Love Among the Ruins (TV Movie 1975) Poster

(1975 TV Movie)

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Brilliant!! An absolute pleasure to watch!
Lady X9 February 2000
The pairing of Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier for this delightful production was a stroke of casting genius! Although they had known each other since 1934, this was their first and only professional collaboration, and came to be as a result of Hepburn's suggestion. Olivier, in his book, "On Acting," called it "my happiest professional film experience."

These two celebrated veterans of theatre and cinema, with a wealth of experience between them, played off one another brilliantly -- Hepburn as the wealthy dowager, Jessica Medicott, who is being sued for breach of promise by a much younger man, and Olivier as the renowned barrister, Sir Arthur Granville-Jones, who is retained to defend her in the lawsuit. The irony here is that Jessica had, almost 50 years before, jilted Sir Arthur, when he was a young law student, and he has carried a torch for her ever since -- but SHE, long-married and now widowed, doesn't even remember him! Now, Sir Arthur must subdue his own feelings of resentment and longing, for a passion which has consumed him for over forty years, as he presents her case to the court.

The acting is perfection, including that of a strong supporting cast, the script is intelligent, witty, and well-written, the sets and costumes are beautiful (it is set in England in the early 1900's), and the direction by George Cukor, in his first venture into television, is sensitive and masterful. It is one of those rare productions which leaves the viewer with an overall sense of pleasure at having witnessed storytelling and acting at its VERY best!
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A Precious Jewel
slr_image27 August 2003
I never tire of watching this tour de force of two of the most brilliant actors ever, directed by one of the greatest directors of all time. Hepburn and Olivier are riveting as they deliver James Costigan's sparkling script, handled so deftly by George Cukor. Tears, laughter and awe are mingled throughout.

The supporting cast, the costumes and the music (oh, the music!!) only add to what is already as close to a perfect film experience as one is ever to experience. It is my most fervent wish that LATR will soon be released in a decent copy on DVD. If it is, run to your nearest video store, buy it immediately, and prepare to be dazzled!
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Great actors, director, story, but made for tv so its unknown
jefu18 May 2001
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.
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Sheer joy as two acting legends act magnificently together
greyollie-126 August 2005
This film is a sheer delight. Actually there are no words to do justice to the performances of Katherine Hepburn and Lord Olivier. What a loss that they they had not acted together before. What a miracle that they did this once - and, oh, how they did.

Rush out and buy the DVD of this gem of film making. See what true cinema is all about. See how actors, screen writer and director can make screen magic together.

No need of violence, foul language, car chases, pyrotechnics or tawdry s*x scenes {I do not want my comment deleted because a I used a word regarded as unseemly on the Internet).

How marvelous to have this film as a reminder of the genius of acting greats and as a reminder of what makes a cinema classic - talent, quality writing, & direction to draw out such wonderful performances

  • and both actors were 68 years old when they performed with such talent and energy to weave this cinema magic together.

No wonder Lord Olivier described working with Ms Hepburn on this "made-for-television" film as one of, if not THE, highlight of his long and distinguished acting career.

Greyollie, Australia.
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Love Among the Ruins, a made- for-TV movie
mumabw1 December 2005
Hello, fellow admirers of this made for TV film of sheer perfection! I first watched Love Among the Ruins many years ago on TV, and was smitten by the stellar performances of Hepburn and Olivier and also of the entire cast of this wonderful movie.

Comments about the movie must include praises for the music soundtrack. It is so lovely. In one scene with Jessica and Sir Arthur sitting at their table in a restaurant; Sir Arthur comments on the music being played, and sings a few of the lyrics to Jessica. Loved that scene! Also, Sir Arthur mentions the composer's name. I cannot remember it though.

In closing, I would recommend this marvelously entertaining movie to anyone; they will not be disappointed! Also, I would "Love" to own a VHS or DVD of LAtR!

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A superb piece of work
Nick-5712 July 2003
I saw this movie on TV in Canada in 1976. I was amazed by the single-handed splendid performance of Olivier and Hepburn. It is sad that this movie was never shown in movie cinemas as undoubtedly it is one of the best pieces of work I have ever seen.
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A true delight
suaheli3 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this on German TV in the seventies and was on a quest to see it again, buy the VHS, buy the DVD... Olivier shouting about the "crumbling ruin, on the threshold of senility, the son they are to have by the name of PRATT..." has never left me. Now after about 30 years I purchased a DVD on e..y and watching it it was like meeting an old friend. What a wonderful film. Katherine Hepburn in one of her best performances, just a little short of the one in "African Queen" and Laurence Olivier... He is something else. I so like his acting, he allows you to acknowledge the technique he uses. There were glimpses of the scheming Andrew Wyke, but also the love lost stares of Maxim de Winter. And of course his final speech in court - that was funny yet very Shakespearean, you might well compare his delivery to the one in Henry V. What a powerhouse this man was. And nowadays they try to sell us the likes of Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell (no offence) as being great actors. "Hangs head in sadness, watches LatR immediately again."
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Edwardian Romance from a couple of Edwardians
bkoganbing11 October 2006
Both Sir Laurence Olivier and Katharine Hepburn were born in 1908 which would have had them make their earthly debuts during the reign of Edward VII. I guess it's fitting that they do their one an only film together in a romantic comedy about two elderly people brought together by a lawsuit.

Hepburn's solicitor, Richard Pearson, brings Hepburn and Olivier together. Hepburn is being sued for alienation of affections by a young man who swears she promised marriage to him, he who is old enough to be her grandson. Olivier is a barrister of great repute and they happen to be neighbors on the same block in London.

What Pearson doesn't know and Hepburn seems to have forgotten was that a long time ago, almost forty years, Olivier was a young law student in Toronto who was crushing out big time on young actress Hepburn. Like a good stage door Johnny, Olivier waited for her and had evening out with her and never saw her after that. She married a wealthy title and Olivier went on to a great legal career, but he's been crushing out on her since.

In today's terminology they would call the suit against Hepburn palimony. The trial portion of the film is the best with Hepburn almost seeming to work at cross purposes with her own attorney. The opposing barrister is Colin Blakely who played a lot of sleazy types in films. If the British have lawyer jokes in their culture, Blakely would seem like a great candidate. The man just oozed shyster from his very pores.

Thirty years earlier had this film been made it would have had a theatrical release. Movie public tastes change so it got relegated to the made for TV status. Still though with the presence of those two star names it should not be missed.

Love Among the Ruins was directed by George Cukor and deserved Emmys were won all around, by Cukor, Olivier, and Hepburn. They should all get our thanks for showing that quality still had an audience.
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One of my all-time favorites!!!
tallguy6227 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Fantastic performances by two acting legends. It is difficult to not enjoy Lawrence Olivier on film. In most of his roles, he is so much fun to observe because he has those blustering but endearing moments when he tries to be hardboiled. I very much relate to Olivier's style of acting. He is fabulous in this movie.

I realize that people have always criticized Katherine Hepburn as having no emotion on screen, but this movie should change your mind about that. She has emotion in her films, but it is quite subtle and you will miss it if you do not look for it carefully. Most actresses played helpless women because that is what was expected of them, but Kate tried to break out of that and be her own person, even when she was playing a certain character. I find her charming to watch in her later films, and this one is no exception.

You would not think a TV movie would be any good -- but this one is quite the exception. I guess the only reason the film is not on DVD is that studios figure it is too old for anyone to be interested in buying it. It has been on VHS for years, though.
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..splendid acting about mature love..
fimimix24 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
With so few reviews, it is not surprising that very few people are aware of this monumental film starring two of the greatest film-stars EVER. Its doom was sealed because it was made for TV, even in the days before hopelessly silly "Sex in the City" and "Desperate Housewives" gave younger people the notion that's what TV-series were all about....the young-skinnies whose off-air antics made them celebrities, more so than their acting abilities. There is more electricity between Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier - at age 68 - in these 100 minutes of magic than all of the hours "the-young-and-the-beautiful" actors/actresses could muster-up in a lifetime. Could it be it's because these stars have done more roles than a dozen of these new guys will ever do, put together ? This is the perfect film for a family to watch together, if you can get the kids to pay attention for lack of explosions and chases.

I don't remember where or when I first saw this movie - I had no idea it had been recorded on VHS: I was shocked to find it on eBay. I bought it immediately. One "user" wished it would find its way to DVD; one has informed us it HAS. For fans of these great stars, you are missing one of their best performances if you don't buy one or the other.

The script is crystalline - George Cukor did his film-magic on his first TV-film. The lighting is superior and the score touching. Can you believe it is rated at 7.8 with only 192 votes ?? Long-time friends, Hepburn and Olivier had never appeared together - Hepburn sent a message to Olivier she'd be delighted to star with him - he has said their collaboration was one of the highlights of his career.

I won't tell much of the story - that's for you to discover. There are no nude-scenes with hands groping nor bated breath, but the sincerity of joy renewed after a separation of almost 50 years. Hepburn knows she is in a position of being sued for - and losing - thousands-of-pounds, cash. Clearly paralleling her own career, she plays an actress who loved a young man, but chose wealth instead. The young man loved her so dearly, he could love no other and is put-off she seems not to remember it all. Wily "Jessica" realizes full-well at the beginning of the trial she's going to have to "perform" to get her lawyer's brilliance in gear, and performs she does ! "Lawyer" realizes she has put herself up for ridicule - and a judgment against her - for her dalliance with a much younger, prude of a man (Leigh Lawon). He is determined to get his point across, that he still loves and wants her. His summary at the end of the trial is brilliant, after "Jessica" completely disrupts the court and is thrown-out. He completely shatters the prosecutor's (Colin Blakely) case, convincing the jury his client is trying to recapture her youth.

Not a word about the ending - it is played with such fabulous performances between Hepburn and Olivier, I doubt if there has ever been a better scene.....such tenderly subtle admissions are completely lost on Olivier, only to discover she was in charge the whole time. Brava and bravo ! This is one of the few TV-movies which should be re-mastered with all the skill filmmakers have at their fingertips today, with a major premier to release it in theaters. You should haunt eBay and other stores till you find a copy - you'll watch it many times, because it IS timeless and a true-to-life story young lovers will find to be amazing. Polish the Oscars - it should win them all, in every category. What a monument for two great stars - it deserves 50-out-of-10......
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Great showcase for the acting of two legends
AlsExGal5 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I haven't seen this film since 1975 when I was 17, and although the starring players - Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier - were 50 years older than me, their characterizations of two lovers who had met and fallen in love at the age I was at the time, had separated - but not for lack of love, and now are reunited under the most awkward of circumstances drew me in and held me.

I'm going to tell you upfront I intend to spoil this movie to the extent my memory allows because it impressed me so much and because it is such a shame it is not available on DVD.

The basic story is that Katharine Hepburn is a famous retired actress, Jessica Medlicott, now widowed, who takes up with a young man because his romantic interest in her revives her feeling of youthfulness. However, his interest is only her pocketbook in the end, for he sues for breach of promise, since back in turn of the century England - and America for that matter - a proposal had the force of a contract. If he wins he will take a significant portion of her wealth with him, plus at that time the winner of a civil suit is afforded the cost of legal representation from the winner, which could be significant.

So Jessica hires the best barrister in England - Laurence Olivier as Sir Arthur Glanville-Jones. Sir Arthur recognizes her immediately as his first and really only love from decades before. The problem is, she seems to have no recollection of him at all! She doesn't seem to recall their torrid love affair when he was a law student and she a struggling actress, and how she ran out on him when she decided to marry a much older wealthy man out of the blue. Sir Arthur never explicitly asks her about this, but from her demeanor he can tell she does not recognize him.

The memory of the affair may seem to be gone, but the chemistry is still there and sparks fly. Sir Arthur warns Jessica to show up to court looking old, haggard, and dressed plainly so that the jury can see how ridiculous it would be for such a young man to have such an old woman as his bride. She rebels by entering court in a bright red gown with plumes, a hat with even more plumes, and an ornate parasol. Her entry wows the jurors (I believe they were all men) as well as the judge and the rest of the court as she winks and collectively flirts with them.

Sir Arthur is furious, but during his cross examination of Jessica, and in his final argument to the jury ,he talks about how ridiculous the idea of any real marriage between the two could be. He asks the jury if they can see the two having children?, growing old together?, doing anything that a newlywed couple can look forward to? Part of the reason his argument is so impassioned is you can just tell he is thinking of the future that he and Jessica lost so many years ago - the past that could have been.

If you can ever find it, I'll let the legal decision be one secret I do not tell. However I will tell you that Jessica's memories are not as dead and buried as Sir Arthur believed. This one is absolutely worth your time end to end. Highly recommended.
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A wonderful, witty love story with Hollywood greats!
sweetmeadowsfarm12 February 2001
Witty dialogue and a great script, combined with acting greats Hepburn and Olivier, prove that our memories persist, the decisions of our past are never really left behind us, and that love is not reserved for the "under 30" set!!
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Two old friends work together for the first and only time.
mark.waltz16 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It is a shame that this did not receive theatrical release in 1975 for this is ranked as one of the worst years on the big screen for women in film. Katharine Hepburn might have had five Oscars as opposed to four, and her co-star Laurence Olivier might have been a serious challenge to that year's best actor winner, Jack Nicholson. But the big screen's loss was the little screen's gain, giving prestige to the fairly new concept of the T.V. movie which had only taken shape over the past decade with mostly low-budget, cheaply made telefeatures which replaced the "B" movies of the big screen.

In this film, Laurence Olivier is a barrister who is asked by Hepburn's legal adviser (Colin Blakely) to represent her in a breach of promise suit brought against her by an extremely young man who claimed that she had agreed to marry him. Outraged by the ridiculous charges, Hepburn admits that she had befriended the young chap (Leigh Lawson) out of loneliness after her husband died, but had never lead him into thinking that it was anything more than a close acquaintance. Olivier is angered because Hepburn doesn't remember their own involvement years ago when she was a promising stage actress who went off to pursue a stage career while he was getting his legal career off the ground. In love with her for years and never getting over that, he stayed a bachelor, watching her from a distance and pining for the love lost.

Does she remember and is simply hiding it out of some sort of womanly pride, or has she truly forgotten? This is the question as they discuss the facts of the case which present Lawson and his social climbing mother (Joan Sims) as obvious gold diggers out to swindle a lonely old widow. As the case is presented in court, Hepburn gets more indignant, having a temperamental breakdown when questioned in regards to her age and other sordid facts in the case. This blends comedy and drama with great ease, directed to perfection by Hepburn's long-time friend George Cukor who had guided her through many memorable movies through the years, including several with her long-time partner, Spencer Tracy.

As for the chemistry between Hepburn and Olivier, it is obvious that they admire each other very much, and in real life, they were friendly. In fact, one source I investigated indicated that Hepburn was a witness when Olivier married Vivien Leigh, so their pairing some thirty years later is not only historical but nostalgic and touching. As the storyline involving the case is wrapped up, Hepburn and Olivier's characters begin to find a respect for each other that earlier was mostly arguments over their case as well as their past. Looking splendid in period costumes, the two compliment each other greatly. The great Kate has the showier part, with Olivier laid back in speaking his dialog, almost like a school boy experiencing his first crush. You won't be seeing Heathcliff, Maxim De Winter or Hamlet in this performance; He is shyly sweet and professionally tough, mixing the personalities of both business and tender love into a character you can't help be charmed by.
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Great script lets these two run riot...
CinemaSerf1 September 2020
Katharine Hepburn is on sparkling form as "Jessica"; an elderly widow who is being sued for breach of promise by her toy-boy ex-fiancée. She seeks the legal services of veteran Sir Arthur Glanville-Jones (a superbly entertaining Sir Laurence Olivier) without realising - as he most certainly does - that they had a romantic past some years earlier in Canada. The ensuing court room drama provides the perfect setting for the legal antics as he tries to win the case for her - and to save her fortune and reputation - but also for the battle between the two former lovers as they, frequently sparkily, put their personal lives in order. The two stars are exactly that, and working with a witty and clever script under the creatively indulgent eye of George Cukor, it is hard to see how it could go wrong - and it doesn't! It's quite astonishing how rarely this sees the light of day these days, but if it does then give it a go - a great opportunity to see great acting delivering from a strong script from James Costigan with plenty of charisma on the screen and a typically charming John Barry score.
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Textbook in Acting, Grand Style
ilprofessore-130 August 2019
This film made in 1975 remains a memorable record of the sort of virtuoso acting (some might say over-acting) that one might have seen in the West End back at the time of Gerald du Maurier or on Broadway when Lunt and Fontane were the reigning stars. In this film, Laurence Olivier, perhaps the greatest technical actor ever on the English stage, uses every vocal trick and calculated gesture in the book to portray the love-struck barrister, formidable in court, putty in the hands of a great lady. His performance is all perfectly thought out and carefully rehearsed down to the slightest movement of his hands, the unexpected emphasis on certain words, and the perfectly timed pauses used for comic effect. Katherine Hepburn, a great diva in her own right, a force of nature, holds her own and is never over-shadowed by Olivier's bravura. We witness two great theatrical personalities at the height of the powers pull out all stops fearlessly in front of the camera. Of course, this sort of Acting-Acting, the direct opposite style of the then popular Method inside-out underplayed technique, is rarely seen anymore, was rarely seen even then, but given the farcical premise of the plot it somehow all works to the story's advantage . Anything less might have exposed the holes in the script.

Ironically, although shot at the Pinewood studios outside London with sets and costumes by some the UK's greatest artisans this is not an English film. It was made for American TV, written and staged by two Yanks: the playwright James Costigan and the director George Cukor.
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Smart and adorable!
HotToastyRag10 November 2017
In Love Among the Ruins, Katharine Hepburn makes one heck of an entrance! Laurence Olivier is shown first, fretting and fussing over his appearance and every detail in his office as he awaits her arrival, much like Gatsby's nervous preparations before seeing Daisy in The Great Gatsby. In Katharine Hepburn waltzes, and while Laurence is smitten, he's also incredibly disappointed. Decades ago, when Kate was a famous actress and Larry was a young law student, they were lovers. Now, when she's a widow and he's a successful barrister, Kate holds out her hand in introduction. She doesn't remember him!

In this charming, heartwarming second-chance romance, Laurence Olivier gives an adorable performance. He's got a few miles on him, but he's full of vigor and innocently charming. He's a hopeless romantic, winning over the audience's heart immediately so they hope he'll eventually win Kate's heart as well. Kate is funny and spunky, and while she isn't immediately as likable as her costar, she's adorable and charming in her own way.

The main plot—or a side-plot, depending on how much you value the romance—is the court case. Kate is being sued for breech of promise by a significantly younger man, Leigh Lawson. In the olden days, "breech of promise" meant that someone had broken an engagement, and the jilted party could sue for emotional damages. As Kate is a wealthy widow, Leigh might be a gold digger; then again, Kate could be an outrageous flirt who refuses to act her age. You'll have to watch the movie to find out.

Love Among the Ruins swept the 1976 Emmys, winning statues for Kate, Larry, director George Cukor, writer James Costigan, art direction, and costume design. While you can easily imagine the script had been adapted from a play, Costigan's script was originally written for television. It's smart and sassy, with hilarious references to the leading lady's age without being insulting. Perhaps the cutest aspect of the film is the chemistry between the two leads. Kate and Larry were lifelong friends but had never made a film together until this one. You can clearly see how much they enjoy each other's company, and it's sheer magic to see such professionals acting alongside each other.
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Superb movie. I wish I could own it.
ellen-701-46021514 June 2014
This was the only time two superb actors ever worked together. The script, acting, and direction are all top notch.

Olivier and Hepburn play off one another like expert fencers, each going for an Olympic medal, except that they are each contributing so a superb theater experience.

I would love to see this again, and I would love to own it.

I do not watch movies or TV very much, so this is exceptionally high praise from me. It is a classic and should be widely available.

I think it is ridiculous to require that a review be a certain minimum length. I said all I have to say several sentences ago.
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donwc19965 January 2014
This film is a triumph in every respect. But it is an oddity, that's for sure. How could so much talent, money and effort be put into a movie for television? You have to wonder what the TV executives were thinking. Perhaps they wished to elevate the level of television by producing such an extravagant production, unlike anything seen on TV at that time. Yet, not many years later the most elaborate television production of all time - Brideshead Revisited - appeared on PBS of all places and redefined the concept of television production it was so elaborate. But it really is Ruins that raised the bar for movies on television having established a standard that had not been achieved thus far. And what a standard.
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A fabulous period piece with two of cinema's greatest stars
dvc19931 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This review contains only minor spoilers regarding information that the hero provides to his confidant very early in the movie about his previous history with the heroine.

This is a period piece set in London of 1911. Almost 50 years ago in Toronto, starving, young law student, Arthur (Laurence Olivier), fell madly in love with beautiful, young actress, Jessica (Katharine Hepburn), and they spent three torrid days and nights together. Jessica agreed to marry Arthur after he got established as a barrister in a few years, but when he returned to England ready to claim her, he learned to his horror that she had married a much older, wealthy man. They have now reunited, both of them around 68 or 70 years old, when Jessica hires him to defend her in a case of breach of promise brought by a man young enough to be her grandson. Arthur is as much in love with Jessica as he was in his passionate youth, and he has never married, proclaiming to the friend who brought Jessica's case to him that she "spoiled me for all other women." Unfortunately for Arthur, it is obvious that Jessica has no idea who he is.

"Love Among the Ruins," is an absolutely wonderful, made-for-TV movie from 1975. It was directed by George Cukor as one of the final films in his long, sterling career. He won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for this film. It stars the incredible actors Laurence Olivier and Katharine Hepburn in their only on-screen pairing, and both won Emmys for Outstanding Performance. The rich, rolling cadences of their speech is ecstatically gorgeous to listen to. I loved the two of them individually and collectively--their chemistry together on screen is riveting, and their golden-years romance is both hilarious and emotionally compelling. Seeing two such masters of acting interact with each other is a cinematic experience not to be missed. On top of that enormous pleasure, the witty and often quite poignant dialog in the screenplay is astoundingly well written, and I frequently paused to replay and relish especially amusing or poetic phrases. The screenwriter is James Costigan, who won an Emmy for his contribution to this film as well. (In his illustrious career, he also won two other Emmys, one for "Little Moon of Alban" from 1959 and "Eleanor and Franklin" from 1977.) This is one of my all-time favorite movies.
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Deserves all the kudos it got
astrostar-185013 June 2020
After watching this marvelous movie, one can only wish Kate and Larry had collaborated more when they were younger and had made more movies together, even TV shows. This movie is so sumptuously shot, with such lovely sets and costumes, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a theatrical release. Oh what a lost opportunity that it wasn't, it would have been in the parlance of Hollywood, a "sweeper", cleaning up for best actress, actor, director, possibly costume design and who knows what else. Special mention must go to the script which is delightful, just a pleasure to listen to. George Cukor shows once again, why he is the venerated director that he is in his marvelous direction of these two legends of the acting world. A youthful love, long suppressed by one, but never forgotten, and the other who carries a torch for the other which, even after decades was never extinguished, has the chance to bloom into full flower once again, and it does. For this story is more than just a courtroom drama of a woman fighting a breach of promise suit by a gold digging suitor, it's also a wonderful love story. I won't give too many spoilers away, because it would deny you the pleasure of discovering this lovely movie for yourself. If you want to enjoy watching two of the finest actors ever, in a wonderful tale of love won, lost and rediscovered all in the backdrop of a great courtroom drama, you could do no better than this. Grab this movie with both hands if you get the chance, it really is that good. My score a 9 out of ten.
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trishthompson31 January 2020
As other reviewers have said, the chemistry between Lawrence Olivier and Katherine Hepburn is immediately apparent, so much so that you can easily see their younger selves amongst the "ruins" of their present bodies. Direction, excellent. Script/plot, excellent. Cinematography, excellent. Musical score, excellent. Get the idea? REALLY worth seeing; had it had a theatrical release (which it should have), it would have won Oscars across the board...and would have been released on DVD (which it should have been. Perhaps if enough people search for it on the right sites, it will be.
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Laurence Olivier and Katharine Hepburn trying to find and understand each other after 30 years
clanciai10 July 2019
This is in every aspect a perfect film, and at the same time a glorious virtuoso performance by two of film history's greatest stars, for their only time together, like a tribute to both the art of the film, acting and stardom. Laurence Olivier was 68 at the time and Katharine Hepburn only ten days older,, and still they both shine and sparkle as predominantly as they ever did in the 40s. John Barry's music adds a soft dreamy touch of nostalgic beauty to it, and the play couldn't be better: an old lawyer finds an old lost love as a client on his hands, and although he remembers every minute of their affair 30 years earlier, she seems to have forgotten all about it. She is an actress and has been on top all her life, so she knows how to act. As Laurence fights with his tragical dilemma of not being able to make her remember, she puts on a splendid show of all her acting resources, and the conclusion will make you melt. George Cukor also triumphs in this one os his last films, and the 1910 settings recall all those glorious films of the 40s of nostalgic beauty looking back on the world before the first world war. This is a film never to tire of and never to forget.
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Now, without further adoo, allow me to present "Love Among The Ruins", from 1975, starring Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier.
HoldenSpark1 April 2019
This first aired as a made-for-TV movie on March 6, 1975. I only became aware of it recently because I happened to see an old bit of advertising for it. I noticed it starred Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier but upon reading what the story was about it seemed like it would be so boring I knew I'd never bother to watch it. So I put the brochure away.

Then today I happened upon that brochure again. I googled it and looked at its Wikipedia page and learned it won seven Emmy Awards that year. For Directing, Lead Actress, Lead Actor, Writing, Costume, Art Direction, and Set Decoration. It also won a Peabody Award that year for Excellence.

Well, I thought, that's pretty impressive, I bet it was just because Hepburn and Olivier were so old and the people just voted them those awards cause they were so old, and probably not because of any actual acting or anything. Oddly, somewhere I noticed that anyone who watches it was advised to have Kleenexes on hand. In my mind I scoffed. No way would I watch something about those two old actors dying on screen too. Again, must have been why they got those awards.

A little while ago, after exhausting every trivial Youtube wasteoid of a ridiculous video possible, I found this movie is on Youtube, free to watch. Just uploaded by some random person who must have kinda liked it. Then I noticed several random people had uploaded it. So I clicked on one copy but it wasn't a very good copy. Then I noticed a good copy. So, I clicked on it and let the movie begin playing in the background while I got out some work I needed to finish up and started working on it.

And, in the beginning, it appeared I'd been completely right. The beginning of the movie just dragged on and on with exposition so blatant dragging on forever I knew I was right. But, my keyboard wasn't in reach while I worked so I let it continue. I thought about how I'd really never thought Hepburn's acting was that great and remembering how I never, ever could remember a film that I'd seen with Olivier in it that I could endure watching all the way to the end. All my life I thought he'd just been praised for all that old-school kind of acting people used to do. Which I'd always found dull and stupid. But, as you will have already surmised since I'm writing so much about something I've already said I was expecting to be dumb and old-school and so far that's what I've said I saw for that long bit in the beginning.

But, eventually all that exposition began to pay off. And I found myself being drawn in. And then, when it was clear that the run-up to the big dazzling finish had begun I suddenly realized a tear had run down my face. I'd leaked a tear and didn't even realize it. And nobody was even remotely dying. In fact, nobody dies in this movie. That's not what the Kleenexes were needed for after all.

And when Olivier hit his stride and was acting so we I forget for a moment it was him and I was watching the chaar5acter he was playing and feeling more tears falling from my face. And then I heard myself thinking, "well, damn, he CAN (could) act." Then, though I hadn't even yet realized I'd already seen Hepburn do some big big acting and only realized it when something else happens. And again, I heard myself thinking "oh. my. god. I'm dazzled by her too."

After the film was over and I dried my face I decided to put this little review here for a film I'd have never, ever, thought I'd be writing this after it was over. So, for you, if you wish to be dazzled, sit down, give this movie its beginning that you have to get through, then, just wait for it. Get your Kleenexes ready. You're gonna need them. But not for what you expect. When you reach for one, you'll thank me then. In your mind anyway. Now, without further adoo, allow me to present "Love Among The Ruins", from 1975, starring Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier.
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A delightful comedy!
steven_torrey21 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is a delightful comedy that only the British could produce. Miss Jessica Medicott (Katherine Hepburn)--of uncertain but clearly mature in years--is being sued for 'breach of contract' by a much younger man; apparently, she promised to marry him, but relented when common sense returned to her.

She seeks out the services of a lawyer--Sir Arthur Granville-Jones(Lawrence Olivier); a lawyer who had met her almost forty years previous, spent a torrid weekend of passion with her; an event he has never forgot--but she has no recollection of. In short, the lawyer has pined for his lost love all these years and is shocked that she has no recollection of him.

When Granville-Jones makes the telling argument that Miss Medicott is of such advance age so the only reason why a man of such youth would want to marry is for her money, clearly, Miss Medicoot is chagrined at this interpretation. (Or so she pretends/acts.) But it is the winning argument. And Miss Medicott and Mr. Granville-Jones both walk out into the sunset of declining years to acknowledge a 'love among the ruins." The movie seemed so appropriate a description of Miss Hepburn: self-centered, egotistical, indifferent to the concerns of others, trite, superficial, banal, vain. (I don't care what anyone says--but anyone who would entitle an autobiography as ME has to be all that and more.) And yet, for all those weakness, they become a strength to the actor in the acting profession who must acknowledge at some level that there is NO ME but the stage presence; to assert otherwise becomes an act of defiance--hence, the title of her autobiography: ME. (Henry James had these same qualms about himself as writer.)

Lots of people comment on how the movie seemed more stage drama than film. Well, Laurence Oliver was a stage actor of some renown; and Miss Hepburn at age 25 began her film career with "Bill Of Divorcement" in 1932 at a time when stage theatrics were brought to film.

The pacing of the film was excellent, the performances were excellent--would anyone expect anything less from Hepburn and Oliver. The writing was excellent.
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