Autobiography of a Princess

Autobiography of a Princess is a 1975 film by Merchant Ivory Productions (directed by James Ivory, written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and produced by Ismail Merchant), starring James Mason and Madhur Jaffrey.

Autobiography of a Princess
Directed byJames Ivory
Produced byIsmail Merchant
Written byR. Prawer Jhabvala
StarringJames Mason
Madhur Jaffrey
Keith Varnier
Diane Fletcher
Timothy Bateson
Music byVic Flick
CinematographyWalter Lassally
Edited byHumphrey Dixon
Distributed byContemporary Films Ltd. (UK)
Release date
5 October 1975 (New York Film Festival)
Running time
60 minutes


An Indian princess (Madhur Jaffrey), long-divorced and living in self-enforced exile in 1970s London, spends time with her father's ex-tutor, Cyril Sahib (James Mason), watching film footage of Royal India and talking of a past world. There is a great deal of fascinating real-life footage and interviews with India's royalty: the Maharajas of India and the end they faced due to the 1960s socialist reforms introduced by India's then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

Cast and crew


In 2014, the Oregon Cartoon Institute brought James Ivory to Portland, Oregon, to appear in person at the Hollywood Theatre, to present two films he had personally chosen from the dozens he had directed. On 11 October it was Autobiography of a Princess (1975), shown in 35mm. Mr. Ivory introduced the film to the audience.[1]


  1. James Ivory introduces his ...; retrieved 5 January. 2016

Further reading

  • Autobiography of a Princess: also being the adventures of an American film director in the land of the maharajahs; compiled by James ivory; photographs by John Swope and others; screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. London: John Murray, 1975 ISBN 0-7195-3289-2

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