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Paul Robaix is a well known director, married to Lucy Dell, a famous movie star. Robaix wants to make a movie of the classic play Madame Butterfly, but he doesn't want his wife to play the leading part, as in his previous pictures. Producer Sam Lewis and Lucy Dell think up a scheme to get her in the picture after all. Lucy disguises as a Geisha, and gets the leading part in the picture. When Robaix finds out he gets so mad, he wants to divorce Lucy... Written by
Christian Siemons <email@example.com>
In an interview Shirley MacLaine stated that she was granted permission to live with real Geishas for two weeks, learning the intricacies of the delicate tea ceremony, the Japanese dance and how to play the stringed instrument. She also said that the makeup process caused a lot of problems. Her eyes were slanted by attaching gauze to the corners of her eyes with liquid adhesive. Strings were then fastened to the gauze and pulled around her head. She said that by the end of the picture her temples were raw and they had to shoot the picture carefully so that the damage did not show. She also had problems with the contact lenses, especially during the scene on the hillside when the smoke that was used to simulate mist got under the lenses. See more »
When Paul Robaix (Yves Montand) plays rock-paper-scissors with a geisha, who unbeknownst to him is his wife Lucy Dell (Shirley MacLaine), a side camera view shows Montand taking his cigarette out of his mouth and putting it down before he plays the game. When he wins, the camera angle switches to MacLaine's point of view and shows Montand with the cigarette still in his mouth. See more »
Not a great film by any means---the dialogue tends to the wooden, and the plot to the improbable---but, somehow, it is fun to watch. As the movie goes on, Montand and MacLaine seem to warm to their roles, and some of Montand's introspective musings about love, career, and marriage, in the unwitting presence of his wife, are genuinely touching. MacLaine looks quite stunning made up as a geisha, and the location scenes of Japan in 1961 (Kyoto, Tokyo, Miyajima, Hakone) are alone worth the price of admission. Japanese culture is treated with fond respect, not simply with amusement or exotic interest. The speech by the ancient geisha "master" about the idealization of womanhood strays a bit into embarrassing hyperbole, but this is the exception, not the rule, in the film.
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