Joseph Conrad

Unmade Movies: Harold Pinter's Victory
  • Unmade Movies: Harold Pinter's Victory

    • Harold Pinter

    • Joseph Conrad

    • Full Cast (Read by)

    • Bjarne Henriksen (Read by)

    • Vanessa Kirby (Read by)

    • Mark Strong (Read by)

    • Simon Russell Beale (Read by)

    Harold Pinter's unproduced screenplay of Joseph Conrad's last great novel, specially adapted for radio by Sir Richard Eyre

    'All radio drama should be at this level' Spectator

    The annals of movie history are full of lost treasures - spectacular scripts from world-renowned writers that could have been classics, had they only been made. Now, for the first time, some of these forgotten gems have been brought to life, fully realised as vivid, cinematic radio productions. Scripted by major 20th Century writers, including Harold Pinter, Arthur Miller, Alfred Hitchcock and Dennis Potter, they star a host of A-list actors and feature richly evocative, atmospheric soundtracks.

    One of seven of these 'unmade movies' available on audio, Victory is a dark, morally complex drama set in the Dutch East Indies in 1900. It tells the story of Baron Heyst, a mysterious Swedish recluse living alone on a deserted island whose life is changed forever when he visits a neighbouring island, and falls in love with young English violinist Lena. Pursued by predatory older men, Lena is drawn to Heyst, and escapes with him to his island retreat...

    The foremost playwright of his generation, Harold Pinter was also a celebrated screenwriter, who wrote the scripts for hit movies including The Servant, The Go-Between and The French Lieutenant's Woman. Victory, however, was judged too expensive for Hollywood - but, courtesy of this special adaptation by award-winning director Sir Richard Eyre, it has finally seen the light of day. Bjarne Henriksen (The Killing) stars as Heyst, with Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) as Lena and Mark Strong (Cruella) as Ricardo, while narrator Simon Russell Beale sets the scene with directions and descriptions from Pinter's screenplay, some taken directly from Conrad's original novel. So sit back, grab some popcorn and let this epic production play out on the biggest screen of all - that of your imagination.

    Production credits
    Written by Harold Pinter
    Based on Victory: An Island Tale by Joseph Conrad
    Directed by Richard Eyre
    Produced by Laurence Bowen
    Sound Design: John Leonard and Wilfredo Acosta
    A Feelgood Fiction production for BBC Radio 4

    Narrator - Simon Russell Beale
    Heyst - Bjarne Henriksen
    Lena - Vanessa Kirby
    Davidson - Matthew Marsh
    Ricardo - Mark Strong
    Jones - Robert Portal
    Schomberg - Patrick O'Kane
    Mrs Schomberg - Helen Schlesinger
    Pedro - Martin Marquez
    Chang - Paul Chan
    Mrs Zangiacomo - Flaminia Cinque

    First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 28 February 2015

    © 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
    (p) 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Joseph Conrad was born in the Ukraine in 1857 and grew up under Tsarist autocracy. In 1874 Conrad travelled to Marseilles, where he served in French merchant vessels before joining a British ship in 1878 as an apprentice. In 1886 he obtained British nationality. Eight years later he left the sea to devote himself to writing, publishing his first novel, Almayer's Folly, in 1895. The following year he settled in Kent, where he produced within fifteen years such modern classics as Youth, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Typhoon, Nostromo, The Secret Agent and Under Western Eyes. He continued to write until his death in 1924.

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