CasanovaDirected by Mark Cullingham, John Glenister
Writer: Dennis Potter
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
"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.