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Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story (1998)

Told mostly in flashbacks, the film tells the story of Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman, one of the greatest and probably most famous courtesans of the twentieth century. While not ... See full summary »

Director:

Waris Hussein
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: John Erman
Stars: Ann-Margret, Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo
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Cast

Credited cast:
Ann-Margret ... Pamela Harriman
Mitchell Ryan ... Averell Harriman (as Mitch Ryan)
Natalie Radford Natalie Radford ... Pamela Harriman at 20
John DeMita ... Peter Duchin
Susan Ruttan ... Janet
Cynthia Harris ... Kathleen
Gail Strickland ... Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney
Sydney Walsh ... Minnie Churchill
Joan Severance ... Paley
Scott Thompson Baker Scott Thompson Baker ... Young Averell Harriman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Diana Agostini ... Hayward Housekeeper (as Diane Agostini)
Dennis Basso Dennis Basso ... Dinner Guest
Harry Danner Harry Danner ... Dr. Atchley
Mary Donnelly-Haskell Mary Donnelly-Haskell ... (as Mary Haskell)
David Dukes ... Leland Hayward
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Storyline

Told mostly in flashbacks, the film tells the story of Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman, one of the greatest and probably most famous courtesans of the twentieth century. While not showing her childhood, first marriage to Winston Churchill's son, or most of her affairs, we do get to see her affair and eventual marriage to Broadway producer Leland Hayward, and then her marriage to politician Averell Harriman, with whom she had an affair while both were married to others in World War II. We also see her as ambassador to France during her last years, and her death in 1997. While some (mostly her lovers) adored her, others (mostly her son and her husbands' children) hated her. Written by Tommy Peter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life of the Party See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was nothing trivial about Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Herriman. She later created President Willism Jefferson Clinton and his first official act was to appoint her as the US Ambassador to France. She died in office. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

While Ann-Margret's portrayal is uncannily accurate, only a four hour mini-series could begin to do Pamela Harriman's story justice.
30 September 1998 | by Mentor-2See all my reviews

This is a good film which could have been much better if it had been longer. The sets are sumptuous, the costumes accurate. Ann-Margret is uncanny in her portrayal of Pamela Harriman.

Why was there no mention of her childhood, where she was fat and unloved? Why no depiction of her close friendship with Winston Churchill Sr., playing cards with him all night to raise his spirits? Why no mention of Gianni Agnelli's rejection of her? Her service as a Rothschild mistress in Paris?

Many viewers will need more background to understand who the Whitneys are, who James Roosevelt was, why he was such a close parallel to Winston Churchill Jr., what role the "blackamoor" pin played in Pamela's relationship with Leland Hayward's daughter, and so on.

The first half of this film will confuse even those who know her story. Stick with it. The second half shows her happy and successful marriage to Averill Harriman about as well as can be done.


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