Honestly, I love English actress Cherie Lunghi for her emotionally resonant performance as governess Laura Testvalley in The Buccaneers, but that’s selling her short. She’s been in SO many frock flicks, many of which were a surprise to remember (Excalibur, anyone??)! So let’s appreciate her, shall we?
Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978)
She played Lady Thelma Furness, mistress to the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) before he met Wallis Simpson.
The Misanthrope (1980)
A BBC “play of the month,” I assume an adaptation of the 17th century Molière play.
As Guinevere in this crazy take on the King Arthur legend. I can’t believe Sarah hasn’t reviewed this one.
Oliver Twist (1982)
She played Nancy in this TV adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic.
The Agatha Christie Hour: The Manhood of Edward Robinson (1982)
A TV series based on Agatha Christie novels.
The Sign of Four (1983)
A TV movie adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes novel.
Master of the Game (1984)
A TV miniseries adaptation of a Sidney Sheldon (shlock writer extraordinaire) novel. The beginning is set in South Africa, and I think Lunghi’s character gets seduced by a guy who wants to get revenge on someone else (her father?).
Much Ado About Nothing (1984)
A BBC TV adaptation of the Shakespeare play. Lunghi plays Beatrice, of course.
Strangers and Brothers (1984)
A British TV series, I think set in the 1930s?
King David (1985)
HOW did I not know this existed?? Richard Gere as the biblical King David! Cherie as his wife, Michal!
Letters to an Unknown Lover (1985)
A TV movie set during World War II, in which soldiers escape from a POW camp.
The Mission (1986)
I actually tried to watch this recently, so look for it in our next Oh the Bad Movies series. Jesuit missionaries in South America try to convert an indigenous tribe, while various political and religious issues play out in the background. Lunghi plays Carlotta, who’s choices spur one of the lead characters to change his life.
The Monocled Mutineer (1986)
A BBC TV movie about a mutiny during the First World War.
The Lady’s Not for Burning (1987)
A TV adaptation of the 1948 play, set during the Middle Ages and involving an accused witch (Lunghi).
The Man Who Lived at the Ritz (1989)
An American painter lives at the Ritz during the German occupation of Paris (World War II). Lunghi plays “Lili Gloebocka.”
Strauss Dynasty (1991)
Per IMDB: “A dramatisation of two generations of the Strauss family of Vienna, whose dance music and operettas dominated much of Europe and beyond for most of the 19th century.” Lunghi plays “Jetti.”
Covington Cross (1992)
A TV series about a 14th century English family. Lunghi plays the matriarch of the family.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)
Lunghi plays Frankenstein’s now-dead mother in flashbacks of his happy childhood.
The Buccaneers (1995)
As the sensitive, understanding governess to a rich American girl trying to find her way in 1870s England.
David Copperfield (1999)
She plays Mrs. Steerforth in this adaptation of the Dickens novel.
Horatio Hornblower: The Duchess and the Devil (1999)
She plays a widowed duchess who is not quite what she seems in this episode of the Napoleonic Wars-set naval story.
Back to the Secret Garden (2000)
A sequel to The Secret Garden, set in England in the 1940s.
Viper in the Fist (2004)
An adaptation of a famous 1940s French novel that I’ve never heard of (the shame)!
Casualty 1906, 1907, & 1909 (2006-09)
She plays the hospital matron in the Edwardian versions of the long-running British soap (and also guested repeatedly on the modern version).
Which is your favorite Cherie Lunghi frock flicks roles?
I love Cherie Lunghi! Excalibur</i< is indeed whackadoodle (it’s a John Boorman project), but there is so much to say for it! Cherie Linghi’s performance in which she convincingly ages up, the AMAZE_BALLS costumes, Beautiful, beautiful men. Nigel Terry as the gorgeous Arthur, Nicol Williamson as the sexy unhinged Merlin, Nicholas Clay at the height of his gorgeousness (and naked!), a slinky, young Helen Mirren as Morgan le Fey with the most amazing patchwork leather dress, as she consumes everything – young beautiful Lian Neeson, young beautiful Patrick Stewart!
Oh God yes! Total eye candy! But those knights wear chrome armor everywhere, even to bed. Even when sharing that bed.
I also forgot that a young, beautiful Gabriel Byrne is also in this movie!
re: armor in bed
well, we know that Lancelot sleeps in the nude ;)
I seem to recall Uther swiping Igraine in the upper half of his armor. Obviously Lancelot is much more considerate! 😁
Oh. I am so sorry – I was trying to be retro and use html tags while posting from my phone –
I love Cherie Lunghi! Excalibur is indeed whackadoodle (it’s a John Boorman project), but there is so much to say for it! Cherie Lunghi’s performance in which she convincingly ages up, the AMAZE_BALLS costumes, Beautiful, beautiful men. Nigel Terry as the gorgeous Arthur, Nicol Williamson as the sexy unhinged Merlin, Nicholas Clay at the height of his gorgeousness (and naked!), a slinky, young Helen Mirren as Morgan le Fey with the most amazing patchwork leather dress, as she consumes everything – young beautiful Lian Neeson, young beautiful Patrick Stewart!
The 1985 King David was infamous at the time for Richard Gere’s interpretive dancing in a Man Diaper.
THAT’s what that is from!
(it’s available on YouTube ;))
“Excalibur” is a very silly movie, but great visual fun, and I should see it again, especially Nicol Williamson as Merlin.
Whackadoodle, confusing, and so, so good. Sparkle motion for the win!
“Whackadoodle” is the best description I’ve ever seen of one of my absolute favourite bad movies. Beautiful men, bizarre accents, and more sari fabric and metallic netting than you’d believe possible. Uther and Ygraine (?) conceive Arthur in a sex scene that when I saw it caused the entire theatre to hoot with laughter – she’s wearing what I recall as a nylon negligee, and he’s on top of her… still wearing full plate armour. It was the first time I remember seeing Cherie Lunghi and yes, she’s really moving as well as rivetingly beautiful.
one of my earliest crushes…yum yum
Absolutely lovely, and she aged beautifully too. But small correction: she wasn’t the matriarch in Covington Cross she was the hunky father’s love interest from the next castle. 😄
I loved that show. Yeah the costumes all wrong and the history worse but Nigel Terry! In a beard!! Not to mention the seriously cute sons. I just decided the show was set in an alternate 1392 and it was fine.
Thanks for making the correction regarding her role in CC. You beat me to it.
I think the phone from The Viper in the fist is actress Catherine Frot not Cherie Lunghi.
She was one (along with Jeffery Dench, Dame Judi’s brother) of the four-member RSC educational touring company that visited my uni in 1980, just before Excalibur came out. She was so friendly & kind to our group of clueless Anglophile drama majors, and helped us with our terrible English accents for our production of Noel Coward’s Hay Fever.
Omigosh, I saw them, too! We went four nights in a row. No costumes, they sat on stools onstage and performed excerpts from Shakespeare. On the fourth night they did Welsh accents in Dylan Thomas/Under Milkwood. Fascinating! So I’ve been a fan of hers since, esp. in The Buccaneers.
Ahhh yes…. “King David” is almost as funny as “The Ten Commandments”.
And “Excalibur” approaches it all as fantasy so of course it’s not accurate. I like Bob Ringwood. Like Danilo Donati, the designs can be way out there, but usually interesting.
“The Buccaneers” is great fun and looks marvelous. I may have to watch it again.
and “David Copperfield” looks good. I must check that one out.
She’s an exceptional actress. Interesting to see how often she’s worked with Robert Lindsay too – he’s brilliant as well, BTW. That “Much Ado” was one of the best of the BBC Shakespeares. She was in a few of the others in that series, and in ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore around the same time. Like most British actors of renown she is also a distinguished stage performer.
Her Wikipedia entry suggests a lot of other historical flicks and TV for her.
I remember seeing her as Perdita in the RSC’s 1976 “The Winter’s Tale”, with Ian McKellen as Leontes.
My favourite is The Buccaneers and Excalibur. Great casting for each and Boorman’s fantasy telling of King Arthur. It had besides Lunghi Dame Helen, Sirs Nigel and Patrick and the costumes were gorgeous.
I maybe the only Buccaneers fan whosefavourite characters were Miss Testvalley and Virginia St. George and Conchita —Mira Sorvino’s role. But I will hope that King David will be a snark week feature.
was Virginia the older sister of Carla Gugino’s Annabelle, the one who snagged herself a lord, only to find out he was still in love with Jenny Agutter (and also I remember something about syphilis?)
I also have great memories of the whiskey-honey-sandpaper voice of Elizabeth Ashley as Conchita’s mother.
I’ve seen The Buccaneers (honestly don’t remember much about it), Excalibur, Hornblower, and Covington Cross. I loved CC (I was 10) but I also knew, even then, it would last very long. She’s fun in the Hornblower episode. She plays a (soi disant) duchess who may or may not be a secret agent for the British during the Napoleonic wars. I haven’t seen her Shrew, but she is STUNNING in that first still.
edit: *wouldn’t last very long (Covington Cross). Sorry, hit send too soon.
The tied down hat is probably because she is onboard ship. Wouldn’t want the wind to carry it off, so I would think a very sensible solution. What I really enjoyed in this review was seeing all the younger versions of other actors.
The New Romantics guy from Covington Cross is Glenn Quinn from Roseanne.