The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott
While searching for a Sunday afternoon movie to watch, I was immediately drawn to The Inheritance for several reasons. First, it is based on the novel written by Louisa May Alcott. Second, like the book Little Women, the setting is during the Victorian Era which was actually Alcott's contemporary time. And, last but not least, because Meredith Baxter stars in the movie and she is one of my favorite leading ladies.
The hairstyles, the clothes, the home decor, all appeal to me. From the very beginning, I expected to like The Inheritance and I was not disappointed. For 90 minutes I was transported to New England in the 1800's and the world of haut monde.
Plot of the Movie, The Inheritance
As a companion to a beautiful, wealthy young woman, Edith is caught between the world of a servant and the the lifestyle of the wealthy.
The InheritanceIn infancy, Edith was a survivor of an epidemic that swept Italy and the home of Mr. Hamilton's estranged brother who died from the illness. Since Edith's mother, a maid in the brother's home, was also a victim of the epidemic, Edith was brought to Evenswood and raised alongside Hamilton's own daughter, Amy. The girls are great friends, perhaps even as close a sisters. Edith's days are spent reading, practicing archery, playing lawn tennis and chumming around with Amy. Her clothes and hairstyle are more in line with society, but her status is that of a servant, except one with special privileges like playing the piano, riding the horses and partaking in family teas. In fact, there are times when she is treated more like family than staff.
Early into the movie, a distant cousin to Mrs. Hamilton, is invited to visit. Mrs. Hamilton has agreed to help Ida find a suitable husband. As a matter of fact, Ida's visit coincides with a visit from a very eligible, wealthy gentleman, James Percy, who Mrs. Hamilton hopes will be enchanted by her cousin, Ida. In her mind, it is all a neat and easy arrangement. However, James is more enchanted by Edith, and Ida is a nasty, spiteful woman who takes an instant dislike to Edith.
As the title of the book and movie would imply, there is definitely an unexpected turn of events in the plot. The resolution of the story is quite satisfying in spite of the temporary tension felt during portions of the movie.
Now I want to read the book! I am certain it would be even more intriguing than the movie since Louisa May Alcott never disappoints readers. Plus, I know it will be more detailed and in depth.
One note of interest, the movie takes place in New England, yet in the book, the setting is England. In the movie, Lord and Lady Hamilton of the book, are Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton. Either way, the movie was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I can highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys an old fashioned romantic historical movie.
The Book (1997-04-01)The Inheritance on DVD
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