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Summary

Harold Pinter's unproduced screenplay of Joseph Conrad's last great novel, specially adapted for radio by Sir Richard Eyre.

The annals of movie history are full of lost treasures - spectacular scripts from world-renowned writers that could have been classics, had they only been made. Now, for the first time, some of these forgotten gems have been brought to life, fully realised as vivid, cinematic radio productions. Scripted by major 20th-century writers, including Harold Pinter, Arthur Miller, Alfred Hitchcock and Dennis Potter, they star a host of A-list actors and feature richly evocative, atmospheric soundtracks.

One of seven of these 'unmade movies' available on audio, Victory is a dark, morally complex drama set in the Dutch East Indies in 1900. It tells the story of Baron Heyst, a mysterious Swedish recluse living alone on a deserted island whose life is changed forever when he visits a neighbouring island and falls in love with young English violinist Lena. Pursued by predatory older men, Lena is drawn to Heyst and escapes with him to his island retreat.... 

The foremost playwright of his generation, Harold Pinter was also a celebrated screenwriter who wrote the scripts for hit movies including The Servant, The Go-Between and The French Lieutenant's Woman. Victory, however, was judged too expensive for Hollywood - but, courtesy of this special adaptation by award-winning director Sir Richard Eyre, it has finally seen the light of day. Bjarne Henriksen (The Killing) stars as Heyst, with Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) as Lena and Mark Strong (Cruella) as Ricardo, while narrator Simon Russell Beale sets the scene with directions and descriptions from Pinter's screenplay, some taken directly from Conrad's original novel. So sit back, grab some popcorn and let this epic production play out on the biggest screen of all - that of your imagination.

Production credits

Written by Harold Pinter

Based on Victory: An Island Tale by Joseph Conrad

Directed by Richard Eyre

Produced by Laurence Bowen

Sound design: John Leonard and Wilfredo Acosta

A Feelgood Fiction production for BBC Radio 4

Cast

Narrator - Simon Russell Beale

Heyst - Bjarne Henriksen

Lena - Vanessa Kirby

Davidson - Matthew Marsh

Ricardo - Mark Strong

Jones - Robert Portal

Schomberg - Patrick O'Kane

Mrs Schomberg - Helen Schlesinger

Pedro - Martin Marquez

Chang - Paul Chan

Mrs Zangiacomo - Flaminia Cinque

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 28th February 2015

©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Critic reviews

"All radio drama should be at this level." (Spectator)

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What listeners say about Unmade Movies: Harold Pinter's Victory

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An Easy Way to Read Conrad!

Another excellent production! The acting is superb, although there are some issues with the sound quality at a few points.