A simple governess and a wealthy aristocrat fall madly in love with each other. However, his family are prejudiced towards her and have other plans for him.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elzbieta Starostecka ...
Stefcia Rudecka
Leszek Teleszynski ...
Waldemar Michorowski
Jadwiga Baranska ...
Countess Idalia Elzonowska
Czeslaw Wollejko ...
Maciej Michorowski
Lucyna Brusikiewicz ...
Lucia Elzonowska
Irena Malkiewicz ...
Princess Podhorecka
Anna Dymna ...
Melania Barska
Gabriela Kownacka ...
Rita Szylinzanka
Mariusz Dmochowski ...
Count Barski
Piotr Fronczewski ...
Count Trestka
Zbigniew Józefowicz ...
Stefcia's Father
Janusz Bylczynski ...
Aristocrat
Barbara Drapinska ...
Stefcia's Mother
Aleksander Gassowski ...
Aristocrat
Wieslawa Kwasniewska ...
Wizembergowa
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Storyline

A simple governess and a wealthy aristocrat fall madly in love with each other. However, his family are prejudiced towards her and have other plans for him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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based on novel | See All (1) »

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Romance

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Release Date:

29 November 1976 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Leper  »

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User Reviews

 
Aristocratic marriage codes

Jerzy Hoffman's Tredowata (1976) - Leper is perhaps a film that is attempting to humanely critique the aristocratic marriage codes which prevented aristocrats from marrying those they were in "love" with. It is more likely that it is a Polish government (of the time) critique of aristocratic values. Either way, if you get by the heavy handed pretentiousness, annoying characters and simplistic presentation, it is not that disagreeable and scores barely above average.

Waldemar Michorowski is an aristocrat who is in love with Stefcia Rudecka, a teacher and governess of his aunt's child. She rejects him but ultimately comes to the conclusion that she adores him but the aristocratic marriage codes prevent them from actualizing that love. Not much in the way of exposition or dialogue leads us to conclude their "real love", aside from the awe of eyes and faces shown on the screen, so it's just forced down our throats as an obvious truth. Waldemar's family is opposed to this relationship, and wants him to marry a dull, but beautiful Melania Barska for a marriage of convenience. Maciej Michorowski is his grandfather who sacrificed his own love to marry into aristocratic blood lines and at times, he feels compassion for his grandson. Waldemar's aunt is throughly opposed to it and is at heart, an unflinching aristocrat.

Waldemar Michorowski is presented as more down to earth but he's still a snob with an aristocratic title, and quite an unsympathetic character at that. As the audience, we are supposed to feel sympathy for this "doomed love" but it's ridiculous and almost comical. Any humanist will oppose that naive presentation based on common sense and decency for humanist values, such as denouncing aristocracy all together. There is a scene of an aristocratic ball that is entirely absurd where the teacher and governess is rejected by "society" and she runs into the rain, her heart broken. It is laughable at best.

There are good shots of scenes, and period details (1920's or 1930's) but a lot of frivolous conversation that goes nowhere along with one dimensional portraits of scorning aristocrats. Some obvious displays of bad make-up and lack of lighting, notice the excess white powder, etc, also hamper the film but it is an somewhat interesting, unsophisticated portrait of the dying values of the old aristocracy.


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