'Love Among the Ruins' - Movie Review

This is a 1975 made-for-TV movie, although you can't fault the pedigree: it was directed by George Cukor, and starred Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier. Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends: the production is stagey (a very small number of sets, and mostly with people standing in one place), mannered, histrionic, and overplayed at every turn.

Sir Arthur Granville-Jones (Olivier) is a barrister, about to defend Jessica Medlicott (Hepburn), who's been accused of having courted and promised marriage to a far younger man and then dumped him. She's quite rich, and the young man (and his family) feel entitled to some money. But Granville-Jones has his own history with Medlicott - they had a passionate affair some 40 years prior, and he's never forgotten it.

Olivier and Hepburn are only so-so, which is a bit surprising for two of that generation's greats in their later years. Most of the fault falls on the script, which makes a bigger deal out of everything than it should, and just isn't very good. And then it seems like the director told Olivier and Hepburn to ham it up while they're playing these already overblown lines. In the end, I was left wondering how Granville-Jones could retain the slightest interest in Medlicott after everything she did even during the course of this short movie. Or she in him for that matter.