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The Europeans: The Merchant Ivory Collection


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Product Details

  • Actors: Lee Remick, Robin Ellis, Wesley Addy, Lisa Eichhorn, Tim Woodward
  • Directors: James Ivory
  • Writers: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Henry James
  • Producers: Ismail Merchant
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Mono, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: The Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2003
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000A02TU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,606 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Europeans: The Merchant Ivory Collection" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Sweet Sounds, a documentary short film by composer Richard Robbins
  • Conversation with the Filmmakers, part of a new series of interviews with Ismail Merchant, James Ivory, Ruth Prawer Jhavbala, and composer Richard Robbins

Editorial Reviews

Merchant Ivory Productions, The Criterion Collection, and Home Vision Entertainment are proud to present The Merchant Ivory Collection

This entertaining story from a delicious early novel by Henry James takes place in a New England Arcadia that stands for everything beautiful, pure and good. Into this Eden come a sophisticated European brother and sister who turn up unexpectedly on the doorstep of their staid American cousins, the Wentworths. The fortune-hunting Eugenia (Lee Remick) and her high-spirited brother Felix (Tim Woodward) turn this Puritan world upside down. The film concludes with three betrothals, like a Mozart opera. But Eugenia has been too clever, and must return to Europe as empty-handed as she came.

Customer Reviews

A bit underacted for my taste.
arthur h walker
The characters' strong individuality is well depicted, the Wentworths naivety and simplicity is touching, Eugenia's (Lee Remick--amazing!)
Nowhere Man
Great storytelling capturing the era wonderfully.
Fredric Suresh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 2, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This beautiful adaptation of the Henry James novel of the same name is an early Ivory/Merchant film. It is beautifully shot with shimmering pastoral scenes that bring to mind some wonderful impressionist paintings. The story is likewise somewhat impressionistic and centered around two brother and sister expatriates, Eugenia and Felix Young, who come from Europe to visit their wealthy American half cousins, the Wentworths, in the very bucolic, very Yankee, suburban environs of Boston in the late nineteenth century.
The Wentworths are a rather strait-laced, prim and proper, wealthy family, whose head is the dour and mistrustful old Mr. Wentworth (Wesley Addy). The family welcomes their European cousins with some trepidation and reservation, as they seem positively bohemian to them. The one exception is Gertrude Wentworth (Lisa Eichhorn) who gravitates towards her newly found, sophisticated relatives. As a flower turns to the sun, Gertrude turns to her cousins to brighten her otherwise dull and narrow world. She is not disappointed.
Eugenia (Lee Remick) proclaims to be the Baroness Munster, an unhappily married woman on the brink of divorce. Her charming brother, Felix (Tim Woodward), is a rather artistic fellow with no foreseeable prospects. Together they take the Wentworths by storm and turn their previously well ordered, somewhat provincial world, upside down. This is a slow moving film that allows the story to unfold at its own, unhurried pace.
As Eugenia and Felix leisurely weave themselves into the fabric of the Wentworths' lives, changes ensue. During their stay, a romance develops between Felix and Gertrude. Her rebuffed suitor, Mr. Brand (Norman Snow), ends up finding solace in the arms of Charlotte, Gertrude's more eminently suited sister.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 28, 2007
Format: DVD
This beautiful adaptation of the Henry James novel of the same name is an early Ivory/Merchant film. It is beautifully shot with shimmering pastoral scenes that bring to mind some wonderful impressionist paintings. The story is likewise somewhat impressionistic and centered around two brother and sister expatriates, Eugenia and Felix Young, who come from Europe to visit their wealthy American half cousins, the Wentworths, in the very bucolic, very Yankee, suburban environs of Boston in the late nineteenth century.

The Wentworths are a rather strait-laced, prim and proper, wealthy family, whose head is the dour and mistrustful old Mr. Wentworth (Wesley Addy). The family welcomes their European cousins with some trepidation and reservation, as they seem positively bohemian to them. The one exception is Gertrude Wentworth (Lisa Eichhorn) who gravitates towards her newly found, sophisticated relatives. As a flower turns to the sun, Gertrude turns to her cousins to brighten her otherwise dull and narrow world. She is not disappointed.

Eugenia (Lee Remick) proclaims to be the Baroness Munster, an unhappily married woman on the brink of divorce. Her charming brother, Felix (Tim Woodward), is a rather artistic fellow with no foreseeable prospects. Together they take the Wentworths by storm and turn their previously well ordered, somewhat provincial world, upside down. This is a slow moving film that allows the story to unfold at its own, unhurried pace.

As Eugenia and Felix leisurely weave themselves into the fabric of the Wentworths' lives, changes ensue. During their stay, a romance develops between Felix and Gertrude. Her rebuffed suitor, Mr. Brand (Norman Snow), ends up finding solace in the arms of Charlotte, Gertrude's more eminently suited sister.
Read more ›
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Nowhere Man on December 6, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this movie in a theatre 25 years ago, shortly after having read Henry James' novel, and I remember how impressed I was not only by the movie's accuracy, delicacy, splendour and faithfulness to the novel, but also by the fact that it manages to "repair" some shortcomings of Henry James' early novel.

I have been longing to watch it again ever since, so I eventually bought the DVD. Redescovering it, I was surprised by its incredible freshness and newness, after so many years. It is, indeed, a superb adaptation of James' novel, and one of the most interesting Ivory/Merchant film.

The October New England landscapes are breathtaking, costumes have authenticity, dialogues are spontaneous, and the script features without effort or ostentation the differences between the European and the American mentalities and behaviours; the atmosphere is as genuine as it can be rendered in a movie.

Acting is exceptional; the gradual symptoms of love in the main characters (the two young Americans and their European cousins) are incredibly well expressed: we witness their delight, astonishment, fever, torments, doubts, pain. But far from being graphically shown, the feelings are mostly suggested, so we guess, beyond the self-imposed discretion and reserve, the strong dilemmas and the inner fights. The real drama and utter changes in the characters' lives are like whirlpools under the perfectly calm surface of a lake. This contributes to the (false) impression of slowness or stagnation of the movie--and this, in spite of the multitude of events that occur so naturally, "comme si de rien n'était".

The characters' strong individuality is well depicted, the Wentworths naivety and simplicity is touching, Eugenia's (Lee Remick--amazing!) sophistication is truthful.
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