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Aristocrats (1999)

Cast: Jodhi May, Jodhi May, Julian Fellowes, more...
Director: David Caffrey, David Caffrey
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Acorn Media
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 293 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

Based on a true story, Aristocrats draws back the curtain on an 18th century English family near the summit of society, revealing a tapestry of romance, prejudice, infidelity, and revolution. The three-part TV miniseries follows the four Lennox sisters, daughters of Lord Richmond, from youth to middle age and beyond. They go through marriages, children, scandal, and intrigue as they decide what matters more: position or principle. Part one centers on three of the daughters -- Caroline, Emily, and Louisa -- as they entertain ideas of marrying solely for love, an idea abhorrent to their snooty parents. But in spite of the folks' protests ("What will people think?"), Caroline marries an untitled politician, Henry Fox, about twice her age. Emily chooses, God forbid, an Irishman. But because of his wealth and nobility, he becomes acceptable. Louisa also marries a wealthy Irish noble. Part two centers on the fourth daughter, Sarah. After her debut in London, the diffident Prince of Wales (the future King George III) falls in love with her, but unexpectedly marries another for political advantage. Sarah then rushes into a marriage. But because her cold, neglectful husband cannot provide what she wants most -- love and attention -- she beds with others and the family ostracizes her. In part three, miserable, guilt-ridden Sarah finds true love with a decent military man and reconciles herself with the family. Meanwhile, Caroline dies, and social upheaval in America, France, and Ireland opens the eyes of the surviving sisters to new ideas, and they and their families become embroiled in struggles between the masses and the privileged few. ~ Mike Cummings, All Movie Guide

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