Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This lavish, cable-TV remake of Orson Welles' The Magnficent Ambersons endeavored to prove Welles right by adhering to his original screenplay, restoring several scenes which provided additional substance and significance to the story and deepened the characterizations. Set in Indianapolis at the beginning of the 20th century, the story parallels the "destruction" of a gentle, elegant way of life thanks to the introduction of the automobile with the disintegration of the aristocratic Amberson family, the wealthiest clan in town. Self-made millionaire auto manufacturer Eugene Morgan (Bruce Greenwood) returns to Indianapolis after a lengthy absence, determined to wed the recently widowed Isabel Amberson Minafer (Madeline Stowe), who still regrets having spurned him years earlier in favor of a "safer" marriage. Most of those concerned want to see the decent, self-effacing Eugene find happiness with the lovely Isabel, but her spoiled, snobbish son George (Jonathan Rhys-Davies), resenting the threat that Eugene and his automobiles pose to his pampered, superficial lifestyle, violently opposes his mother's romance. George's obnoxiously obstreperous stance seriously strains his own relationship with Eugene's sweet, sensible daughter Lucy (Gretchen Mol). Watching from the sidelines are George's neurotic maiden aunt Fanny Minafer (Jennifer Tilly), Isabel's likably bombastic senator brother George Amberson (William Hootkins), and frail family patriarch Major Amberson (James Cromwell), who, like virtually everyone in the story except Eugene, cannot accept -- or see -- that the times are indeed a-changing.
auto-industry, family-dynamics, aristocrat, aunt, lifestyle, millionaire, patriarch, romance, Senator