Honey,I Sent the Kids to Oxford

The Disney-Merchant Ivory alliance blends highbrow with no-brow

The fax lines were rattling, the tabloids were tattling, the gossips were thrown for a loop. Not since Arthur Miller wed Marilyn Monroe had Hollywood seen so unlikely a marriage of high and low popular art. This time the betrothed were two companies recognized as the best in their very different lines of moviemaking: Merchant Ivory Productions, the independent team responsible for such stately dramas as A Room with a View and Howards End, and the Walt Disney Studios, ace hucksters of no-brow cinema. Disney agreed to co- finance and distribute Merchant Ivory's films for the next three years.

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