Review: ‘Travels with My Aunt’

Travels with My Aunt is the story [based on the Graham Greene bestseller] of an outrageous femme of indeterminate years cavorting in a set of outrageous situations which spell high comedy. Of course, it may also be regarded as utter nonsense in a hammed-up set of overly-contrived circumstances.

Travels with My Aunt is the story [based on the Graham Greene bestseller] of an outrageous femme of indeterminate years cavorting in a set of outrageous situations which spell high comedy. Of course, it may also be regarded as utter nonsense in a hammed-up set of overly-contrived circumstances.

Maggie Smith plays the title role in an overdrawn but thoroughly delightful manner. Film opens quietly enough at the funeral services of her nephew’s mother, but the disrupting arrival of the over-dressed, over-cosmeticked Aunt Augusta sets the stage for a comedy spree.

George Cukor’s direction is quite up to meeting the demands of the script, and he is responsible for a tempo attuned to his unusual characters. Alec McCowen’s characterization of the nephew is subtle and expansive as he gradually withdraws from his former stuffy, priggish, ex-bank manager style.

1972: Best Costume Design (Anthony Powell).

Nominations: Best Actress (Maggie Smith), Cinematography, Art Direction

Travels with My Aunt

UK

Production

M-G-M. Director George Cukor; Producer Robert Fryer, James Cresson; Screenplay Jay Presson Allen, Hugh Wheeler; Camera Douglas Slocombe; Editor John Bloom; Music Tony Hatch; Art Director John Box

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 109 MIN.

With

Maggie Smith Alec McCowen Lou Gossett Robert Stephens Cindy Williams Robert Flemyng
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