I Capture the Castle

Synopsis: The film follows 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain, and the fortunes of her eccentric family, struggling to survive in a decaying English castle. Her father is desperate to repeat the spectacular success of his first novel, but hasn't written a word for 12 years; her exquisite sister Rose can only rail against their fate, and their Bohemian step-mother Topaz is a nudist and no help at all. Salvation comes in the form of their American landlord Simon Cotton and his brother Neil. Although initially repelled by Simon, Rose is determined to make him fall in love with her and succeeds. A wedding is arranged and Cassandra is left on the sidelines as everyone around her is drawn into a maelstrom of interconnected relationships. But events spiral out of control, and before the summer ends she will experience frustrated desire, first love, and a broken heart.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Tim Fywell
Production: Samuel Goldwyn Films
  2 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
113 min


I have relived

this particular day many times.

The weather is always flawless,

and so is Father's mood.

It is a golden memory

and I am suspicious of it.

I keep looking

for one black cloud in the sky,

for some premonition of what was to come,

but I can't find anything.

Not a single clue.

Father had been let out

and Mother was laughing.

Perhaps, it really was a happy day.

Would you like to live there?

Can we?

Dear, God.

Dear, God!

Mommy, Mommy, look at us!

Look at us!

Isn't it wonderful!

I shall have this place

if it costs me my last shilling!

I will write masterpieces here.

And we believed him.

I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.

I have a grandstand view of my relations,

and it depresses me.

Ten years on, nothing Father

said would happen has,

and there have been other shocks.

My hands have gone green.

Doesn't it make you feel God-like,

turning things a different color?

We have acquired a stepmother,

for a start...

Brackets, not wicked.

Nothing will get it off.


Have you tried

all the perfumes of Arabia?

We can't get any more credit

at the stores.

Is it any wonder?

I've been drawing up our accounts.

Income, nil.


How much is the rent?

He hasn't paid it for two years.

We'll end up living in a ditch.

At least the landlord's

shuffled off this mortal coil.

It's not unmitigated gloom.

No, I was looking for my cardigan.

My love, I've got

this sudden mania for dyeing.

It is going to look rather wonderful,

a cross between sun-fire and lichen.

Don't let me interrupt the game.



There are droppings in this cupboard!

I hate this place!

I'd burn it down if we had any matches.

- Rose, where are you going?

- On the streets.

You can't go on the streets

in the depths of Suffolk.

I could in London.

You haven't got the train fare.

I'm going to the vicarage

to borrow from the poor box.

Prostitution is very hard work, Rose.

- It wouldn't suit you at all.

- You should know.

There's a picture of you

in the Tate with nothing on.

It was an experiment in flesh tones.

If you really want to make a fortune,

choose a wealthy man

and marry him respectably.

Like you did with Father?

Sorry, sorry.

- You don't mean it, Rose.

- Get off, Topaz.

You're not our mother!

- I do my best!

- Well, it's not good enough!

I thought about going to comfort them,

but it would only have

inflamed the situation.

Someone has to keep a lid on things.

Mother always did when she was alive.

Rose... I don't think

you should start

threatening to go on the streets.

You'll never be able

to marry anyone after that,

least of all a wealthy man.

I'll never meet any men locked up here,

beyond the reach of love,

and it will kill me.

I would have thought that love

was the murderous thing,

not the lack of it.

I am never going to fall in love.

Life is dangerous enough.

Thank God for that at least.

- What?

- The postman's coming up the drive.

As manager for the Scotney estate,

this office begs to inform you,

etcetera, etcetera...

We respectfully request

that the rent outstanding

for the period, June 1934 to March 1936,

be forwarded to this office

without delay.

Open the other one.

It's from the publisher.

The royalty check

always comes in the spring.

Nothing this year.


Are there any biscuits left?

There's never been nothing before.

First time for everything.

I brought a bucket.

For the leak in the roof.

- Did I interrupt your work?

- No.

I was reading

"Death on the Nile."

Is there anything I can do to help?

What makes you think

I'm in need of assistance?

Father, "Jacob Wrestling"

was a wonderful, groundbreaking book.

There was never going

to be a sequel overnight.


Meaning it will come.

- How old are you now?

- Seventeen.

And you still believe in fairy tales?

I will not give in to panic.

I'd be as mad as the rest of them

if it wasn't for this diary.

Stephen is like a rock.

We haven't paid him for six months.

He could just pack his bags and go,

but he says he'll never leave us.


Why must you be

so monotonously grim, Rose?

I feel grim.

Right now, I'd sell my soul to the devil

for a roast beef dinner

and a Tangee lipstick.

Why don't you wish on the gargoyle?

You could pretend that was the devil.

Stephen, fetch a ladder that will reach.

We haven't got one, Miss Rose.

He's not a servant.

Blow the candles out, all except one.

Come on.


Perhaps we could buy

a pig on higher purchase.

We would have quite a lot

of bacon, eventually.

It's all right.

Rose is dabbling in the occult.


Full marks for enterprise.

Be careful, Rose.


I can't go on living like this.

Please... I'll do anything.

It's whole nut.

Stephen, you shouldn't have.

Don't you like whole nut?

I mean you shouldn't

have spent your money on me.

There isn't any food in the house.

Now, have you got everything you need?

A roaring fire, concealing draperies...

What more could a lady want at bath time?

A wireless would be nice.

Chocolate is luxury enough.

I could get you some

without nuts next time.


Topaz has said that,

viewed from a certain angle,

Stephen looks like all of

the Greek gods rolled into one.

I can't see it,

and it's probably just as well.

I've known him since I was seven.

He's like a brother to me.

Anything else

would be much too confusing.

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Heidi Thomas

Heidi Thomas (born 13 August 1962, Garston, Liverpool, Lancashire) is an English screenwriter and playwright. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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