Dame Edith Evans is nothing short of fantastic as Margaret Ross, an elderly lady who lives by herself in two dumpy rooms. She was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. The winner was Katherine Hepburn for “Guess Whose Coming To Dinner.” The Academy certainly got it wrong.
This is a must see drama that handles the situation without a lot of anguish and over the top attempts to tug at the heart strings. The cinematography speaks volumes.
Margaret Ross’ husband left her years ago and now she lives alone and spends her time reading newspapers and putting up with a dripping faucet and noisy upstairs neighbors. She hears voices and keeps asking,”Are you there?” She lives on National Assistance and fantasizes about getting a large inheritance from her late fathers’ estate. She can be found in the library with her feet on the pipes to keep them warm or singing hymns at the soup kitchen.
Her son Charlie drops by and leaves a parcel hidden in the back room. A while later she’s putting something away in a cabinet and sees the parcel but doesn’t recognize it. She opens it and find a lot of money. She goes to the National Assistance to tell them her inheritance has come through and she won’t need them anymore.
While waiting to be seen she’s befriended by Mrs.Noonan. She shows her she really has several pound notes in her purse. Noonan takes her on a long bus ride to a pub near her home. After a drink she takes her to her place. She drugs her drink and robs her. She hides most of it and gives the rest to her husband. He and his son load her into a cart and dump her outside of her home. Her upstairs neighbors see her passed out on the cobblestones. Margaret ends up in the hospital with pneumonia.
Her son is in prison on a charge of robbery with violence. When she gets home the place has been thoroughly cleaned and the drip has been fixed.
Her husband Archie is traced to a ratty hotel room. He likes his booze and doesn’t have a job. Still the authorities think the best thing for Margaret is to be reunited with Archie. He moves back in. Some things aren’t meant to be.
This may not be the complete character study it started out to be but it is definitely well worth seeking out especially for Dame Edith Evans.