“TO WALK INVISIBLE: THE BRONTË SISTERS” A DRAMA TRACING THE LIVES OF BELOVED NOVELIST SISTERS CHARLOTTE, EMILY, AND ANNE BRONTË

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 “TO WALK INVISIBLE: THE BRONTË SISTERS” A DRAMA TRACING THE LIVES OF BELOVED NOVELIST SISTERS CHARLOTTE, EMILY, AND ANNE BRONTË

 

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Available on DVD and Blu-ray from PBS Distribution April 11th

 

Arlington, Va. – March 13, 2017 – PBS Distribution announced today it will be releasing “MASTERPIECE: TO WALK INVISIBLE: THE BRONTË SISTERS” on DVD and Blu-ray. Ever since they were revealed to the world as quaint country-women and not the notorious Bell brothers of their pseudonyms, the Brontë sisters have fascinated legions of devoted readers. The program brings these remarkable literary geniuses to life with this beautifully filmed and acted drama.

Written and directed by Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax), the program makes a perfect companion to MASTERPIECE’s past adaptations of Brontë novels: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1997, Peabody Award), Wuthering Heights (1998 and 2009), and Jane Eyre (2007, three Primetime Emmys®).

TO WALK INVISIBLE” will be available on DVD and Blu-ray April 11, 2017. The run time of the program is approximately 120 minutes on 1 disc. The DVD SRP is $29.99 and the Blu-ray SRP is $34.99. The program will also be available for digital download.

Depicting the evolution of secluded, dutiful clergyman’s daughters into authors of the most controversial fiction of the 1840s, the drama stars Finn Atkins (Eden Lake) as Charlotte, who shocked society with her edgy epic, Jane Eyre; Chloe Pirrie (War and Peace) as Emily, author of the darkly gothic and disturbing Wuthering Heights; and Charlie Murphy (Happy Valley) as Anne, whose true-to-life love story The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was deemed “coarse and disgusting” by Victorian critics.

Also starring are Jonathan Pryce (Wolf Hall) as their distracted father, Reverend Patrick Brontë; and Adam Nagaitis (Houdini and Doyle) as the sisters’ only brother, Branwell, whose wild and dissipated life contributed to vivid characters in each of their novels.

TO WALK INVISIBLE” was filmed in and around Haworth, the picturesque Yorkshire village where the Brontë sisters lived and which is now a mecca for Brontëphiles from all over the world. Scenes at their parsonage home were shot in an exact replica that recreates the feel of a lived-in mid-19th-century provincial dwelling, with the sisters congregating around the dining table to pen their stories and plot their editorial strategy.

Based largely on Charlotte’s voluminous letters, the film follows the Brontë sisters in the eventful three-year period that saw them rise from ordinary, unmarried women, taking care of the household and their widowed father, to the secret authors of the world’s most sensational literature.

Although he never suspected it, Branwell was the inspiration. A would-be poet and artist, he was a complete failure due to alcoholism and opium addiction. As Reverend Brontë slowly went blind, Branwell was on an even more precipitous downward slide, inciting the sisters to do something to keep the family out of the poor house.

They had already tried being governesses—a thankless job except it provided good material for novels. So they set about turning personal experiences, keen observations, and unflinching honesty into fiction. Worried that female writers wouldn’t be taken seriously, they adopted male-sounding pseudonyms: Currer Bell for Charlotte, Ellis Bell for Emily, and Acton Bell for Anne, retaining their own initials.

The last name, Bell, may have been inspired by the arrival of a new set of bells for their father’s church, a momentous event in Haworth. Another possible source is the middle name of Reverend Brontë’s assistant priest, Arthur Bell Nicholls (played by Rory Fleck Byrne, Grantchester), who later married Charlotte after the tragically early deaths of her siblings.

But Charlotte gave her publisher a deeper reason for anonymity—and provided the title for this film: “I think if a good fairy were to offer me the choice of a gift, I would say—grant me the power to walk invisible.”

TO WALK INVISIBLE: THE BRONTË SISTERS” is a BBC Wales production, in partnership with The Open University, co-produced with Lookout Point and MASTERPIECE. It is written and directed by Sally Wainwright. Executive producers are Faith Penhale and Sally Wainwright, Matthew Read for BBC and Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE.

 

About MASTERPIECE

The top-rated primetime show on PBS, MASTERPIECE celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2016. MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is executive producer. Funding for the series is provided by Viking River Cruises and Farmers Insurance® with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust. MASTERPIECE is known for presenting iconic shows such as Upstairs Downstairs, Prime Suspect, The Forsyte Saga, Poldark, Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Victoria.

 

About PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of these programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system, stations, and producers.

PBS Distribution offers a broad range of high quality content in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, and digital streaming.  PBS International offers factual content for broadcast, cable, and satellite services internationally.  The PBS Distribution catalog includes films from Ken Burns, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children’s programming.

 

MASTERPIECE: TO WALK INVISIBLE: THE BRONTË SISTERS

Street Date: April 11, 2017

Genre: Drama

Run Time: Approx. 120 Minutes on 1 Disc

SRP: DVD $29.99, Blu-ray $34.99

Format: DVD & Blu-ray