Cotton Mary

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Cotton Mary
Cotton Mary VideoCover.jpeg
Directed byIsmail Merchant
Madhur Jaffrey (co-director)
Produced byNayeem Hafizka
Richard Hawley
Paul Bradley (executive)
Gil Donaldson (associate)
Written byAlexandra Viets
Music byRichard Robbins
CinematographyPierre Lhomme
Edited byJohn David Allen
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • 17 December 1999 (1999-12-17) (UK)
Running time
124 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Cotton Mary is a 1999 film co-directed by Ismail Merchant, best known as the producer half of Merchant Ivory, and the Indian actress and writer Madhur Jaffrey, who also co-starred. It is a sensual film, shot in coastal South India.


Lily Macintosh (Scacchi), an upper-class British woman living in India, has struggled since the birth of her child and is in need of a nanny. An Indian military nurse known as Cotton Mary (Jaffrey) takes the post; she is an ambitious woman who is eager to be part of British society. She seems kind at first, but her true nature gradually reveals itself as she manipulates everyone around her to get what she wants.


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