We all love the romance of North & South. Poor John Thornton goes through a lot of headache and heartache before Margaret finally sees the light, but oh!–the train station scene at the end is just–sublime. Sure, it is anachronistic. Two respectable people in mid-Victorian England would never kiss like that in public.
But there are times when you simply choose to suspend disbelief. North & South has marvelous production values, with authentic locations and costumes, a talented cast, a literate script and a lovely musical score.
There’s a good reason it has one of the highest ratings of films reviewed at Amazon and IMDB.
But most of all–it has the tingle, the spark, the chemistry between Richard Armitage and Daniella Denby-Ashe as Thornton and Margaret Hale. There’s the clasp of her small hand in his, the brushing of the fingers as a tea cup is passed; the longing glances, the impassioned gaze as Thornton pleads for Margaret to “Look back. Look back at me.” The tender expression in his eyes, showing John’s deep regard and concern for Margaret as she talks to him on that station bench, the way he takes her hands in his. He speaks volumes without saying a single world.
He is a man madly, deeply, passionately in love, ready to cup her pretty face in his strong hands, to touch those ripe, soft lips with his own; ready to show just how much she means to him. And thus follows the best, most beautiful and swoon-worthy screen kiss I have ever seen. Tender, loving, romantic, ardent. The sort of kiss every woman surely dreams of receiving.
Thank you, Richard, for giving the world such a wonderful kiss. Surely the menfolk could take lessons from watching your technique?
You play the ardent lover so well. One day, in the not-tou-distant future, we hope you will have another opportunity to show off your kissing and wooing skills in a film all about love. A well-scripted film with another co-star with whom sparks fly. A film in which you not only get the girl, but also get to live past the closing credits.
That would be a wonderful present for us all any time of the year.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you and to all your wonderful fans. I hope you get to share romantic moments with some special person. You deserve it.
May I add my signature to that valentine, as I too wish the same things?
You sure can. 😀
I would have had writing this post. You so well describe the scene and it would be wonderful if men could take lessons from watching the sequence. And moreover I CANNOT forget the day I watched N&S. At that moment, I couldn’t understand my feelings and what had happened. Why felt I the need to watch N&S again and again. I had discovered a marvellous actor and have now a delicious obsession which makes me so happy.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you too.
I am glad you enjoyed it. It is a marvelous example of acting without speaking, using your face and body to express so much.. So aspiring actors could learn and any man who wants to get some kissing tips should definitely watch it. 😉
I think I had to write : I would have had TO write and not I would have had writing. Is that correct ?
yes, that is the right way “I would have had to write” 😀
The best screen kiss since Casablanca.
Funny you should say that–I am thinking about doing a post about Casablanca later today. A wonderful movie guys and gals can enjoy, with romance and pathos and suspense and humor and all sorts of terrific character actors along with Bogey and Bergman.
“Here’s looking at you, kid.” 😀
I agree. Forget the porn, guys, this is what you should be watching! LOL 😉
How much stage direction was Richard given? If he was told to just go ahead and approach the kiss in his own way, I like to imagine this is how he kisses for real. *sigh* We can add another talent to this gorgeous man’s repertoire.
They had to come back and reshoot the station scene, but I wouldn’t have thought it was because anything was wrong with The Kiss. Lucky Daniela, they had to shoot over and over again from every angle.
I have watched this scene a million times, for all the reasons you have so eloquently put, angie.
No question now about what my night’s tv viewing is going to be! 🙂
I like to think that’s the way he would kiss in real life, too, which makes me think anyone who has ever been kissed by him is damn lucky!! (and for more reasons that that, of course). I think it was some kind of technical glitch that caused them to have to re-shoot that scene. Possibly DDA paid someone to sabotage the lighting or sound equipment in order to need that re-shoot. 😉
Thank you for this beautiful Valentine’s Day post Angie! It was a pleasure to read and the gorgeous pictures are the icing on the cake! I too must have watched that last scene about a zillion times. For me, no screen kiss can compare to THIS kiss! I’ve seen Casablanca but it left me rather cold (and I must confess I don’t remember the kiss at all). I knew I was supposed to really like it and I was surprised when I didn’t. Maybe I was too young when I saw it, don’t know. 🙂 Ha ha, funny idea about DDA paying a crew member to sabotage the shoot. I would have done the same in her place! 🙂
I didn’t see Casablanca until one weekend at college when I was the only one at our apartment. I had stayed there that weekend to do some studying and I guess I needed a break. Anyway, I really did love it and that love has grown over the years. My hubby also loves it, too, and we re-watch it together from time to time.
But if there is one thing I have learned, it’s that people certainly do not all have the same tastes in actors, music, or movies! I think it tends to be more subjective than objective . . .
That acting using your body is precisely what makes RA such a wonderful actor. He uses every bit of his body to convey his character’s thoughts and feelings. He is so expressive with his eyes, face, hands, and body. And when he opens his mouth and that deep, sexy rumble comes out…wow!! It’s not often you have to study everything an actor does to get his whole performance. And then, when you watch him again, you see more and more. Just incredible! I don’t know why he doesn’t have a slew of awards!!
@Lauire, totally agree. He acts with every fibre of his being. He should have a truckload of awards! It still could happen if the right roles find him…
Sorry for misspelling your name Laurie! 🙂
Yes, he doesn’t spare a portion of his being when he immerses himself in a character. Including those hair extensions. 😉
Each performance brings something new to the table; there were facial expressions he made as Heinz I did not recall seeing before, for example. And when you re-watch, yes, there are new things to appreciate you might have overlooked in previous viewings.
As to why he does not have awards; I think that’s coming. I really, really do.
I love how he gives his all to everything he does, from the Cbeebies bedtime stories to the audiobooks.I’ve all three of his Heyer recordings now. I’ve just finished listening to “The Convenient Marriage” and I loved that he gave each character a different type of voice, It made me wonder how much time and effort he put into creating the voices and the characters and it was “just” an audiobook. I admire him even more now than before if that’s at all possible. A professional who adores his job. And an artist who found his calling. What a treasure he is.
The Convenient Marriage is so delightful. I love its humor and when I listen to Richard doing Horrie’s voice, I actually visualize this petite girl with spirit and a stammer–not Richard. It has to take a great deal of not only talent but concentration to create each of those characters. I have also wondered how much time it takes him to prepare to record a book, how he goes about creating a voice for each character. Yes, he is a keen professional and always been said a person should love what they do as a profession in order to have true satisfaction in life and he clearly does love acting. Must be why he keeps that constant twinkle in his eyes when he’s just being himself.
Yes, his Horrie is wonderful, isn’t it? I visualized a girl too while listening to Horrie speak, not a guy who was pretending to be a girl! I’ve started listening to Sylvester and I’m really enjoying that too. I wish Audible had RA’s Lords of the North too but they only have the 3 Heyer books which I have already bought.
I also enjoy reading the books which, of course, include material not in the abridged audiobooks and as I read them, I hear RA’s voice in my head throughout. 😀
Audible does have a lot of lengthier books–I have Gone With the Wind and Outlander which are both quite lengthy audiobooks–it would certainly be nice if LOTN was invluded. It was recorded with another company other than Naxos who produces the Heyer books.
LOTN costs and arm and a leg on Amazon. GBP 28 plus postage. Grrrrr….
I must confess I haven’t read any of Heyer’s books, I haven’t even heard of her before Richard came into my life! 🙂 Another thing to be grateful for, I suppose.
I had never read any of them, either, Judit, although I had heard of her. It was after I listened to the abridged audiobooks that I realized I would like to read the books as well. Richard leads us to read!
I bought LOTN from the following website:
I see that they have a USA option as well as the UK site, but I don’t know if LOTN is available there or not. Price is GBP22.99, a little cheaper than quoted above. It took a few weeks to arrive, but it was oh-so worth the wait!! 😀
I loved Heyer as a young woman, and am rediscovering her stories. I would love to hear Richard narrate an unabridged version of The Devil’s Cub. Although I think he’s past the age where could play Dominic now, I would love to see him in that role.
I think that is who I got my LOTN set from as well. It was not Amazon; they didn’t have it in stock and to order the only copy available through the Marketplace I would have had to pay over $100–no dice. I did everything by email so there was no Transatlantic call and everything went very smoothly.
I should have added he is definitely better suited to playing Rule or *swoon* Lord Damerel, from Venetia.
Oh, I could see him very easily playing either one of those rules and having women melting right and left (and center). *thud*
THanks @Mezz for the tip, I’ll check it out! 🙂