American Playhouse (1981– )
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Sensibility and Sense 

Two women and a man start out their adult life with all good intentions to change the world and keep their love alive and vital, but as time shows them (and us) it's not that easy.


David Hugh Jones


Jane Austen (novel), Richard Nelson


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Episode credited cast:
Lili Taylor ... Younger Marianne
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tom Aldredge ... Older Edward
Trini Alvarado ... Younger Elinor
Jeffrey DeMunn ... Peter
Jean Simmons ... Older Elinor
Lori Singer ... Therese
Eric Stoltz ... Younger Edward
Elaine Stritch ... Older Marianne


Two women and a man start out their adult life with all good intentions to change the world and keep their love alive and vital, but as time shows them (and us) it's not that easy.

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Release Date:

24 January 1990 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Version of Sense and Sensibility (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful acting, boring script
25 July 2017 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

I was saddened when I watched the taped live production of Sensibility and Sense. Elaine Stritch poured her heart into her performance, and Jean Simmons showed as much emotional turmoil as her character would allow. Both women tried so hard, and while it was clear they both had acting chops to show off, the script was so incredibly lousy, I doubt half the people who started watching it even made it to the end.

This is not a spoiler, but there's absolutely no correlation to Jane Austen's classic novel. The main characters are named Elinor and Marianne, but there are no more similarities in character or storyline. Elaine and Jean are reunited after a long absence, and it's clear they have a terribly painful past. The scenes alternate between the present time and flashbacks to the ladies when they were younger, so that the audience can slowly piece together the mystery of why they hate each other so much. Unfortunately, there's very little to be understood. The scenes with the younger actors are boring and don't really make sense when referenced in the other scenes. The script (in both time periods) digresses to political arguments, fights without provocations, and confusing upsets. I really felt so sad, when Elaine Stritch cried out, "She hurt me!" in a voice cracked with emotion, and when Jean Simmons would blink back tears during a monologue. They tried so very hard. I only wish they'd been given a better script to exercise their talents.

DLM Warning: If you suffer from vertigo or dizzy spells, like my mom does, this movie is not your friend. The entire film is filmed as if the camera was on a boat, and through a fish-eye lens. The camera repeatedly swerves, dips, and zooms without warning, and it will make you sick. In other words, "Don't Look, Mom!"

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