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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Travels With My Aunt (1972)

At his mother's funeral, a strait laced bank manager (Alec McCowen) meets his eccentric and flamboyant Aunt Augusta (Maggie Smith) for the first time since he was an infant. The Aunt is trying to raise the ransom money for an old lover (Robert Stephens) and coerces her unwilling nephew into helping her. Based on the novel by Graham Greene (THE THIRD MAN) and directed by George Cukor. This delightful comic romp owes everything to Maggie Smith's Oscar nominated performance. Whether whooping about or dripping sarcasm, Smith is magnificent. Every time she's off screen, the film drags a bit and the scenes on the train between McCowen and Cindy Williams (as an American hippie) just about stop the movie cold. It's a great looking film thanks to Douglas Slocombe's lensing (it was filmed in England, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Turkey and Yugoslavia), John Box's production design and Anthony Powell's Oscar winning costumes. It's no AUNTIE MAME but it's still an Aunt worth spending some time with. With Louis Gossett Jr., Robert Flemyng and Corinne Marchand.

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