and a balloon ride, everything settles nicely down to a very happy, sweet ending.
The film is perfectly cast. Jean-Marc Barr traipses through it with suave French heroicism, and Miranda Richardson sparkles as an interesting combination of proper British lady and worldly adventureous. Anna Friel is fresh faced and innocent, her laugh is infectous and Richard E. Grant kept me laughing. Jason Iasacs is also notable as St. Ives' brother.
It is a vividly shot film, with the colours bright and pure, and the soundtrack bounces along in perfect accordance to the light, humourous feel of the movie. In essense, this movie is a miniature feast for the eyes, and the heart.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I bought this film on a whim and will watch it more than once. The DVD version has been digitally mastered and is very beautiful--the blues and reds of the English and French uniforms, the greens of the countryside, the stunning blue of the hot air baloon, the white sand of the coast.
Robert Louis Stevenson, a 19th Century English writer whose illustrious compatriots include Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Jane Eyre wrote ST IVES--the book the film is based upon. This tale is somewhat reminiscent of a Jane Austen story with its lover's angst, but it lacks Austen's irony and amazing plot twists. Also, Janie did not include the blood and guts and sex depicted on the screen in ST IVES--but did Robinson? In some ways, ST IVES is more akin to the French tales of the Ancien regime (VALMONT) than the English tales of the Regency period, but unlike the French stories, this tale is relatively upbeat (there are some deaths).
Perhaps one might liken ST IVES to the Scarlet Pimpernel but the hero is a real Frenchman, not an English Aristocrat posing as one. St Ives is also fighting for Napoleon when he isn't dueling "wanabees" or chasing pretty women. One day, St Ives finds himself an English prisoner-of-war after back-slapping pal (his second at his numerous duels) unwittingly causes him to slide down an embankment into the waiting arms of British soldiers.
St Ives captors transport him to Scotland, where he is placed under the watchful eye and lock and key of Major Chevening who is a bit resentful of having been kept out of the fracas on the continent. Chevening has been ineffectively courting the delicious Flora, niece of Miss Gilcrist. In an amazing turn of events, Miss Gilchrist (who is extemely worldly) and St.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story, and Jason Isaacs to boot! March 2, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie is a textbook example of building a taut story through emotional conflict and fast-paced action.
At every turn the hero is faced with some new challenge that makes accomplishing his goal just a little more difficult. Along the way, he displays such charm, nobility, and courage you can't help but fall in love with him. This is a hero you would follow from bedroom to battlefield, palace to prison.
This story, and the overwhelming conflict, keeps the reader interested because Stevenson's protagonist has strong emotional appeal. You find yourself rooting for St. Ives at every turn, groaning when he is captured, gasping when someone he trusts turns on him.
The actors are well cast, especially the delicious Jason Isaacs (Colonel Tavington in The Patriot) as the villain.
The humor is tongue-in-cheek.
A sure hit!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Napoleonic Era Romp August 8, 2005
What a fun movie St. Ives is. It reminds me of the type of film made during the 40's. Classic story, rounded off by characters and a plot that is neither over dramatic nor overtly complicated. In fact it isn't over anything. Robert Lewis Stevenson's story - here adapted for the screen - reads like Jane Austen for men. We do get a tale that has a romance at its heart, but there is plenty of fun too: battle scenes (sort of), prison escapes, mistaken identities, swordplay, and the funniest line I've heard in years: "Only in Scotland would guests be announced by name at a masked ball." There is much hilarity, hardship, and not a little heartbreak as St. Ives tries to fight and find his way back to a family and life he barely knew.

The cast is absolutely stellar with the too infrequently seen Jean Marc Barr absolutely perfect in the title role. Anna Friel is a refreshing delight as the resourceful Flora and Miranda Richardson nearly walks away with the movie as her worldly, seen-it-all Aunt Susan. Richard Grant provides comic relief of the highest order.

This is not going to be the greatest movie anyone has ever seen, but it's charms are undeniable and the entire film fairly bristles with an energy that bursts with life.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Plain Fun!
Take time to enjoy this rollicking romance set in 1813. Everything about this movie is just right. The casting is superb, the story engrossing, the pace perfect and the ending is... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Doug Erlandson
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful surprise
I do believe Robert Louis Stevenson would approve of this witty, endearing and adventurous retelling of his classic story.
Jean Marc Barr, Miranda Richardson, Richard E. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Deb Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming Script
A lighthearted romp with scamps and villains costumed &
charming. Enjoy with a glass of vino at the end of a day
and enter this picturesque world of witty make-believe... Read more
Published 8 months ago by KatesCarrys
4.0 out of 5 stars liked the movie
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... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Sunshine
4.0 out of 5 stars What a charming surprise!
I got this film as part of an anthology set of eight British films. I had no idea what to expect other than the blurb, and knowing and liking some of the English actors (Miranda... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Darlene I. Aigen
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical romantic comedy that is surprisingly not as dry as the...
I enjoy watching historical stories from time to time and I saw this one on Netflix and was pleasantly surprised. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Julie Stratton
1.0 out of 5 stars Robert Louis Stevenson's St. Ives
This movie made absolutely no sense whatsoever, and I fast-forwarded through most of it. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, and am not keeping it. No fault of seller, Amazon, etc. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Booklover
3.0 out of 5 stars St. Ives
This is a fair way to spend a couple of hours but not the serious movie I expected. It is whimsical and cute rather than interesting and I found myself just waiting for it to end. Read more
Published on December 30, 2011 by Daryle G. Graham
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple but satisfying
I love this movie. The only reason I give it four stars is because some of the attempts at comedy were a bit lame. But it was a classic love story and I love happy endings. Read more
Published on January 28, 2011 by Emily D. Agunod
2.0 out of 5 stars mildly diverting
This movie has a good enough cast, great locations and costumes but it is plagued by flashbacks, trite plot devices and excessive irony! Read more
Published on December 18, 2010 by Judith Johnson
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