Two intertwining and related love stories... In the first story (set in 1867 England), a strange young woman is dishonored by her affair with a French officer, and loved by a proper young Victorian gentleman who falls hopelessly in love with her. The second story (set in the present) chronicles the similar relationships of the actors who are portraying the protagonists of the first story in a film. In both stories, the lovers are affectingly played by Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons. John Fowles' novel was adapted for the screen by Harold Pinter and directed by Karel Reisz. Cinematographer Freddie Francis has been praised for his painterly re-creation of 19th-century Dorset, as well as his complementary 20th-century mise-en-scene.