Lady L

  • 1965
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy

This is one of those cute little films made by a cute little cadre of actors with nothing much else to do. Loren, in preposterous and unbelievable makeup as an 80-year-old woman, opens and closes the film while narrating her not-too-exciting life in between. Loren and Newman are married when a sexless Lord, Niven, spies the voluptuous Loren and asks her...read more

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This is one of those cute little films made by a cute little cadre of actors with nothing much else to do. Loren, in preposterous and unbelievable makeup as an 80-year-old woman, opens and closes the film while narrating her not-too-exciting life in between. Loren and Newman are married

when a sexless Lord, Niven, spies the voluptuous Loren and asks her to wed. She does, creating a lackluster menage a trois, becoming a Lady but continuing to bed with Newman and having children by him. Newman is a part-time anarchist busy planning the overthrow of the capitalistic system and a

full-time chauffeur for Niven who wants Loren as a name-only wife. There are a few funny moments when Newman goes berserk and tries to bomb Prince Otto of Bavaria with backfiring results, but for the most part this is a forced farce that does not come off at all. Ustinov directs without style,

invention, pace, or continuity. The depth of Ustinov's concentration on the film was limited, to say the least, since he wrote a play, "The Unknown Soldier and His Wife" while managing his rather off-handed helming of this film. Gina Lollobrigida and Tony Curtis were originally slated for the

leading roles but were dropped. When Loren was approached to play the bed-hopping aristocrat she jumped at the chance but insisted that Ustinov direct. Even before he took over, more than $2 million had been spent on elaborate sets and background footage. Ustinov later admitted the film was an

utter failure but he blamed the script: "The plot spanned decade after decade with ample opportunity for decoration but there was no real story there." Newman merely walks through his role, sporting a series of disguises as a French anarchist that make him all the more ridiculous-looking. Only

Niven as the sad and cynical aristocrat is bearable, but even this sophisticated actor fumbles about with little to say or do. Loren's peasant posture and pedestrian street gestures suggest anything but the upper-crust lady she's supposed to be playing.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This is one of those cute little films made by a cute little cadre of actors with nothing much else to do. Loren, in preposterous and unbelievable makeup as an 80-year-old woman, opens and closes the film while narrating her not-too-exciting life in betwee… (more)

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