Wives and Daughters (The movie)

Wives and Daughters (The movie)

The BBC series that adapted Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel starts with Molly Gibson, as a ten year old girl, during a visit at the local aristocrats. She gets lost but Miss Clare, comforts her, letting her sleep in her bed. Her widowed father comes after her and the action continues seven years later.

Molly’s father decides to marry with Miss Clare and brings her and her worldly daughter Cynthia in the house. While adjusting with her new mother, Molly discovers love but as often happens, it is not shared by the man whom she likes. Roger, the younger son of Mr. Hamley, falls in love with her stepsister, but their engagement ends soon. After many tears and letters, Molly receives what she hoped. Roger asks her to marry him and they return together in Africa.

Although at first glance it seems just a movie about a romantic love story, this BBC series is much more than that. First, it is rare to see movies where the hierarchy and responsibilities in family are so well presented. Second, the performances of all the actors – among whom shine Justine Waddell, Sir Michael John Gambon, Bill Paterson and Rosamund Mary Ellen Pike – are absolutely astonishing. But what is important is emphasis put on what spiritual masters as Venerable Louis of Granada used to name “a virtuous life”. The main characters as Molly Gibson, her loving father, Mr. Gibson, and the aristocratic Lady Harriet Cumnor are a living, cinematographic illustration of the value and power of Christian virtues like Hope and Charity.


  • Original title: Wives and Daughters
  • Original language: English
  • Starring: Justine Waddell (as Molly Gibson), Sir Michael John Gambon (as Squire Hamley) and Bill Paterson (as Dr. Gibson)
  • Genre: Family drama
  • Release date: 2012
  • Public: Adults, teenagers
Wives and Daughters (BBC)