Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
In 1930, in Belgium, Gabrielle van der Mal is the stubborn daughter of the prominent surgeon Dr. Pascin Van Der Mal that decides to leave her the upper-class family to enter to a convent, ... See full summary »
In Paris, detective Claude Chavasse is hired to follow a wife suspected of infidelity with the notorious American libertine Frank Flannagan. When the husband learns that his suspicions are accurate, he tells Claude of his plan to kill Flannagan. Claude's daughter Ariane overhears the threat and warns Frank of the coming trouble. She then plays the part of a worldly socialite with a list of conquests as long as Flannagan's. The bemused ladies' man returns to America the next day and Ariane, completely in love, follows his romantic escapades in the news. She sees him again in Paris the following year, and resumes her worldly guise, telling tales of former lovers when they meet at his hotel in the afternoon. Frank, amazed by the mystery girl and surprised to find himself jealous of her past, hires Claude to uncover more information about her. When the detective realizes what has happened, he asks Frank not to break his daughter's heart. Written by
Gary Cooper was very pleased with his performance and was very disappointed that the majority of critics thought him miscast due to his age. Indeed, the film's box office failure was largely attributed to him being considered too old to play Audrey Hepburn's lover. In April 1958 he had a full facelift, but the procedure was largely unsuccessful. See more »
When Ariane returns one of her father's files to a locked safe and opens it by banging it with her fist, a thin wire used to pull open the safe is visible. See more »
This is the city - Paris, France. It is just like any other big city - London, New York, Tokyo - except for two little things. In Paris, people eat better. And in Paris, people make love - well, perhaps not better, but certainly more often. They do it any time, any place. On the left bank, on the right bank, and in between! They do it by day, and they do it by night. The butcher, the baker, and the friendly undertaker. They do it in motion, they do it sitting absolutely ...
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Now this is a remarkable movie. Very funny, very romantic - and with an absolutely lovely performance by Audrey Hepburn. I don't understand the bullshit about the miscasting of the male lead. Gary Cooper might be too old for Audrey Hepburn, but he plays this role in his usual underplaying manner, and this works much, much better than most other actors would have been in his role. And because of his charisma the Hepburn-Cooper teaming is not a mismatch. Other greats of that era couldn't have been better: Cary Grant would have been too cool, Peck has never been the Frank Flannagan-type. Younger stars would've been totally outplayed by Audrey. One of Billy Wilder's best films, and if you know his filmography, that means something. Chevalier is very good and sympathetic in the supporting role. And this is one of many films you would ruin with color! I hope the days of those lunatics are over who computer-colored some of the beautiful b/w classics.
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