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(Rosamunde Pilcher: Vier Jahreszeiten)

From the set of “Vier Jahreszeiten” (photo © TMG/ Stephen Morely)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 04/2008

An internationally acclaimed, star studded, cast brings yet another of the more than prolific Rosamunde Pilcher’s great romantic works to the small screen. What is here not to like?!

This time, the tried and tested combination of the Tele Muenchen Gruppe and Gate Film Television proudly presents Vier Jahreszeiten (“The Four Seasons Collection”). The drama unfolds, as the title has it, over the course of one year in the lives of the aristocratic Combe family.

Endelion, their magnificent country seat, the crown of Cornwall’s rugged coast (a setting no stranger to millions of Pilcher’s fans), sets the scene for this sweeping saga which revolves around three women of three generations. There is Julia, previously banished from Endelion for “crimes” to be revealed, whose return is the trigger for the turbulent events. Abby, her grand-daughter, wants to know the secrets of her past so that she can face the future. There is Charlotte, Julia’s daughter and Abby’s mother who supposedly killed herself but is still very much alive in the hearts of the Combe family – and is maybe not quite as dead, or as far away from Endelion, as some would believe.

All of which would mean nothing without the right cast to bring Vier Jahreszeiten to life.

Senta Berger (who plays Julia) has received numerous awards, including a Bambi and an Adolf Grimme Award garnered over a career that started in 1955 and has not slowed since. Tom Conti has been nominated for Golden Globes, the Bafta and an Oscar®. Michael York, whom even Queen Elizabeth II decorated with an OBE, has an Emmy nomination to his hugely extensive credits. And last but not least in the line-up, Franco Nero (whom many will remember as one of the nasties in Die Hard 2) was once nominated for a Golden Globe.

Directing Vier Jahreszeiten is British TV-movie and mini-series stalwart, Giles Foster, whose credits include Foyle’s War, Relative Strangers, Bertie and Elizabeth and Talking Heads, all or most of which would be instantly familiar to British audiences and then some.

Rounding up the top level technical credits is writer (and also actor) Trevor Bowen, who is at home wherever the drama calls for characters to say and do something and actors to act, as opposed to standing in front of blue or green screens and having special effects added in post-production.

But this is really preaching to the converted.

Vier Jahreszeiten is another piece of classic Pilcher that pushes all the right buttons, both before and behind the camera. Romantic fiction does not come any better than this.

Genre Drama, Love Story / Romance

Year of Production 2008
Director Giles Foster
Screenplay Matthew Thomas, Trevor Bowen
Cinematography Tony Imi
Catherine Creed
Richard Blackford
Martyn John
Cast Senta Berger, Tom Conti, Michael York, Paula Kalenberg, Franco Nero, Max von Pufendorf
Producers Herbert G. Kloiber, Rikolt von Gagern
Production Company Tele München/Munich, in co-production with Gate Television Production/Munich & London
Format 16 mm, color
Shooting Dates Cornwall & Bath/UK, June - August 2008

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