Cast & Crew
In London, after the Londonberry family gathers for breakfast, sixteen-year-old Lola bikes off to the apartment of thirty-eight-year-old Scott Wardman, an American pulp novel writer who has recently taken Lola as a lover. While burning his breakfast, the naïve Lola slowly reveals what has happened during the past few days at her house: After discovering her reading Scott's novel, her obtuse mother finds Lola's diary, in which Scott's name is marked with a capital F. Mr. Londonberry calls his father for advice on the matter, but the lecherous man remains unconcerned. Soon after, however, the family lawyer calls to inform them that Lola recently asked him for information on the legal age of consent in England. The parents later confront Lola, who admits to sleeping with Scott but insists that it was her idea and that they are in love. Mr. Londonberry then calls a family meeting to discuss the issue, and as Lola tells Scott how the family voted to take legal action against him, he realizes that even she voted against him. In Scott's apartment, Lola fantasizes about the harsh judges he will face, friends of the family, who may deport him, then announces that she can trade Scott's freedom for family secrets, such as the fact that her grandfather shot a trespassing German, even though it was decades after the end of the war. As Scott contemplates the sudden collapse of his life, two policemen appear at the door to inform him that Immigration has been notified that his visa is out of date, which allows him only twenty-four hours to leave the country. Determined to "help," Lola points out to them that Scott is a famous author, so important that his books have been banned in England, and they declare that they will inform the proper authorities. Later, Lola asks Scott to accompany her to a hockey game over the weekend, and after he retorts that he may be in jail by then, she calls him selfish and runs out. He follows her to the elevator, where she asks what grade he would give her in sex, and he answers, "Straight As." Among the traffic outside his apartment, he takes her in his arms and declares his love. They spend a romantic day together, during which Lola informs Scott that they can be married legally in Scotland. Within hours, she has convinced him to fly to Glasgow, and when he wonders if he is doing the right thing, she replies that he will be her "mummy and daddy and lover and teacher, all rolled into one." They marry, then return to London, where the local newspapers and television comedians are commenting about the marriage. Back at school, Lola's girl friends surround her, so she brings them to Scott's apartment to see how adults live. At the same time, Scott goes to the Londonberrys', where Lola's father berates him, her mother spouts non sequiturs and flirts, and her grandfather admires Scott's novels. Back at the apartment, he greets the gaggle of teenagers, who picture the newlyweds naked, then run off giggling. Disconcerted, Scott slips out across the street to stare at the water, but soon returns to announce that they will be moving to New York. There, his parents and best friend and lawyer, Hal, meet him at the airport. They are thrilled to hear that he is married until they see Lola, at which point Hal declares that if they get divorced, she will receive child support instead of alimony. On the train to his parents' house, while his mother cries inconsolably, Hal promises to make arrangements so Lola will not have to attend high school, but he fails to do so, and soon she is enrolled. The couple looks for an apartment but finds nothing they can afford. Soon after, when Scott picks up Lola at school he sees a demonstration outside. Spotting Lola chanting with the demonstrators, though she understands nothing of their complaint, he pulls her through the crowd. When someone pushes him, Scott accidentally knocks out a policeman. He is arrested, and though Hal vows to get him released, Scott is sentenced to thirty days in jail. Lola visits but Scott, ashamed, asks her not to return until he is released. Weeks later, his father informs him that Lola, unnerved by Mrs. Wardman's constant crying, has left. Unaware that she has secured them an apartment, aided by a lustful realtor who does not realize she is married, Scott sends Hal out in search of her. For days, Hal is unsuccessful, until he learns that Lola left a message at his office days earlier. Soon after, Scott is released from prison early, and decides to surprise Lola at the new apartment. There, she is throwing a party, and when the doorman suspiciously asks her if she is expecting her husband, she forgets she is married and has him sent away. Scott manages to reach her on the phone, however, and she welcomes him home. Over the next weeks, they enjoy the city. One day, Lola tells Scott she would like to have a baby, and promises to trade all of her dolls for it. Despite his friends' disapproval, Scott is deliriously happy with Lola. Soon, however, he finds it difficult to write with her around, and upon asking for an advance, secures a few television commercial assignments to earn some quick money. When Lola continues to distract him, Scott grows frustrated, and after her cat, Mouse, ruins his script, he banishes the animal to the basement. As Lola becomes despondent over his bad moods and short temper, she pressures him to quit working and make love to her, but he exhorts her to leave him alone. She asks if they are going to divorce, and after he declares it a good idea, she disappears. Desperate, Scott searches the city for her for three days, but cannot find her. Back at home, he realizes he has forgotten to feed Mouse, and upon looking for the cat in the basement, finds Lola hiding there. He takes her home, and although she declares her undying love for him, in the morning she is gone. She returns to England, and while Scott looks wistfully out his window, Lola twirls on a high rock, repeating "I divorce thee," then bikes off happily.
Norman Thaddeus Vane
Norman Thaddeus Vane
The film's working title was Child Bride. Lola was originally released in England in January 1970 under the title Twinky. That version ran for 98 minutes. As noted in the onscreen credits, the film was shot entirely on location in London and New York City. Actress Peggy Aitchison's name is misspelled in the closing credits as "Aithcinson" and production manager Geoffrey Haine's name is misspelled "Geoffry." Although the onscreen credits include a copyright statement, the film was not registered for copyright. The speaking voice of Jack Hawkins, whose larynx was removed in the late 1960s, was provided by another, unnamed actor.
In February 1968, Daily Variety announced that producer Ronald Kahn had purchased Norman Thaddeus Vane's screenplay. Although Daily Variety reported in February 1969 that Richard Attenborough and Ralph Richardson had been cast, neither appears in Lola. The film was a co-production of the British company World Film Services and Italy's Eurofilm, and marked the first foreign production to be shot substantially in America. According to a March 1969 Variety article, the producers were able to work out a deal with American unions that avoided prohibitively expensive labor restrictions.
A modern source adds Mel Churcher and Sheila D'Union to the cast. Producer Clive Sharp died on August 14, 1969, after the film was completed but before its release. American International Pictures (AIP) bought the American and Canadian distribution rights in November 1970, as noted in contemporary news items.