Review: ‘The Abdication’

The Abdication is a period film in more ways than one. The Ruth Wolff script from her play, based on the 17th-century abdication of Queen Christina of Sweden, has been directed by Anthony Harvey, like a trite 1930s sob-sister meller, with dainty debauchery and titillating tease straight from 1920s women's pulp magazines.

The Abdication is a period film in more ways than one. The Ruth Wolff script from her play, based on the 17th-century abdication of Queen Christina of Sweden, has been directed by Anthony Harvey, like a trite 1930s sob-sister meller, with dainty debauchery and titillating tease straight from 1920s women’s pulp magazines.

Peter Finch plays a Vatican-based Cardinal assigned to investigate the background and the motivations of Liv Ullmann, who has quit her throne after converting to Roman Catholicism late in 1655.

Ullmann’s early life was a mess: her kindly father (Edward Underdown) died when she was six: her mother (Kathleen Byron) was a horror; she was reared as a boy; and chancellor Cyril Cusack keeps chiding her on her queenly duties.

Michael Dunn, engaged as queen Ullmann’s dwarf companion, died during Pinewood Studios shooting, and the covering substitute is too different to escape casual notice.

The Abdication

UK

Production

Warner. Director Anthony Harvey; Producer Robert Fryer, James Cresson; Writer Ruth Wolff; Camera Geoffrey Unsworth Editor John Bloom; Music Nino Rota Art Alan Tomkins

Crew

(Color) Extract of a review from 1974. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Liv Ullmann Peter Finch Cyril Cusack Graham Crowden Michael Dunn Paul Rogers
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading