This movie is adapted from Henry James's third novel, which was published in 1978. Two American ex-patriots, Eugenia (a baroness) and her brother Felix (an artist) descend upon some well-to-do relatives in New England. Their elegant European bohemianism is both a bane and a blessing. Eugenia, divorced from her German husband, ties to win the affections of Robert Acton, the most eligible bachelor in the area. As a backup, she seduces Clifford, her younger cousin. But Eugenia's sophistication and boldness is an affront to the strait-laced manners and morality of both men. On the other hand, Felix's loose ways and flamboyant romanticism sweep his cousin Gertrude Wentworth right off her feet and out of the arms of another ardent suitor.
Ruth Praver Jhabvala's exquisite screenplay nicely conveys the cross-cultural clashes which animate this subtle love story. Tim Woodward's Felix and Lisa Eichhorn's Gertrude both upstate Lee Remick's measured portrayal of the vexed Eugenia. Also worthy of commendation is Wesley Addy's stern Mr. Wentworth, the authoritarian head of the family. The Europeans stands in my memory as one of the most beautifully photographed films of the Festival.