Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Ambassadors: Lee, Delphine & Gayle go to Paris

Another vintage BBC tv listings magazine from 1977, with a full report on that Henry James adaptation of THE AMBASSADORS, a BBC "Play of the Month", which we cannot see now, despite it starring Paul Scofield, Lee Remick, Delphine Seyrig and Gayle Hunnicutt.

For the magazine feature writer Paul Theroux took the three ladies to lunch in Paris and they explored the sights. "Driving from the Opera into the Place Vendome, past the Ritz, and the ministry that looks like a hotel, the beautiful floodlit acres with the bright obelisk, columns, balconies and ramparts, the warm illumination removing the severity from the stone, Miss Remick peered, held her breath, then said - it was her highest praise -  "Its like a set"."

Delphine in Paris, photos by Clive Arrowsmith
THE AMBASSADORS is Henry James' subtle novel about the changes wrought in the lives of some Americans by a sojourn in Paris in the 1880s. As the BBC film is not available I have ordered the book and should be able to visualise it. Scofield is the ambassador sent to Paris to bring back (shades of THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY?) a young man who has fallen under the influence of Marie de Vionnet (Seyrig); 
Remick is Maria Gostrey who has a flirtation with him, and Hunnicutt is Sarah Pocock, another ambassador sent to bring back Scofield should be as fascinating as those other James novels about Americans in Europe. Hunnicutt also featured in a BBC version of James' THE GOLDEN BOWL and Lee had done the Merchant/Ivory THE EUROPEANS in 1979.. This was the era when the BBC were investing a lot in these classical productions with fascinating casts, all the more odd that these were shown just once, and never seen again and not available now, when most of the leads are no longer with us, as per my previous posts below ... Tbe play was produced by Cedric Messina and directed by James Cellan Jones. Lucky Mr Theroux to be in Paris with the three ladies ... though at the restaurant Miss Seyrig recommended a fish called Lot, which they all enjoyed, which turned out to be conger eel!

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