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The Europeans

6.21 h 31 min1979U
It's the fall of 1850, a few miles outside Boston. The household of the dour Mr. Wentworth receives two unannounced visitors from Europe, Eugenia and Felix, the daughter and son of his half sister.
James Ivory
Lee RemickRobin EllisWesley Addy
None Available
Audio Languages
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Supporting actors
Tim ChoatLisa Eichhorn
Ismael Merchant
Curzon Artificial Eye
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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3.8 out of 5 stars

64 global ratings

  1. 44% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 18% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 22% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 10% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Nicholas CasleyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 07 September 2012
3.0 out of 5 stars
Beware Peculiar Influences
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This is a Merchant ivory chamber-work, filmed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Henry James, on whose novella this film is based, argued that character in itself is plot enough. Thus there is not much of a story, but rather a clash of different attitudes to life.

His story is set in mid-nineteenth-century New England. Brother Felix and sister Eugenia, whose lives have been wholly lived in Europe, come to visit their cousins who live in an old-style middle-class family living seven miles from Boston. The family's patriarch warns the rest of his charges that the presence of the Europeans will expose the family "to peculiar influences".

These "peculiar influences" at first comprise such seemingly innocent pleasures as sitting for portraits and going on rides in the surrounding countryside, but then the perfume of romance settles in the air and things get complicated.

The film has its fair share of archetypes: the puritan patriarch; two daughters, one wayward, the other sensible; the falling son; the bachelor cousin; the aged aunt; and the passionate non-conformist minister. As one would expect of a Merchant Ivory film, it's all well-staged and shot with much attention to period detail. But the film has a staged style verging on parody. If there was an American version of Monty Python, they would have fun emulating the film.
6 people found this helpful
Persistent GardenerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 August 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Subtitles for the Hard-of-Hearing
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This is a fine film, beautifully photographed and acted.
Film Four had the courtesy to include English Subtitles for the Hard-of-Hearing.
There are no extras on the DVD.
2 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 December 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Faithful version of Henry James' novel
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I liked the acute sense of period in this film version of Henry James' novel. Superbly cast, especially the wonderful Lee Remick.
fridge magnetReviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 November 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Early Merchant Ivory
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Unlike a lot of period drama today they didn't have much money for extras so the main cast had to work at it...
One person found this helpful
James HollandReviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 December 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most beautiful of Merchant Ivory Productions
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The Europeans was the first of the Merchant Ivory films. Using the backdrop of the Fall in New England, it combines an intelligent dialogue with a most beautiful montage of deep scarlet and greens of autumn. The mellifluous music to accompany this produces a beauty and charm seldom experienced in the world of cinema. Highly recommended
One person found this helpful
Chicken galoreReviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 July 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Europeans: mesmerizing, beautifully done!
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Relish the clash and ensuing mixture of culture when Europeans wish to make the acquaintance of their uncle and cousins in the young United States. A European brother and sister, worldly in their ways, arrive unannounced in New England. There their world clashes with that of their cousins, the pious and pure Wentworths. A thickening plot of mistrust, enfolding love and devotion follows. The film culminates in three betrothals. Which family members marry, and which do not? How do the European ways mix with the free-fought and pious American ones? The Europeans is an absolute must see film!
The setting of the film in Indian summer with its golden foliage is absolutely breathtaking. Lee Remick's performance in the role of the European sister, Eugenia, is her most fine-lined, delicate and cunning ever. This Merchant Ivory production does true justice to the Henry James novel.
The Europeans is a timeless masterpiece that is not marked by the passing of years since it was filmed in 1979. The extra features on the DVD are worthwhile. An outstanding feature is an interview with James Ivory, Ismail Merchant and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala that sheds invaluable insight into the production. I also recommend by the same producers A Passage to India, Howard's End, A Room with a View, and Remains of the Day (all available on DVD).
41 people found this helpful
pianojanReviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 April 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Europeans
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A classic production starring Lee Remick... a much missed actress who captured the Henry James style to perfection. A detailed production and a film to enjoy over and over again.
4 people found this helpful
John AherneReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 November 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Five Stars
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Brilliant product. Will purchase again. Safe packing and prompt delivery.
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