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Library to screen ‘Gosford Park’

Film inspired ‘Downton Abbey’

The Waupaca Area Public Library will show the British mystery, “Gosford Park,” as the March entry in its long-running First Thursday Film Series.

Dr. Jack Rhodes will introduce this 2001 movie at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1, in the basement meeting rooms of the library.

Complimentary popcorn, soda and other refreshments will be served.

According to Rhodes, “Gosford Park” is the movie that inspired the highly successful television series, “Downton Abbey,” which aired for six seasons on public television. Both the earlier movie and the later TV series are written by the same author, Julian Fellowes, who won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for this film.

“Gosford Park” is the name of the manor house in which the action takes place, as a murder occurs in the mansion during a hunting weekend in 1932.

The large cast of British and American actors includes Eileen Atkins, who was later to play the aunt of the title character in the popular “Doc Martin” TV series; Maggie Smith, well-known to “Downton Abbey” fans as the Dowager Duchess and to Harry Potter fans as a faculty member at Hogwarts; and Kristin Scott-Thomas, currently receiving strong reviews for her portrayal of Clementine Churchill in the contemporary film, “The Darkest Hour.”

Others in the ensemble include Emily Watson, Alan Bates, Derek Jacobi, Stephen Fry, Michael Gambon, and Jeremy Northam.

Rhodes adds that the movie is directed by Robert Altman, the guiding genius of such American films as “Nashville” and “M.A.S.H.”

Two other films still remain in the current schedule of February movies, also at the library at 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays. “Roman Holiday” will show on Feb. 15, and on Feb. 22 the movie will be “The Adventures of Robin Hood.”

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