First filmed theatrically in 1962, F. Scott Fitzgerald's final novel, Tender Is the Night, was given a lavish (seven million dollars) treatment in this British-Australian-American miniseries version. Set in Europe's waning days of the Roaring Twenties, the plot focused upon the tempestuous marriage between jaded psychiatrist Dick Diver (Peter Strauss) and the beautiful, schizophrenic socialite Nicole Warren (Mary Steenburgen). An international cast did an excellent job impersonating the "Lost Generation" for which Fitzgerald was the principal spokesman (the author was himself all but burned out by the time the original novel was published, and his desperation oozes through every page). The script, by the iconoclastic Dennis Potter (Pennies From Heaven, The Singing Detective), was based upon the 1951 "chronologically re-edited" version of the novel prepared by Malcolm Cowley. First broadcast by Britain's BBC2 in six 55-minute installments from September 23 to October 28, 1985, Tender Is the Night subsequently aired in a five-part version (albeit unedited) over America's Showtime network from October 27 to November 26, 1985.
by Hal Erickson synopsis