NOTE: This review was written under a previous rating system. Some of the older reviews may express opinions and judgment calls that are not in line with our current standards.1986
A&E Television Network, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Once upon a time, a bright young clergyman fell in love with a sweet little sadomasochist, and after facing the inconvenience of a few inappropriately low necklines and the interference of the girl’s other admirer (who seemed to think that “d--n it” was a standard form of punctuation), this charming couple… well, to be honest, I can’t say for certain just what they went on to do in this version of the movie.
The movie opens with rather graphic images from a vampire saga young Catherine has been reading—images in which Catherine has pictured herself in the heroine’s place... which happens to be that of the vampire’s victim. Subsequently, we see her (in her smiling, wide-eyed imagination) being dragged violently through the yard, wrapped in naught but a sheet, by a man whose intentions we’re left to conjecture on our own. Later on we see her writhing in anguish, being tied to a bed by two evil-looking men, who proceed (at the request of her gleefully conscious imagination) to slit her wrists. And, you know, after watching these segments, I finally determined that erotic blood-and-torture fantasies really don’t suit Jane Austen very well… or me, either.
There is more of the story that takes place in between Catherine’s bouts of masochism, but I could not find anything worthy enough in it to tempt me to finish the movie. It is possible that other people might have seen the entire film, and discovered that the movie turned out to be really great after the point I chose to shut it off; and if that be the case… I think I’ll probably just let them review the rest of the 1986 Northanger Abbey.