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Tender Is the Night HD online

Tender Is the Night  HD online
Language: English
Category: TV Series / Drama
Original Title: Tender Is the Night
Budget: $7,000,000
Duration: 6h
Video type: TV Series
F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel about how the rich languoring on the Riviera in the 1920's are slowly drawn into the coming depression is once again filmed with Peter Strauss, Mary Steenburgen, and John Heard in the leads.
Series cast summary:
Peter Strauss Peter Strauss - Dick Diver 6 episodes, 1985
Mary Steenburgen Mary Steenburgen - Nicole Warren Diver 6 episodes, 1985
Sean Young Sean Young - Rosemary Hoyt 4 episodes, 1985
Kate Harper Kate Harper - Baby Warren 4 episodes, 1985
John Heard John Heard - Abe North 3 episodes, 1985
Jürgen Brügger Jürgen Brügger - Franz Gregorovius 3 episodes, 1985
Joris Stuyck Joris Stuyck - Tommy Barban 3 episodes, 1985

A TV movie made for the Showtime/Movie Channel network.

Reviews: [4]

  • avatar

    in waiting

    Fitzgerald's works have suffered almost as badly as Faulkner's in movie and TV adaptations, but this miniseries captures the inconsolable sadness of his most moving book. Mary Steenburgen's extraordinary performance not only makes Nicole comprehensible (which she wasn't always in the novel, where we see her through her husband's eyes) but lends her a warmth and sweetness that make her fate almost unbearable. It's a pity this isn't better known.
  • avatar


    This 300-minute miniseries, presented on Showtime in five parts, October 27 - November 26, 1985, is the definitive film version of this Fitzgerald work. This miniseries was never repeated on Showtime, and most people don't even know of its existence.

    What's good about it? The casting. Peter Strauss as Dick Diver and Mary Steenburgen as Nicole Warren inhabit their roles completely. They are so good that I cannot imagine any other actors in these parts. This is Mary Steenburgen's best performance on film, yet it lies buried here. She conveys well Nicole's vulnerability and psychological fragility at the film's start as well as her growing strength and health by the film's conclusion.

    Because of Peter Strauss's good looks and winning performance, it's easy to understand why women were attracted to Dick Diver and fell in love with him so easily. Scott and Zelda themselves couldn't have made a better couple than Strauss and Steenburgen do here.

    Part 1 is a delectable romantic film in its own right. There's an excellent scene in a barn where Dick and Nicole are dancing--just a rather simple dance--to some records that are playing on her portable phonograph. It's a magical movie moment that makes their love clear and supports Dick's desire to marry Nicole, despite the warning of his colleagues.

    Once married, Nicole and Dick are off to life at Villa Diana on the French Riviera, 1925, among the rich. Nicole's family is very wealthy, and her money supports the fine lifestyle that she and Dick enjoy here.

    These scenes on The Riviera capture perfectly what life must have been like for Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald when they were there with Sara and Gerald Murphy and others of the international set of the times. The Divers are a charismatic couple; everyone wants to be their friend. But the film is not about that glittering life, which is just the background for the doomed romance.

    The plot shows us that Diver, a psychologist, is going to make Nicole well. A victim of incest, Nicole is subject to breakdowns and has been diagnosed as manic-depressive. As she gets better with Dick's help, he goes the opposite way: from the strong, romantic psychologist who is Nicole's life-support system to a man who has lost all confidence in himself, who's become alcoholic, who longs for the past, who sees his love lost--whose world just disappears. Strauss brings this off very well, especially in Part 3 of the series, which is excellent at showing Dick's decline, his sourness, and his self-loathing, intertwined with his desire for the past he remembers favorably. Dick is revealed as a both a martyr (for love) and a hero too. He remains a very sympathetic character to the end, and that's difficult to pull off after Dick becomes a drunk. But we see a man who gave all he had to give--himself--to cure a woman he loved. My God, what love story could ask for more than that?

    Some viewers may say the film is too long. But this length is necessary to show characters built unhurriedly, complexly, and well and to show the changes in both Nicole and Dick. It can't be done faster, or these changes wouldn't be plausible. (Which explains why no two-hour film version of this novel will ever be successful.) However, this length is inevitably going to slow the film's pace, and anyone interested in strong narrative thrust will be disappointed by this miniseries.

    The film succeeds in large part because it has a decent script by Dennis Potter, best known for "Pennies from Heaven" (1978), and for the "Singing Detective" series (1986), which infuses many scenes in the film with Fitzgerald's romantic, nostalgic tone. But one must remember that there are faults in the novel's structure which even Potter couldn't overcome.

    The strength of the film is in its casting (both major and minor roles) and the performances of Strauss and Steenburgen, the fine production values, fine period costumes and detail, all of which reflect the film's $7 million budget. There is good use of songs from the period but that is not overdone, and there's a good musical score for the film itself, which, likewise is not overdone, even though there is a romantic theme here that could have been a hit but didn't gain popularity because it's not overused in the film.

    Though the film doesn't have strong narrative thrust, it has the density, the complexity, of a long novel where one gets to know fully the characters, becomes totally involved with them, and hates to say goodbye to them. I can't say that about many films.

    Read David O. Selznick's memos about "Tender is the Night" in "Memo from David O. Selznick," and you'll understand that this is the production Selznick hoped to make. It's filmed on location and detailed enough to suit him, unlike the 1962 version with Jennifer Jones, which was poor throughout.

    A recent NY Times article said that Jesse Wigutow is adapting "Tender is the Night" for yet another screen version. He has introduced Ernest Hemingway and Dorothy Parker into the story. Need one know more to realize the disaster this remake will be? The Showtime miniseries should be issued on DVD together with a documentary, "The Making of 'Tender is the Night,'" which was made for publicity purposes in connection with this miniseries.
  • avatar

    Small Black

    I really enjoyed this series (but then I am Fitzgerald buff). I remember being a bit disappointed that Mary Steenburgen didn't quite look like the Nicole I imagined in my head, but it was well done nonetheless. It seems that I'm not alone in wanting to own a copy but as its 20 years old I don't suppose we'll ever be gratified by its availability again (or even a repeat on the telly!). The original was a long book with a complex storyline; the book starts kind of in the middle of the story and skips to past and future .....whereas I remember this being somewhat rearranged into strict chronology, which, to some extent, ruined the effect of the literary version which started with the sparkling pinnacle of the Divers life before exploring how they got there and how they ended up. Despite all this it was a pretty good version...... Maybe Hollywood should make this story again..... for the third time ...
  • avatar


    Scott Fitzgerald drew on his own experience of his marriage with Zelda to paint this haunting and often frightening portrait of a relationship foundering on the rocks of social and financial success. Peter Strauss gives a career best performance as Dick Diver, a successful psychiatrist, who can't do a thing to prevent the alcohol-fuelled mental decline of his wife (Mary Steenburgen). There are moments of sheer Fitzgerald brilliance, for example, the speech given by Diver to friends at a candle-lit dinner party in front of his Cote d'Azure villa. The supporting cast is fine, including a then little known Jean Reno who's since gone on to do worse things.