Where Angels Fear to Tread

From Academic Kids

DVD cover for the film of Where Angels Fear to Tread.
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DVD cover for the film of Where Angels Fear to Tread.

Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905) is a novel by E. M. Forster, originally entitled Monteriano. In 1991 it was made into a film by Charles Sturridge, starring Rupert Graves, Giovanni Guidelli, Helen Mirren, Helena Bonham Carter, and Judy Davis.

On a journey to Tuscany with her young friend and travelling companion Caroline Abbott (Bonham Carter), widowed Lilia Herriton (Mirren) falls in love with both Italy and a handsome Italian much younger than herself, and decides to stay. Furious, her dead husband's family send Lilia's brother-in-law and his sister to Italy to prevent a misalliance, but they arrive too late. Lilia marries the Italian and in due course becomes pregnant again. When she dies giving birth to her child, the Herritons consider it both their right and their duty to travel to Monteriano to obtain custody of the infant so that he can be raised as an Englishman.

Similarly to A Room with a View, both Italy and its inhabitants are presented as exuding an irresistible charm, to which eventually also Caroline Abbott succumbs. However, there is a tragic ending to the novel, while the film adds a suggestively positive scene.

The movie is often erroneously considered to have been made by Merchant Ivory Productions, who made the film version of A Room with a View.

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