×

The Manor

Produced by Michael Svab. Co-producer, Martin Dejdar.

Produced by Michael Svab. Co-producer, Martin Dejdar.

Directed by Kenneth Berris. Screenplay, Steven Moses, Berris, based on the play “Ravenscroft” by Don Nigro. Camera (color), Vladimir Smutny; editors, Alois Fisarek, Petr Svoboda; music, Martin Svoboda, Michal Dvorak; production designer , Martin Kurel; costumes, Simona Zapletalova. Reviewed at Galaxie Multiplex, Prague, March 7, 1999. English dialogue. Original Czech title: Panstvi. Running time: 110 MIN.

With: Martin Dejdar, Greta Scacchi, Gabrielle Anwar, Laura Harris, Edie McClurg, Fay Masterson, Peter O’Toole, Matt Hantley.

Agatha Christie sendup “The Manor” is mainly notable for being the first wholly Czech-financed production made in English. Handsome turn-of-the century period pic relies on top local tech staff, and the largely English cast turn in pro perfs. But the story tries for a precarious balancing act between whodunit and comedy, with the ending derailing into farce minus the laughs. Vanity production by popular Prague actor Martin Dejdar will find offshore theatrical release a tough sell.

Bohemian-raised Scotland Yard detective Tomas Hatcher (Dejdar), sent to remote Ravenscroft Manor to investigate the death of a stable boy, Patrick (Matt Hantley), finds skeletons in every closet. Most notable is the recently deceased Mr. Ravenscroft (Peter O’Toole, holding on to his dignity by a thread), whose hobbies included dressing in white gown and veil for a midnight waltz with Patrick. Between times, Patrick serviced Mrs. Ravenscroft (Greta Scacchi, tongue-in-cheek) and rest of the female staff, apart from teen daughter Gillian (Laura Harris) and governess Charlotte (Gabrielle Anwar). Anachronistic dialogue misses the mark and Dejdar overshoots its nuances. Not reined in by helmer Kenneth Berris, he plays a theatrical drunk too big for film.

The Manor

(PERIOD COMEDY -- CZECH)

Production: A Falcon Film release (in Czech Republic) of a CEO Films presentation of an MDM production. (International sales: MDM, Prague.)

More Film

  • Picture Tree Intl. Picks Up Carolina

    Picture Tree Intl. Picks Up Carolina Hellsgård's 'Sunburned' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Picture Tree Intl. has acquired the rights to Carolina Hellsgård’s “Sunburned,” the follow-up feature to her zombie drama “Endzeit – Ever After.” PTI will be presenting first footage from the film, currently in post-production, at this year’s German Films Previews (July 3-6). “Sunburned” follows solitary teenager Claire on a family holiday in Spain. Neglected by [...]

  • Whoopi Goldberg addresses the crowd while

    Inside World Pride's Opening Ceremony: An LGBTQ Celebration With a Tinge of Politics

    World Pride officially kicked off on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. About 8,000 people packed into the arena for a three-hour show that began with Cyndi Lauper singing her hit “True Colors.” The performance ended with a gaggle of dancing drag queens who pranced alongside Lauper as she turned the train of [...]

  • Amy Adams (left) as Lynne Cheney

    Film News Roundup: Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Sets Awards Show for Jan. 11

    In today’s film news roundup, the 2020 awards season schedule gets finalized; AFM will cover immersive content; “Murderous Trance” and “7 Days to Vegas” get acquired; and Kate Katzman has been added to “The Comeback Trail.” AWARDS DATE The Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists Guild has set Jan. 11 as the date for its seventh [...]

  • Disney Pandora World Of Avatar, Lake

    The Piano Guys Play 'Avatar' Theme in Disney World (Watch)

    The YouTube sensation The Piano Guys have taken a trip to the world of Pandora for a performance of the theme to “Avatar.” Shot in the bioluminescent floating forest in Disney World, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson and pianist Jon Schmidt put their spin on the score to James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster. The video immerses the [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Billy Drago, 'Untouchables' Star, Dies at 73

    Billy Drago, who often played harming but chilling gangster roles and appeared in Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables” and Clint Eastwood’s “Pale Rider,” died Monday in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke. He was 73. The character actor played Al Capone’s henchman Frank Nitti in 1987’s “The Untouchables.” On TV series “Charmed,” he put [...]

  • Grant Sputore

    'I Am Mother' Director Tackles Margot Robbie-Produced Thriller 'Augmented'

    Warner Bros. has hired “I Am Mother” director Grant Sputore to helm the science-fiction thriller “Augmented” which Margot Robbie is producing, Variety has learned exclusively. Michael Lloyd Green is rewriting an original script by Mark Townend. Denise Di Novi and Tom Ackerley are also producing. Production companies are Robbie’s LuckyChap and Di Novi’s eponymous Di [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content