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Jessica Medlicott
Sir Arthur Granville-Jones
J.F. Devine
Fanny Pratt
Alfred Pratt
Hermione Davis
The Judge
The Usher
The Clerk of the Court
Pratt's Solicitor
1st Barrister
2nd Barrister


Screenplay by
Director of Photography
Film Editing by
Art Direction by
Musical Score
Costume Design by
Assistant Director
Units Still Photographer

Katharine Hepburn
Sir Laurence Olivier
Colin Blakely
Richard Pearson
Joan Sims
Leigh Lawson
Gwenn Nelson
Robert Harris
Peter Reeves
John Blythe
Arthur Hewlett
John Dunbar
Ian Sinclair
Mervyn Pascoe
Colin Thomas


George Cukor
Allan Davis
James Costigan
Douglas Slocombe
John F. Burnett
Carmen Dillon
John Barry
Margaret Furse
Colin M. Brewer
Susie Tracy


Film data

An ABC Circle Film
American Broadcasting Company
102 minutes
Produced during the summer of 1974
Filmed on location in London - England - UK

Premiere: March 6, 1975 on ABC


In the prim, proper world of upper class England, an aging beauty and actress, Jessica Medlicott, is accused of having seduced and abandoned a man young enough to be her grandson - and now he is suing her for 50,000 ? for breach of promise! She turns to the greatest barrister, Sir Arthur Granville-Jones, in the Empire to defend her. A man she seduced and abandoned some forty years earlier, who remained hopelessly in love with her ever since, although she doesn't seem to remember this. During the talks about the court case, she realizes that the only way to win this case and protect her assets, is to destroy her reputation.

Critics' reviews

"A pair of superb performances, coupled with first-class production values, lifted [this film] above the unexceptional James Costigan script. Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier did their turns in the romantic comedy with great flair, and the result was amusing, offbeat, high-quality television. The extravagant gifts of Hepburn and Olivier were under the direction of George Cukor, and the three together have more show business experience than the Atlantic has water. The professionalism showed throughout."

What Kate had to say

In treatment

What fellow actors, the director and friends had to say

George Cukor - interview with the American Film Institute - 1978
"I had a very happy experience with it. I asked the people at ABC, 'How does one film for television?' They said, 'Shoot it just the way you would shoot a picture.' So that's the way I did it. The script had originally been written for the Lunts. James Costigan, a very gifted man, had written it about seven years ago, but the Lunts decided they weren't going to work any more, so it was eventually sent to Kate Hepburn, and she rather liked it. She sent it to me, and I liked it, and then she said - she was very clever - she said, 'You know, the male part must be played by somebody in the public's eye, someone very, very important.' Then we eliminated this actor and that actor, and I finally went to Europe and gave the script to Olivier. Although I'd known him for all these years - so had she - we never worked together. It turned out to be a most happy combination."

Laurence Olivier - On Acting - 1986
"I'm happy, witty, wise and unpretentious, especially when I'm with friends like George Cukor and Katharine Hepburn, whom I was with for the American television production of Love Among the Ruins. That was my happiest professional film experience. Master and mistress of the medium, and it must have shown in our performances. With Hepburn - as with all great stars - you have a deep sense of her personality, of her strong and still centre of gravity which radiates her wit, her vulnerability, her courage and her outspokenness, like Shakespeare's verse radiates his Rosalind in As You Like It. I could never aspire to Hepburn's star quality, I didn't have Cukor's knowledge of technique or his great knack with screen actors, but we felt equal and comfortable in our shared love for the medium. All actors are egotistical and competitive - that's where we get our energy. It's our love of the art of acting (and its camaraderie) which make us artists. You can feel the vitality in the performances of Hepburn and Richardson, for example, in Long Day's Journey Into Night - superb examples of ensemble playing and film acting."


Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier were supposed to have appeared on Broadway together in The Green Bay Tree (1933). Flush with Hollywood success, Katharine Hepburn turned that smaller part down and instead decided to star in a play called, The Lake. Says Kate: 'His was a hit; I was in the most disastrous flop anyone ever had in their lives.'