This first aired as a made-for-TV movie on March 6, 1975. I only became aware of it recently because I happened to see an old bit of advertising for it. I noticed it starred Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier but upon reading what the story was about it seemed like it would be so boring I knew I'd never bother to watch it. So I put the brochure away.
Then today I happened upon that brochure again. I googled it and looked at its Wikipedia page and learned it won seven Emmy Awards that year. For Directing, Lead Actress, Lead Actor, Writing, Costume, Art Direction, and Set Decoration. It also won a Peabody Award that year for Excellence.
Well, I thought, that's pretty impressive, I bet it was just because Hepburn and Olivier were so old and the people just voted them those awards cause they were so old, and probably not because of any actual acting or anything. Oddly, somewhere I noticed that anyone who watches it was advised to have Kleenexes on hand. In my mind I scoffed. No way would I watch something about those two old actors dying on screen too. Again, must have been why they got those awards.
A little while ago, after exhausting every trivial Youtube wasteoid of a ridiculous video possible, I found this movie is on Youtube, free to watch. Just uploaded by some random person who must have kinda liked it. Then I noticed several random people had uploaded it. So I clicked on one copy but it wasn't a very good copy. Then I noticed a good copy. So, I clicked on it and let the movie begin playing in the background while I got out some work I needed to finish up and started working on it.
And, in the beginning, it appeared I'd been completely right. The beginning of the movie just dragged on and on with exposition so blatant dragging on forever I knew I was right. But, my keyboard wasn't in reach while I worked so I let it continue. I thought about how I'd really never thought Hepburn's acting was that great and remembering how I never, ever could remember a film that I'd seen with Olivier in it that I could endure watching all the way to the end. All my life I thought he'd just been praised for all that old-school kind of acting people used to do. Which I'd always found dull and stupid. But, as you will have already surmised since I'm writing so much about something I've already said I was expecting to be dumb and old-school and so far that's what I've said I saw for that long bit in the beginning.
But, eventually all that exposition began to pay off. And I found myself being drawn in. And then, when it was clear that the run-up to the big dazzling finish had begun I suddenly realized a tear had run down my face. I'd leaked a tear and didn't even realize it. And nobody was even remotely dying. In fact, nobody dies in this movie. That's not what the Kleenexes were needed for after all.
And when Olivier hit his stride and was acting so we I forget for a moment it was him and I was watching the chaar5acter he was playing and feeling more tears falling from my face. And then I heard myself thinking, "well, damn, he CAN (could) act." Then, though I hadn't even yet realized I'd already seen Hepburn do some big big acting and only realized it when something else happens. And again, I heard myself thinking "oh. my. god. I'm dazzled by her too."
After the film was over and I dried my face I decided to put this little review here for a film I'd have never, ever, thought I'd be writing this after it was over. So, for you, if you wish to be dazzled, sit down, give this movie its beginning that you have to get through, then, just wait for it. Get your Kleenexes ready. You're gonna need them. But not for what you expect. When you reach for one, you'll thank me then. In your mind anyway. Now, without further adoo, allow me to present "Love Among The Ruins", from 1975, starring Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier.