The Wings of the Dove

Synopsis: Kate Croy's mother was born to wealth and privilege, but she threw it all away to marry Kate's father, a penniless opium addict who admits to having stolen from his wife. After her mother's death, Kate is offered an opportunity to return to the life her mother gave up. There is a condition, however: Kate must sever all of her old ties, not only to her father, but also to her lover, the muck-raking journalist Merton Densher, whom she has promised marriage. Kate reluctantly agrees to this, and in the meantime becomes friendly with "the world's richest orphan," Millie Theale, an American making the Grand Tour. Desperate to see Kate, Merton crashes a party that she and Millie are attending, and Millie is attracted to him. When Kate learns that Millie is dying, she comes up with a plan to have her cake and eat it too...but all does not go as planned.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Iain Softley
Production: Miramax
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 28 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
102 min

- Kate.

- Merton, no !

- Where did you go all morning?

-Went to the park.

All on your own ?

l was supposed to meet a friend.

She didn't turn up.

Too much powder.

Close your eyes.

Try to look as if you've

worn it all your life.

lt's yours.

- Do you remember my niece ?

- Kate.

l didn't recognize her.

You've quite transformed her.

Yes, l know. She's finally

left her wretched father.

l've been trying to arrange it since

her mother died. She's my ward now.

- You'll just have to

come and see us more often.

- She doesn't look very happy.

She will be.

This life is still new to her.

- Does she know anyone here ?

- Just you for the time being.

Well, l shall have to go

and say hello.

How are you settling

into your new life ?

- l'm very comfortable.

- You look preoccupied.

- l'm not used to all this.

- Your aunt's something of

an expert at these occasions.

How do you mean ?

She has a wonderful eye

for who fits best with who.

She suggested l be your guide.

Over there in that corner,

we have Lady Baring and her daughter.

- Do you see them ?

- Yes.

Now, what Lady Baring has to do

is somehow manoeuvre her daughter...

from that side of the gathering

to the other...

without falling in the fountain.

- Do you see the man

in the red waistcoat ?

- Yes.

- He's the target.

- Why ?

Because of

his father's bank account.

The Barings have to pay

for their castle somehow.

As do we all.

- You have a castle too, Lord Mark ?

- Well, it's seen better days.

l spend more time

in my London home.

But you must let me

entertain you in both.

With your aunt, of course.

Of course.

Thwack. Robin Hood

couldn't have shot straighter.

That's ridiculous. The upper class

isn't going to change of its own accord.

- Why should it ?

That's exactly what l'm saying.

They're only using reform to fool us.

- The supposedly radical--

- Who's behind this class conspiracy ?

l'm not saying it's a conspiracy.

They're just protecting themselves--

Kate ! Hello.

A little too blind to see.

- l completely disagree.

- That's the most cynical

point of view l have--

- Excuse me.

- Hey. You can't just leave

in the middle of an argument.

l just have.

l thought she'd forgotten

her old friends.

l didn't expect

to see you here again.

- So how was the wedding ?

- Awful.

Didn't Aunt Maud find you

a suitable husband ?

She tried.

Have you thought

any more about my offer ?

l haven't thought about anything else

since the day l met you.

The same thought for a whole year ?

Must be very tiring.

Why don't l go straight to your Aunt

Maud and ask for your hand in marriage?

- All right.

- What would she do ?

- Aren't l good enough for you ?

- You're not good enough for her.

- ls that really necessary ?

- For the time being.

To see what you can get

out of her ?

l never went to her.

lt was she who settled on me.


- Please, let me go.

- l thought you liked the rain.

l'm drenched, Merton.

Please, let me go.

- Not until you promise.

- No.

All right, l give up.

- You know my conditions.

- l'm not going to marry you.

Then we are gonna get

very wet together.

l promise.

- So where's my ring ?

- Merton.

l need proof.

Kate, is that you ?

- Lord Mark has

been waiting all afternoon.

- l'm sorry.

l got caught in the rain. l didn't

know you were coming, Lord Mark.

No, don't worry.

lt was an impromptu visit.

l came to invite you both

for lunch tomorrow.

- l'm afraid l can't tomorrow.

- Why not ?

- l've arranged to meet a friend.

- One of your old friends ?

- Can't you arrange

to see her another day ?

lt's too late to cancel.

l'll get my driver

to send her a note.

Where does she live ?

l'm sure it'll be all right.

l don't need to send a note.

Yes, hello. l was wondering if

Mr Merton Densher was in the office.

- Kate ?

- Do you know when he'll be back ?

N-N-No. No. That's all right.

Thank you. Goodbye.

Kate ?

- lt's open !

You look surprised to see me.

Yes. Yes, l am.

l'm sorry.

l couldn't get away until now.

- l have to finish this.

- Don't pretend you can concentrate.

l don't have any choice. l should've

done this when l was waiting for you.

- Where were you ?

- With Maud.

- And what did she buy you this time ?

- Nothing.

You should've come with me then, 'cause

l could've bought you nothing too.

lt's much nicer here

than l thought it would be.

Nice enough to move in ?

Ooh, l'd have to see

the rest of the house first.

What if l didn't

let you leave tonight ?

What would happen ?

l'd be penniless,

cast out of society,

and l'd be stuck with you.

Good. Well, we'll open

a bottle of something,

and in the morning,

everyone will know about us.

- l'm not good at being impulsive.

- Well, maybe if you just...

fell asleep

and l didn't wake you up.

- Maybe--

- l won't fall asleep.

One day,

you'll get tired of me.

l think it'll be

the other way around.

No, it won't.

Cabbie !

Hyde Park, please.

- Can we go to Olds Street instead ?

Nice to see ya.

So, is this welcome home then ?

Does your aunt

know you're here ?

That's why l've come to talk to you,

Father. l want to leave her.

- And go where ?

- Somewhere else.

With someone else ?

Your journalist ?

- You'd leave your aunt for him ?

- Yes.

With everything

she can do for you ?

l love him.

How long do you think

you would last without money ?

- l don't know.

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Hossein Amini

Hossein Amini (Persian: حسین امینی‎; born 18 January 1966) is a British-Iranian screenwriter and film director. Amini has worked as a screenwriter since the early 1990s. He was nominated for numerous awards for the 1997 film The Wings of the Dove, including an Academy Award for Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay. He also won a "Best Adapted Screenplay" award from the Austin Film Critics Association for his screenplay adaptation of Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive (2011), based on the novel by James Sallis. For his directorial debut, he both wrote and directed The Two Faces of January, an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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