Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Zita, portrayed by Katina Paxinou, is a Parisian widow who has suffered a stroke. She is cared for by her niece Joanna Shimkus, who chafes under the responsibility and wanders off. Shimkus falls in with thieves and lowlifes, finally ending up in jail. She is bailed out by her family doctor (Paul Crauchet), but soon she's back in her old seedy nightclub haunts. While making love to jazz musician Jose Maria Flotats, Shimkus begins reminiscing about her childhood with her aunt. Somewhat chastened, a more mature Shimkus returns home to resume her duties--but by this time, Aunt Zita has died. The film's sympathies are squarely with the niece, whose "escape" from her aunt is meant to represent her final break from childish dependency.
France, aunt, stroke [medical], widow/widower, niece, family-illness, responsibility