Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Vanessa
Redgrave, Helena Bonham
Carter, Emma Thompson, James
Wilby, and Prunella Scales.
Genre: Societal Drama
Runtime: 140 weeks
Distributor: Sony Classics
Director: James Ivory
Producer: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala ON THE
NOVEL BY: E.M. Forster
Writer: Ismail Merchant
Address Comments To:
(L, H) No obscenities and 4 profanities and a humanistic worldview.
HOWARD'S END, based on E. M. Forster's novel, concerns a romantic involvement of two English families and the inheritance of a beloved ancestral home. Photography, especially of the English countryside, is beautiful, and overall, the acting is commendable and the film well crafted. However, there is also adultery and profanity, and a heavy-handed endorsement of humanistic social justice.
HOWARD'S END, based on the novel by E.M. Forster, begins with the rejection of young Helen Schlegel by young Mr. Wilcox who states that he must go to Africa to learn his father's trade. The Schlegels are cosmopolitan, liberated, humane, and humanistic. In contrast, the Wilcox family is stuffy, crusty and complex, exuding insecurity and joylessness despite its vast wealth. Mrs. Ruth Wilcox becomes a friend of Margaret Schlegel. Just before dying, Ruth Wilcox wills the summer house, Howard's End, to Margaret. The Wilcoxes get ahold of the paper and destroy it to keep the house. Mr. Wilcox asks Margaret to marry him. After some time, a tired Mr. Wilcox, racked by one damaging incident after another, apportions his fortune to his heirs, and Howard's End is given to Margaret, the rightful owner.
Despite its humanistic bent, there is much which can be enjoyed about HOWARD'S END, such as its beautiful photography. However, regrettably, there is also adultery and profanity. It is unfortunate, however, that E. M. Forster would have employed his considerable talent to give such a heavy-handed endorsement of humanistic social justice, as he did in this case.