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Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing

  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • 1973
  • Alan J Pakula
  • 113 mins
  • A

Summary

American Walter Elbertson (Timothy Bottoms), in his late teens, is feeling lost within his family of overachievers. Thirty-something Englishwoman Lila Fisher (Dame Maggie Smith) is emotionally repressed. The two meet on their respective vacations in Spain, when, on the spur of the moment, Walter decides to ditch his overly regimented cycling tour group and join the bus tour group of which Lila is a part. They hardly speak to each other during the first few days, and when they do, they make each other nervous, since each is scared of life. In spite of their fears of life or largely because of it, they enter into a friendship that blossoms into a romance, however rocky the road to that romance is. Out of circumstance, they abandon the bus tour and travel together through Spain on their own. Their relationship is put to the test of outside scrutiny when they meet and have an extended stay with a Spanish Duke (Don Jaime de Mora y Aragón).

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Alan J Pakula's political thrillers Klute (1971), The Parallax View (1974) and All the President's Men (1976), make him seem a social warrior, but this is an out-of-character delight with unexpected and refreshing romanticism. Maggie Smith plays a terminally ill spinster in Spain whose heartbeats click like castanets when she meets youngster Timothy Bottoms. Despite the fatal-illness undercurrent, sentimentality is kept at bay in this rare gem. Pakula died tragically in a road accident in November 1998.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

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Lila FisherMaggie Smith
Walter ElbertsonTimothy Bottoms
Spanish gentlemanEmiliano Redondo
Dr ElbertsonCharles Baxter
Mrs ElbertsonMargaret Modlin
Melanie ElbertsonMay Heatherly
CarlLloyd Brimhall
Dr EdelheitElmer Modin
Tourist GuideAndres Monreal

Crew

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DirectorAlan J Pakula

Details

Theatrical distributor
Columbia-Warner Dists
Languages
English | Spanish
Formats
Colour
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