It's 1927 Paris. Following the conviction of her art dealer husband, Stephan Zelli, for theft for which he was handed a one-year prison sentence, Marya Zelli, originally from West India, moves in with her acquaintances, expatriate Brits H.J. and Lois Heidler. Marya knows that H.J. in particular has more in mind than just providing her lodging out of the goodness of his heart. From behind bars, Stephan encourages Marya to move in with them not knowing H.J.'s intentions. Marya agrees in part because she, being a foreigner, cannot get work and would thus become destitute otherwise. She learns she is the latest in a long line of lodgers. She also learns that H.J. and Lois' marriage is not all that it appears on the surface. The Heidler's hold on Marya becomes stronger when they convince her that Stephan not only has no money but has no future in France after his release. Their collective lives become more complicated when Stephan is released from jail and tries to figure out what he's ... Written by
Did You Know?
Director James Ivory initially resisted the casting of Maggie Smith in the film. Although he did not think her appropriate for the role despite her talent, she was cast by producer Ismail Merchant over Ivory's objections. Ivory later conceded, "... it was one of the most wonderful things that ever happened to me." See more
Nowadays, people live in a dirty way. There's no tradition. There's nothing beautiful.
Featured in The Wandering Company
Words and Music by Jean Lenoir
Performed by Isabelle Adjani
vocal, with Maurice Ribot
piano (uncredited) See more