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Widows' Peak

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Overview

In the Irish town of Kilshannon in the 1920s, a matriarchal clique of widows tightly sets the rules for behavior. Heading the town's ruling circle is the doughty Mrs. Counihan Joan Plowright. The only non-widow in town is a reclusive middle-aged spinster, Miss O'Hare Mia Farrow, who seems to be guarding some kind of secret. Crashing into this provincial coterie is dashing, urbane Edwina Broome Natasha Richardson, who immediately starts feuding with O'Hare, for no apparent good reason. Broome mangles O'Hare's ...
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Overview

In the Irish town of Kilshannon in the 1920s, a matriarchal clique of widows tightly sets the rules for behavior. Heading the town's ruling circle is the doughty Mrs. Counihan Joan Plowright. The only non-widow in town is a reclusive middle-aged spinster, Miss O'Hare Mia Farrow, who seems to be guarding some kind of secret. Crashing into this provincial coterie is dashing, urbane Edwina Broome Natasha Richardson, who immediately starts feuding with O'Hare, for no apparent good reason. Broome mangles O'Hare's prize roses and bumps her skiff in a boat race. Counihan's dimwitted son, Godfrey Adrian Dunbar, proposes marriage to Edwina. Eventually, the true motives of all involved are revealed. ~ Michael Betzold
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The mounting conflict between Mia Farrow and Natasha Richardson in Widows' Peak makes for a fun poke at the usual stuffy-shirted mentality of period pieces, and it puts the viewer in the position of rooting for different characters at different junctures depending on the latest salvo fired in the battle. The payoff, moreover, is well worth the wait. Widows' Peak is a welcome installation in the wave of quirky British comedies that swept the cinema in the 1990s, with funny performances by both leads, as well as the men in their lives and the matriarch who oversees the roost (Joan Plowright). The underhanded tactics used by both women to gain favor in the community are at odds with the level of propriety practiced by most of the townspeople, making for a freshness that mostly keeps the narrative from dragging. The "loose lips sink ships" theory is also at work, as an equally gauche gossip-monger helps propel the events of the plot, as well as making hypocrites out of those who listen. In both story and execution, the film snubs its nose at snobbery. A minor film to be sure, Widows' Peak should please both the Masterpiece Theatre crowd and those who enjoy more ribald flights of fancy like Waking Ned Devine.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/16/1996
  • UPC: 794043429835
  • Original Release: 1994
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Line Home Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mia Farrow Miss O'Hare
Joan Plowright Mrs. Doyle Counihan
Natasha Richardson Edwina Broome
Adrian Dunbar Godfrey
Jim Broadbent Clancy
Anne Kent Miss Grubb
John Kavanagh Canon
Rynagh O'Grady Maddie
Gerard McSorley Gaffney
Michael James Ford Rokesby
Garrett Keogh Grogan
Britta Smith Mrs. Colgan
Sheila Flitton Mrs. Mulrooney
Marie Conmee Mrs. Lawless
Ingrid Craigie Mrs. Purdieu
Doreen Keogh Mrs. Buckley
Eileen Colgan Mrs. Fogerty
Phelim Drew FX
Jasmine Russell Bridgie
Tina Kellegher Dolores
Malcolm Douglas Townie
Clive Geraghty Garda Super
Rachel Dowling Tall Thin Girl
Maria McDernottroe Penitent
Michael Casey Pianist
Technical Credits
John Irvin Director
Leo Austin Production Designer
Consolata Boyle Costumes/Costume Designer
Lois Burwell Makeup
Carl Davis Score Composer
Gerry Johnston Special Effects
Hugh Leonard Screenwriter
Peter Lindsay Musical Direction/Supervision
Steven Mackler Producer
Jo Manuel Producer
Michael White Executive Producer
Nuala Moiselle Casting
Martin O'Malley Asst. Director
Ashley Rowe Cinematographer
Julian Schlossberg Producer
Tracey Seaward Co-producer
Peter Tanner Editor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 29, 2012

    The Female of the Species is More Deadly Than the Male

    I really enjoyed this little mystery/drama, wrapped in a layer of witty humor so typical of the Brits. Apparently the movie was written for television, but I never suspected that while watching it and only learned of its origins while reading online reviews. The movie paints a lush picture of charming village life in 1920s Ireland. The costumes and cinematography are beautiful, the screenplay is driven by dialogue and character, and the cast is excellent.

    The quaint village of Kilshannon is unofficially ruled by a bevy of wealthy widows led by Mrs. Doyle-Coonan (Joan Plowright), who believe they represent the town’s moral high ground. Mrs. Doyle-Coonan, a benevolent dictator, spends much of her time keeping a watchful eye on village manners and morals through the lens of her brass telescope. Among those whom she monitors is Widow O'Hare (Mia Farrow), a relative newcomer who, in addition to growing prize roses, has attracted the amorous attentions of the village dentist (Jim Broadbent).

    One day, village life is suddenly turned upside down with the arrival of a young and glamorous new widow, Mrs. Edwina Broome (Natasha Richardson), who not only sets her cap for the doyenne's pampered son but is soon at loggerheads with the Widow O'Hare. Not only does Edwina upset the reigning matriarchal hierarchy, but her unexplained feud with Miss O’Hare casts a sinister shroud of mystery over the insular community. Scandalous revelations ensue, leading to a mysterious disappearance suggestive of murder, and culminating in a surprise ending. A very enjoyable twisted tale. This film should appeal to those who enjoyed Enchanted April, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, and Ladies in Lavender.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dvd Damaged.

    I only got to watch about half of this movie and it quit working. What I saw was fair but probably won't bother returning. I wasn't interested enough to bother with.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews