Casanova

Directed by Mark Cullingham, John Glenister
Writer: Dennis Potter
1971

1972 Nominated Bafta TV Award - Best Actor

  • Frank Finlay . . . . . . . . Giovanni Casanova
    Norman Rossington . . . . . . . . Lorenzo / Mr. Hart
    Christine Noonan . . . . . . . . Barberina
    Zienia Merton . . . . . . . . Christina
    Victor Baring . . . . . . . . Messer Grande
    George Benson . . . . . . . . Uncle
    Geoffrey Wincott . . . . . . . . Senator Bragadin
    David Swift . . . . . . . . Valenglart
    Ania Marson . . . . . . . . Anne Roman-Coupier
    Patrick Newell . . . . . . . . Schalon
    Elaine Donnelly . . . . . . . . Helena
    Lyn Yeldham . . . . . . . . Genoveffa
    Frederick Peisley . . . . . . . . Capitani
    Hugh Portnow . . . . . . . . Pantalone
    Rowan Wylie . . . . . . . . Colombina

    Zienia Merton is probably best known for playing Sandra Benes in Space: 1999.

    Christine Noonan is best remembered for her role as the anarchist and love interest of Malcolm McDowell in Lindsay Anderson's fantastic the film if.... (1968).









  • Frank Finlay's brilliant and fearless performance.

    Finlay achieves and sustains a series of remarkable contrasts: between Casanova's ardent anticipation of seduction and post-coital cafard; between his arrogance and his self-reproach; between his angry, funny sang-froid in deriding antagonists and the exposed vulnerability of his look when he's alone in captivity.

    He speaks his lines not only with great verve, suppleness and wit but with a vocal musicality that makes him sound Italian, even though he never resorts to aiming for this effect by doing-an-accent. His voice, in conjunction with his unusual, compelling facial features, creates a convincing exotic. You're very conscious of the shape of Finlay's head, especially his jawline: his sophisticated, superbly accomplished libertine has a bestial quality and this Casanova, even bewigged and with cologne on his cheeks, gives off a stink of mortality. Finlay suggests an almost prehistoric skull beneath the skin.

    Potter and the directors set their leading man a huge task in the later prison scenes: he has to work hard to keep them dynamic but you never stop admiring his inventiveness.

    Old Yorker (17th July 2015) - BFI Screening.