On Approval

Watch On Approval

  • 1980
  • 1 hr 30 min

On Approval is a classic British period film from 1992, directed by Norman J. Warren and starring Jeremy Brett and Lindsay Duncan. The film is based on a 1926 play by Frederick Lonsdale, and it tells the story of two couples who go on a trial vacation together to see if they're a good match. The film is set in the early 1900s, in a time when aristocrats and wealthy socialites would spend their days lounging in the countryside and attending lavish parties. George (Jeremy Brett) is a Duke who has fallen on hard times and is looking to marry for money. His friend, Richard (Edward Duke), introduces him to Maria (Lindsay Duncan), a wealthy woman who is equally as desperate to marry and have children. After some negotiations, the two agree to go on a trial vacation together to see if they are compatible.

The two couples arrive at a beautiful Scottish estate and begin their trial vacation. However, things quickly go awry when George and Maria begin bickering and arguing, and Richard and Helen (Jenny Seagrove) are left to try and keep the peace. As the vacation wears on, tensions rise, and it becomes apparent that the two couples may not be as well matched as they originally thought.

One of the most impressive aspects of On Approval is the acting. Jeremy Brett, famous for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the 1980s TV series, is fantastic as the desperate Duke. He brings a sense of wit and charm to the character, making it easy to see why he was such a beloved actor. Lindsay Duncan is equally impressive as Maria, imbuing the character with a sense of vulnerability and desperation that makes her relatable and sympathetic.

The supporting cast is also excellent, particularly Jenny Seagrove as the kind-hearted Helen. She brings a sense of warmth to the film, making her character the most likable of the bunch. Edward Duke is also fun to watch as Richard, the friend who seems to be the only one who is truly enjoying himself on the vacation.

The cinematography is also worth mentioning. The film makes good use of its Scottish setting, with some beautiful shots of the rugged countryside and the impressive estate where the couples are staying. The costumes and set design are also impressive, transporting the viewer back in time to a more elegant era.

One of the most interesting things about On Approval is the way it explores gender roles and relationships. The film is set in a time when a woman's worth was largely determined by her ability to marry and have children. Maria is keenly aware of this fact, and it's clear that her desperation to marry is fueled largely by societal pressure. Meanwhile, George is equally aware of his financial struggles and the need to marry for money. It's an intriguing dynamic that adds depth to the film and provides some interesting commentary on the societal norms of the time.

Overall, On Approval is a delightful period film that will be sure to appeal to fans of classic British cinema. With its charming performances, beautiful setting, and insightful commentary on relationships, it's a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min