Fortunes of War (1987): S01E03 – Romania: June 1940


Fortunes of War is a 1987 BBC television adaptation of Olivia Manning’s cycle of novels Fortunes of War.

It stars Kenneth Branagh as Guy Pringle, lecturer in English Literature in Bucharest during the early part of the Second World War, and Emma Thompson as his wife Harriet.


The fascist Iron Guard increase their power and the British fall out of favour with the Romanians. Sasha remains in hiding at the Pringles’ home and becomes friends with Harriet. Sophie attempts to lure Guy to her apartment and he finally sees through her. Another expatriate, Toby Lush, arrives looking for a job at the university. Yakimov puts his life at risk for the sake of a good meal and a bottle of wine. When Dobson announces that the British Legation recommends that everyone should return home, he receives a mixed reaction. As a result of Yakimov’s impropriety, Guy finds himself a wanted man. Harriet attends Sasha’s father’s trial but has difficulty giving a true account of events. Tension mounts as the fascists take over, and the Pringles, with the help of Clarence Lawson, try to smuggle Sasha out to safety. In the midst of chaos, British academic Lord Pinkrose arrives to give a lecture on Byron. As the violence escalates, the expats plan their escape routes.

Fortunes of War Series

You can find a full index and overview of Fortunes of War here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 25 October 1987.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes.
  • Rating: 15.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

Video Link(s)

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