|Index||9 reviews in total|
This is where Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr first displayed the chemistry that worked so memorably in the classic AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER. This plot, however, is silly - Grant dumps workaholic Kerr for simplistic, adoring, "old fashioned" type of wife imported from the orient. However, before the wedding Kerr starts to educate the meek one. This is all Grant and Kerr - they are marvelous to watch. The trappings are mediocre. The film received an Oscar nom for the elaborate oriental costuming and Kerr's constantly changing fashion statements.
Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr are a wonderful couple. Throwing each other
after line with Grant's usual and very his -facial expressions. The dinner
scene between the two in the beginning is a blast. The whole beginning is
great, funny, very promising, but it's obvious where it's going plot-wise,
and with the plot the movie flops. The funny scenes become scarce,
predictable and I just waited for it to end. Walter Pidgeon must be one of
the best supporting actors ever. Catch the first 30 minutes or so than
watching, or just pass. Nice idea that went wrong.
PS How that "Dream wife" of his learns English so quickly is absolutely amazing! She does speak with a few mistakes, of course.
In Stewart Granger's memoirs he mentions that after seeing future wife
Jean Simmons in Black Narcissus, he was so overcome with sexual desire
that he felt he had to marry her. It's almost as if Sidney Sheldon had
a few drinks with Granger and was told this story years before it came
out and decided it would make a great movie plot.
Cary Grant is an oil executive and Deborah Kerr a female diplomat in the previously all male world of Foggy Bottom in the not too distant past. In negotiating for oil leases with the mythical kingdom of Bukistan, Cary is really bowled over by the fact that Princess Betta St. John is so unlike the career minded Kerr. A few words here and there and the engagement between Grant and Kerr is off and between Grant and St. John is definitely on.
Of course the culture clash occurs and it ain't quite what Grant envisions. And Kerr starts to work on St.John and she's got some new ideas sprouting in her head.
The Fifties were so different than now. Those kind of ideas in some Moslem countries would have gotten St. John killed now. Relations between the west and the Moslem world has certainly changed over 50 years.
Grant and Kerr make fine leads and notice should be paid to Walter Pidgeon as Kerr's State Department boss and to Eduard Franz as the King of Bukistan who turns out to be a very wise fellow indeed.
I wonder what Stewart Granger must have thought in seeing this film?
I really love Cary Grant but this movie must have been one of those
scripts that crossed his desk and was marked with a $$$ sign on it.
There's no excuse for such schlock. There was no chemistry with his fiancée 'Effie' and there was none with his 'to be bride' Tarji'. The whole damn movie was a mess. There's probably some goofs that's going to complain about racism or sexism in the whole mess, I was just wondering if there was another movie that the very cute actress Betta St. John is in. She's a looker but even she's no reason to bother with this flop of a 'movie'. I wonder what were they thinking???? I honestly can't give this more than a couple of stars in good faith.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is not one of Cary Grant's more famous pictures and it's obvious
why--it's not particularly good. In fact, through much of the film,
Grant walks through his scenes as if he's trying to convey that he's a
bit embarrassed at the silliness and shallowness of the film, as his
performance is very subdued. In addition to Grant, Deborah Kerr stars
in this comedy.
Oddly, Kerr and Grant are very miscast. Grant plays a man born in Connecticut and Kerr's nationality isn't mentioned, but she works for the U.S. State Department--yet both of them are clearly British due to their accents. Why they just didn't make them Brits, I don't know.
The film begins with Grant negotiating oil contracts with the king of the fictional Muslim nation of Bukhistan. While they are celebrating the deal, the king's sexy daughter entertains them with a dance that isn't all that good but frankly, given how beautiful she is, Grant doesn't seem to notice. It seems that he's a bit smitten with the girl, though he is already engaged to Miss Kerr and so he soon leaves to begin married life in America.
Unfortunately, Miss Kerr is a hard-driven workaholic who really isn't all that concerned with when they'll marry or where they'll go on a honeymoon--if they go at all! She's a rather clichéd character--you know, the "working woman who has no time for love or romance". So naturally, Grant is irritated with her and decides to call off the wedding. And, to spite Kerr, he asks the king's daughter to marry him, as he likes that she's very old fashioned and submissive--and very little like the cold and almost sexless Kerr.
What follows pretty much looks like a 1950s or 60s sitcom--with Kerr assigned to act as liaison between Grant and his new bride to be (since she doesn't speak English and Kerr speaks both languages). The usual sexual tension you'd expect between Kerr and Grant is all there along with some kooky adventures as the new fiancée learns what it's like to be a liberated American. And, when the film degenerates to the kooky level, you can't help but want it all to end.
The bottom line is that this is a second-rate plot--too filled with lousy writing, clichés, sitcom-like plotting and dumb situations. Plus, is it at all realistic that a devout Muslim king would even allow his beloved daughter marry an infidel? Overall, this is a passable film only because it stars Cary Grant. Even in one of his poorer efforts, he's STILL Cary Grant and managed to enliven this mess enough to make it a decent time-passer.
This film is a fascinating look at our culture's post WWII attitude
towards women and the Middle East. The movie showcases the big message
of get-the-women-back-into-the-kitchen that followed the War. As for
our attitude towards Islamic peoples, it IS all about oil as far as our
government in this film is concerned. The rulers are fabulously wealthy
and exotic, the portrayal of them and their customs betray Hollywood's
gross ignorance of the peoples and the religion. The princess' dance
(seductive and Martha Grahamish) in the opening scene says it all. The
women in the court all wear short sleeves. No one bothered to find out
anything about the religion, it would seem. The behavior of the
'Bakistanis' is made up only to create comic moments, no matter how
inaccurate, unseemly or unrealistic.
The plot is silly and implausible, but it's fun to watch Grant and Kerr in their first on screen performance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Miserable picture with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. 4 years later they
teamed again to make the memorable "An Affair to Remember." That was a
movie! This was utter junk, at it's worst.
We are fully aware of the cultural differences between the Middle East and our culture. Kerr looked like she was annoyed with the whole film and rightfully so!
We know of the subservience of the Middle Eastern woman to the man. They didn't have to highlight this. The young lady sure learned quickly about American mores and she acted the part accordingly.
Walter Pidgeon had little to do here and this wasn't the way for Bruce Bennett to be ending his acting career, or for Richard Anderson to begin his.
How are they going to keep them down on the farm, after they've seen Paris? Easy. Keep away from this putrid film.
Am so tired of seeing an American or British woman who is totally immersed in her career to a point that she will forsake marriage and family. Hillary Clinton and other ladies, you've come a long way ladies!
I saw this movie for the first time on TCM, interested because of the
pairing of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. It's really boring, with a
silly, unbelievable plot.
Worse than that, Grant looks and act in such a peculiar manner. He appears to be bone-thin, with his suits just hanging on him. And his expressions and body language border on the effeminate in some sequences. This is not the dashing, debonair, sophisticated Cary Grant we've all become accustomed to seeing in so many movies over the years.
Kerr has a brief drunk scene that is unusual for her screen persona. Aside from that, there's not much to her character that can save this dreary flick.
The one thing worth noting is the movie's benign portrayal of Islamic rulers. Was it really like that 50 years ago, or were we just too ignorant to know any better?
In designing a life, perhaps the first decision is how many fantasy
worlds you wish to maintain. Nearly everyone has several that are
robust. This is made possible because of the powerful support movies
provide so we can generate and maintain fantasies with some external
We now have ready support in film for several types of fantasy worlds, concerning God, country and love of course. Identity if you are a teenager.
Love is a difficult one to understand because either it doesn't connect (because it is of a world we have chosen to exclude) or it does, in which case our objectivity gets entangled. What's really good is when you have a romantic film that directly supports this need and utterly fails.
This is one of those. Cary Grant in an ill-fitting suit. Deborah Kerr with amazingly fat thighs. A concept and script so incompetent one wonders just what they were thinking.
The guy behind this later found the groove in this formula with the "I Dream of Jeannie" TeeVee show. There, he softened things: made the "hard woman" softer and the "soft" woman so soft she wasn't even a real woman.
So this is interesting from that perspective. Bad films tell you more about the good ones than the good ones themselves do.
But there is another feature of this that seems fantastic these days. Along with the romance element, they bonded it with what was then seen as the exotic flavor of Arabia. There is a subplot concerning America's desperate need for oil (more than 50 years ago!) but the main exoticism is the contrast between Islam and US culture. Islam's quirks are seen as comic and innocently charming.
I had wondered elsewhere when we would again see Arab women in films as sexy beings. Didn't even happen here. Probably won't happen in my lifetime.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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