A Summer Story

  • 1988
  • 1 HR 36 MIN
  • PG-13
  • Romance

Based on John Galsworthy's novella The Apple Tree, this story of failed romance is set in the West Country of England in 1902. While hiking with a chum through picturesque Dartmoor, Wilby, a well-heeled London barrister and sometime poet, injures his ankle. As luck would have it, a comely, flaxen-haired farm lass (Stubbs) is on hand, and she escorts Wilby...read more

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Based on John Galsworthy's novella The Apple Tree, this story of failed romance is set in the West Country of England in 1902. While hiking with a chum through picturesque Dartmoor, Wilby, a well-heeled London barrister and sometime poet, injures his ankle. As luck would have it, a

comely, flaxen-haired farm lass (Stubbs) is on hand, and she escorts Wilby to her aunt's farmhouse. He boards there while his ankle heals, and he and Stubbs fall in love. Stubbs's aunt (York) and her loutish son (Flynn), to whom the beauty has been "promised," are mightily upset by this blossoming

relationship. Soon they make it clear to Wilby that he has worn out his welcome. He leaves, but not before planning a rendezvous with Stubbs to take her away to London. He goes to Torquay, a coastal resort town, to get money to carry out his plan. There he runs into an old schoolmate (Elmes). He

tells Elmes of his plans, but his friend's doubts about the suitability of the match soon have Wilby questioning his love for Stubbs. Part TESS, part THE STORY OF ADELE H., part THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN, and all "Masterpiece Theater," this would-be tearjerker is gorgeously produced but

disappointingly predictable and manipulative. Director Piers Haggard (VENOM) and novelist-screenwriter Penelope Mortimer have invested Galsworthy's story with precious little passion, presenting instead a tame melodrama. To be sure, film newcomer Imogen Stubbs, recent darling of the Royal

Shakespeare Company, is an arresting screen presence, but, despite her earnestness, she and James Wilby (MAURICE) have little chemistry.

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