I saw this British TV movie in 1995 on A&E, and taped it the very next time was shown by A&E, with all the commercials left in so that when taping late at night I would not miss anything from having to restart the recording and possibly missing a cue. I watch my tape of it quite frequently, more than once a year since 1995. I soon found and bought a second-hand paperback copy of the novel (by Mary Wesley, an Englishwoman who started writing novels when she was 70 and her second husband's death had left her poor; she died at 90). I enjoy rereading the book.
The story is lively, about differences between snobbish ambitious confident public-school (private school to North Americans) upper-class types and the others, and shows many of the "nobs" as rude and inconsiderate in their behaviour to family members and friends. It follows a beautiful girl from a rich, land-owning, big-house country family; she opts out and disappears, keeps her whereabouts a secret from them, and supports her life by supplying very expensive services to selected rich mostly-upper-class people well able to afford them. When it suddenly all falls apart, luck helps her start putting her life together again in a different and more conventional way, and while she is a little reluctant to to give up some very enjoyable aspects of her life until the crisis, she accepts that she cannot go on as she was, and decides to make a go of the third phase of her life.
The filming is in big houses, in country districts, on country roads (some purporting to be the main road between Exeter and Cornwall), in places purporting to be in the Cornish town of Penzance, in the Scilly Isles, on a sailing yacht, in Exeter and Salisbury. The people look the parts they are playing, acting is quite good but not great, the dialogue is lively and amusing, and there are clear distinctions made between loving, liking, being in love, making love, and having sex, however enjoyable the last may be even without love. The story is hard-headed, realistic in its attitudes, and unsentimental. The lively conversation is liberated, but any lively action is mostly off-screen, and there is no violence.
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