"MRS. DELAFIELD WANTS TO MARRY," Sunday, 9-11 p.m. (2) (8)--No rockets or clashing cymbals. Here's a two-hour CBS movie that won't make anyone forget Katharine Hepburn's Oscar-winning performances in "On Golden Pond," "Lion in the Winter," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and "Morning Glory," or the Emmy she won beside Laurence Olivier in ABC's "Love Among the Ruins."
Yet "Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry" is another welcome step in TV consciousness-raising concerning the elderly. The key word here is dignity .
Hepburn and Harold Gould have exactly that, as a couple whose romance is being met by opposition. Hepburn is Margaret Delafield, a wealthy, aristocratic widow, and Gould is Dr. Marvin Elias, the physician who treated her during a critical illness. Her family and friends are horrified by her relationship with a man of humble origins--and who, even worse, is a Jew. His family isn't wild about the match, either.
George Schaefer is the director and James Prideaux the writer of this comedy that also features Denholm Elliott, David Ogden Stiers, Brenda Forbes, Kathryn Walker, Bibi Besch and Charles Frank.
There are no guffaws here to match the brash, elderly oriented punch lines on NBC's "The Golden Girls." Although unfolding slowly with only occasional traces of humor, "Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry" provides sensitive and intelligent characterizations of Margaret and Marvin that help broaden TV's definition of the older set after so many years of stereotyping.
And, one more time, it provides us with Katharine Hepburn.