Summoning The Glory Days

The most moving moment of the season's second E.M. Forster film, Where Angels Fear to Tread, comes at the very end. In the closing credits, a note appears: "Filmed entirely on location in Rome, and in the towns of San Gimignano, Siena, Montepulciano and Cuna in Tuscany, and in Sussex and London, England."

In this bald itinerary is all the romance that Forster and his generation felt for northern Italy. It summons the glory days when the English commandeered the Continent as if it were a feral cricket pitch and great novelists wrote about gentry who were slow to realize that...

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