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The Wings of the Dove (1997)

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An impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover, befriends an American heiress. When she discovers the heiress is attracted to her own lover and is dying, she sees a chance to have both the privileged life she cannot give up and the lover she cannot live without.

Director:

Iain Softley

Writers:

Henry James (novel), Hossein Amini (screenplay)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Helena Bonham Carter ... Kate Croy
Linus Roache ... Merton
Alex Jennings ... Lord Mark
Charlotte Rampling ... Aunt Maude
Ben Miles ... Journalist 1
Philip Wright Philip Wright ... Journalist 2
Michael Gambon ... Kate's Father
Alexander John Alexander John ... Butler
Alison Elliott ... Milly
Elizabeth McGovern ... Susan
Shirley Chantrell Shirley Chantrell ... Opium Den Lady
Diana Kent ... Merton's Party Companion
Georgio Serafini Georgio Serafini ... Eugenio
Rachele Crisafulli Rachele Crisafulli ... Concierge
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Storyline

Kate Croy's (Helena Bonham Carter's) mother was born to wealth and privilege, but she threw it all away to marry Kate's Father (Sir Michael Gambon), a penniless opium addict who admits to having stolen from his wife. After her mother's death, Kate is offered an opportunity to return to the life her mother gave up. There is one condition, however: Kate must sever all of her old ties, not only to her father, but also to her lover, the muck-raking journalist Merton Densher (Linus Roache), whom she has promised marriage. Kate reluctantly agrees to this, and in the meantime becomes friendly with "the world's richest orphan", Milly Theale (Alison Theale), an American making the Grand Tour. Desperate to see Kate, Merton crashes a party that she and Milly are attending, and Milly is attracted to him. When Kate learns that Milly is dying, she comes up with a plan to have her cake and eat it too, but all does not go as planned. Written by RK

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A couple with everything but money. An heiress with everything but love. A temptation no one could resist.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wings of the Dove See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$183,610, 9 November 1997

Gross USA:

$13,692,848

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,692,848
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax, Renaissance Dove See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the distinctive pleated gowns worn in the Venice scenes are designed to look like gowns produced by the Italian designer Fortuny. Fortuny pleated gowns were popular amongst wealthy European women in the early 1910s for their simplicity, form-fitting design and Greco-Roman influences. The gowns in this movie, however, were created by contemporary husband and wife team Charles and Patricia Lester, who create modern gowns with a similar pleat. See more »

Goofs

The tile pattern on the Underground stations the train passes through at the beginning of the film are identical in pattern and color for each station. Each station on the Piccadilly line had its own tile pattern and color scheme so that the illiterate could still recognize their station without needing to read the station name. See more »

Quotes

Merton: You want me to seduce a dying girl? And what makes you think she'll just leave me all her money?
Kate: I know her. I know how she loves.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 71st Annual Academy Awards (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Poetic, subtle, and beautiful
14 June 2000 | by silkrabbitSee all my reviews

"The Wings of the Dove" poetically unveils itself with beautiful visuals and explorations in to the complexities of desire. A tragic irony, with an excellent finale. This movie also contains the most painfully emotive sex scene that I have ever seen; as it is honest and detailed with emotions that so rarely are captured this brilliantly in 'art'. This movie is intimate.


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