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The Wings of the Dove


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Product Details

  • Actors: Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, Alison Elliot, Elizabeth McGovern, Michael Gambon
  • Directors: Ian Softley
  • Writers: Hossein Amini
  • Producers: Stephen Evans, David Parfitt
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006HAJ99K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,024 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

A highly acclaimed, outstanding movie, The Wings Of The Dove is a provocative tale of passion, temptation and greed. Helena Bonham Carter (Howards End) delivers a stunning, award-winning performance as Kate, a beautiful young society woman whose desire for a common journalist (Linus Roache) presents her with an impossible decision: leave him, or marry - and face a life of poverty. Events take an unexpected twist, however, when Kate befriends a lonely young heiress (Alison Elliott) whose own tragic secret offers an irresistible...but dangerous...solution. Nominated for 4 Academy Awards(r),* this intriguing story of forbidden love is a motion picture event you won't soon forget!

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Customer Reviews

While all of the actors are perfect in their roles, Helena Bonham Carter is magnificent.
k2
In his attempt to get what he wants, he comes even closer to something he can never have and in the final scene all that Kate can offer to him seems rather hollow.
Amazon Customer
Rarely has a film of such extraordinary visual beauty reached the profound emotional depths of this magnificently acted period film from Iain Softley.
Bobby Underwood

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on August 19, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Screenwriter Hossein Amini has abandoned the dense prose and convoluted syntax of Henry James's most complex and difficult novel and created instead a fresh, emotionally nuanced, and psychologically astute script, nominated for an Academy Award. With a remarkable cast, breathtaking cinematography (Eduardo Serra), and a soft background score filled with strings, harp, and piano (Edward Shearmur), Director Iain Softley has created a magnificent film that succeeds in being emotionally affecting, intellectually stimulating, and aesthetically rewarding, a film in which every element contributes to a satisfying whole.

Remaining true to the story of James's novel, the film introduces Kate Croy (Helena Bonham Carter) as the beautiful but impoverished niece of a wealthy socialite (Charlotte Rampling), bent upon finding her a husband of means, but Kate must sever ties with her opium-addicted father and end her relationship with Merton Densher (Linus Roache), a penniless journalist. A friend of Kate, heiress Millie Theale (Alison Elliot), invites her to Venice, where Millie insists on living life to the fullest even as she is dying of an unnamed disease. There Kate introduces Millie to Densher, to whom she is immediately attracted. Kate desperately suggests to Densher that he pursue Millie, who may, upon her death, leave Densher wealthy enough to marry Kate.

Without such a brilliant cast, such a story would resemble the worst of melodramas, but Bonham Carter (nominated for an Oscar as Best Actress) creates in Kate a character so tormented by her love that one understands her deviousness to be the result of desperation.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Viewer and Reader on November 27, 1999
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In 'The Wings of the Dove', as in 'The Portrait of a Lady', Henry James offers us his popular theme of class-conscious, fortune-hunting Brits exploiting the innocent wealthy American girl. Only this time the action is viewed from the perspective of the victimizer who becomes her own victim.
Helena Bonham Carter as Kate Croy the English adventuress, Linus Roache as Merton Densher her impecunious journalist lover, and Allison Elliot as Millie Theale their intended victim, are the principal actors in this drama of psychological twists and turns.
In the opening scene Carter, swathed from head to foot in Victorian attire, exudes an aura of compelling eroticism as she trysts with her lover, Merton, in a crowded tram-car. In the film's closing scene, in bed with him stark naked her whole body reflects the despair of her plots gone wrong. In between this sensual opening and this depressing conclusion her gorgeous face is a telling kaleidoscope of emotions. Carter can register more with her eyes than most actors can with a whole script, and the camera under Ian Softley's direction lingers upon her face as Carter's convincing expressions underscore the nuances of the action.
As Kate's plot congeals and unravels with her own conflicting emotions Carter projects a welter of pragmatic and sympathetic motives. Trapped by her love for middleclass Merton, her devotion to her penniless father, and her ambition for wealth and position, Kate inveigles herself into a close relationship with Millie, the wealthy winsome American girl making her Grand Tour even as she is dying of cancer. Millie, warm-hearted and brave, falls in love with Merton at first sight without knowing that he is Kate's lover.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 10, 2004
Format: DVD
I have been seeing previews for "The Wings of the Dove" for years on various DVDs that I have rented and finally got around to watching this adaptation of the Henry James novel. When I finished watching it the thing that struck me was how the attempt to modernize the story worked both for and against what James had written. Now, what makes this a particularly perspective to take on the film is that the adaptation by Hossein Amini moves the time frame of the story up eight years to 1910. That might seem a minor change, one scarcely worthy of note, but in 1902 good old Queen Victoria had not been in her tomb a year and the age that bears her name was still on its last legs (more to the point, James had been working on the novel for years, so it was clearly written during the Victorian Age). When you change the setting to 1910 it is then the end of the Edwardian Age, which makes a big difference, especially from the standpoint of English morality.

Kate Croy (Helena Bonham-Carter) has taken as her lover Merton Densher (Linus Roache), who has neither the position nor the fortune to win her hand. Kate's father (Michael Gambon) is destitute, and they both depend on the good graces of her dour and demanding Aunt Maude (Charlotte Rampling), who forbids the union and has a rich man in mind for Kate who seems willing to marry for love but would like it even more if money was involved. When Kate seeks independence from her aunt she enters the circle of Millie Theale (Alison Elliott), an American girl who is known as "the richest orphan in the world" and who is seeing the world before she dies, and a plan is hatched. Merton will woo Millie, marry her before she dies, and inherit her fortune, at which point he can marry Kate and the life they envision will become reality.
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