As a huge fan of the 70's BBC version, I have grossly overlooked Channel 4's 1997 remake, time for an outing.
Award winning Journalist Guy Foster survives a horrific car crash out in South Africa, but loses his wife Bonnie, after which decides to move back home to England, against the advice of his friend and former colleague George Bond. A local man is randomly shot dead, with seemingly no explanation (Capetown.) Travelling on a ship bound for Casablanca Guy meets the beautiful Melissa McKensie, travelling with her socialite friends Graeme and Paula Hepburn, Stevie, Les Maurice and Hope Magenta. Guy and Melissa hit it off and become very intimate. At a fancy dress party Paula's seems to be a heavy drinker, and a man dressed as Rhett Butler pays a rather sad homage to his dead wife, but after stating he wished he was dead and with his wife, an unknown assailant grants his wish, pushing him into open water. Melissa confronts Guy with an offer, 'marry me or you'll never see me again.' He accepts and all return home to England. The man that was murdered earlier in Capetown is discovered, together with another victim. After the pair marry Guy meets Don Page, a famous racing driver that Melissa passed over in favour of Guy. Melissa's friend Stevie is out cruising, where he is brutally murdered.
Some interesting buts and some diversions from the original title that don't. The party scene is a little tacky looking, and the Rhett Butler character and story made utterly no sense. I like that we get to go back to South Africa to discover more about Guy and the death of his wife, it's logically done. The music is dreadful, it's too heavy. The Morris dancing scene is a total shambles, again I struggle to see where they're coming from. Those that have read the book will be wondering the same, Melissa is still with us??
Pretty average opener 5/10
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