Films - Ballroom scenes whiteouter
Even if you've seen them already, consider viewing these films on video. The jewels, costumes and settings are beautiful and extravagant, and in many cases, award-winning. This issue, in keeping with the theme of festive dressing, the focus is on films with memorable ballroom scenes.

Released: 1995
Directed by Michael Hoffman
Based on a novel by Rose Tremain

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Cast includes:
Robert Downey Jr. .... Robert Merivel
Sam Neill .... King Charles II
David Thewlis .... John Pearce
Polly Walker .... Celia Clemence
Meg Ryan .... Katharine
Ian McKellen .... Will Gates
Hugh Grant .... Elias Finn

*Oscar winner for: Best Costume Design (James Acheson)

An aspiring young doctor, Robert Merivel finds himself in the service of King Charles II and saves the life of someone close to the King. Merivel is invited to join the King's court and lives the high life provided to someone of his position.

Sense and Sensibility
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Released: 1995
Directed by Ang Lee
Based on the novel by Jane Austen
Screen adaptation by Emma Thompson

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Cast includes:
James Fleet .... John Dashwood
Tom Wilkinson .... Mr. Dashwood
Harriet Walter .... Fanny Dashwood
Kate Winslet .... Marianne Dashwood
Emma Thompson .... Elinor Dashwood
Gemma Jones .... Mrs. Dashwood
Hugh Grant .... Edward Ferrars
Alan Rickman .... Colonel Brandon

Nominated for Oscar: Best Costume Design (Jenny Beavan, John Bright) Nominated for BAFTA Film Award for: Best Costume Design; Best Makeup Hair (Jan Archibald, Morag Ross)

An early 19th century drama which begins with the death of wealthy Mr. Dashwood, most of whose estate is left to the son by his first marriage. Suddenly, this leaves his second wife and three daughters in straitened circumstances. Taken in by well-meaning relatives, their lack of fortune affects the marriageability of both practical Elinor and romantic Marianne.

The Age of Innocence
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Released: 1993
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Based on the novel by Edith Wharton

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Cast includes:
Daniel Day-Lewis .... Newland Archer
Michelle Pfeiffer .... Ellen Olenska
Winona Ryder .... May Welland

*Oscar winner for: Best Costume Design (Gabriella Pescucci)

This film is set in the very traditional, repressed world of late 19th century New York. High-society Newland Archer is engaged to May Welland, but his well-ordered life is upset when he meets May's unconventional cousin, the Countess Olenska.

Released: 1992
Directed and written by Sally Potter

Cast includes:
Tilda Swinton .... Orlando
Quentin Crisp .... Queen Elizabeth I
Jimmy Somerville .... Falsetto/Angel
John Bott .... Orlando's Father
Elaine Banham .... Orlando's Mother

Nominated for Oscar: Best Costume Design (Sandy Powell)

Based upon Virginia Woolf's novel, this film has an interesting atmospheric quality. A handsome, immortal youth experiences life from the point of view of both sexes as s/he moves through four centuries of social change in England.

Dangerous Liasions
Released: 1988
Directed by Stephen Frears
Based on a play by Christopher Hampton

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Cast includes:
Glenn Close .... Marquise de Merteuil
John Malkovich .... Vicomte de Valmont
Michelle Pfeiffer .... Madame de Tourvel
Swoosie Kurtz .... Madame de Volanges
Keanu Reeves .... Chevalier Danceny
Mildred Natwick .... Madame de Rosemonde
Uma Thurman .... Cécile de Volanges
Peter Capaldi .... Azolan

*Oscar winner for:
Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (Stuart Craig,Gérard James)
Best Costume Design (James Acheson)
Nominated Oscar for: Best Actress (Glenn Close)
Best Music, Original Score (George Fenton)
Best Picture(Norma Heyman, Hank Moonjean)
Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Pfeiffer)
Nominated BAFTA award for:
Best Costume Design (James Acheson)
Best Make Up Artist (Jean-Luc Russier)
Best Original Film Score (George Fenton)

Set in 1788 France, this film centers on the lives of the idol aristocracy. The Marquise de Merteuil needs a favour from her ex-lover, Vicomte de Valmont. Her ex-husband is planning to marry a young, virtuos woman named Cecile de Volanges. The Marquise would like Valmont to seduce Cecile before her wedding day. Meanwhile, Valmont has a conquest of his own in mind - Madame de Tourvel, a beautiful, married and pious woman.

Released: 1984
Directed by Milos Forman
Based on play by Peter Shaffer

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Cast includes:
F. Murray Abraham .... Antonio Salieri
Tom Hulce .... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Elizabeth Berridge .... Constanze Mozart
Simon Callow .... Emanuel Schikaneder
Roy Dotrice .... Leopold Mozart
Christine Ebersole .... Katerina Cavalieri

*Oscar winner for:
Best Costume Design (Theodor Pistek)
Best Actor (F. Murray Abraham)
Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (Karel Cerny, Patrizia von Brandenstein)
Best Costume Design (Theodor Pistek)
Best Director (Milos Forman)
Best Makeup (Paul LeBlanc, Dick Smith)
Best Picture (Saul Zaentz)
*Winner BAFTA Film Award for: Best Cinematography (Miroslav Ondrícek)
Best Make Up Artist (Paul LeBlanc, Dick Smith)
Nominated BAFTA Film Award for:
Best Actor (F. Murray Abraham)
Best Costume Design (Theodor Pistek)

Antonio Salieri believes that Mozart's music is divine. He wishes he himself was as great a musician as Mozart so that he can praise the Lord through composing. Salieri's envy is the catalyst for revenge.

Gone with the Wind
Released: 1939
Directed by Victor Fleming
Based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell

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Cast includes:
Clark Gable .... Rhett Butler
Vivien Leigh .... Scarlett O'Hara
Leslie Howard .... Ashley Wilkes
Olivia de Havilland .... Melanie Hamilton
Wilkes Hattie McDaniel .... Mammy
Thomas Mitchell .... Gerald O'Hara
Butterfly McQueen .... Prissy

Oscar winner for: Best Actress (Vivien Leigh)
Best Art Direction (Lyle R. Wheeler)
Best Cinematography, Color (Ernest Haller, Ray Rennahan) Best Director (Victor Fleming)
Best Picture (David O. Selznick)
Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel)
New York Film Critics Circle Award (1939)
US People's Choice Award for Favorite All-Time Motion Picture (1989)

Set in the Southern States in the early-mid 1860's, this is an epic story about a beautiful, wealthy, strong-willed woman, and how she copes with all the devastation the US Civil War brought to her way of life - including losing the love of the man she wants to another.

The Scarlet Pimpernel
Released: 1999 (for TV)

"The Scarlet Pimpernel and the Kidnapped King"
Cast includes:
Richard E. Grant.... Sir Percy Blakeney
Elizabeth McGovern.... Marguerite Blakeney
Martin Shaw.... Chauvelin
Suzanne Bertish.... La Touraine

"The Scarlet Pimpernel Meets Madame Guillotine"
Cast includes:
Richard E. Grant.... Sir Percy Blakeney
Elizabeth McGovern.... Marguerite Blakeney
Denise Black.... Mademoiselle Guillotine
Julie Cox.... Helene de Rochambueau