Autobiography of a Princess

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Imperial India seen through old home movies of court life as they are watched by the besotted, blinkered daughter-in-exile of a Maharajah and the latter's former English tutor, who still meet once a year in London for tea. The film explores the gradually revealed tensions and similarities between the two as they both gravitate towards the memory of her father, the magnetic and domineering Maharajah. Her unswerving loyalty to the past empire is answered by his mounting indignation at its monstrosities and his own weaknesses. Yet nothing really happens because the two draw a veil over their true emotions, and over the true nature of the dark scandals merely hinted at (apart from one clumsy flashback). A refined, ironic exercise whose brittleness is effectively countered by Mason's playing.

Release details

Duration: 59 mins

Cast and crew

Director: James Ivory
Screenwriter: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Cast: James Mason
Madhur Jaffrey
Keith Varnier
Diane Fletcher
Timothy Bateson
Johnny Stuart
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