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A Woman of Independent Means


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Academy Award-winning actress Sally Field gives an acclaimed performance in the title role of the inspiring Emmy-nominated miniseries A WOMAN OF INDEPENDENT MEANS.

From a young age Bess Steed Garner has always known how to arrange other people s lives to suit her own needs. After her beloved husband dies suddenly of influenza, Bess is faced with the difficult challenges of keeping both his business and her family intact. This celebrated miniseries spans seven decades in the life of a woman determined to make her own decisions during a time when women s rights were limited and independence was discouraged.

Based on the perennially bestselling novel by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey that sold over a million copies worldwide, this moving adaptation of A WOMAN OF INDEPENDENT MEANS provides a compelling portrait of one woman s strength, courage, and defiance.

DVD Features: Cast Biographies; Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey Bibliography

Amazon.com

This absorbing three-part series begins as Bess (Sally Field, fresh from Forrest Gump), a proper Dallas lady, marries Rob (Ghost's Tony Goldwyn), her childhood sweetheart. All should be sunshine and roses, except Bess finds marriage unfulfilling. Rob, as she puts it, "has a purpose." Despite her roles as wife and mother, Bess feels she lacks one of her own (14-year age difference aside, Field and Goldwyn make a convincing couple). Rob’s mother (My Left Foot's Brenda Fricker) joins the household before the arrival of their third child, but Mother Steed remains in Texas when they move to St. Louis during the First World War. As Bess's fortunes rise and fall, she communicates her feelings through the letters she writes to friends and relations (Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey's 1978 novel follows the same structure). When fate takes Rob out of the picture, Bess returns to Texas, where two different suitors step in, the courtly Arthur Fineman (Ali's Ron Silver) and brash Sam Garner (Breaker Morant's Jack Thompson). No man, however, will ever take the place of her first love--or her children.

Filmed on location in Galveston and Houston and directed by the omnivorous Robert Greenwald (Xanadu, Outfoxed), A Woman of Independent Means illustrates its title character's observation that "one life is simply not enough for all the lessons there are to learn." Fortunately, the Oscar-winning Field makes the journey one worth taking. In addition, costume designer Julie Weiss won an Emmy for her richly detailed work. --Kathleen C. Fennessy


Special Features

  • Cast biographies
  • Elizabeth Forsythe Haley bibliography

Product Details

  • Actors: Sally Field, Ron Silver, Tony Goldwyn
  • Directors: Robert Greenwald
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video (New REleaset)
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 234 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0016OKQO4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,073 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Woman of Independent Means" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Wonderful story line, excellent acting.
Lynda K. Herrington
It was totally entertaining and Sally Field does a great job portraying Bess in the video.
Doris Stephens
I chose this movie because Sally Field is one of the best actors in the business.
Fan of British video

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By kayak queen on October 31, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This interesting film follows the life of a lady from Texas from her very early years in the late 19th century through her passing in the late 1960s. While the title intimates that the character has wealth, the true wealth of the character comes from her spirit in overcoming advertisies, the loss of a child, death of her husband while a young woman, raising her remaining children during the depression, etc. Acting throughout the film is very good and thanks to the good writing of the best-selling book the scriptwriting is based on, the story does not fall into the trap of becoming sappy. The attention to detail in costuming, sets, etc. make the several hours of this mini-series a delight. The story is engaging and you will wish it could go on longer at the end.
This film reminded me of some of the better BBC productions but in an American setting. I am not sure guys would love it, but it is a great chick-flick.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lynda K. Herrington on April 25, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved this when I saw it as a mini-series on TV. Was thrilled when I discovered it had been made into a DVD. Wonderful story line, excellent acting.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Aker on December 7, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although this 1995 miniseries seems to be little known and mostly forgotten, fans of the Sally Field tear-jerker should give this a watch. The story follows Bess Steed from girlhood to old age. Ms. Field brings a unique level of performance to make her audience feel the hurt, anger, and the sting of tears as she deals with injury, sickness, death and even suicide during the course of her life. You can't help but get caught up in this wonderfully told story of life, love and loss. I often found myself cheering for, and crying with the lovely Bess.
Other notable actors and actresses include Tony Gold of Ghost fame, Charles Durning, Ron Silver, the wonderful Brenda Fricker, and Jack Thompson as the ever present Sam round out the cast of characters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Leslie C. on January 3, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is my all-time favorite movie! I like movies and books about strong, independent women and this character is up there with Scarlett. The scenery is beautiful, the story is uplifting and engaging to watch. All of the actors really pull you into the story. Sally is one of the actors to pull off a Southern accent that doesn't seem forced or fake and I'm from Texas so I should know.

When I just want to relax and watch a movie that I love every part of, I watch this one. I never tire of it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By halfpint on January 30, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In the 1980's, television did much to educate, as well as to entertain the masses. This miniseries was one of many to be brought to the small screen in a big way. The story telling was excellent, the acting and sets superb.
It is a shame that it became cost prohibitive to continuuing to bring such great entertainment to the masses. But thanks to the different production companies, transferring them to DVD for viewing by future audiences, one can still find good, informative, and entertaining fare on your TV today.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Shirley A. Armstrong on April 12, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
one of the best movies ever made
watch it a least once a month
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gail E. Valdez on March 14, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Sally Fields is always a pleasure to watch. With this movie she--believably--ages 70 years. For those who want to spend a day curled up with a good movie, this is it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By islandkitty on February 13, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ordered this mini series having never seen it and I was captivated by it and Sally's performance, as usual, was superb. It is a must-see mini series if you ever get one. You will thoroughly enjoy this and even men would too, I believe.
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