Unmade Movies: Harold Pinter's Victory

Unmade Movies: Harold Pinter's Victory

A BBC Radio 4 adaptation of the unproduced screenplay
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Summary

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

Cast
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

Reviews

  • All radio drama should be at this level
    Spectator

About the authors

Harold Pinter

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Joseph Conrad

Józef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski was born in the Ukraine on 3 December 1857. His parents were Polish and had both died in exile by the time Conrad was eleven. His uncle then became his guardian and looked after him in Krakow until he was sixteen when he went to sea and sailed on French and British ships. He was made British citizen in 1886 and changed his name to Joseph Conrad. In 1889 Conrad visited the Congo and his experiences there inspired Heart of Darkness. In 1894 he published his first novel, Almayer's Folly and went on to write nineteen more as well as many short stories, essays and a memoir. In 1896 he married Jessie George and they later had two sons. Conrad died on 3 August 1924.
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