An aging actress is being sued for breach of promise. She hires as her lawyer a man who was an ex-lover, and is still in love with her, although she doesn’t know it. She realizes that the only way to win this case and protect her assets is to destroy her reputation.
User Reviews: 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!