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Travels with My Aunt (1972)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,143 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 9 critic

At his mother's funeral, stuffy bank clerk Henry Pulling meets his Aunt Augusta, an elderly eccentric with more-than-shady dealings, who pulls him along on a whirlwind adventure, as she ... See full summary »

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Title: Travels with My Aunt (1972)

Travels with My Aunt (1972) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Henry Pulling
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Zachary nicknamed 'Wordsworth' (as Lou Gossett)
...
Ercole Visconti
...
Tooley
Robert Flemyng ...
Crowder
José Luis López Vázquez ...
Achille Dambreuse
Raymond Gérôme ...
Mario
Daniel Emilfork ...
Colonel Hakim
...
Louise
John Hamill ...
Crowder's Man
David Swift ...
Police inspector John Sparrow
...
Bobby
Valerie White ...
Mme Dambreuse
...
Elegant Man
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Storyline

At his mother's funeral, stuffy bank clerk Henry Pulling meets his Aunt Augusta, an elderly eccentric with more-than-shady dealings, who pulls him along on a whirlwind adventure, as she attempts to rescue an old lover. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

eccentric | funeral | banker | ring | flowers | See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Viajes con mi tía  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Katharine Hepburn was initially approached by her friend George Cukor to star in the movie. She read the book by Graham Greene, but since it was a series of short stories, she didn't think it could be adapted into a film. However, she agreed to star in it after reading the book a few times. Jay Presson Allen wrote the screenplay, but when Hepburn was unhappy with the result, Allen suggested that she re-write it herself. Hepburn worked on the script for three months, but when she submitted it, MGM studio head James T. Aubrey felt that her script was missing the charm of the book. Also, Aubrey felt that Hepburn was too old to play Aunt Augusta in flashback scenes. Aubrey called Hepburn to tell her that the project had been postponed, but the next day, Hepburn's agent called to report that she had been released by MGM for "failing to report to work." Hepburn considered suing MGM for payment for her script work, but decided against it. According to Jay Presson Allen, one speech from Hepburn's script was included in the film, but Hepburn was not given screen credit because she wasn't a member of the Screen Writer's Guild. See more »

Quotes

Aunt Augusta: It's the best way to win a woman, Harry, to make her laugh.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Frasier: Travels with Martin (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Church's One Foundation Is Jesus Christ Our Lord
(uncredited)
Words by Samuel J. Stone and music by Samuel S. Wesley
Sung at the funeral
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Magnificent Maggie as Alec McCowen's Auntie Mame
6 July 2006 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

Dull stuffy bachelor meets flamboyant eccentric aunt, who seeks to show him the world's pleasures. Sound familiar? While based on a Graham Greene novel, "Travels with My Aunt" plays on screen like a subdued version of "Auntie Mame." Unlike the rowdy broadness of the Patrick Dennis play and the Rosalind Russell film, George Cukor's adaptation of the Greene work tries to be high-toned and literary, while simultaneously striving to seem madcap and funny. Unfortunately, the film succeeds more in its pretentiousness than it does in its comedy.

Alec McCowen is fine as Henry Pulling, the bank clerk who fusses with dahlias in his spare time and fumes prissily when cannabis is mixed with the ashes of his mother. Henry is a prime candidate for an Auntie Mame, although he's a bit beyond his formative years. Henry's out-of-character dalliance aboard the Orient Express with Cindy Williams, as a young drifter on her way to Katmandu, should have been cut. The tryst adds nothing to the plot and only confuses perceptions about Henry. Maggie Smith, at times stunningly garbed in luscious gowns by Anthony Powell, plays Aunt Augusta for all she's worth, and Maggie is certainly worth a great deal. Although the actress is clearly too old to play the younger Augusta and too young, even with the age makeup, to play the elder woman, Smith is always fascinating to watch. Despite her mannerisms, which at times overwhelm the characterization, Smith is generally convincing and should have taken a shot at playing Mame Dennis in either the comedy or the musical version of "Auntie Mame."

Although "Travels with My Aunt" was beautifully filmed by Douglas Slocombe against scenic splendor that stretches from Istanbul to Venice to Spain, the pace is often sluggish, and the plot preposterous. The proceedings are propelled by Augusta's need to raise the ransom money to rescue a former lover, whose minor appendages are being sent to her one by one as a warning. However, coincidences abound, plot holes deepen, and threads are left hanging all over. Without McCowen and Smith, the film would be little more than a stylish, if soporific, travelogue.


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