Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Barbara Cartland movies 2

Speaking of movies (guilty or otherwise) we're having a discussion of the upcoming new Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley at the Risky Regencies blog ( Check it out and let us know what you think!

OK, yesterday I told you all about Duel of Hearts, my personal fave of the Cartland movies. Today the subject is Hazard of Hearts, which in some ways is even cheesier fare. Although, sadly, Cara didn't like it. :) It stars Helena Bonham-Carter as our heroine Serena She looks about 16 but is just as sulky as ever. Her father gambles his estate and his daughter away to a nasty old villain (stop me if you've heard this before). The villain in turn, who has lusted for Serena for a long time (yuck) then turns around and stupidly loses her to our hero, a very handsome man with sadly wooden acting skills (but who really cares--he looks fab in a cravat). But before our hero can tell the idiotic father the good news, father kills himself. Alas alack.

So Helena--oops, Serena--finds herself transported to the hero's castle in Cornwall, which is under the dominion of his villainous mother, the deliciously eeeevil Diana Rigg. Mother runs a gaming hell in her drawing room to fuel her gambling addiction, and also leads up a group of smugglers. I'm not entirely sure why. Fun and profit, I guess, and also to give our heroine an excuse to be chased through twisty, scary underground tunnels. The evil villain of the first act turns up at the gaming hell, of course, and there's a scheming widow out to get the hero for herself, plus a lamebrained subplot involving the hero's father. And, as in DoH, there are Gothic goings-on on stormy nights, sinister servants, lots of chases and double-crosses. You get the idea.

The costumes aren't quite as great as in DoH--too many ruffles and flowers for my taste. But they ARE pretty, especially for a very young heroine, and the Cornwall setting is stunning. Lots of fun, especially if you've had a chocolatini or 2 while watching. Cheers!


Kay-Kay said...

I'm pretty sure I saw Hazard of Hearts in my early adolescence--was it a copy of yours, perhaps?

Kelli McBride said...

I love this movie (except I'm sure that Helena Bonham-Carter is just a few hairs shy of a unibrow). I really love her ride "ventre a terre" (as the great G. Heyer would have said) in order to rescue the hero only to find him in the presence of a very sophisticated lady - if you know what I mean.

You've also forgotten the ginormous great dane that is Serena's pet.

Marcus Gilbert, as Lord Vane, doesn't have much of an acting range, but he is almost the epitome of a Regency Lord - I'm waiting to see Orlando in cravat, buckskins, and a multi-tiered cape - the appropriate get-up for a Corinthian.

Cara King said...

I adore Helena BC when she pouts, I must admit! She's such a beautiful sulker. :-)


Amanda McCabe said...

Kay-Kay, I'm sure it must have been my copy. Who else that we knew would have had a copy of a BC movie??? It bet it went with a tube of cookie dough...

An H B-C IS very pouty, especially in one of my very favorite (and not even guilty!) movies A Room With a View. And Wings of the Dove. Two more fab costume movies. :)

Kelli McBride said...

I LOVE A Room with a View. I've always wanted to write a prequel about "poor Charlotte" - how did she become the way she is?

It's such a passionate, funny, and sad film.

We'll have to have a film night for Merchant-Ivory flicks.