IMDb > Providence (1977)
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Providence (1977) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
9 February 1977 (France) See more »
Clive Langham (Sir John Gielgud) spends one tormenting night in his bed suffering from health problems and thinking up a story based on his relatives... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
12 wins & 1 nomination See more »
(19 articles)
The Always Outrageous Elaine Stritch Is Dead
 (From Moviefone. 17 July 2014, 8:50 AM, PDT)

Alain Resnais' "Life of Riley": The Mole's Gaze
 (From MUBI. 17 June 2014, 6:34 AM, PDT)

Juergen Hellwig dies aged 66
 (From ScreenDaily. 14 May 2014, 11:13 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A hilarious trip See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Dirk Bogarde ... Claude Langham

Ellen Burstyn ... Sonia Langham

John Gielgud ... Clive Langham

David Warner ... Kevin Langham / Kevin Woodford

Elaine Stritch ... Helen Wiener
Cyril Luckham ... Doctor Mark Eddington

Denis Lawson ... Dave Woodford (as Dennis Lawson)

Kathryn Leigh Scott ... Miss Boon
Milo Sperber ... Mr. Jenner
Anna Wing ... Karen
Peter Arne ... Nils
Tanya Lopert ... Miss Lister
Joseph Pittoors ... An Old Man
Samson Fainsilber ... The Old Man

Directed by
Alain Resnais 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
David Mercer 

Produced by
Philippe Dussart .... executive producer
Lise Fayolle .... associate producer
Yves Gasser .... producer
Juergen Hellwig .... associate producer
Klaus Hellwig .... producer
Yves Peyrot .... producer
Original Music by
Miklós Rózsa 
Cinematography by
Ricardo Aronovich 
Film Editing by
Albert Jurgenson 
Production Design by
Jacques Saulnier 
Art Direction by
Michel Breton 
Jean-Claude Cabouret 
Daniel Pierre 
Claude Serre 
Costume Design by
Catherine Leterrier 
Makeup Department
Régine Havan .... makeup artist (as Régine Ha-Van)
Victor Merinow .... makeup artist
Michel Trigon .... hair stylist
Marie-Hélène Yastchenkoff .... makeup artist
Production Management
Michel Choquet .... production manager
Fernand Dubois .... unit manager
Yvonne Frèche .... unit manager
Antoine Gannagé .... production manager
Gérard Gaultier .... unit manager
Jacqueline Louis .... unit manager
Joëlle Picaud .... unit manager
Roland Sabary .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Reynald Lampert .... second assistant director
John Lvoff .... second assistant director
Florence Malraux .... first assistant director
Guy Pinon .... assistant director
Art Department
Françoise Hardy .... set dresser
Charles Merangel .... set designer
Sound Department
René Magnol .... sound
Jacques Maumont .... sound
Claude Plouganou .... sound editor
Jean Schwarz .... electronic effects sounds
Camera and Electrical Department
Philippe Brun .... camera operator
Bernard Journoux .... electrician
Jacques Labesse .... camera operator
Daniel Smague .... camera operator
Jürgen Vollmer .... still photographer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
John Bates .... costumer
Editorial Department
Jean-Pierre Besnard .... assistant editor
Music Department
Miklós Rózsa .... conductor
Christopher Palmer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Daniel Champagnon .... production unit assistant
Marie-José Guissart .... continuity
François Vila .... press agent

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
110 min | USA:104 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

John Gielgud, who spent most of his career on the stage, considered this film and the television miniseries "Brideshead Revisited" (1981) to be his only two screen appearances that he was genuinely proud of.See more »
Kevin Woodford:I've got an erection.
Sonia Langham:Oh. So you have. Is it urgent?
Kevin Woodford:It's not mine!
See more »
Movie Connections:


What then young and still brilliant musical theater composer was slated to write the score for "Providence," but declined at the last minute?
See more »
19 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
A hilarious trip, 10 April 2003
Author: manuel-pestalozzi from Zurich, Switzerland

This is one of the strangest movies I know. French intellectual aesthete meets contemporary British playwright - this should be the title of Providence. When two completely different cultures meet for a common project, the risk of failure is enormous. But in this case something interestingly and uniquely hilarious was created. Providence is a feverish dream that was successfully created for the screen.

The dream sequences of an old, dying writer, played by John Gielgud are absurd in a very British way. John Gielguds's upper class "king's English" voice-over adds effectively to its strangeness. As usual in contemporary British plays, sex and bowel movements are of the utmost importance . no, the script as a whole is neither very original nor particularly funny. I liked the incongruous, illogical situations though. Every now and then, in the most impossible situations, a strange, sickly looking football player (he seems to have fallen off Monty Python's Flying Circus) jogs limply past.

Director Alain Resnais is responsible for the dreamscapes, and they make Providence worth watching. Real settings are artfully distorted into haunting, surreal spatial sequences. Foreground and background, light and darkness, different textures and beautiful color arrangements are expertly arranged into a world of its own that is never too far from reality. One is sometimes reminded of Magritte's surrealistic paintings. Strange sounds add to the almost psychedelic effect the dream scenes have.

The acting is remarkable, especially Dirk Bogarde as the writer's slick, cynical «dream son» gives an outstanding performance.

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