During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
Dino, the charming and lecherous Las Vegas singer, stops for gas on his way to Hollywood in Climax, Nevada. The oily gas station attendant is Barney Millsap, a would-be lyricist who writes pop songs with Orville Spooner, the local piano teacher. By disabling Dino's car, Barney contrives a scheme to have Dino sing one of their songs on an upcoming TV special. To entertain Dino, Barney contacts the village tart, Polly, employing her to pretend to be Orville's wife, Zelda, for a night. She doesn't like Dino, but does love being Orville's surrogate wife. Dino goes to a bar, where he meets the real Zelda, and they spend the night together while Polly spends it with Orville. Written by
Crooner Dino is played by Dean Martin, in a role where he essentially is playing himself. Dino is asked at one point in the film what he thinks of the new rock group The Beatles, and he replies in a derogatory manner, with the script imitating Martin's feelings about the band in real life. Dino is then told that they are the new sound and that Dino's sound is obsolete. Ironically, and in reality, soon after the filming of this movie began, Martin recorded his soon-to-be signature song, "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime," which knocked The Beatles' "A Hard Days' Night" single from the Billboard #1 spot in August 1964, one month after filming wrapped on this movie. Martin therefore became the first easy-listening performer to achieve a #1 Billboard single after The Beatles arrived in America, and did this by usurping the Beatles themselves from the top chart position. See more »
After Orville's wife digs under his sweatshirt for a pen while Johnny is playing the piano, the sound of the piano distorts as if the sound tape slowed down for a second. See more »
Orville J. Spooner:
[reminiscing about his wife's dentist]
"Tender gums". That's a hell of a thing to say to a married woman.
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Okay, so it's Wilder. Forget all the other movies he's made. By itself
this one's got a plot, a funny one at that and Ray Walston's ability
to replace Peter Sellers may not be possible - unless you never knew Peter Sellers had the part before him. Not a bad film at all - watched without any knowledge of Peter Sellers role or caring about what Billy Wilder had done previously (or since). I liked it - and the storyline fits the everyman dream of finding success (for almost everyone). Love those movies with happy endings. Whenever you see a movie it isn't always the people playing the characters that matter, it's the story being told and the craft with which it's told. This one fits now - may not have in 1964, but it does now.
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