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Starring screen favorite Miranda Richardson (SLEEPY HOLLOW, THE CRYING GAME) Robert Louis Stevenson's ST. IVES is a witty, romantic comedy in the spirited style of EMMA and AN IDEAL HUSBAND. During the Napoleonic Wars, a handsome French officer, Captain Jacques St. Ives (Jean-Marc Barr -- DANCER IN THE DARK), is captured in battle and brought to a prisoner of war camp in Scotland. Once there, adventure and daring await when he meets and falls in love with a beautiful local woman (Anna Friel -- ROGUE TRADER), befriends the prison camp's British Major (Richard E. Grant -- SPICE WORLD), and discovers his long-lost grandfather living just down the road
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Not to be confused with the Charles Bronson vehicle of the same name, St. Ives--All for Love when it debuted on the BBC--is based on St. Ives: Being the Adventures of a French Prisoner in England, by Robert Louis Stevenson. The irreverent tale revolves around the exploits of Captain Jacques St. Ives (Jean-Marc Barr from The Big Blue). In 1813 he's captured by the British and thrown in jail; things aren't all bad, however. While there, he meets the droll Miss Gilchrist (Miranda Richardson) and her lovely niece, Flora (Anna Friel), who take an interest in the prisoner. For Jacques and Flora, it's love at first sight--although Major Chevening (Richard E. Grant) had his eye on her first. Not long afterward, Jacques escapes and makes an enemy out of his long lost brother Alain (Jason Isaacs), who's been living in Scotland and looking to take over the family fortune upon the death of their grandfather (Michael Gough, Alfred from the Batman series); Jacques thought Alain had been killed with their parents during the French Revolution. The escaped prisoner represents a threat to his brother and to the major, and things can only get worse for him... or can they? St. Ives looks and feels much like a Masterpiece Theatre production, but with a more humorous bent (as well as a little nudity). Sometimes the humor works (mostly when Richardson and Grant are on the screen), sometimes not (Barr is less consistent), but it's rarely as stuffy as most other literary adaptations. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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