Cinder Path

Overview

This period drama was based on the best-selling novel by Catherine Cookson. Edward MacFell (Tom Bell) is a violent and tyrannical man who operates a large farm, but treats both his family and hired help with casual brutality. One day, Edward pushes someone too far and is killed. While his son Charlie (Lloyd Owen) witnessed the murder, he refuses to inform on the guilty party. But there is another witness, Ginger Slater (Antony Byrne), who sees this as a perfect opportunity to make a fortune through blackmail. ...
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Overview

This period drama was based on the best-selling novel by Catherine Cookson. Edward MacFell (Tom Bell) is a violent and tyrannical man who operates a large farm, but treats both his family and hired help with casual brutality. One day, Edward pushes someone too far and is killed. While his son Charlie (Lloyd Owen) witnessed the murder, he refuses to inform on the guilty party. But there is another witness, Ginger Slater (Antony Byrne), who sees this as a perfect opportunity to make a fortune through blackmail. Circumstances force Charlie to marry Victoria Chapman (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a woman with a scandalous reputation, even though he's in love with her sister Nellie (Maria Miles), but both affairs are put on hold when Charlie is sent off to war. The Cinder Path was originally produced as a miniseries for British television, though an edited feature-length version was released on home video in the U.S.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
This 1994 television production, like the Catherine Cookson novel from which it derives its story, is a soap opera on a grand scale. Set in the second decade of the 20th century in the northern England of blue collars and sandpaper hands, the film keeps viewers tethered to their TVs by subjecting its hero, farm boy Charlie MacFell, to endless trials. First, MacFell must endure abuse by his brutally sadistic father, then guard a terrible secret in the aftermath of his father's murder. Next, he must cope with blackmail, an adulterous wife, and the challenge of managing the family farm. And then comes the war in Europe and a welcome vacation from his travails after he leaves home for the trenches. But a superior officer turns out to be a vengeful rival from home -- someone who knows that "terrible secret." Is there no rest for poor MacFell? As the plot thickens to a turn, viewers become hooked. Lloyd Owen, an accomplished theater actor, brilliantly portrays the hapless hero. Owen's stage experience interpreting the great playwrights -- including Shakespeare, Sophocles, and Marlowe -- enables him to play MacFell as a well-rounded human eventually made whole by his suffering. Catherine Zeta-Jones is stunningly beautiful but despicably haughty and promiscuous as the woman MacFell is trapped into marrying while her sister (Maria Miles), MacFell's true love, stands by helpless and heartbroken. Overall, the production is well-paced, allowing suspense to build as the production reaches its conclusion.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/25/2000
  • UPC: 066805300035
  • Original Release: 1994
  • Rating:

  • Source: Bfs Entertainment
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan / Stereo
  • Sound: stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:25:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Catherine Zeta-Jones Victoria Chapman
Lloyd Owen Charlie
Tom Bell Edward MacFell
Antony Byrne Ginger Slater
Maria Miles Nellie
Technical Credits
Simon Langton Director
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