Lady L

Lady L is a 1965 comedy film based on the novel by Romain Gary and directed by Peter Ustinov. Starring Sophia Loren, Paul Newman, David Niven and Cecil Parker,[2] the film focuses on an elderly Corsican lady as she recalls the loves of her life, including an anarchist and a Parisian aristocrat.

Lady L
Directed byPeter Ustinov
Produced byCarlo Ponti
Screenplay byPeter Ustinov
Based onLady L
by Romain Gary
StarringSophia Loren
Paul Newman
David Niven
Music byJean Françaix
CinematographyHenri Alekan
Edited byRoger Dwyre
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • 25 November 1965 (1965-11-25)
(World Premiere, London)
Running time
117 minutes
United Kingdom
Box office$2.7 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)[1]

The film had its World Premiere at the Empire, Leicester Square in the West End of London on 25 November 1965.[3]


As she approaches her 80th birthday, the sophisticated and still attractive Lady Lendale recounts to her biographer, Sir Percy, the story of her life.

Fleeing her humble origins in Corsica, she traveled to Paris, where she found work in a brothel. There she falls in love with a thief and anarchist, Armand, and becomes pregnant by him. But before he can use a bomb to assassinate a Bavarian prince, she meets Lord Lendale, who is so enchanted by the young woman that he offers to overlook Armand's activities if she will agree to marry him.

Lady L becomes a woman of means, moving in high society, and together she and Lord Lendale raise a large family. In the end, however, she reveals their secret: that she has continued to be the lover of Armand, who has fathered all their children while posing as the family's chauffeur.



The film was a co-production between France, Italy and the United Kingdom. Castle Howard in Yorkshire was used for the shooting of some scenes.


  1. "Big Rental Pictures of 1966", Variety, 4 January 1967 p 8
  3. The Times 25/11/65, page 2
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