Picks and Pans Review: Florence Nightingale
updated 04/08/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 04/08/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST
Flo—they really called her that—was a great lady with a great story. So it's amazing that a three-hour movie about her should seem padded and slow. But it does. Jaclyn Smith (see story, page 78) and the script with which she's working are good at demonstrating Flo's tenacity as she decides to care for the sick—not something proper English ladies did in her day—and at showing you what she was up against: filth in hospitals and doctors who treated the rich and not the rest. That's all fine, even compelling, and so are supporting performances by Jeremy (Sherlock Holmes) Brett as Fio's father, Claire Bloom as her mother and Timothy (Centennial) Dalton as her true love. But Smith and the script run into trouble when they try to give you that extra dimension to the woman, to portray her love and her pain. Smith gives it everything she has. She's walking sincerity. But she never quite manages to bring Florence Nightingale to life.