Classic Cinema Spotlight: Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973)

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Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973) was discovered on one of my many trips down the rabbit hole when researching movies. I saw that it starred Maggie Smith and I knew I would be going on a ride of a lifetime. And as always, she doesn't disappoint.

The film begins with a introduction to Walter Elbertson (Timothy Bottoms) who is painfully shy young man who doesn't really know what he is going to do with his life. His parents send him on a holiday trip to Spain in the hopes that this will spark some passion in his life. Walter is less than enthusiastic to bike ride all over Spain and his asthma doesn't help matters much. In comes Ms. Lila Fisher (Maggie Smith) who is exploring Spain via a tour bus. She comes across as awkward, nervous, and wary of everything and everyone around her. 

Things begin to change for them both when their tours unexpectedly collide. Walter quickly finds himself at a crossroad and decides to ditch his bike and join the tour bus that Lila happens to also be on. He sits himself awkwardly next to Lila while she looks at him uncomfortably. You couldn't find two more different people than Walter and Lila. Walter is young with a future ahead and a willingness to take unplanned risks like jumping on that tour bus. Lila on the other hand, appears to be a bit older than Walter and more cautious about everything she does.

Little by little Walter and Lila find themselves sort of stuck with each other while exploring various parts of Spain. Neither has designs for the other. Not even a friendship was in the cards for either of them, or so they assumed. After spending some time together they find themselves enjoying each other's company. Despite the age difference and the differences of where they were at in their own lives, Walter and Lila manage to find some little bits of joy in the times they spent together. Lila, stuck in her ways and seemingly afraid of change slowly finds herself willing to take a risk on Walter.

They become lovers and decide to leave the tour bus behind them. Lila and Walter make a commitment to one another but it isn't solidified until they come across a dashing Spanish duke who helps Walter realize that he truly wants to be with Lila. Differences aside he finally realizes that he does want something in life and that something is Lila. Things come to a head when Lila confesses to Walter that she is ill and doesn't have much time to live. 

Walter, who started out directionless and passionless, finds that the best thing for both of them would be to spend whatever time they have left-together. Despite both seeming mismatched in every possible way, Walter and Lila end up find peace and joy in their unexpected union. 

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Classic Movie Blog, Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973), Seventies Movies, Old Hollywood Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Classic Movie Blog, Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973), Seventies Movies, Old Hollywood Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Classic Movie Blog, Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973), Seventies Movies, Old Hollywood Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Classic Movie Blog, Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973), Seventies Movies, Old Hollywood Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Classic Movie Blog, Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973), Seventies Movies, Old Hollywood Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Classic Movie Blog, Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973), Seventies Movies, Old Hollywood Blog


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10 comments :

  1. Lovely article on a film I have yet to see but now want to very much! Smith and Bottoms certainly do seem like an odd couple. Always loved Timothy and his brothers Sam and Joseph. All gorgeous boys and good actors.
    -Chris

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    1. Thank you so much Chris for stopping by! xox

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  2. This looks like a marvelous, romantic film...but...does a person need to have the tissue handy when watching it?

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    1. Its an awkward "romantic" film. Like two dorks colliding haha You don't need tissue thankfully! Thank you for stopping by! xox

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  3. I'm with Ruth on this as I cry at most movies. I do love it when a rabbit warren brings you an underseen role or actor. This sounds such a lovely surprising pairing and one I've now got to see. Thanks for joining the blogathon and bringing this film with you.

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    1. Thank you for having me. I hope you enjoy it. It was great to watch Maggie Smith in one of her many early roles. xox

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  4. If there ever was a decade for awkward introverts to find love in the movies, the 70s was it! Coming off their respective hits in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Last Picture Show, Smith and Bottoms appear to be in their prime here (pun intended). Love that last shot of the couple with the donkeys!

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    1. Haha I love how your mind works Brian! I couldn't agree more! Thank you for stopping by! xox

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  5. Great article and well-written! I had not seen this film, but somehow I could perfectly pictures the scenes in my head while reading your text. Now of course, I'll have to see it and I'm very curious!

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    1. Oh thank you so much! I hope you get to! xox

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