Love Among the Ruins (1975)

Love Among the Ruins (1975)
7.9
  • 842
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release year: 1975 ()
  • Running time: 100 min
  • Original Title: Love Among the Ruins
  • Voted: 842

An aging actress is being sued for breach of promise. She hires as her lawyer a man who was an ex-lover, and is still in love with her, although she doesn't know it. She realizes that the only way to win this case and protect her assets is to destroy her reputation.

#PersonCharacters
1Katharine HepburnJessica Medlicott
2Laurence OlivierSir Arthur Glanville-Jones
3Colin BlakelyJ.F. Devine
4Richard PearsonDruce
  • A Precious Jewel by 10

    I never tire of watching this tour de force of two of the most brilliant actors ever, directed by one of the greatest directors of all time. Hepburn and Olivier are riveting as they deliver James Costigan's sparkling script, handled so deftly by George Cukor. Tears, laughter and awe are mingled throughout.

    The supporting cast, the costumes and the music (oh, the music!!) only add to what is already as close to a perfect film experience as one is ever to experience. It is my most fervent wish that LATR will soon be released in a decent copy on DVD. If it is, run to your nearest video store, buy it immediately, and prepare to be dazzled!

  • Brilliant!! An absolute pleasure to watch! by 10

    The pairing of Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier for this delightful production was a stroke of casting genius! Although they had known each other since 1934, this was their first and only professional collaboration, and came to be as a result of Hepburn's suggestion. Olivier, in his book, "On Acting," called it "my happiest professional film experience."

    These two celebrated veterans of theatre and cinema, with a wealth of experience between them, played off one another brilliantly -- Hepburn as the wealthy dowager, Jessica Medicott, who is being sued for breach of promise by a much younger man, and Olivier as the renowned barrister, Sir Arthur Granville-Jones, who is retained to defend her in the lawsuit. The irony here is that Jessica had, almost 50 years before, jilted Sir Arthur, when he was a young law student, and he has carried a torch for her ever since -- but SHE, long-married and now widowed, doesn't even remember him! Now, Sir Arthur must subdue his own feelings of resentment and longing, for a passion which has consumed him for over forty years, as he presents her case to the court.

    The acting is perfection, including that of a strong supporting cast, the script is intelligent, witty, and well-written, the sets and costumes are beautiful (it is set in England in the early 1900's), and the direction by George Cukor, in his first venture into television, is sensitive and masterful. It is one of those rare productions which leaves the viewer with an overall sense of pleasure at having witnessed storytelling and acting at its VERY best!

  • Great actors, director, story, but made for tv so its unknown by 10

    Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier both put in great performances in this quiet, bittersweet romantic comedy. The writing is wonderful and the direction sublime. Olivier, in particular, as a lawyer (Sir Arthur Manville-Jones) defending a long lost love Jessica (Hepburn) in a "breach of promise" case, comes to life in a way that is far too rare on film. He is each of us remembering that one person we can never forget - and now he has the chance to reconnect with her.

    But the ways of love are never smooth and Jessica's involvement with (and subsequent rejection of) a younger man who clearly is interested in her money (and played with precise sliminess by Leigh Lawson) now has her entangled in a court case and probably not in as strong a position as she (or Sir Arthur) would like.

    To complicate matters, Sir Arthur is still in love and reminds her of how they met these long years ago. Jessica's memory may not be so good, but Sir Arthur is determined to do all possible to save her from the slimey young man.

    The film centers around three kinds of scenes: almost all are focussed on Olivier. In some Sir Arthur remembers his earlier time with Jessica and plots his performance in court - with his clerk and others. In these we see Sir Arthur and the feelings he still has for Jessica and his hope that maybe you can go back again.

    In other scenes the focus is on Jessica and Sir Arthur, his memories, her current situation, his plans for the trial. Sir Arthur's feelings are sometimes concealed (though not always well) while Jessica (once an actress) is better at masquerading.

    Finally, there are the courtroom scenes in which Olivier transcends both Olivier and Sir Arthur and shows us a barrister putting on a performance in the court that is entirely different from all we have seen Sir Arthur do before.

    But Jessica is also putting on a performance, and when the depth of this performance and the deliberateness of her deceit are revealed, you suddenly have a second chance to see who Jessica is and was and maybe who she will be.

    There have been a number of great filmed love stories (and Hepburn is no stranger to them), but this is a bit different - its about young love - between two people who are far from young. Its about hope and how things work out sometimes. Its funny and sad - often at the same time. It may not be a great film - but its a very good one indeed, well worth watching and rewatching.

    But since it was made for TV it seems to have been destined to be quietly ignored - this is a shame as it is far better than most of the stuff thats endlessly recycled on cable.

  • Sheer joy as two acting legends act magnificently together by 10

    This film is a sheer delight. Actually there are no words to do justice to the performances of Katherine Hepburn and Lord Olivier. What a loss that they they had not acted together before. What a miracle that they did this once - and, oh, how they did.

    Rush out and buy the DVD of this gem of film making. See what true cinema is all about. See how actors, screen writer and director can make screen magic together.

    No need of violence, foul language, car chases, pyrotechnics or tawdry s*x scenes {I do not want my comment deleted because a I used a word regarded as unseemly on the Internet).

    How marvelous to have this film as a reminder of the genius of acting greats and as a reminder of what makes a cinema classic - talent, quality writing, & direction to draw out such wonderful performances

    • and both actors were 68 years old when they performed with such talent and energy to weave this cinema magic together.


    No wonder Lord Olivier described working with Ms Hepburn on this "made-for-television" film as one of, if not THE, highlight of his long and distinguished acting career.

    Greyollie, Australia.

  • Love Among the Ruins, a made- for-TV movie by 10

    Hello, fellow admirers of this made for TV film of sheer perfection! I first watched Love Among the Ruins many years ago on TV, and was smitten by the stellar performances of Hepburn and Olivier and also of the entire cast of this wonderful movie.

    Comments about the movie must include praises for the music soundtrack. It is so lovely. In one scene with Jessica and Sir Arthur sitting at their table in a restaurant; Sir Arthur comments on the music being played, and sings a few of the lyrics to Jessica. Loved that scene! Also, Sir Arthur mentions the composer's name. I cannot remember it though.

    In closing, I would recommend this marvelously entertaining movie to anyone; they will not be disappointed! Also, I would "Love" to own a VHS or DVD of LAtR!

    CTW

#PersonCrew
1Douglas Slocombecinematographer
2John Barrycomposer
3George Cukordirector
4John F. Burnetteditor
5Allan Davisproducer
6James Costiganwriter