I think I only saw a few minutes of this movie, but I’ve always wanted to track it down and see the rest. Here’s what I remember:
– This was a TV movie that (if my memory serves me) aired in Ontario, Canada in the late 1980s, although it might have aired in the early eighties or early nineties.
– It was a period piece set in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century, say about 1880.
– Here’s what happened in the few minutes I saw. A young, attractive blonde woman is living with friends or relatives and is told that the house that she owns is going to be made ready for her to live in on her own. She makes a pretense of being pleased to hear this news but is not. She secretly visits the house on her own late that night carrying a kerosene lamp, looks quietly about her at the dilapidated parlour, and then flings her lamp at a wall, which of course sets the place on fire. She then runs out of the house and back to wherever it is she’s staying. However, a young, handsome man is standing nearby behind some trees and sees both the fire begin and the young woman as she scurries away. The next morning the young woman is breakfasting with whomever she’s staying with when the young man arrives with the news that her house has most unfortunately burned to the ground the previous night. The young woman proceeds to faint quite dramatically, which is received with great concern by the household and a sardonic half smile by the young man. She recovers quickly and is told by the kind older man who heads up the household that of course she must continue to stay with them now that she has no home of her own, which offer she accepts with becoming surprise and gratitude. There’s another scene I remember in which she is outside gathering flowers and happens to see, via an open window, a woman in a negligee and a man embracing and laughing in an unmistakably lover-like way, and she is told by the same young man that the woman in the window is the man’s mistress and that he will be marrying her once he has officially come out of mourning for his first wife.
Ring any bells?