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Autobiography Of A Princess (1975)

Autobiography of a Princess DVD

(DVD includes short film 'Sweet Sounds')

James Ivory

Itemcode: 1000003450
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Autobiography Of A Princess (1975)

Country: United Kingdom

Language: English

Year: 1975


Category: Feature Film

Genre: Drama


An Indian princess (MADHUR JAFFREY), long divorced and living in self-enforced exile in London, invites her father’s ex-tutor, Cyril Sahib (JAMES MASON), to an annual tea party, intended to celebrate a happier past, where the two watch old movie footage of Royal India.

The Princess reviews her memories selectively: she sees their long-vanished, fun-filled world, dominated by her dazzling father, through a haze of nostalgia, and she tries to wheedle her guest into writing a book about it. But Cyril Sahib has a different view both of their common past and of her father, the Maharaja. He recalls the ceremonial occasions, the weddings and funerals, the pig-sticking expeditions, the pranks and practical jokes with distaste, even horror at the surfeit and brutality. And he remembers the dashing Maharaja - to his adoring daughter almost a surrogate lover - as manipulative and often cruel, his later years soiled by a sordid sex scandal in London.

In this perfect, tightly written film of memory and character exploration, JAMES MASON gives one of the finest portrayals of his career, almost a kind of valedictory performance as the articulate and self-aware Cyril Sahib. MADHUR JAFFREY, a favorite Merchant Ivory actress, is no less affecting as the imperious but befuddled, and finally tragically isolated, Princess.

Cast: James Mason, Madhur Jaffrey, Keith Varnier, Diane Fletcher, Timothy Bateson, Johnny Stuart, Nazrul Rahman

Director: James Ivory

Music Director: Vic Flick

Story: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Sweet Sounds (1976)

Country: United States

Language: English

Year: 1976


Category: Short Film


In 1976 Jhabvala made the important decision to leave India to live in New York for most of the year, a result of which was a new documentary, Sweet Sounds, conceived and directed by Richard Robbins, and sponsored by Merchant Ivory Productions. Jhabvala entered her youngest daughter Firoza, an aspiring pianist, in the Mannes College of Music, then on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and there met Robbins, Firoza's piano teacher and the acting director of the college's preparatory school. Before long Jhabvala introduced him to Merchant and Ivory, a meeting that proved fateful, since, beginning with The Europeans in 1978, Robbins has provided the musical scores for nearly all of Merchant Ivory's films. Robbins had an idea for a short film showing some of the small children at the school being initiated into the practice of music, a conception that Merchant and Ivory found engaging. In July 1976, at a cost of $25,000, the 29-minute film was shot at the school; and in the autumn it was shown at the New York and London film festivals, as well as on PBS television.

Cast: Jean Whitelock, Laura Wilson, John Desser, Hai-Kyung Suh

Director: Richard Robbins

Format: DVD

Label: Excel Home Videos

Catalog No: MIP1003

DVD Region: All Region

No Of Disks: 1

Certification: U

Runtime: 55 minutes

Video: PAL

Aspect Ratio: 4:3


DVD includes short film Sweet Sounds by Richard Robbins