Watch The Rivals
- 2 hr 4 min
The Rivals is a British comedy film from 1988 that is based on the famous play of the same name by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Directed by David Giles, the movie features a cast of talented actors, including Donald Sinden, Sheila Hancock, Patrick Ryecart, Suzanne Burden, and many others. Set in 18th century Bath, the film revolves around the romantic tribulations of several characters who are united by their pursuit of love and money. At the heart of the story is the wealthy and vain Captain Jack Absolute (played by Patrick Ryecart), who has fallen in love with Lydia Languish (played by Suzanne Burden), a young woman who is obsessed with romance novels and sees herself as a heroine in one of them. When Lydia learns that Jack is a rich young man, she happily accepts his advances, not realizing that he has disguised his true identity to test her love for him. Meanwhile, Jack's father, Sir Anthony Absolute (played by Donald Sinden), a wealthy and pompous country squire, is determined to marry his son off to a suitable heiress. To complicate matters further, Lydia's guardians, Mrs. Malaprop (played by Sheila Hancock), a comically inept wordsmith, and Sir Lucius O'Trigger (played by Richard O'Callaghan), a hot-headed Irishman, are also meddling in her love life. Mrs. Malaprop believes that Lydia is in love with her nephew, the hapless and impoverished Ensign Beverley (played by Nigel Davenport), and Sir Lucius wants to challenge Ensign Beverley to a duel. As the story unfolds, the characters engage in a series of humorous misunderstandings and mistaken identities, leading to a delightful comedy of manners that is full of witty dialogue, eccentric characters, and plenty of hilarity. Donald Sinden delivers a standout performance as Sir Anthony Absolute, the overbearing and pompous father who is determined to control his son's love life. Sheila Hancock also shines as Mrs. Malaprop, the clueless aunt who constantly mangles her words and confuses everyone around her. Patrick Ryecart and Suzanne Burden have great chemistry as the young lovers, and their numerous romantic escapades are both charming and entertaining. The supporting cast, which includes such talents as Richard O'Callaghan, Nigel Davenport, and Rosalind Knight, also add to the film's charm with their delightful performances. Overall, The Rivals is a delightful and entertaining comedy that is filled with witty banter, cerebral humor, and colorful characters. It offers a refreshing glimpse into the world of 18th century England, and is sure to enchant audiences of all ages with its timeless charm and humor.