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The Shameless Old Lady

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Original title
La vieille dame indigne
Running time
94 min.
France France
René Allio (Story: Bertolt Brecht)
Jean Ferrat
Denys Clerval
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Synopsis / Plot
The Shameless Old Lady should have been a wry French satire of society's misconceptions about the elderly; alas, the film is defeated by its own preciousness. That irreplaceable Gallic character actress Sylvie was honored with her first starring film role as a newly widowed 70-year-old woman (the actress was 81 at the time). Having lived in sequestered squalor most of her life, Sylvie suddenly decides to venture into the modern world--and she loves it! She determines to have as much fun as possible in the few years left her, while those around her (those younger, that is), cluck their tongues at how this once miserly woman is squandering her life's savings. Sylvie alone makes The Shameless Old Lady worth watching; the screenplay, which rudely patronizes and stereotypes the elderly, is far more "shameless" than any old lady.
1966: National Board of Review: Top Best Foreign Films
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