IMDb: 7.4 A young woman’s penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart.
Stars: Geraldine James, Michael Judd, Julia Dearden
in the name of the Father, and the Son…
(Baby cries) …and the Holy Ghost…
No-one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy
would have supposed her born to be a heroine.
Her situation in life,
the character of her father and mother,
and her own person and disposition,
were all equally against her.
A family of ten children, of course,
will always be called a fine family,
where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the number.
But the Morlands were, in general, very plain,
and Catherine, for many years of her life, as plain as any.
Neither was it very wonderful
that Catherine, who had, by nature, nothing heroic about her,
should prefer cricket and baseball to dolls and books.
But by the age of 15, appearances were mending.
Catherine Morland was in training for a heroine.
You know, our Catherine has turned out rather well.
– Come on, Catherine, let’s carry on. – No, later. Later.
She’s quite a good-looking girl.
Well, she is almost pretty today.
MRS MORLAND: And she has grown very fond of reading of late.
I wonder if it can be good for her, my dear, to read quite so many novels?
Why ever not?
What could be a more innocent or harmless pastime for a young girl than reading?
(Catherine reads) “He was interrupted by a noise in the passage leading to the room.
It approached. The door was unlocked. A man entered, dragging behind him a beautiful girl,
her features bathed in tears and suffering the utmost distress.”
Take her! Convey her where I shall never see her more!
What are you doing?
What do you want, anyway?
Mr and Mrs Allen are here. Mother says you have to come straight away.
No, said Dr Malleson, no other place will do so well for a gouty constitution like Mr Allen’s.
No other place will do so well for…
…for squandering money.
Oh, fie, Mr Allen!
You know you love to see me happy.
– And thinking of that… – Catherine is young to go.
But with Mr and Mrs Allen for protection, I see no danger in it.
She’s a good girl. I think we can trust her.
Why, Catherine, how you’ve grown!
Quite the young lady, isn’t she, Mr Allen?
Mr and Mrs Allen come with an invitation, Catherine.
MRS ALLEN: We would like you to accompany us to Bath for a time.
NARRATOR: For when a young lady is to be a heroine,
something must and will happen to throw adventure in her way.
(Reads) “A tumult of emotions stirred in the bosom of Adeline. Fear gripped her heart,
that, at any moment, ruffians would fly upon the carriage
and return her to the ignominy of her captive state.”
My God, Mrs Allen!
(Clash of steel)
DRIVER: Whoa! Steady there!
– Come on! – Not long now.
Pulteney Street is not quite the smartest address,
but, for myself, I love to be at the centre of things.
So do I!
There’s a little peach that’s ripe for plucking.
So many people!
I wonder who they can be, and what their stories are.
Hardly worth knowing, I should say, if they choose to roam the streets
when they could be sitting at home by a good fire.
Oh! Mr Allen is so droll.
He always says the opposite of what he means, for he loves good company.
When shall we go into society, Mrs Allen?
I suppose it is too late this evening?
Bless you, my child, we neither of us have a stitch to wear.
I did bring my best frock, and my pink muslin is not too bad, I think.
No, no, no!
Would you have us laughed out of Bath?
Resign yourself, Catherine.
Shops must be visited. Money must be spent.
Do you think you could bear it?
Very easily, sir.
– That’s it. – My lady.
That’s the last, madam.
MRS ALLEN: Did you ever see anything prettier, Mr Allen?
Other than yourself, do you mean, my dear?
Oh, fie, Mr Allen!
– But Catherine… – Ah, she looks just as she should.
Now… might we make our way, do you think?
I entertain high hopes of our arriving at the rooms by midnight.
How he teases us, Catherine.
Whoa! Whoa, whoa! Whoa, there!
– Stay. – Good evening, sir.
This way. Mind how you go now, sir.
DOORMAN: This way, ladies.
Heidi! Good to see you!
Sedley! There you are! Is there anyone here?
Not a soul, John! There’s no-one here at all!
What could he mean?
If I might just… Thank you.
Card room, I think.
– Mr Allen! – See you later, my love.
Come this way, Catherine.
(Sniggers) Pardon me, miss.
Perhaps we should go through to the tea room.
Quick – there are two places!
How uncomfortable it is not to know anybody.
Yes, my dear, very uncomfortable indeed.
But then, you see, one can’t speak to people unless one has been introduced.
– But who will introduce us? – I’m sure I’ve no idea.
I don’t know. Mother and daughter, I’d guess.
Had we not better go away?
There are no tea things for us, and I think we are unwelcome here.
Yes, it’s most disagreeable.
I wish we had a large acquaintance here.
I wish we had any.
– Ooh! Have a care, sir! – A thousand apologies, ma’am.
Catherine, do take this pin out of my sleeve. It was not your fault, sir.
Allow me, ma’am.
Thank you kindly, sir.
Though I’m afraid it’s torn a hole already.
There. Nothing too disastrous, ma’am.
I shall be sorry if it has, for it’s a favourite gown.
– Really, Mrs Allen, one would hardly notice. – Though it cost but nine shillings a yard.
– That is exactly what I should have guessed. – Do you understand muslins, sir?
I understand them very well.
My sister has often entrusted me in the choice of a gown.
I bought one for her only the other day.
Five shillings a yard, and a true Indian muslin. What do you make of that?
And I can never get Mr Allen to tell one of my gowns from another.
But tell me, sir, what do you think of Miss Morland’s gown?
Miss Morland’s gown…
Miss Morland’s gown is very pretty.
Though I don’t think it will wash well.
I am afraid it will fray.
How can you be so…?
Presumptuous? Indeed. Without so much as an introduction.
You must allow me to make amends, Mrs Allen.
– Thank you. – Very kind indeed.
What a very…
Really, I shouldn’t have allowed you to speak to him, as a stranger.
But he had such an understanding of muslin.
I wonder where he’s gone.
Here he comes again. And he has brought Mr King with him.
The Master of Ceremonies himself!
Allow me to present to you Mr Henry Tilney,
just lately arrived in Bath.
Mrs Allen, Miss Morland.
Delighted to make your acquaintance.
Now we may talk to one another.
But we’ve already been talking.
You mustn’t allow anyone to hear you say such things,
or we shall all be expelled from polite society.
Let it be our secret.
And now, if your card is not already full, Miss Morland,
might I request the pleasure of the next dance with you?
Forgive me, I have been very remiss in the proper attentions of a partner.
What are they?
Oh, I ask you how long you have been in Bath,
have you been to the theatre, and the concert, and so on.
Wouldn’t that be rather dull?
But we must do our duty. Are you ready?
How long have you been in Bath, madam?
Not long at all, sir.
– And were you never here before? – Never, sir.
Indeed! And have you been to the play?
Not yet, sir.
Astonishing. The concert?
Amazing. Now tell me…
Are you altogether pleased with Bath, madam?
I like it very well.
Now I must give you one smirk, and then we can be rational again.
Do you know that gentleman?
Not at all.
I wonder why he keeps looking at us.
I imagine he likes what he sees.
Do you mean me?
So, tell me, what will you write in your journal tonight?
“Friday, went to the Lower Rooms,
wore my sprigged muslin dress with blue trimmings,
and looked very pretty, though I say so myself.”
– The next dance! Lord Byron’s… – “Danced with one man,
was stared at by another much more handsome.”
Indeed I shall say no such thing.
Then what shall you say?
Perhaps I don’t keep a journal at all.
DRIVER: Come on!
A most agreeable young man. Was he not, Catherine?
He was very kind, and very amusing.
I liked him very much.
Well, Mr Allen?
I didn’t mean anything like that.
He can’t have thought of me like that, he is much too…
He is quite grown-up.
(Clears throat) Catherine, I feel I should warn you
that Bath attracts all manner of scoundrels and adventurers,
and one cannot be too careful when making new acquaintances.
Mr Tilney, a scoundrel?
Mr Tilney, an adventurer?
He understands muslin, Mr Allen.
He has a sister.
Well, upon inquiries,
I did discover that Mr Tilney is a young man of very good family, and a clergyman to boot.
No doubt you’d prefer him to be a brigand?
His father’s a man of consequence, though.
of Northanger Abbey.
Is it haunted?
No doubt, no doubt.
These abbeys usually are.
…wearing the same old things that one wouldn’t have thought of.
And this must be Miss Morland.
Mrs Thorpe. Your brother James told me to look out for you.
– You know James? – Indeed. He is up at Oxford with my son, John.
Mrs Thorpe! My old schoolfellow!
Yes, he went to you at Christmas.
And I may say he endeared himself to us all.
Ah, here come my girls now.
Isabella, my eldest, and Maria and Anne.
Isabella, this is Mrs Allen, and Miss Catherine Morland.
How do you do, Miss Morland?
I have so long wished to meet you.
Your brother has spoken of you so affectionately.
I am sure that we will be the very best of friends.
I am so pleased you love Mrs Radcliffe’s novels, too.
I wish I were you, just beginning to read Udolpho for the first time.
Is it really very horrid?
You can’t even imagine.
But I wouldn’t tell you for the world.
Well, perhaps one incident to whet your appetite.
Can such things really happen?
Well, just think of Lord Byron.
I have heard that he is very wicked.
But I don’t know exactly what he is supposed to have done.
And I have heard that he is here, in Bath.
Shall we go to the Pump Room and see if we can see him?
Perhaps your Mr Tilney will be there, too.
He’s not my Mr Tilney, Isabella.
Indeed, you mustn’t say he is!
Well, there’s a certain person who will be very glad to hear that.
Who do you mean?
Never you mind.
I do so hate it when strangers listen to one’s private conversations.
No, his name’s not there.
I think he must be gone from Bath.
And yet he never mentioned his stay would be so short.
Perhaps it’s just as well.
My brother John says the whole family is very bad.
The eldest son as bad as Lord Byron, John says.
Surely he’s mistaken. Mr Tilney couldn’t have been kinder or more gentleman-like.
Appearances often deceive, you know.
But he is a clergyman.
That signifies nothing these days.
Come, let’s walk outside.
Nice. Both girls.
STREET-SELLER: Nosegays! Buttonholes!
Are they following?
No, they are going towards the churchyard.
Good. We are rid of them.
Now, if we turn down there, it will bring us to Milsom Street.
But shouldn’t we come upon them again if we did that?
Oh, never mind that.
Come, make haste.
(Drivers gee on horses)
Oh, these odious carriages! How I detest them!
Make way! Make way!
– Isabella! – Oh, how delightful!
Mr Morland and my brother John!
I didn’t know you were coming to Bath.
When I remembered you were here, and you, Miss Thorpe, nothing would have kept me away.
I am very happy to see you again.
And I, you.
– Miss Morland. – My good friend John Thorpe.
I had the pleasure of seeing you dance the other evening.
Yes, I remember.
I hope I may have the pleasure of dancing with you myself before too long.
– We were walking towards Edgar’s Buildings. – Were you?
Damn it, we’ll walk with you! Miss Morland?
– Are you fond of an open carriage? – Oh, yes, very.
Well, would you permit me to drive you up Lansdown Hill one day this week?
Thank you. You are very kind.
But… would it be proper?
Oh, damn it, this is Bath.
You know? Everything’s more free and easy in Bath.
Penny for your thoughts, Miss Morland?
I was just… Have you ever read Udolpho, Mr Thorpe?
No, I never read novels. I leave all that to Isabella.
– I read The Monk the other day, though. – The Monk!
Is it as shocking as everybody says?
You can borrow it, if you care to.
Hot stuff, you know.
(Murmur of conversation)
– Isn’t this altogether delightful, Catherine? – Yes!
What say? Jig it again?
MASTER OF CEREMONIES: Take your partners for the next dance!
A Prodigal Fellow!
Allow me to introduce…
Yes, I am very happy to meet you, Miss Tilney.
And I, you.
Henry has told me so much about you.
You can’t imagine how surprised I was to see your brother again.
I felt so sure of his being quite gone from Bath.
Yes, when he saw you, he was here to engage lodgings for us. He only stayed the one night.
Oh, I see.
He, your brother, dances very well.
– Yes. – And he is very amusing.
Yes, he is, when he cares to be.
Do you know that gentleman talking to Mr Tilney?
That’s our father,
He looks as if he were displeased with us.
It is only his way.
And is your mother here with you in Bath as well?
Our mother is dead.
So this is your first time in Bath?
Do you like it?
Very much indeed.
There are some very pretty walks round about.
Henry and I walk most mornings.
Should you care to join us one day?
More than anything in the world. I love long walks.
Though I can’t persuade my friend to join me.
She thinks it a waste of time when there are so many other things to do in town.
I can see that she might.
She says the most appalling things.
In that case, shall we say tomorrow at 12, unless it rains?
Catherine. You simply must hear this.
Make haste, Miss Morland! Put on your hat, there’s no time to lose!
– We are going to Blaize Castle! – Mr Thorpe!
– How do you do, Mrs Allen? ISABELLA: My sweetest Catherine.
Isn’t this delightful? Blaize Castle, nothing could be more romantic.
Yes, I’m sure, but I am very sorry, I can’t come with you.
I am expecting Miss Tilney and her brother to call on me to take a country walk.
Not they! I saw them five minutes ago. Doesn’t he drive a phaeton with a pair of chestnuts?
I don’t know, indeed.
I saw him large as life, on the Lansdown Road, with a smart-looking girl by his side.
But perhaps they mean to call later.
No, they don’t.
I heard Tilney hallooing to a man they were going as far as Wick Rocks.
I don’t understand it at all.
Miss Tilney promised.
In this false world, people often make promises they have little intention of keeping.
Remember, we are your true friends.
– We keep our promises. – Yes.
But what if they should come after all?
My dear scatter-brained sister, haven’t you just heard him say they’re halfway to Wick Rocks?
perhaps I should come with you.
Please, Miss Morland.
Goes very nice, doesn’t she? Smooth as silk!
How do you do, sir?
Pleasant old gentleman.
Mr Allen? Yes, and so good natured.
– And rich as Croesus, or so I hear. – I believe Mr Allen is very rich.
– And no children at all? – No, none.
– But you’re quite a favourite, though, I gather? – Mr and Mrs Allen are very kind to me, yes.
– Ever since I was a baby. – Excellent. Excellent!
Oh, Miss Tilney!
Stop! Stop now! It’s Miss Tilney and her brother!
– There’ll be hell to pay if I tried to stop him now! – Please stop, Mr Thorpe!
– I’ll get down! I will! – It’s not possible!
How could you deceive me so?
Well, what if I did? Where would you rather be? In a spanking gig driving to Blaize Castle
or trailing about in the dirt with some canting prig of a parson?
Mr Tilney is not a canting prig!
You have made it seem as if I had broken my promise to them.
I might not have been completely straight with you, but I had good reason.
You think of your brother’s happiness, and Isabella’s.
They couldn’t go off unchaperoned.
And I was thinking of you, too.
I’m not altogether happy to see you with the Tilneys.
The whole family has a terrible reputation.
Something very strange about the mother’s death.
But you can’t mean…?
We must be careful making new acquaintances. We’re not all as honest as you and I, eh?
But Mr Tilney and his sister have been so kind to me.
Truly sorry, Miss Morland, if I have caused you any distress.
But you can set it all right tomorrow.
Let’s at least try and enjoy ourselves today.
Damn it, I’ve been looking forward to driving you out more than anything. What do you say?
– Very well. – Whoa!
– Everything all right, Thorpe? – Absolutely.
– Go on! – Walk on.
– I say, sir, can you move your sheep, please? – Oh, go on!
SHEPHERD: Hi, hi, hi!
It’s just a spot of rain, it will clear up in no time.
We’d better go back. Your sister thinks so, too. We’re not halfway to Blaize Castle.
Very well, as you wish!
It’s all one to me!
If your brother hadn’t such a damned beast to drive, we’d have been there this half hour gone.
Will you move your sheep? I need to turn.
I’ll take my bloody time!
Come on, girl!
(Patter of rain outside)
Lord! What would the men think if they could see us now?
How can I ever face the Tilneys again?
You mustn’t be cross with John, dearest one.
Do you know, he told me he liked you better than any girl he had ever seen.
And he thinks you’re the prettiest girl in Bath.
– I don’t know why he should think that. – No need for false modesty!
Now, how far have you got on with Udolpho?
– I’ve just got to the black veil. – The black veil!
I won’t tell you what’s behind it, not for the world.
When you have finished it, you will read The Monk, my brother’s favourite.
Oh, yes, he spoke of it. Is it really very horrid?
It is the most horrid, shocking thing
in all the world.
Ambrosio the Monk begins very holy, but is drawn into vice by Matilda.
She gives him a magic branch so he can pass through walls…
(Whispers)… and into Antonia’s bed chamber.
But it is too shocking. I should blush to tell you. You must read it yourself.
(Reads) “The Friar pronounced the magic words and a thick smoke arose over the magic mirror.
At length, he beheld Antonia’s lovely form.
She was undressing to bathe herself
and the amorous monk had full opportunity to observe
the voluptuous contours and admirable symmetry of her person
as she drew off her last garment.
At this moment, a tame linnet flew towards her,
nestled its head between her breasts and nibbled them in wanton play.
Ambrosio could bear no more.
The blood boiled in his veins and a raging fire rushed through his limbs.
‘I must possess her, ‘he cried.”
No, no, Ambrosio.
I shall no longer be able to combat my passions.
I am convinced with every moment, that I have but one alternative…
I must enjoy you, or die!
# MOZART: Der Hölle Rache from The Magic Flute
Damn fine-looking woman.
But she’s nothing to you, you know.
Miss Morland, Mrs Allen, Mr Allen.
Mr Tilney, you must have thought me so rude, but they told me you had gone out.
When I saw you, I begged Mr Thorpe to stop, but he only went faster.
If only he had slowed down, I would have jumped out and run back to you.
Please believe me, I would ten thousand times rather have been with you!
Are you and Miss Tilney very angry with me?
I must confess, I felt a little slighted.
But my sister was quite sure there was some misunderstanding.
Eleanor, you were right, as usual.
Miss Morland is not to blame. She was abducted by force!
No, not exactly, but truly I did try to make him stop.
Don’t tease her. You were cast down when you thought she preferred the company of others.
Perhaps she still does.
Then may I renew our invitation?
Shall we say the day after tomorrow for our walk?
THORPE: Miss Catherine Morland, a very amiable girl, and very rich, too.
Ward of a Mr Allen, who made a fortune in trade.
And with no-one to spend it on but her,
she’ll bring a deal of money to her marriage.
When the old man pops off, she’ll be one of the richest women in the country.
Obliged to you, sir.
Thorpe, John Thorpe.
Delighted to have been…
Yes, it was beautifully sung.
Mr Thorpe, perhaps you’d introduce me to the young lady.
Miss Morland, this is General Tilney.
And did I overhear a country walk proposed?
Yes, sir, the day after tomorrow.
Perhaps you would do us the honour of spending the rest of the day with us,
after your walk?
If Mr and Mrs Allen can be persuaded to spare you?
I’m sure they’d be happy to spare me, sir, and I’d have great pleasure in coming.
I shall look forward to making your better acquaintance, Miss Morland.
ELEANOR: What do you think, Catherine? – It’s wonderful.
It reminds me of the South of France. The Languedoc, you know?
Have you travelled much in France?
Not at all, I’ve never been there.
But I’ve seen pictures. And it’s just as Mrs Radcliffe describes it in Udolpho.
Ah! Mrs Radcliffe.
CATHERINE: But I suppose you don’t read novels?
HENRY: I read Udolpho straight through in two days,
with my hair standing up on end the whole time.
I often think there’s more life,
and feeling in a good novel than in a hundred dull sermons.
Do you really believe that?
Oh, go on, don’t wait for me.
Why should you think I don’t believe it?
Because I think you like to tease me.
And because the real world is different from the world in stories.
Of course it is!
I love to read Mrs Radcliffe,
but I don’t think the real world’s full of murders and abductions
and ghosts with clanking chains
and seductions and everything.
Well, not in Fullerton, anyway.
Perhaps not quite so many murders and abductions.
But broken hearts? Betrayals?
Long-held grudges? Schemes of revenge?
And hatred? And despair?
Are they not part of all of our lives? Even in Fullerton?
I don’t know.
I would like to think not.
Well, then, I hope your experience of life is the exception that proves the rule.
Forgive me, Tilney, for interrupting your walk. I’ve no time to lose.
Of course. You were expected.
Come, let’s walk on a little.
That gentleman is a close acquaintance of ours, a very good friend.
He is obliged to leave the country at short notice.
He was able to make his farewells to me last evening,
but was no doubt anxious to say goodbye to my sister, too, before he left.
There is no reason why the matter should come up.
But my sister and I would be very grateful if you did not mention to my father
that we saw that gentleman here today.
No, of course.
CATHERINE: The Monk reeled from the unholy sight.
“Receive this talisman,” she replied.
“While you bear this, every door will fly open and walls will melt away.
It will procure you access tomorrow night to Antonia’s bed chamber.”
Nothing to be ashamed of.
It’s all God’s creation.
MRS ALLEN: Catherine!
I absolutely knew the second you came to the house. I could tell.
And the way you spoke to my mother, I could just… It was almost like fate.
(Knock on door)
No, no, sit down.
Can you guess?
Your brother has made me the happiest girl on Earth!
You mean, you and James…
Are in love!
He confessed as much to me this afternoon.
And you know my nature, I could never trifle with a man’s affections.
In short, I told him his love was returned.
He’s waiting downstairs.
I know I needn’t ask whether you approve, Catherine.
Though I am surprised. It has all happened so quickly.
Not so. I believe I have been in love with your friend since the first time I set eyes on her.
The very first day he came to us last Christmas, the very first moment!
I remember I wore this yellow gown.
– My hair was up in braids. – I am come to say goodbye, Catherine.
I am going straight to Fullerton to seek our parents’ consent.
Ah, Morland, there you are.
I, too, must take my leave for the present, just for the present.
I’m going to accompany James to Fullerton, and then onto town to help him choose a ring.
Perhaps I might look for one for myself while I’m there. Do you think I should?
A famous good thing, this marrying scheme. What do you think of it?
I think it’s a very good thing, too.
I’m so pleased to hear you say that.
Did you ever hear the old song, “going to one wedding brings on another”?
Perhaps you and I might try the truth of that?
I shall think of you, when I’m in town!
Come on, James, we must tear ourselves away!
Go, perhaps, forever.
Isabella! Whatever do you mean?
Your mother and father, what will they say?
I’m sure they’ll be very happy for James.
But my fortune will be so small. How could they consent to it?
Your brother, who might marry anybody.
I wouldn’t think the difference in fortune would be anything to signify.
Oh! My sweetest Catherine, in your generous heart, I’m sure it would not matter at all.
But I mustn’t expect everyone to think the same.
I only wish our situations were reversed.
If I had the command of millions,
if I were mistress of the whole world…
…your brother would still be my only choice.
Now, Catherine, you know I’m only here for your sake.
You know my heart is 40 miles away.
And as for dancing, don’t mention it, I beg you.
It is quite out of the question.
I dare say Charles Hodge will plague me to death about it.
But I shall cut him very short, I can tell you.
I wonder where he is.
– It’s General Tilney. – I do believe he’s coming to talk to you.
You will excuse me now.
allow me to introduce my brother, Captain Tilney.
Don’t let my brother’s ill manners offend you. That’s how he is, I’m afraid.
He was ill-mannered as a baby.
I’m surprised at you being so disrespectful to your older brother.
How could you know what he was like as a baby?
When he was a baby, you were not yet born.
My mother told me of it.
I hope you’re not already engaged for the next dance?
– My rival having left Bath. – Indeed he is not…
You mustn’t tease me.
So do you not know Mr Thorpe at all?
No, not at all.
That’s strange. He seems to know a great deal about your family.
And none of it to our credit?
Well, I have always found
that ignorance and prejudice hold no bar to forming the strongest of opinions.
You think him ignorant and prejudiced?
I know he doesn’t always tell the truth, but he has been very kind to me.
You think he isn’t to be trusted?
Dear Miss Morland,
has it not occurred to you that I might not be the best person
to consult on the matter of Mr Thorpe?
MASTER OF CEREMONIES: My lords, ladies and gentlemen,
the next dance will be On A Summer’s Day.
Good God, Henry. You’re not going to stand up in that maul, are you?
I certainly am.
That being so…
…do you think your friend might dance with me?
No! I am sorry. I know for certain that she has a very particular reason not to dance tonight.
Is that so?
– Why are you smiling? – Look there.
I don’t wonder at your surprise.
I refused him for as long as I possibly could, but he would not take no for an answer.
He’s the eldest son, you know, the heir to Northanger Abbey.
Not that that weighs anything with me.
I am in love with the best man in the whole world.
Did you think him handsome?
– Who? – Captain Tilney, silly!
Yes, very handsome.
But didn’t your brother say he was very bad?
As bad as Lord Byron?
Oh, John will say anything that comes into his head.
I hardly ever take any notice of him!
But then, how is one to know what to believe?
One thing you can be certain of- my affection.
For you and your dear, dear brother.
Catherine! Catherine, help me, for God’s sake!
(Town crier’s bell)
You have heard from James?
And my parents have consented?
Yes, your father has been very good.
James is to have a living worth Ł400 a year
as soon as he is old enough to take it.
But that won’t be for another two years, so we must wait that long before we marry.
It seems it wasn’t possible for your father to do anything for us immediately.
I’m sure Mr Morland has behaved vastly handsome.
If he finds he can do more, by and by, I dare say he will.
And Isabella’s wishes are so moderate.
ISABELLA: For myself, it’s nothing.
I never think of myself.
But poor James!
Ł400 a year is hardly enough for the common necessaries of life!
But I suppose everybody has the right to do what they like with their own money.
I am very sure that my father has promised as much as he can afford.
But Mr Allen, I was sure, would do something for James.
Perhaps he does not approve of his choice of bride.
Why should Mr Allen do anything for James?
Or for any of us?
It was very kind of Mr and Mrs Allen to bring me to Bath,
but none of us has any expectations from Mr Allen.
My dear, sweet Catherine,
you know I care nothing for money.
If we could only be married tomorrow, I would be happy to live on Ł50 a year.
But that’s the sting.
That’s why you find me so cast down.
The two years we must wait before dear Morland can have the living!
How will I endure it?
I can well understand how she feels.
Two years is a long time.
But at least she can marry the man she loves. Not everyone is so fortunate.
No, I suppose not.
How sad that is.
Yes, it is.
But how many couples marry for love?
I believe my mother and father love each other even more than they love us,
and they love us very much.
When I was a little girl, I used to think it was like that for everyone.
It was only when I started to read novels that I realised it was not.
I shouldn’t have thought one would have to read novels to find that out.
I think you have had quite a dangerous upbringing.
– Dangerous? How? – Well, it’s as Henry says.
You’ve been brought up to believe that everyone is as pure in heart as you.
I don’t think I’m very pure in heart.
I have the most terrible dreams sometimes.
(Both giggle) – What’s the joke?
Nothing to concern you.
I love our walks.
I think I should like to stay in Bath forever and go walking with you every day!
Unfortunately, that won’t be possible.
Our father told us this morning he’s determined on quitting Bath by the end of the week.
GENERAL TILNEY: Miss Morland!
Can you, Miss Morland, be prevailed on
to quit this scene of public triumph
and oblige us with your company at Northanger Abbey?
Well, Miss Morland…
…what do you say?
I am very honoured, sir.
If Mr and Mrs Allen agree,
I should be delighted to accept.
Aren’t you frightened to go there on your own?
I confess I am, a little.
Well, I dare say, it will be very thrilling for you.
But I do hope you don’t forget me, Catherine.
Or our dearest John.
No need to be coy.
I heard from him today that you and he are as good as engaged.
Indeed we are not!
Useless to dissemble, my dear. Your secret’s out.
He says in his letter, not half an hour before he left Bath, you gave him positive encouragement.
He says he as good as made you an offer.
No, there must be some mistake.
Your brother must have misunderstood me, and…
I certainly had no idea he thought he was making me an offer.
Please, undeceive him, and beg his pardon.
Well, I dare say we should all be allowed a little harmless flirtation.
But there was no flirtation, not on my side.
And if no-one were allowed to change their minds, where would we all be?
Perhaps it’s for the best, after all.
Isabella, please understand me, once and for all…
Sh! Here he comes!
– Who? – Tilney, of course!
Oh, I wouldn’t have this happen for the world.
Look away, perhaps he’s not seen us.
What, always to be watched?
In person or…
My spirit, you know, is pretty independent.
I wish your heart were independent. That would be enough for me.
What can you have to do with hearts?
None of you men have hearts.
But we have eyes.
And they give us torment enough.
I think Mrs Allen and your mother are expecting us.
Will you come, Isabella?
And tell them I’ll follow.
And if I shouldn’t see you, write and tell me all your news from Northanger.
Do take a care, sir!
Come along now. Four minutes late already coming from Milsom Street.
I’m sure Miss Morland won’t keep you waiting, Father.
Oh, Catherine, my dear, quickly, they are here!
A chaise and four!
You never aspired to that, Mr Allen!
Well, Catherine, we shall miss you.
Thank you for all your kindness.
It has been such a happy time.
There, there, my dear.
I should be sharp about it.
These great folks don’t like to be kept waiting.
Miss Morland, a thousand pardons for our late arrival.
My eldest son must bear the blame. He stays on in Bath.
Now, my dear Miss Morland, I have a proposal.
As it is a fine day,
how should you like to travel in the curricle with my son, Henry?
You will enjoy the air and be better able to see the country.
It is, of course, entirely up to you.
I should like that very much.
Did your father say that Captain Tilney stays on in Bath?
– Yes. – Oh.
You’re disappointed? You were hoping for my brother’s company at Northanger, perhaps?
No, not at all!
That is, I should have no objection to his company…
Then what is it? Come.
I am anxious about your brother and Miss Thorpe.
I think he cannot know that she is engaged to my brother.
I suppose he thinks he has a chance with her.
But doesn’t he realise how wrong it is of him and what pain it must give to my brother?
I don’t think you should distress yourself too much, Miss Morland.
Your brother shall be returning to Bath very soon.
And my brother should be leaving to rejoin his regiment.
And that will be the end of that.
Now, look there.
It’s exactly as I imagined.
It’sjust like what one reads about.
Are you prepared to encounter all of its horrors?
Is Northanger haunted, then?
Oh, that’s just the least of it.
Dungeons and sliding panels,
skeletons, strange unearthly cries in the night that pierce your very soul.
Don’t say vampires!
I could bear anything, but not vampires.
Miss Morland, I do believe you’re teasing me now.
But if I were to say there is a kind of vampirism…
No, let’s just say that all houses have their secrets, and Northanger is no exception.
– Let me help you down. – Thank you.
Miss Morland, welcome to Northanger Abbey.
I hope you will be comfortable.
Do, please, I beg you, make as little alteration to your dress as possible.
My father is most particular about meal times.
I’m sorry to have to ask you.
No, that’s quite all right.
I’ll see you in a few minutes, then.
(Doors creak and groan)
If you please,
Miss Tilney says, do you need any help, miss?
No, thank you.
Are you ready?
Miss Morland. Charming.
Dinner should be on the table directly!
(General clears throat)
GENERAL TILNEY: I hope you find our simple style of living to your taste, Miss Morland.
No doubt you have been used to better-sized apartments at Mr Allen’s?
No, indeed, sir.
Mr Allen’s dining parlour is only half the size of this room.
Well now, I suppose I care as little as any man for such things,
but a tolerably-large eating room is one of the necessaries of life.
Tolerably large, indeed, sir.
But I don’t think I’ve ever been in so large a dining room as this one.
You have not?
Well, no doubt the rooms in Mr Allen’s are…
exactly the true size…
…for rational happiness.
(Rumble of thunder)
What… Whatever are these old things?
No, leave them, please.
This was my mother’s favourite place.
I used to walk so often here with her.
Though I never loved it then as I have loved it since.
Her death must have been a great affliction.
A great and increasing one.
What was she like? Did she look like you?
I wish I could show you her portrait.
It hangs in her private chamber.
I suppose you were with her to the last?
I was away from home when she died.
Her illness was sudden and short, and before I arrived, it was all over.
So you didn’t see her body?
I wish I could have done.
Perhaps it would help me to think of her at peace.
I should like to see her room, if you are willing to show me.
We never go there. It is my father’s wish.
But to see her picture?
Why should you not see it?
What do you do there?
I was going to show Miss Morland Mother’s…
There is nothing to interest Miss Morland in this part of the house.
I am surprised at you, Eleanor.
CATHERINE: My dearest Isabella,
I long to hear your news.
I hope everything is well with you and James
and that your brother is not too much offended with me.
Northanger Abbey is all that I expected it to be, and Eleanor and her brother very kind.
Oh, Isabella, I fear that this house holds a terrible secret
relating to the death of Mrs Tilney.
Here I am!
CATHERINE: I cannot write more now.
Send me your news, your loving friend, Catherine.
This is a sad day, Miss Morland.
A sad day for me, that is.
I have to go up to town for several days on business.
I trust you’ll be able to entertain our guest properly while I am gone?
Nothing would give me greater pleasure, sir.
What are you giggling about?
One for me, Henry!
This is the last one.
I thought I might show you Woodston tomorrow, if you’d like to.
It’s nothing to Northanger, of course, just a country vicarage.
But I’m very fond of it.
I’d love to.
Is that your home?
– It’s lovely. – I’m very glad you think so.
I fear we may be about to get a little damp.
Come on, I’ll race you back.
Come on! Come on!
Look at the state of the pair of you!
I’ll go and get Richards to draw your bath, Catherine.
When we were coming to Northanger Abbey, you said that the house held secrets.
Did I? And have you discovered any dreadful revelations yet?
No, but I’d like to know what you meant.
I think that shall have to remain a secret.
A secret once explained loses all of its charms, and all of its danger, too.
Why don’t you imagine the worst thing you can, and write your own Gothic romance about it?
“Northanger Abbey” would make a very good title, don’t you think?
Now you’re mocking me.
But I can’t help feeling that this house is not a happy one.
Not since our mother died.
And even before then.
I envy you your happy childhood.
My brother Frederick is well enough, I think, sowing his wild oats,
but soon he shall have to make an advantageous match.
My sister is not happy.
Remember the man we met on our country walk?
He is a good friend of mine, but he is a lot more than that to my sister.
But our father has refused to sanction the match.
Edward is only a second son.
And Eleanor must marry the heir to a rich estate.
And… And you?
Well, if I’m to retain my father’s favour, I must marry a fortune, too.
And shall you?
I always hoped I’d be lucky,
that the girl I fell in love with would come with a fortune attached.
And… if she should not?
Then that would be a very…
stern test of my character.
Perhaps we’d better head back. I want to set off for Woodston before nightfall.
See you tomorrow for dinner!
Might I ask how you come to be here all alone?
I wanted to see your mother’s room.
Eleanor was going to show me, but your father prevented us.
And so you thought you’d come and see it for yourself?
I suppose Eleanor has talked to you about our mother?
But that is not very much.
What she did say was…
Her dying so suddenly, and none of you being at home,
perhaps your father had not been very fond of her.
And from these circumstances you infer…
Or something even worse?
Then let me reassure you, Catherine.
My mother’s illness was sudden,
and Eleanor was from home,
but I was here throughout.
And so was my brother Frederick.
Our mother received every possible attention.
Our physician was satisfied that nothing more could be done for her.
The matter was deeply distressing,
– as you may imagine. – Yes, of course.
But your father, was he distressed?
For a time, greatly so.
She had had to bear a great deal from him but…
…when she was dead, he felt her loss.
I am very glad of it.
It would have been very shocking if he had…
– if he had… – If he had what?
If I understand you rightly, you have been suspecting my father of a crime so dreadful…
You said yourself the house was full of secrets!
And so you decided that my father must be a murderer…
…when to you, at least,
he has shown nothing but kindness?
how could you?
What sort of a fevered imagination must you have?
Perhaps, after all, it is possible to read too many novels.
Oh, whatever is the matter?
I can’t tell you.
Please don’t make me.
I have been so wickedly foolish and your brother knows of it.
And now he will hate me for it, and so will you when he tells you.
Oh, my dear Catherine, I’m quite sure that nothing you could do could make me hate you,
or Henry either.
I saw his face. I know.
He will never, ever respect me again.
Come, come. Perhaps it’s not as bad as you think.
Look, here is a letter for you.
It will be from Isabella.
No, it is my brother’s handwriting.
JAMES: Dear Catherine, I think it my duty to tell you
that everything is at an end between Miss Thorpe and me.
I shall not enter into particulars. They would only pain you more.
You will soon hear enough to know where the blame lies.
I am ashamed to think how long I bore it.
Dear Catherine, I hope your visit at Northanger may be over
before Captain Tilney makes his engagement known.
It’s just what I feared!
– Oh, poor, poor James. He loved her so much. – But Frederick!
And they are engaged?
– Yes. – No, I can’t believe that.
“Dearest Catherine, beware how you give your heart.”
Dear Catherine, I am sorry for your brother,
sorry that anyone you love should be unhappy.
But my surprise would be greater at Frederick’s marrying her than at any other part of the story.
Why do you say that?
What are Miss Thorpe’s connections?
What is her fortune? Are they a wealthy family?
No, not very.
I don’t believe Isabella has any fortune at all.
You think your father will forbid the match?
I doubt if the matter will reach his ears at all.
Why? Whatever do you mean?
Catherine, your friend has dealt very badly with your brother.
But I fear she is far out of her depth with mine.
OFFICER: Look at the size of these! (Laughs)
(Women’s laughter outside)
And… are we engaged?
Make yourself decent, Miss Thorpe.
I must return you to your friends before you’re missed.
ISABELLA: My dearest Catherine,
thank God we leave this vile place tomorrow.
Since you went away, I have had no pleasure in it, and everybody one cares for is gone.
I am quite uneasy about your dear brother
and am fearful of some… misunderstanding.
You will write to him and set everything right?
He is the only man I ever did or could love, and I know you will convince him of it.
CATHERINE: I most certainly shan’t!
So, Frederick is safe from her.
I can’t say I’m surprised.
Aren’t you? I am, very!
I wish I had never known her.
It will soon be as if you never had.
There is one thing I can’t understand.
What has Captain Tilney been about all this time?
Why should he pay her such attentions and then fly off himself?
He has his vanity, as well as Miss Thorpe.
And he is accustomed to…
…having his way.
Though I am surprised he should have stooped to such an easy conquest.
Then I am sorry for Isabella.
I am sure she will be over it soon enough.
I hope I don’t need to tell you that his brother has a very different character.
Henry has the best and truest heart in the world.
Damned little adventuress!
I said now!
Eleanor, whatever can the matter be?
Sit down. You are not well?
My dear Catherine, I am well.
God, how shall I tell you?
It’s not concerning Henry?
No, no, not Henry.
It is my father himself.
My father has recollected an engagement that takes our whole family away on Monday.
Explanation and apology are impossible.
My dear Eleanor…
Don’t be so distressed. I am not offended, I can be ready to leave on Monday.
No, that won’t be possible.
My father insists on your leaving immediately.
As soon as you can make yourself ready.
The carriage will take you to meet the public stagecoach.
No servant will accompany you.
I am to travel all night?
Have I offended the General?
I have never seen him more angry.
Your brother must have been so angry with me, he told your father what I did…
…what I suspected.
I deserve to be sent home in disgrace.
You are wrong.
I know my father’s reasons and they do him no credit.
To turn you out in the middle of the night! Truly, I fear for your safety.
The journey is nothing.
But have you enough money to pay your way?
I never thought of that.
Well, there at least I can help you.
Oh, Catherine. I am so sorry.
I deserve it.
I deserve it all.
ELEANOR: (Whispers) Catherine, I implore you, please take it…
(Man shouts in distance)
DRIVER: Newbury! Newbury coach.
Come on, get that luggage off!
Hello! How are you?
Mother, Catherine’s back! She’s back!
These great men can be very strange and sudden in their behaviour.
Well, we must live and learn.
And the next new friends you make I hope will be better worth keeping
than the ones you made at Bath.
No friend can be better worth keeping than Eleanor.
And Mr Tilney is not to blame.
Such a pleasant, agreeable young man I thought him.
He found us a chair, you know.
And he understands muslin ever so well.
That’s greatly to his credit, I’m sure.
But has he written?
Has he offered any kind of explanation?
I dare say there’s no harm done in the end.
You did very well to manage that journey all on your own, Catherine.
You always used to be such a scatter-brained little creature.
I’m quite proud of you.
Indeed, I am not proud of myself.
What was the Abbey like? Was it very scary?
Were there ghosts?
It was very big and strange,
with lots of empty rooms and secret passages.
And I did think there might be ghosts. But there weren’t any ghosts, really.
People who read too many stories imagine all sorts of horrid things about ghosts and murders.
It is very wrong of them to do so, and it can get you into serious trouble.
So let me not hear of any of you being so silly.
Now, what else would you like to hear about?
What games did you play?
We played I Spy
We went horse-riding and got ourselves very muddy indeed.
Was Mr Tilney very handsome, Cathy?
Yes, I think so.
Very handsome and very kind and everything he should be.
Do you love Mr Tilney, Cathy?
No, of course not.
Don’t talk such nonsense.
Now… into your beds, all of you.
GIRL: Night, Cathy!
What did you do to make them send you home, Cathy?
Did you do something very naughty?
Come on, back into your bed.
MRS MORLAND: Cathy?
What is it?
I did love him!
I do love him!
Now I shall never see him again and it is all my own fault.
…men ran to the fen
– to get Ben! – Very good.
– Cathy! – Cathy! Cathy!
It’s a man on a white horse!
Go and tell Mama that Mr Tilney is here.
BOTH: Mr Tilney!
Go on, boys. In you go, quickly.
It’s Mr Tilney! He’s here!
I am so ashamed of what I said, what I thought…
No, it is I who should apologise.
There’s nothing you have said that can justify the way you were treated.
But you were angry with me, and rightly so.
I was angry with you, but that is long past.
Your imagination may be overactive.
But your instinct was true.
Our mother did suffer grievously, and at the hands of our father.
Do you remember I spoke to you of a kind of vampirism?
Perhaps it was stupid to express it so, but we did watch him drain the life out of her
with his coldness and his cruelty.
He married her for her money, you see. She thought it was for love.
It was a long time until she knew his heart was cold.
No vampires, no blood.
The worst crimes are the crimes of the heart.
But it was stupid and wicked of me to think such things as I did.
Mama says, will you bring Mr Tilney to the drawing room?
after what has happened, I have little right to expect a welcome at Fullerton.
You had no part in what happened, Mr Tilney.
And Catherine is as you see her – no harm done.
Any friends of our children are welcome here.
Shall we agree to say no more about it?
You are very good.
Are Mr and Mrs Allen now at Fullerton?
They are, sir.
I should like to pay my respects.
Perhaps Miss Morland might show me the way?
But you can see their house from the window!
I’m sure Catherine will be happy to show you, Mr Tilney.
He thought I was rich?
It was Thorpe who misled him at first, Thorpe, who hoped to marry you himself.
He thought you were Mr Allen’s heiress, and he exaggerated Mr Allen’s wealth to my father.
You were only guilty of not being as rich as you were supposed to be.
For that, he turned you out of the house.
I thought you were so angry with me you told him what you knew,
which would have justified any discourtesy.
No, the discourtesy was all his.
I have broken with my father, Catherine.
I may never speak to him again.
– What did he say to you? – Let me instead tell you what I said to him.
I told him that I felt myself bound to you,
and by a love so strong
that nothing he could do could deter me from…
– From what? – Before I go on, I should say,
there’s a pretty good chance he’ll disinherit me.
I fear I may never be a rich man, Catherine.
Please, go on with what you were going to say.
Will you marry me, Catherine?
Yes, I will!
NARRATOR: To begin perfect happiness at the respective ages of 26 and 18
is to do pretty well.
Catherine and Henry were married.
And in due course, the joys of wedding gave way to the blessings of a christening.
The bells rang and everyone smiled.
No-one more so than Eleanor
whose beloved’s unexpected accession to title and fortune
finally allowed them to marry.
I leave it to be settled
whether the tendency of this story
be to recommend parental tyranny
or reward filial disobedience.
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