×

Passion & Prejudice

Disclaimers at the beginning and end of "Passion & Prejudice" remind viewers that while it's based on real events, this original movie from USA Networks is purely fictional. Indeed. This is evident from the opening montages of waves crashing against rocks to its melodramatic end.

With:
Dr. Gwen Barry - Frances Fisher Dalton Roy - Derwin Jordan Tamara - Kandyse McClure Lamar Dixon - David Christoffel Gordon Jeffries - John MacLaren Andrew Williams - Jonathan Potts District Attorney Bridges - Richard Donat Deputy Banks - Jeremy Akerman Red - Gary Levert Elizabeth Jeffries - Mauralea Austin Giuliano - Angelo Pedari Natasha - Cilia Alida Rutte Cassandra - Tamara Patkau Mr. Peterson - Walter Borden Mrs. Davies - Sheila McLean Katie - Heather MacDonald Tamara's mother - Mia Benight

Disclaimers at the beginning and end of “Passion & Prejudice” remind viewers that while it’s based on real events, this original movie from USA Networks is purely fictional.

Indeed. From the opening montages of waves crashing against the rocks to its teary and melodramatic end, “Passion and Prejudice” is a confounding blend of soap opera that begins as a lusty version of “Pygmalion” and degenerates into a poor man’s “Fatal Attraction.”

Lonely, uptight, virginal professor Dr. Gwen Barry (Francis Fisher) seeks cheap labor through the prison system and finds hunky Dalton Roy (Derwin Jordan) to work on her fabulous cliffside home. Roy is a serious young man, incarcerated for aggravated assault, who’s soon to be released for good behavior. It’s not long before their business partnership through the work-release program turns into the sexual tension release program.

As Dalton labors shirtless in the yard, Gwen leers at him through the window as she sips tea. She draws him baths, offers to rub his sore muscles. She pours wine and lights fires. She even sniffs his clothes.

But it’s not purely passion Gwen’s after. She’s interested in Dalton’s mind as well. The condescending Gwen teaches Dalton to read and introduces him to books and art as well as her long sequestered passions.

Finally released from prison, Dalton is anxious to start a new life, but quickly learns Gwen is unwilling to alter their benefactor/stud relationship. When Dalton spurns Gwen for a student at the local junior college, the sex-obsessed professor sets out to destroy “Dal’s” newly earned reputation. Gwen is fully aware that when tested, the word of a black ex-con won’t stand a chance against that of a distinguished white professor, even if she has taken to wearing black leather stiletto boots.

Director Karen Arthur appears to indulge in Kathleen Orillion’s melodramatic script, playing up laughable sexual innuendoes such as, “I have an extensive library waiting for you to peruse at any time.”

The film is an inexplicable choice for Fisher, but the actress sinks to the occasion with raving antics and embarrassing temptress scenes.

Her transformation from the bookish prof to the spurned sex kitten is physically ghoulish. Jordan is equally unimpressive as Dalton, forced to perform similarly humiliating scenes. A small measure of believability comes far too late from Kandyse McClure as Tamara, the young college student who falls for Dalton.

Lensing by Tom Neuwirth elegantly captures the scenic Nova Scotia coastline, but heavy handed editing and music makes for blatant commercial fadeouts. Otherwise, tech credits are standard.

Passion & Prejudice

USA Network; Tues. April 17, 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed on location in Nova Scotia by Beth Grossbard Prods. in association with USA Network. Executive producers, Craig Anderson, Beth Grossbard; producer, Karen Arthur; director, Arthur; writer, Kathleen Orillion.

Crew: Camera, Tom Neuwirth; editor, Dean Soltys; sound, Michael Zabitsky; casting, Sheila Lane, Robin D. Cook, Mary Jo Slater. Running time: 2 hours.

Cast: Dr. Gwen Barry - Frances Fisher Dalton Roy - Derwin Jordan Tamara - Kandyse McClure Lamar Dixon - David Christoffel Gordon Jeffries - John MacLaren Andrew Williams - Jonathan Potts District Attorney Bridges - Richard Donat Deputy Banks - Jeremy Akerman Red - Gary Levert Elizabeth Jeffries - Mauralea Austin Giuliano - Angelo Pedari Natasha - Cilia Alida Rutte Cassandra - Tamara Patkau Mr. Peterson - Walter Borden Mrs. Davies - Sheila McLean Katie - Heather MacDonald Tamara's mother - Mia Benight

More TV

  • Hilary Duff

    Hilary Duff Asks Disney to Move 'Lizzie McGuire' Revival to Hulu

    Hilary Duff has posted a statement asking that the planned revival of “Lizzie McGuire” be moved from Disney Plus to Hulu. “I’d be doing a disservice to everyone by limiting the realities of a 30 year old’s journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating,” Duff wrote on Instagram. “It’s important to me [...]

  • Tan France Jameela Jamil

    TV News Roundup: Tan France, Jameela Jamil Among OZY Fest Headliners

    In today’s TV news roundup, OZY Media announced Tan France, Jameela Jamil and others as headliners of OZY Fest, and Netflix dropped the official trailer of “On My Block” Season 3. DATES Disney Channel‘s second season of “Just Roll With It” will premiere on Sunday, March 15 at 8:45 p.m. The sitcom follows the Bennett-Blatt family [...]

  • Lorraine Toussaint

    Queen Latifah's 'Equalizer' Reboot Pilot at CBS Casts Lorraine Toussaint

    Lorraine Toussaint has joined the CBS’ reboot pilot for “The Equalizer,” Variety has learned. She joins previously announced series lead Queen Latifah and recently announced cast member Liza Lapira. In the reimagined version, Queen Latifah stars as Robyn McCall, an enigmatic figure who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. Toussaint [...]

  • Ben Schnetzer

    'Y: The Last Man' Series at FX Casts Ben Schnetzer as Yorick

    Ben Schnetzer has stepped into the role of Yorick Brown in FX’s upcoming “Y: The Last Man” series, Variety has learned. He takes over the role from Barry Keoghan, who exited the series at the beginning of this month. The show is based on Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s award-winning DC Comics graphic novel series [...]

  • Herb Dorfman Obit Dead

    Herb Dorfman, Orion Pictures Home Video Executive, Dies at 77

    Herb Dorfman, former Orion Pictures executive and a home video industry veteran, died Feb. 25 of complications from Parkinson’s disease and dementia. He was 77. Dorfman served as head of home entertainment for Orion Pictures from 1987 to late 1996. Orion was a prosperous independent studio in those days that turned out a steady stream [...]

  • Black Panther

    What's Coming to Disney Plus in March 2020

    Disney Plus will continue to expand its library next month, adding older films as well as new television shows, releasing as both weekly episodes and entire seasons. After streaming on Netflix for over a year, Marvel’s “Black Panther” is making its way to Disney Plus, leaving just “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” [...]

  • Bob Chapek

    What Disney's Theme Parks Reveal About New CEO Bob Chapek

    Theme parks and resorts aren’t likely top of mind for the industry set when they think of Disney. But in light of the recent (and very swift) appointment of parks and consumer products head Bob Chapek to succeed Bob Iger as Disney CEO, Chapek’s recent interviews at the parks offer a few insights about the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content