The Camomile Lawn View large image

Film Details

Directed by: Peter Hall

Produced: 1992

Countries & Regions: United Kingdom

DVD Details

Certificate: 15

Length: 258 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 19 May 2008

Cat No: C4DVD10230

Languages(s): English
Interactive Menu
Screen ratio 1:1.33
Dolby Digital 2.0

Moviemail Details

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The Camomile Lawn

Cast: Paul Eddington , Jennifer Ehle , Richard Johnson , Tara Fitzgerald , Virginia McKenna , Felicity Kendal , Rebecca Hall , Nicholas Le Prevost , Toby Stephen

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In 1939 England, the Cuthbertsons - Helena (Felicity Kendal) and Richard (Paul Eddington), a war cripple - live in Cornwall with their... Read More




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In 1939 England, the Cuthbertsons - Helena (Felicity Kendal) and Richard (Paul Eddington), a war cripple - live in Cornwall with their orphaned niece, Sophy. Sophy is resented by Helena, and has little in common with Richard, and so is pleased when her four cousins arrive in August for a holiday. They talk excitedly about the possibility of war, and look forward to the ’Terror Run’ - a night-time spree along a cliff path. Austrian refugees Max and Monika Erstweiler are invited to the traditional family dinner which takes place before the run, but the evening comes to an abrupt end when the news arrives that the outbreak of war is imminent.

Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Mary Wesley, The Camomile Lawn – a saga covering the lives, loves and liaisons of the Cuthbertson family against the backdrop of WWII – created a universal appeal on television through its lovely performances and beautiful production values. A fair amount of sexually explicit activity among its young and attractive cast did nothing to dampen its audience’s ardour either, though was controversial so close to the 9pm watershed.

Beginning on the eve of WWII, which comes to interrupt the sun-filled summer of 1939, the gossipy drama unfolds as an oral history of the family. Like the best period dramas, it gives us strong, fallible characters and sumptuous costumes and scenery – not least that surrounding the Cornish clifftop residence. Felicity Kendall has a grand old time as Aunt Helena, alternatively snobbish and endearing, whilst Jennifer Ehle steals scenes as Calypso, the vampish daughter who would rather pretend she married her husband for wealth than admit to any feelings of love.

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