Camilla (1995) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Camilla is the story of the friendship between an eccentric elderly violinist and a young woman who aspires to write music. The elderly woman (Jessica Tandy) looks back upon her yellowed clippings and draws upon her ancient memories as part of the process of imparting her wisdom to the young 'un, so it plays out sort of like Titanic Light. The acting is terrific, although the movie itself is kind of an artificial three-hanky chick-flick, and plays out like a TV movie of the week.

As an example of the contrived melodrama, Ms. Tandy finds the long-lost love of her life before the end of the film, and does so almost by accident. And at her age, long-lost is very long indeed.

The most unusual and probably the most memorable element of the film is that Jessica Tandy did a nude scene in "Camilla", the only nude scene of her career. She was 84 or 85 when she did the scene, and she had died by the time the film was released. 

"Hey, that isn't beautiful or sexy, Scoop"

No, of course it isn't sexy, but beautiful ... well, "beautiful" is more complicated.


Bridget Fonda did a full frontal and rear nude scene, albeit far from the camera.

Jessica Tandy was naked from behind in a skinny dip.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen letterboxed, 1.85:1

  • no features

Ms Tandy was one of the great stage actresses of the 20th century, and owned a film resume that spanned 63 years and includes a Best Actress Oscar. She was a great and gutsy woman who continued to perform as long as she could stand, and continued to do so very well. Brilliantly, in fact.

Tandy knew she was dying when she made this movie.

She and her husband of 52 years, Hume Cronyn, appeared together in this film, knowing it would be the last of the thousands of times they shared the spotlight. During the film, Tandy and Cronyn spoke this line aloud to each other (It's a quote from Sea Fever by John Masefield):

 "And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over".

If that isn't beautiful, then what is? 

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two stars. Ebert 2/4, Maltin 2.5/4, Berardinelli 2/4.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.7 
  • With their dollars ... it had no mass appeal. Box office: $250,000,
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C, but worth a look to see Tandy and Cronyn together for the last time, a time made more poignant by the fact that they knew her time was near.

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