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Bach Movies: Bach's Life & Documentaries: Index by Title | Index by Year
Filmed Performances: Index by Work | Index by Main Performer
Bach's Music in Soundtracks: Index by Title | Index by Year
General: Index by Number | Discussions of Movies on Bach

Bach Movies



Under Heaven
In a Private Garden
(USA, cable TV title)
In the Shadows (USA, video title)








Film: Jan 1998 (USA, Sundance Film Festival); Jul 1998 (USA)
DVD: Sep 1999; Oct 2004
VHS: May 1999


Meg Richman


Henry James (novel); Meg Richman


Joely Richardson (Eleanor Dunston); Aden Young (Buck); Molly Parker (Cynthia); Kevin Phillip ( John); Krisha Fairchild (Cynthia's Mother); Marjorie Nelson (Mrs. Fletcher); Alisa Mackay (Francis); Elsie Vance (Brittany); Teru McDonald (Ashley); Anna Copley (Eleanor's Doctor); George Catalano (Vegetable Man); Stefan Enriquez (Mexican Man); Meliza Chavez (Mexican Girl); Wayne Grace (God - voice); Rod Utley (Doctor in Hospital)


Cynthia and Buck are a young couple with little but love. Soon Cynthia drops the cough syrup and beer drinking Buck: her dreams of being a princess did not involve an unemployed boyfriend who steals steaks and fruit-pies under his shirt. Setting out on her own, a devastated Buck left behind, Cynthia gets a job caring for rich but terminally ill Eleanor. As God would have it, Buck comes back into the picture. Cynthia persuades him to charm the self-conscious Eleanor, to gain favors in her will. What ensues is an intense love triangle, a passionate example of the redeeming power of love and forgiveness. (Guillaume Bock &

Cynthia and Buck are young working-class couple who serve for rich lady Eleanor Dunston, who is dying of cancer. When Cynthia sees the physical attraction Eleanor feels toward Buck, she demands he should start an affair with Eleanor (Eleanor doesn't know Cynthia and Buck are married) to get to her money. (Anonymous)

Although the concept sounds like something out of MTV hell--Henry James's The Wings of the Dove flies into the Seattle grunge scene--writer-director Meg Richman has fashioned a stunning and assured debut out of this modern-day reworking of the 1902 novel. Whereas Iain Softley's 1997 adaptation tried for something like Edwardian film noir, Richman opts for a take that may skimp on costumes but is far more lush on an emotional scale. Richman's plot is a loose adaptation of James, as a poor young woman (Molly Parker) takes a job as caretaker to a wealthy cancer patient (Joely Richardson) and arranges for her musician boyfriend (Aden Young) to pose as her half-brother in order to seduce the dying woman into leaving him all her money. If the triangle falters anywhere, it's in the problematic conception of the scheming lead character (Cynthia here, Kate in the novel), who's saddled with being paradoxically duplicitous and sincere in contrast with two much more sympathetic characters. Parker, usually an actress of amazing clarity, plays Cynthia with an unsuitable Real World flakiness and doesn't gain a foothold against her two costars until the end of the film. But it's those costars who send the love story of In the Shadows sailing into the stratosphere. Richardson and Young are a combustive and passionate duo, and make this unlikely mating a heartbreaking union of two souls whose common ground is an inability to express any kind of false emotion. Richardson is unsentimental and incredibly moving as she figures out what's happening and decides to use it for her own ends, and Young makes a surprisingly sexy and winning suitor; inarticulateness was never more attractive. Richman proves you don't need corsets and fancy hats to get at the heart of Henry James. Before falling victim to the bankruptcy of its original distributor, this fine film was more aptly titled Under Heaven when it played at various film festivals in 1998. (Mark Englehart,

An unforgettably beautiful and surprisingly sensual film that you'll never forget. Cynthia and her slacker boyfriend, Buck, are on the road to nowhere when she takes a job as caretaker to the beautiful, wealthy, but terminally ill Eleanor Dunston (Joely Richardson). Eleanor's rich world seduces the couple until the two cook up a scheme to have Buck marry Eleanor and bequeath them her fortune. But the strange triangle develops into something no one expected when each falls deeply in love. (




112 min (DVD) / 115 min (DVD, VHS)

J.S. Bach's Music:

Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050

Air (Mvt. 2) from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068


Film: Color, Dolby
DVD: See below.
VHS: (Color, NTSC)


Film: Banner Entertainment
DVD: Image Entertainment; Allumination
VHS: Allumination


Watch selections:

Buy movie at:

DVD: [Color, Dolby, NTSC, All Regions] | [Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Region 1]

Source/Links: IMDB
Contributor: Aryeh Oron (November 2007)

Bach Movies: Bach's Life & Documentaries: Index by Title | Index by Year
Filmed Performances: Index by Work | Index by Main Performer
Bach's Music in Soundtracks: Index by Title | Index by Year
General: Index by Number | Discussions of Movies on Bach


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Last update: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 09:47