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Love Among the Ruins (1975)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Comedy, Romance  |  6 March 1975 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »



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Won 6 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Medlicott
Sir Arthur Glanville-Jones
Colin Blakely ...
J.F. Devine
Richard Pearson ...
Joan Sims ...
Fanny Pratt
Leigh Lawson ...
Alfred Pratt
Gwen Nelson ...
Hermione Davis
Robert Harris ...
The Judge
Peter Reeves ...
John Blythe ...
Arthur Hewlett ...
The Usher
John Dunbar ...
The Clerk of the Court
Ian Sinclair ...
Pratt's Solicitor
Mervyn Pascoe ...
1st Barrister
Colin Thomas ...
2nd Barrister


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. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Comedy | Romance


See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 March 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amor Entre Ruínas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally intended as a vehicle for legendary husband and wife performers of the Broadway stage, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. See more »


Sir Arthur Glanville-Jones: And what is your age?
Jessica Medlicott: [smiling, nervous and not speaking for several seconds]
Sir Arthur Glanville-Jones: Did you not hear the question that I asked?
Jessica Medlicott: I heard your question. I could not believe that you asked it.
Sir Arthur Glanville-Jones: Don't you want the jury to know how old you are?
Jessica Medlicott: I cannot think that it is any of their business. I don't know their ages, why should they know mine?
[continuing smiling while people in the courtroom chuckle]
The Judge: Silence!
Sir Arthur Glanville-Jones: Ah, so you won't say in what year you were born then?
Jessica Medlicott: I was born in the year of my birth.
See more »


Referenced in Mad About You: Love Among the Tiles (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Great actors, director, story, but made for tv so its unknown
18 May 2001 | by (slightly east of west) – See all my reviews

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.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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