Providence (1977)

Original Title : Providence
Director : Alain Resnais
Genre : Drama
Country : France
Language : English
IMDB ID : 0076574
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poster for "Providence" by Alain Resnais (1977)
Providence (1977) - Alain Resnais


Dirk Bogarde Claude Langham
Ellen Burstyn Sonia Langham
John Gielgud Clive Langham
David Warner Kevin Langham / Kevin Woodford
Elaine Stritch Helen Wiener
Cyril Luckham Doctor Mark Eddington
Denis Lawson Dave Woodford (as Dennis Lawson)
Kathryn Leigh Scott Miss Boon
Milo Sperber Mr. Jenner
Anna Wing Karen
Peter Arne Nils
Tanya Lopert Miss Lister
Joseph Pittoors An Old Man
Samson Fainsilber The Old Man


Clive Langham (Sir John Gielgud) spends one tormenting night in his bed suffering from health problems and thinking up a story based on his relatives. He is a bitter man and he shows, through flashbacks, how spiteful, conniving and treacherous his family is. But is this how they really are or is it his own vindictive slant on things?


This film is a rare treat in which both the head and the heart are dazzled by a real work of art. Alain Renais' beautiful and brilliant "Providence" might play as intellectual absurdism at first glance, until one realizes the point of view from which the movie is being told. It's a pity we had to wade through decades of tedious, stilted performances from Geilgud, but it was worth the wait because in "Providence" he springs full flower with a stunning turn as a second-rate British novelist, who will never be as good as Graham Greene. Geilgud is ably supported by Bogarde, Burstyn, and Warner as his children. Powerful stuff.